« Telegram. Rufus Smith, London, to Lord Godalming | Main | Chapter 26 »


Most Significant

Demotivational Dracula on motivated reasoning, just as true (and perhaps more horrifying) in 2021: https://quotefancy.com/media/wallpaper/3840x2160/6625085-Bram-Stoker-Quote-I-suppose-that-nature-works-on-such-a-hopeful.jpg

Most Significant

Mina: "'...I am the train fiend....'"

Mina really is the master of technology here: typewriting, shorthand, phonography, and train schedules. She was probably itching to get her hands on Jonathan’s kodak.

Most Significant

“Van Helsing took her hand and held it whilst she spoke. His finger and thumb closed on her pulse [while she spoke]…‘Good, good! Oh, you so clever lady!’ said Van Helsing, enthusiastically, as he stooped and kissed her hand. A moment later he said to me, as calmly as though we had been having a sick room consultation, ‘Seventy-two only, and in all this excitement. I have hope.’”

Klinger doubts that Van Helsing could have taken her pulse accurately "in a few seconds while kissing her hand” (458 n48), but Van Helsing started to take her pulse as she began speaking. I read Mina’s speech aloud in just over 50 seconds, and most people use only 15 seconds to time a heart rate today. So Van Helsing had ample time to measure her pulse—assuming there was a watch or clock with a second hand that he could see, which is not explicitly mentioned in this passage.

Why check her heart rate? Is he afraid that all the excitement will give her apoplexy or something? Also, here we have another example of the Professor’s callous side, as he makes this cryptic comment to Seward right in front of Mina, with no more consideration than if she were a block of wood.

Most Significant

Van Helsing: "'We shall follow [Dracula], and we shall not flinch. Even if we peril ourselves that we become like him."

He dismisses this possibility very quickly, but let’s think it through. Van Helsing believes there is a possibility that one, some, or all of the hunters-- and Mina-- could become vampires if they keep pursuing Dracula. Becoming a vampire will not only (as he believes) imperil their souls, but also make them a source of danger to others. They would effectively become Dracula's agents, and could return to England to "create a new and ever-widening circle of semi-demons to batten on the helpless", as Jonathan wrote on 30 June.

But wait! They are far from Britain (and Texas, and Holland), and getting further every day. Could it be that Van Helsing secretly thinks that, without their home earth, any newly-risen vampires would not long survive, or could be easily slain by the survivors and/or local inhabitants?

Far more likely, though, is that he is not really expecting that they will fail. He is only paying lip service to that possibility.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

September 2023

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 07/2003