Okay, everyone, I’m going to be honest here: we’re getting closerish near to the end of this book and I am getting REAL TIRED OF EVERYONE’S SHENANIGANS, mostly in regard to not taking the proper precautions and to the treatment of Mina by her crew.
“Ah, that wonderful Madam Mina! She has man’s brain- a brain that a man should have were he much gifted-and woman’s heart. The good God fashioned her for a purpose, believe me, when he made that so good combination” (278).
For a purpose, eh? That purpose must be hunting and killing an immortal evil vampire, right? Right?
….Oh. Van Helsing, you are full of rat poop. YOU HEARD ME.
Anyway, Mina’s reaction to this is grouchy but understanding because she’s been brainwashed by the system – I mean, because she loves her husband and doesn’t want him to worry. “Manlike, they have told me to go to bed and sleep” (287). TYPICAL. But I love how even though she’s going along with what they want, she’s still pretty snarky in her journal. Even Renfield is on Team Mina (278).
If the guys had followed up their benching of Mina with some, you know, smart decisions, I could maybe forgive it. But then they immediately go and investigate Dracula’s house AT NIGHT while leaving Mina at home ALONE. I mean, it’s not like we just sat through Van Helsing’s lecture on the Strengths and Weaknesses of Our Vampire Enemy and established that he is stronger during the night…
Oh, wait. We totally got that lecture. In all seriousness, Van Helsing’s lecture in Chapter 18 is a pretty great sum-up of what we know about Dracula so far from the book. He confirms that Dracula is the dog that ran off of the shipwreck, and probably can shift into dust-clouds, which seems like a really fake skill but that’s okay.
“The nosferatu do not die like the bee when he sting once. He is only stronger, and being stronger, have yet more power to work evil” (280-1).
Van Helsing mentions the “Scholomance” in his lecture, which I tried to find out more about but I guess I need to use an actual library. The wikipedia article is sorta helpful but most of their sources aren’t online for free. I was amused to notice that, besides all the links to World of Warcraft and Cassandra Clare, most links quoted Dracula when talking about Scholomance. Anyway, the long and short of it is that Scholomance is a magic school off in the mountainous boonies and is run by the devil.
I really enjoy how Morris, who doesn’t seem to be that interested in the research side of things, just walks out of the room so he can shoot at the bat he saw outside the window. And then…no one else raises the possibility that the bat might be Dracula? It’s probably fine. Bats are totally normal except for when they’re shapeshifting avatars of the undead. Maybe they’re just in denial. But, AGAIN, they follow this up with a night-time exploration of Dracula’s house. WHY DID YOU NOT GO DURING THE DAY ARGH.
Seward uses his skeleton keys to break into Dracula’s house (295), confirming my headcanon that he is secretly a body-snatcher in his spare time. I’m really onboard with this theory, you guys.
I haven’t talked very much about Renfield in these posts, mostly because I don’t know what to do with him.
“That horrid thing has the wolves and rats and his own kind to help him, so I suppose he isn’t above trying to use a respectable lunatic” (294).
He’s clearly under the influence of Dracula. He’s clearly a lunatic. I guess I’m pretty much like Seward – very suspicious of Renfield at all times and unsure what Renfield’s purposes are. He seems to want to become a sort of vampire himself, as shown by eating all the flies and whatnot. We don’t really know how or why he is aware of Dracula and thinks of him as his master. But why is he freaking out so much about leaving the asylum in chapter 18? Is he motivated by Dracula or by himself and for good or evil? Renfield: DISCUSS. Do you like and/or empathize with him? What do you think his deal is?