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Dracula

SPOILERS

Added Tue, 05/09/2017
Release date
18-05-1897
Original title
Dracula
Феномены
References

One of the most famous works about vampires is the novel by the Irish writer Bram Stoker "Dracula", the main character of which is a vampire.

The novel was published in 1897. In Russian, it was first published in the emigrant newspaper "Latest News" (Paris) from February 15 to March 13, 1926 under the title "Count Dracula".

The name "Dracula" is most likely borrowed from Vlad the Impaler, known as Vlad III Dracul (which means "son of the dragon").

The novel is written in the epistolary genre. The plot is conveyed to the reader by several characters through diaries, letters, transcripts, telegrams and notes. This allows the reader not only to get into the spirit of the work and worry about the main characters, but it is also easier to perceive the events of the novel as something really happening. It is believed that Stoker was the first to focus mystical evil so close to the reader and present it as something real and inexplicable.

Contrary to popular beliefs, Stoker was not the first writer to make a vampire the hero of his work, but it was he who made vampires popular characters, and also laid the foundations of ideas about them among the general public. Subsequent books, as well as films and even games, somehow owe their existence to Stoker's novel and the images presented in it.

It's interesting 

It is believed that Bram Stoker in Dracula was the first to focus mystical evil so close to the reader and present it as something real and inexplicable

In Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula", the distinctive features of the count later became classic for the behavior of vampires in works of fiction:  he is active mainly at night, sleeps in a coffin during the day, is not reflected in mirrors, has the ability to hypnotize and transform into animals (bat, wolf, etc.), cannot go inside the circle, cannot enter the house without an invitation, but at the same time can control those who became a vampire after his bite, and can make its way even through very narrow cracks.

In Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula", classic amulets against vampires are described: the pungent smell of garlic (not only the root, but also its flowers), the bitterness of mountain ash and the thorns of plants such as blackthorn, hawthorn and rosehip, as well as crucifixion.

A young lawyer from London named Jonathan Harker goes to Transylvania to sell real estate to a count named Dracula. Dracula turns out to be an immortal vampire, who thus moves to England (in a box with his native land). Harker remains at the Count's estate to punish his three brides, who are also vampires.

Mina Murray, Jonathan's fiancee, visits her friend Lucy Westenra in the coastal town of Whitby, where a ship without a crew soon docks, with the captain's corpse at the helm. At the same time, Lucy begins to lose a lot of blood, which forces her betrothed Arthur Holmwood to ask for help from Dr. Seward— a good friend of Lucy and the owner of a clinic for the mentally ill.

The doctor is interested in a patient of his clinic named Renfield, who eats flies and spiders and waits for the arrival of his almighty "master". After examining Lucy, Seward invites his colleague, Professor Van Helsing, a specialist in rare diseases. He understands what's going on and tries to save her, but Lucy still dies under strange circumstances. After Lucy's funeral, reports begin to appear of an attack on the children by a "ghost lady" who bites them in the neck. Lucy turns out to be a vampire, and Van Helsing is forced to kill her by piercing her heart with an aspen stake, cutting off her head and stuffing her mouth with garlic.

Jonathan Harker, who was in a fever for 6 weeks in a Budapest hospital, contacts Mina. After her arrival, they get married and go home. Harker is already in London and notices Count Dracula. All the participants in the story come together to kill a vampire. They are heading after him, catching up already near the castle. Three brides are killed first, and then Dracula himself: Harker cuts the vampire's throat with a Gurkha dagger, and Morris pierces his heart with a hunting knife. Dracula turns to dust.

Phenomena in artwork: A vampire

Vampire aristocrat count Dracula is the main character of the novel. On the one hand, he is presented as clever (and even to some extent wise) middle-aged man who knows almost perfectly several languages and is easily-versed in the intricacies of the notary, and on the other as creepy and mysterious monster, cold-bloodedly killing their victims.

In the novel, his appearance is described in several places. The first time he appears before the reader as a charioteer:

...sharply defined cruel mouth, bright red lips and sharp teeth as white as ivory.

