Friday, April 16, 2010
Close Reading Questions for Dracula, Chs. X-XVII (pp/134-225)
NOTE: See the Final Exam instructions in the previous post if you missed Thursday's class!
1. How is Van Helsing’s portrait drawn in these chapters? Is he a near relation to Dr. Hesselius, or does he lend more authenticity to the practice of “metaphysical medicine”? Consider his method of treating Lucy as compared to Hesselius’s plan of treatment for Mr. Jennings in Green Tea.
2. Note the specific transformation of Lucy from virginal Victorian to voluptuous vampire vixen (gotta love alliteration!). How does Stoker mark this change, and what words and images surround the “new” Lucy?
3. In Chapter XIII, from Dr. Seward’s Diary, Van Helsing takes him aside and says, “Friend John, there are strange and terrible days before us. Let us not be two, but one, that so we work to a good end. Will you not have faith in me?” (177). What do you make of the male relationships in the novel? Do they reinforce a “homosocial” order (that is, a world of men, for men, by men), or are these relationships critiqued from an almost feminist perspective?
4. Provide a close reading of Lucy's death in Chapter XVI: what interesting images of themes emerge in this passage? How might this compare with Carmilla’s end—and where might Stoker surpass his famous predecessor?