PSA: A new literary-inspired webseries based on Dracula just started on Youtube: Episode 1 is up. “Mina Murray’s Journal” is loosely based on the book but it looks intriguing!
We are at the halfway point for our Dracula readalong so it’s SURVEY TIME. Comment with your answers or with a link to an answer post on your website. Try to keep spoilers only through Chapter 14 in your answers (that’s where we will be on Tuesday).
1. What has been the biggest surprise for you so far, in terms of plot, characters, tone, anything and everything?
2. Who is your favorite character so far and why?
3. Do you like the format of the book – how it’s made up of various fictional documents by the different characters? Why or why not? Do you think it’s effective? Why or why not?
4. Has anything about the book turned you off /annoyed you specifically? Eg Victorian attitudes, a character’s personality, etc.
5. Why do you think Dracula goes after Lucy, rather than Mina?
6. Where do you think the story will go from here, OR where do you want the story to go from here?
I hope you’re all enjoying the book to some degree so far, especially those of you reading for the first time! I’m having a great time rereading it – I’m noticing a lot of things I haven’t before.
My survey answers are below:
1. I’ve read this before so it’s hard to be surprised in terms of plot. But I’m amazed by how complex the overall story is, in that Stoker includes all of these tiny details that are actually very relevant clues to what is going on. But at the SAME TIME he is VERY inconsistent with other important things, like dates, the weather, the fullness of the moon, etc. I don’t know what to do with this guy.
2. Mina Murray/Harker is my favorite (I know, typical!). She’s just very down-to-earth, observant, and kind, and I like reading from her perspective. I like her dedication to learn new things even though she doesn’t “need” to.
3. I love stories told through letters and documents, but especially in this one it seems to work well. All of the journal-formats seem to match the characters using them, and even tell us a little about the characters.
4. I mean, besides the casual racism, I can never figure out how misogynistic the book is being. Mina loves journalism but is also is very careful to follow the stereotypical duties of a Victorian wife (for better or worse), Jonathan is NOT a hyper-masculine hero but Lucy is a fairly typical damsel in distress. IDK. DISCUSS.
5. I’ve seen some people argue that by voicing her desire to marry three guys (which I personally took as a joke, but okay), Lucy shows herself as sexually uninhibited and dangerous to the prevailing Victorian values of the time, and because of that, Bram Stoker has Dracula go after her. I don’t know if I really agree with that. Maybe Dracula just likes blondes.
6. I’m going to skip this question because anything I want to say is pretty spoilery.