Later, already described as a graph:

He had a sharp aquiline profile, a finely chiseled nose with a hump and a special cutout nostrils; high bulging forehead and mane of hair, only slightly receding at the temples. His heavy bushy eyebrows almost met above his nose. Mouth, as far as I could see under the thick mustache, was decisive, even cruel, and extremely sharp white teeth protruded between the lips, whose remarkable redness testified amazing for a man of his age, the life force. As for the rest, he was pale, extremely pointed ears, wide strong chin and tight, though, and thin cheeks.

But the hardest hit the extraordinary pallor of the face.

Still I managed from afar to see only the back of his hands when he held them on his knees; in the light of the burning fireplace, they produce the impression of white and fine; but seeing them now close, palms up, I noticed that they were rather coarse – broad, with short fingers. Especially strange was that in the center of the palm growing hair. The nails were long, but graceful, with pointed ends. When the count leaned over me and his hand touched me, I couldn't help but shudder. Perhaps his breath was noxious, because I had a horrible feeling of nausea, which, no matter how I tried, could not hide. The count, obviously, noticed this and immediately pulled back; with a kind of grim smile, exposing more of the former by his protruding teeth, he again took his seat by the fireplace.

Later, when Harker began to notice that, in the circumstances, it is more like a prisoner than a guest, a description of the graph is changed to something more appropriate to the vampires:

...smile revealed sharp fangs, resting in the red lower lip.

The distinctive features of a graph, which subsequently became a classic for the behavior of vampires in works of art: it is active mostly at night, sleeps in a coffin, is not reflected in the mirrors, has the ability to hypnosis and transformation into animals (bat, wolf, etc.):

the wolf suddenly disappeared, and it seemed to me that the whole myriads of black flies along with the wind rushed in through the broken window and swirled and spun, like a sand pillar, which, according to the description of travelers, formed in the desert during the sandstorm.

He also, like other vampires (and not only them), can't go inside the circle, can not enter the house without an invitation, but it can control who became a vampire after being bitten, and can get even through a very narrow slit:

... after van Helsing took a step back, the woman with the same body as our own, slipped into the gap through which was barely able to squeeze even a knife blade.

Victims of vampires become vampires themselves after some time. While the vampire was alive, bitten every day losing blood and feeds the vampire. The victim is fading away with each passing day becomes weaker. During the day she's still human, and at night it begins to overpower the vampire's essence. After some time the victim dies, becoming a vampire forever.

The girl Lucy is a bright representative of the victim of the vampire, on her example, the reader learns exactly how this happens. The composition of her blood was perfect, but she felt weakness, shortness of breath, walked in her sleep.

It describe as:

She was pale as a Ghost; the paint is gone even from her lips and gums, cheeks, and cheekbones stood out strongly; it was painful to watch and listen to how hard she's breathing.

Just above the jugular vein there were two small holes that caused the alarm. Painful process, obviously, they did not go, but the other was pale and thin, as if they are triturated.

In the present work is also mentally ill, who feels the proximity of the count and wants to become an immortal vampire by eating living creatures (flies, spiders and even birds). He was beaten convulsions at noon and at sunset. He describes his philosophy as follows:

... eating living beings, no matter how low a level of development, can certainly extend their own life. At times I believed it so much that even an attempt on the life of a person. The doctor can confirm that I once tried to kill him in order to strengthen its vitality, having absorbed the power of the doctor with blood, for, as the Bible says, "the blood is the life".

In addition to the graph, in the novel contains the vampires were women. Except for Lucy, who becomes a vampire and gradually (it's like she's fading away, on her neck there are two unhealed puncture, then dies and becomes a vampire, attacking children), it's three brides of Dracula.

