Monday, 13 December 2010


The idea of dreams and the merging of reality is a commonly recurring theme throughout Dracula. The character of Jonathon Harker is first to be subjected to this merging of reality and dream like state. On page 41 regarding his encounter with Dracula’s wives he recalls “I suppose I must have fallen asleep...what followed was startlingly real”. This emphasises Jonathon losing touch of what is real and what is fantasy, illustrating the confusion surrounding his lifelike encounters. The character that is most commonly subject to this bizarre illusion is Lucy Westenra. Lucy’s sleepwalking habits demonstrate her everyday life composure with that of a dream like state of mind, one which she is obviously not in control of, demonstrated by her sleepwalking attire. When on the cliff with Mina, Lucy recalls an encounter in a ‘dream like state’, noted by Mina, quoting “His red eyes again they are just the same”. The mixture between the past and the present and the presence of Dracula causing this confusion within her state of mind, almost like a trance, again illustrating the recurring theme of losing control to dreams, and the joining of reality and fantasy. Mina also provokes dream like imagery when trying to run to Lucy, she remarks that her feet are ‘like led’, similarly to what we feel when we try to run in our dreams and holds illusion connotations.

Throughout this idea we notice that Dracula has the ability to corrupt his victims minds, and causes them to fall in to a trance in which he takes advantage of them, and encourages them to act to his demands. On page 104 Mina remarks in regards to Lucy, “and saw that she was in a half dreamy state”, it is obvious that the mysterious ‘dark figure’, Dracula, has provoked this behaviour within Lucy, which strongly links to the nigh time, his domain, in which he is most powerful, which is arguably why he always strikes in the nightime (other than he can’t go out in the daylight). He also controls his victims accordingly, on page 176, Mina quotes “The moment she became conscious, she pressed the garlic flowers close to her...Whenever she got in to that lethargic state she put the flowers from her”, suggesting that Dracula is in control of her actions. Dracula also arguably acknowledges this idea of the night, danger and dreams, just not in an explicit manor. On page 36 he says to Jonathon “Do not sleep in any other parts of the castle... Be warned”. Dracula acknowledges that Harker is vulnerable in the castle during the night, and in turn may encourage him or the reader to believe that with the nigh time comes the recurring theme of dreams and danger, and susceptibility to evil.

It is also noticeable that most of the characters actually have trouble sleeping, and it has a knock on affect on others. Lucy in particular, “I tried to go to sleep but could not, there comes to me the old fear of sleep.” Suggests she is aware how vulnerable she is in the night time also. Due to Dracula keeping him up all night talking, and his creepy encounter with the wives and wolves and such, Harker also has trouble sleeping and becomes nocturnal. He says that his is in ‘nocturnal existence”, and influence which Dracula has on him. Dracula’s affect on Lucy in the night in turn provokes Mina to lose sleep of keeping her safe, and also the other characters who keep guard over Lucy in the night.

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