Dracula: Midway Survey

PSA: A new literary-inspired webseries based on Dracula just started on YoutubeEpisode 1 is up. “Mina Murray’s Journal” is loosely based on the book but it looks intriguing!

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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).

Midway Survey:
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:

 

 

 

 

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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.

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2 thoughts on “Dracula: Midway Survey

  1. 1. I think I mentioned before that this was a first for me to see Dracula transform into anything other than a bat (assuming he was the dog on the ship, dog outside Jon’s window at the beginning, etc…). He can definitely control animals, so it’s kind of vague so far as to if he can actually turn into them. Also, the lady vamps appearing out of dust was kind of strange… you would think that it would make it impossible to kill them if they can just pouff into nothing whenever they please. This odd transformation was sort of confirmed in a later chapter with the Bloofer Lady, but I don’t want to say too much ahead, so not to spoil anything.

    2. I’m sad to say that I’m not very attached to any character in particular yet. I like Dracula because of the mystery surrounding him. Being new to the original story of Dracula, I really have no idea what to expect in his character development. I’m exited to see more of his actual character than just the glimpses we are getting at the moment. I also have a soft spot for our dear Van Helsing, even though I don’t know what he is talking about a lot of time.

    3. I really love the format of the book so far. I have been known to stop reading books because I get really tired of the main character’s point of view, so it’s really nice to get different pieces of information from different perspectives. I like that we get different formats of literature (diary’s, letters, newspaper blurbs, etc.). How anyone can remember an entire conversation after the fact though, is beyond me.

    4. I found Lucy’s story dragging a bit. I kept thinking; ‘is she actually dead this time, come on!!! Either stay in the room or not, bunch of stupid heads, Get on with it!!’.

    5. It was mentioned at some point that Lucy did sleepwalk when she was younger. It could simply be that she is just the easier target. He has the advantage of luring her away without arousing suspicion. He could have first noticed her as she was out on one of her night adventures. Her weakening state and odd ‘dreams’ could be taken as a side effect of her sleepwalking. That being said, he didn’t seem to mind the people back home knowing who or what he is…
    I also found that it was set up to seem that Mina is the stronger willed of the two.

    6. I want more of Dracula. And I expect to see more conversations with him eventually. He and Van Helsing will meet and words will be had. I hope we find out more about how Dracula lives and what exactly his weaknesses are. Obviously garlic and Holy symbols are the big ones mentioned but I’m a little bit confused as to whether or not the sun is an issue for him. We know he sleeps in his coffin during the day but I’m not exactly sure when it was that Jon and Mina saw him in the square. They were casually strolling and there were other people about so it couldn’t have been very late.
    Also, what’s going on with all the coffins. Are there more vampires? Is he planning on making a lot more vampires? How does he make a vampire and is he the only one who can sire? Do the gypsy’s have a bigger role in this whole thing?
    Was Jon meant to live? I feel as though if Dracula had meant for him to die, then he would be dead.

    1. “you would think that it would make it impossible to kill them if they can just pouff into nothing whenever they please.”
      I feel like the vampires’ powers are only as powerful as the plot requires them to be in any given scene. xD It’s pretty inconsistent.

      “Either stay in the room or not, bunch of stupid heads, Get on with it!!’.”
      HAHA, fair point.

      Good point about sunshine, too. I can’t remember if that’s a legit threat against him or not. I feel like maybe it gets really inconsistent but – *shrug* Stoker reallyyyy doesn’t care about consistency.

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