Attack three women vampires, the hero is described as something terrible, but at the same time inexplicably coveted them:

In the moonlight against me were three young women, judging by their clothes and manners – a real lady. Then I thought that seeing them through a dream, because, despite the fact that the moonlight was behind them, they had no shadow on the floor. They approached me very closely and looked at me and began to whisper among themselves. Two of them were brunettes, with fine aquiline noses, like the count, with great dark piercing eyes, which seemed quite red with yellowish pale light of the moon. The third lady was blond – very light blond, which only can exist with thick curly Golden hair and eyes the color of a pale sapphire. I felt familiar about that face, recognition it was associated with some fears on the verge of waking and sleep, but I could not remember how and when. All three had gorgeous white teeth, shining pearl between the ruby-red voluptuous lips. There was something about them that immediately made me feel some anxiety, some longing and at the same time mortal terror. My soul awakened ghoulish wish that they kissed me with her red sensual lips. It is not good to write about it, because someday it may catch the eye of Mine and hurt her; but this is true.

They whisper among themselves and then all three laughed – a silvery melodious laughter, but a pathetic human flesh of the mouth could not, it seemed, to issue such a cutting sound, like unbearable the subtle ringing that retrieves the sophisticated hand, tracing along the edge of the glass goblet.

The blonde knelt down and leaned over me in lust. Meaningful sensuality, and exciting, and repulsive, it was, like, curving neck, she leaned lower and lower, licking while her mouth like an animal; in the moonlight I saw her wet red lips and tongue, she licked the white sharp teeth. Her head sank lower, her lips, I thought, passed my mouth and chin and stopped at his throat. She froze – I heard a wet sound, born of her quickly darting tongue, and felt a burning breath on my neck. Then the skin began to tingle and pinch. Then I felt a soft touch quivering lips to acutely sensitive skin at the throat and two sharp shot. I closed my eyes in languorous delight and waited, waited with beating heart.

Interesting description of a vampire after he is sated with blood:

Before me lay the count, but half rejuvenated, hoary hair and his whiskers darkened. His cheeks seemed fuller, and the white skin glowed with a blush; his lips were brighter than ordinary, as they still could see fresh drops of blood kapasia from the corners of her mouth and running down the chin on the neck. Even his glowing, deep-set eyes seem swollen, as swollen eyelids and bags under the eyes.

This is the classic signs of a vampire, which it supposedly can be identified after the exhumation of the corpse. Usually, if the village had begun a series of attacks on cattle or people started to suspect that someone from the recently dead became a vampire. Then it was necessary to dig up the grave to determine (by the above evidence) that in the coffin of the vampire and then kill him.

Killing vampires in the novel in different ways: pierced heart with a wooden stake, cutting off his head and stuffed his mouth with garlic (Lucy), a dagger cut his throat with a hunting knife and stab the heart (Dracula).

Ways to protect yourself here vampire also become a classic, mentioned in the novel many times: crucifix, garlic, wild rose and mountain ash. The footnote also States:

Jonathan Harker, unfortunately, did not know that these plants are known in the Slavic and Balkan tradition as personal amulets against vampires. The sharp smell of garlic, the bitterness of the Rowan berries and spikes of plants such as blackthorn, hawthorn and rose hips, according to traditional belief, protects people from evil spirits.

Interesting way to defend against vampires with garlic flowers:

...in these simple colors almost all of your salvation. Here look I'll lay them in your room. I'll make you a wreath that you wore it.

First he closed all Windows and locked; then, taking up a handful of the flowers, he rubbed them all the cracks to the slightest breath of wind was filled with their aroma. After that, took a whole bunch of colors and it rubbed the door jamb and lintel. The same thing he did with the fireplace.

