Friday, April 23, 2010
Last Questions for Dracula! Rejoice!
1. Find other instances in the text where Dracula is linked to the fear of the colonial “other,” who could infect or invade England. How does Stoker play on this very real cultural anxiety (which we discussed in class on Thursday)?
2. In Chapter XXVI, pge 349, Dr. Seward remarks, “…it made me think of the wonderful power of money! What can it not do when it is properly applied; and what might it do when basely used.” In these final chapters of the novel, how does money become a key element of the text? How do the vampire hunters use money (or in Marxist terms, capital) to foil Dracula’s plans, and how is he, too, associated with money?
3. Though Dracula is clearly a supernatural creature, Van Helsing continually tries to reduce him to a type, either a devil, a child, or a common criminal. In these final chapters, how does he try to explain Dracula’s motives through the study (a very recent one) of criminal psychology (Chapter XXV)?
4. In Chapter XXVI, page 347, Dr. Van Helsing admits that “Our dear Madam Mina is once more our teacher. Her eyes have seen where we were blinded.” Does the novel end with a sense of a feminine vision (or authority) carrying the day? Or is she yet again dismissed as one with a “man’s brain,” and a “woman’s heart”?