Dracula Chapters 14 and 16 Summary

Mina decides to transcribe Jonathan's journal. Van Helsing asks Mina if they might discuss Lucy's illness together. She agrees, and consequently, she meets Van Helsing for the first time. She shares Jonathan's journal with him, and Van Helsing asks to speak with Jonathan.

Jonathan Harker now begins a new journal, and in his writing he reveals that he is certain Dracula has arrived in London. He and Van Helsing discuss the trip to Transylvania, and before he leaves, Van Helsing sees a newspaper article and becomes visibly shaken. Doctor Seward also begins a new diary. He writes that Renfield is acting like himself again; counting spiders and flies. Van Helsing shows him the article about The Bloofer Lady and points out that the children's wounds are much like Lucy's were. Seward is skeptical that there is any connection between the injuries but Van Helsing is quick to respond. He angrily says, "Do you not think that there are things that you cannot understand and yet which are; that some people see things others cannot?" He encourages Seward to believe in the supernatural. In frustration, Van Helsing tells Seward that Lucy is the one that made the marks on the children's necks. Seward struggles to control his temper, but Van Helsing promises to prove the accusation true.

The two men go to the house of a mutual acquaintance, Dr. Vincent, in order to speak to one of the children who was bitten. Upon examination, Van Helsing finds the wounds on the child's throat to be exactly like Lucy's. The men then go into the cemetery, and into Lucy's tomb, which they see is empty. Seward still refuses to believe Van Helsing's explanation. The men then stand guard until Seward sees some streak of white in the distance. He also sees something moving near Van Helsing, and when he goes to check it out he finds that Van Helsing is holding a small child. Seward is still not convinced and they part until morning, leaving the child where a policeman would find him. On September 27th the men return to the tomb to find Lucy, even more beautiful in death, returned. Van Helsing declares that they must cut off her head and stuff her mouth with garlic and then drive a stake through her heart. Before he can do this awful deed, Van Helsing feels guilt in not telling Quincy and Arthur their plans. He also tries to prevent her from feeding on children by placing garlic around the tomb. Van Helsing eventually gains the trust of Quincy and Arthur and tells them what he intends to do. Arthur is firmly against any sort of mutilation of her body. Van Helsing tries to explain that he must do these things to save her soul-to save her from being one of the "undead." First her coffin must be open, then Van Helsing will perform his "service." When they arrive the four men see that the coffin is empty. Van Helsing pulls a "thin, wafer-like biscuit" from his bag and crushes into dust. He adds something to make the biscuit doughy, and then he stuffs the mixture into the mausoleum's doorframe. He tells the men it is to prevent the "undead" from entering, and that the biscuit is the "host." The men wait until they finally spot a white figure, which they identify as Lucy. Lucy has changed significantly; the men are drawn to her as they often comment about how beautiful she is... even more so in death. Seward's diary describes Lucy as exuding sexuality stating, her "purity [has turned to] voluptuous wantonness." Lucy reacts as if she were a cornered animal when the men approach. Her gown is stained with blood and her mouth and chin are covered with it as well. She suddenly discards the child she is holding and approaches Arthur saying, "Come, my husband, come." Her carnality is highlighted in this scene. The men are surprisingly, not drawn in by her carnality. Arthur reacts with horror and disgust. Van Helsing repels her with a cross before she can attack Arthur, and the host he has placed around the door prevents her from running there. Arthur, now on board with what need to be done, watches as Van Helsing removes the Host from the door, and her ghostly image slips under the frame. The men go back to rest. The next evening, September 29th, the men return to the tomb and take the necessary steps to kill a vampire. Arthur must drive a wooden stake through Lucy's heart and the men vow to search for the demon that started this misery, Count Dracula. This is the chapter that sets the beginnings of the vampire legend as we know it. It also serves to emphasize the Victorian mindset involving sex and gender. Lucy only shows her carnal desires in vampire form.

By freeing her soul from this carnal body, she will rest peacefully in her innocent beauty

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