Dr. Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula

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Literature Circles #2
Question 4: Matthew Ma

Describe Dracula as a simple tale of good versus evil. Which characters or ideas does Stoker depict as "good"? Which does he depict as "evil"? How do these characters and ideas conflict within the story?
Dracula is evidently a classic book of good versus evil. Anywhere in the book, the two sides are always standing against each other. Backing up just how evil Dracula is, Jonathan inquires on page 70, “He might kill me, but death now seemed the happier choice of evils.” This suggests that Jonathan was going to attempt anything to escape the clutches of the ambiguously bad count, even if it meant facing death. It also shows that evil and good repel each other.

Religiously, Dracula is based on Christianity, in which Dracula is a supporter of the devil, while Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and Jonathan are supporters of heaven. Stoker depicts characters as evil if they are deliberately harming others. A good example is Dracula creates a storm on the ocean to make the crew of the Demeter mad. Stoker describes good characters when they do morally good things. For instance, Dr. Seward donates his blood to an ill and dying Lucy. Here, Stoker forms the bright and dark characters. (good place to add quotes for each example)

Of course, with two sides opposing each other in beliefs and ideas, there will be no doubt conflicts between them. An example of conflict between good and evil in the spiritual sense is when Van Helsing and his team were battling a possessed Lucy, Dr. Seward describes it on page 289, “She was leaping for them, when Van Helsing sprang forward and held between them his little golden crucifix. She recoiled from it, and with a suddenly distorted face, full of rage, dashed past him as if to enter the tomb.” (p.289) This scene describes well that despite the nosferatus’ enormous strength, they also have weaknesses and their power isn’t infinite when conflicted by the good side of Christianity.

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