The attitude of the vampires in the beginning of the piece somewhat skeptical, but over time, people easily accept the existence of mystical forces and vampires in particular. Familiarity with the vampires, their characteristics and ways of dealing with them is mainly through the character of van Helsing, a man with great experience in these matters. We give here an example of his explanation of what is happening with Lucy:

Before we get to work, will explain what it is. This is from the knowledge and experience of the ancients and of all those who have studied the power of the "undead". Becoming such, they attain immortality; they cannot die, they have to continue to live year after year, an increasing number of victims and multiplying worldly evil, for all the dead from the bite of a "non-dead" themselves are "not dead" and in turn destroy others. Thus, their circle expands like ripples from a stone thrown. Friend Arthur, if Lucy kissed you, remember, then, before her death, or last night when you opened her arms, and you will eventually, after death, would have become nosferatu, as we call them in Eastern Europe, and would increase the number of "undead". Career of the unfortunate little lady has only began. Children whose blood she sucked, not in danger, but if she will continue to live "not dead", they increasingly lose the blood; its power will force them to come to her, and she will suck all their blood its disgusting mouth. But if she really dies, everything stops. Tiny wounds on the neck will disappear and they will return to their games, even not knowing what happened to them. The most important thing here is that, if you return this "not-dead" to this death, the soul of poor Lucy will be free.

Over time, the rest of the characters get their experience and draw their own conclusions regarding Dracula and all vampires:

Nosferatu do not die like the bee after a sting. He is only getting stronger and becoming stronger, gaining the ability to do even more evil. This vampire is living among us, itself has a force of twenty men; he is more cunning than death, because the trick – the fruit of centuries; all the people to whom he can approach, in his power; he is a beast, even more than the beast, as he is the devil in the flesh; he can available to him the range to appear anywhere and in his usual form to control the elements: the storm, the fog, the thunder. He can control the lower creatures: rats, owls, bats, moths, foxes, wolves. It can grow and shrink in size. He can at times vanish and appear unexpectedly.

The vampire continues to live. He was just old, he will not die; he will thrive there, where you can revel in the blood of the living. Moreover, we have seen that he is able to regain the youth that his vital functions are restored and refreshed like when he abundantly provided his special food. But it can only exist on this diet, other foods not on it. Even our friend Jonathan, who lived with him side by side, never seen him eat. Never! He throws no shadow; it does not reflect the mirror – again, according to the observations of Jonathan. The strength of his arms equals the force of many, shows Jonathan, whom he helped down from the coach and in whose eyes held the door against the wolves. He can turn into a wolf, how can we conclude on the facts of his arrival in Whitby, where he was gutted dog; he may appeal to bat – so he watched through the window of Madam Mina in Whitby, and my friend John in the house next door and my friend Quincy at the window of miss Lucy. He can clothe himself with the fog that he creates, is a worthy captain of a witness, but, as far as we know, the fog, he can only create around themselves. He goes with the lunar rays like myriads of specks of dust – again Jonathan saw those sisters in the castle of Dracula. He is able to shrink in size – we ourselves saw miss Lucy, till she was at peace, slip through a slightly opened at hair the door of the crypt. Once infiltrating somewhere, as if tightly it may be closed or policy there's even a fire, he can enter and exit freely. He sees in the dark – an important ability in the world, half submerged in darkness. But listen to the end. He can, but he is not free. Oh no, he's in chains where more than a galley slave or a madman in the hole. He can't go where you want; a product of a different reality, it is still bound by some laws of our life – why, we don't know. At first he can't go anywhere unless you call someone from the household, but then he is free to come and go as you wish. His strength, like other undead, leaving him with the coming of the day. Only in certain moments, he has limited freedom. Being in the wrong place, with whom he is associated, he is able to transform only at noon or at dawn and dusk. So they say, and in our records we have confirmation. Thus, though he can work his will in the limit: in the house-coffin, hell house, an unclean place (as we know, he went to the grave of the suicide at Whitby), but at other time he can only turn at certain points. Also they say he can cross running water only at high tide or low tide. There are items that deny his power: we already know garlic as well as items such as this crucifix, which is all the time with us. They chase him away and force silent. There are others about which I will tell you, because we may need them in future searches. The branch of wild rose on a coffin will not let him go; if the fire in the coffin with a consecrated bullet, it would kill him and he'll be dead for real; number and Department heads also bring the peace that we have seen with our own eyes.

Thus, the vampire in this work is not just a hero of legends and myths, and being completely real, which is very close to people and is able to harm them. Descriptions, given in the book, still, after more than a century, do not lose their relevance.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»


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