There is an immediate sense of characterisation in chapter 8 with regards to Mina. Her character connotes a strong sense of innocence, when she remarks “I am so happy” and also the way in which she often uses words such as ‘sweet’ to describe people and places, for example Lucy when she’s sleeping, and the Inn. She also uses the phrase “bless them” which could arguably illustrate a very forgiving temperament to her character. When fearing what has happened to Lucy Mina remarks “A vague overmasking fear...obscures all detail”, a reluctance to express her fear of what may have happened to Lucy such as rape, emphasises Mina’s innocence. Mina also refuses to show even her feet in public and resorts to covering them with mud on the walk home in case they should encounter anyone. Lucy is described to have ‘the obedience of a child’, making her seem very vulnerable.
However we go from a sense of innocence to that of fear. Note also that the fearful setting is almost always darkness, Dracula’s domain, creating a more ominous atmosphere. There is also the church setting which could imply marital imagery. This along with the descriptions of Lucy as a ‘white figure’, suggests a wedding dress and purity (pure – being a virgin – sex before marriage is when you are seen as un clean). The ruined abbey could implicate some sort of corrupted marriage ceremony, Dracula; the man in black, as the groom. --- This then links also to Lucy’s later state when she is laid in bed ‘heavily breathing’ and she moans. This could imply that she is recovering from a sexual act as she expresses that of being in exertion. There is also “A drop of blood on her night dress” which could link to her being ‘de-virginised’, as one would often be on their honeymoon - Supports the idea of the heavy marital imagery in chapter 8.
There is arguable sexual imagery. Some consider the exchange of the bodily fluids to be very sexual creating an undertone within the chapter. Could argue that cliff tops are a romantic setting, she is also only wearing a nightdress which for that time would have been frowned upon and very abnormal behaviour. The idea of her being in a dream like state throughout this exchange of bodily fluids may also relate to the idea of corruption within innocent characters such as Lucy and Mina and possibly erotic dreams and fantasy.
Narrative irony is very strong within this chapter along with idea of reality being merged with dreams. When looking at Lucy’s bleeding throat Mina notes a “piercing of the throat”, yet naively believe it was her who caused the wound. We know as the reader that Lucy has been victimised by Dracula. ‘A dark seated figure’ which the reader knows to be Dracula seems to have a power over Lucy, whereby he can control her state of reality. He seems to provoke a dream like state within his victims, which also links to his domain of the night. As Lucy is in this state she remarks, “His red eyes again, they are just the same”, narrative irony as we know it is Dracula, yet Mina believes it is the way the sun is reflecting of the figures eyes, also the recurring theme of the merging of her state of mind with her previous dreams and the present. There is also the idea of Mina describing her ‘feet being like led’ which suggests her reality merging with a dream like state, as it is similar to when you try to run in a dream but cannot move.