Dracula How to Defeat Term Paper

Pages: 6 (2289 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Literature


How to Defeat Dracula

One of the most frightening aspects of Bram Stoker's famous vampire, Dracula, is that he seems invincible. Although modern audiences are familiar with the traditional means of fighting and killing vampires, including garlic, holy water, wooden stakes, beheading, and burning, Stoker began the modern vampire craze, and his original audience would not have been familiar with vampire lore. In fact, many of the elements of vampire hunting that today's readers associate with Dracula are not found in the book, but have been introduced in subsequent vampire movies and books. Therefore, in order to understand how one might defeat the original Dracula, one must look to the book and examine his strengths and weaknesses, in order to develop a coherent plan for finding and destroying the vampire.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Dracula How to Defeat Dracula One of Assignment

Dracula is an incredibly strong vampire, and it is suggested that he gains some type of strength from the fact that Jonathan Harker traveled to him on St. George's day. (Stoker, 8). The reader's first possible introduction to Dracula is as the driver who comes to take Harker to the castle; though the driver's identity is not revealed, the peasants refer to him as a "dead man," and he appears to be either Dracula himself, or one under Dracula's control. (Stoker, 17). That driver knows that the coachman is attempting to deceive him and has tried to deceive Harker. (Stoker, 17). Therefore, it appears that one of Dracula's strengths is either clairvoyance or exceptionally acute hearing. In addition, as the driver helps Harker into the coach, his grip is described as a "grip of steel," which reveals his unusually great physical strength. (Stoker, 17). Dracula also has some type of transparency, as Harker can see through the driver while he is extinguishing the blue flames that mark their path. (Stoker, 21). The driver is also able to command the wolves. (Stoker, 22). In addition, Dracula is able to scale the side of a building, and move down it, in a lizard-like fashion. (Stoker, 53). One of Dracula's considerable strengths is ancillary to the fact that he is a vampire: his extreme wealth. One must assume that he will be able to access some of this wealth, to aid him in escaping pursuit. In addition, at least in Transylvania, his preternatural existence has aided him in amassing wealth; the mysterious blue flames marked the presence of treasure, which he was able to recover. (Stoker, 35). Of course, Dracula's most significant strength is his seeming immortality. Dracula, himself, hints at his immortality to Harker, when describing his "ancestor's" forays onto the battlefield. (Stoker, 46). Furthermore, Dracula appears invulnerable to regular weapons, at least while he is "awake;" the mate's knife passed right through him on the ship. Even when "asleep" in his coffin, Dracula appears able to protect himself from attack.

Some of Dracula's biggest threats as an adversary are due to his ability to control others. For example, the presence of his wives demonstrates that one of Dracula's strengths is the ability to convert others to vampires, and he retains the ability to control those vampires after such a conversion. (Stoker, 58-59). Dracula can also disappear at will, changing shape into a mist-like substance, a bat, and a large dog or wolf. (Stoker, 124, 149). It also appears that Dracula has some type of control over the weather, as his boat arrives in the middle of a highly unusual storm. (Stoker 123-124). He is also able to defeat animals, for example killing a half-mastiff dog. Dracula can control others from a distance, and his control extends during the victim's waking and sleeping hours. For example, Dracula controls Renfield's waking actions, but is also able to call Lucy to him while she is sleeping. Furthermore, Dracula is able to cause the death of Mrs. Westerna, though whether that was due to his extraordinary powers, her failing health, or a combination of the two, is unclear.

Dracula's weaknesses include a vulnerability to religious imagery, which is first evidenced by the innkeeper and his wife crossing themselves when Harker asks about Dracula. (Stoker, 7). Furthermore, the innkeeper's wife gives Harker a crucifix to wear. (Stoker, 9). In addition, Dracula seems unable to enter a place uninvited. In addition, Dracula appears either unwilling or unable to ingest non-blood substances; he neither eats nor smokes with Harker. (Stoker, 28). Dracula also fails to have a reflection in the mirror. (Stoker, 40). It is highly likely that Dracula also fails to cast a shadow, as his three wives fail to cast a shadow. (Stoker, 57). Furthermore, if the gifts that Harker receives from the peasants are any indication, then Dracula has a wide variety of weaknesses to things. In addition to the crucifix from the landlord's wife, Harker receives garlic, wild rose, and mountain ash. (Stoker, 43). Dracula's most significant weakness may be his aversion to the sunlight; he is literally dead during the daytime. (Stoker, 73). Finally, Dracula is somehow connected to his victims, and that connection may provide a point of weakness for finding Dracula.

In fact, in order to find Dracula, I would first attempt to identify his victims, and use them to find the vampire. Dracula had two types of victims: those he fed upon, like Lucy, and those he controlled for other purposes, like Renfield. Although Renfield might be able to lead the hunters to Dracula, because he repeatedly attempts to find him during escape attempts. However, Renfield's mental instability would make me reluctant to use him in an escape attempt. Instead, I would carefully watch one of the children who were targeted by the "bloofer" woman, in order to discover Lucy's location. Then, I would watch Lucy, to discover Dracula's location. if, in the course of my observation, a better means of finding the vampire became available, I would abandon watching Lucy. However, because Harker met Dracula's three "wives," it seems that Dracula maintains some type of relationship with the women that he transforms into vampires. Furthermore, that he delivers a child to them for them to eat suggests that he also maintains some feeling of responsibility for them after death, which leads me to believe that observing Lucy would eventually lead to Dracula. I would also ask Van Helsing and Seward to contact members of the medical community and ask them to look for people who exhibit the symptoms of vampirism: such as tell-tale pinpricks on the neck, restlessness and agitation, as well as loss of color and good health. In addition, if Lucy is any example, Dracula's victims will respond to medical intervention and medication in an unusual manner. (Stoker, 195). Furthermore, doctors should note whether their patients suddenly elicit different behavior in companion animals like dogs and horses.

Once I discovered Dracula's whereabouts, I would plan how to assassinate him. In order to do so, I would engage in daytime reconnaissance of his location. The goals of that reconnaissance would be to determine possible resting places, note the location of all means of ingress and egress, and to see if there were any people working with Dracula, as the gypsies were when Harker sought their assistance in Romania. I would engage Quincy Morris, who has experience as an explorer, and Jonathan Harker to engage in the reconnaissance. The choice of Morris is simply based on his experience as an adventurer and his absolute willingness to enter into the fight, based only on his own suspicion that something was causing Lucy's illness. Harker's involvement in the reconnaissance would be based on absolute necessity; he is the only living person in the book who knows what Dracula looks like. Even more important, he knows enough about Dracula that he was able to recognize him, even though he was looking much younger. Furthermore, Harker had the wits and ability to survive several weeks in Dracula's company, which makes it likely that he would survive a reconnaissance mission. Furthermore, Harker knows what Dracula looks like while sleeping and what type of location Dracula chooses for his resting place. Therefore, Harker would be more likely to recognize potential resting places than other characters in the book. Though Morris and Harker would not be expected to battle the vampire, I would not send them out without protection. Both men would be given crucifixes to wear around their necks, because the crucifixes proved successful in keeping Dracula from Harker and from the ship's captain. In addition, they would be given garlic wreaths to wear around their necks. In fact, for them, and for any later expeditions, I would actually soak their clothing in garlic water, in case Dracula was able to influence their minds in a way to make them remove the garlic from their necks. I would also arm the men with traditional weapons, including knives and firearms. Though Dracula appears impervious to those traditional weapons, he does have the ability to command animals, and the men would need to be able to defend themselves against animals.

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