Book Notes Chapter 18 Notes from Dracula

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Dracula Chapter 18

The events of the early evening of September 30 are recorded in Seward's diary. He enters his house to find that Godalming, Morris and the Harkers have been working together. Mina asks to see Renfield out of curiosity. Seward agrees, and takes her there, announcing first to Renfield that he will have a visitor. Renfield reacts by swallowing all his flies and spiders. Then, upon meeting Mina, he immediately becomes a refined gentleman. Seward is amazed as his patient speaks philosophy with his guest and even discusses himself as a case study. The patient also implores her to leave the asylum at once.

Mina writes about the events of the late evening. After dinner, all six convene in Seward's study for an impromptu strategy session. Van Helsing, the unspoken leader, explains that the fight against Dracula is more than life or death, for losing would mean losing one's soul, being "abhorred by all; a blot on the face of God's sunshine; an arrow in the side of Him who died for man." He then asks who will join him in the fight.

Topic Tracking: Religion/Religious Duty 10

All agree and join hands. The meeting continues with Van Helsing explaining the strengths and weaknesses of Dracula, which are most easily shown in list form:

Strengths--
Needs not age
Makes no shadow/reflection
Can change into wolf, bat, mist or dust
Can grow large, become small, or disappear
Can control storm, fog, thunder
Can control rats, owls, bats, moths, foxes and wolves

Weaknesses--
Must have human blood
Can only make mist around himself
May not enter a household without invitation
Power ceases at dawn
Unless in an unholy area (his own earth, the grave of a suicide), he can only change form at noon, sunrise or sunset
Can only cross running water at high or low tide
Powerless against garlic
Powerless against holy things (crucifix, holy wafer)
A branch of wild rose will keep him pinned in his coffin
Can be killed by sacred bullet, stake through the heart, or decapitation

Van Helsing also reminds them that they have the power of devotion to a cause, and that they can work day or night. He explains the history of this particular vampire, Dracula, who in life was a great warrior of the Szekely. His people were aligned with the devil.

During this speech, Morris goes outside and fires a gunshot. When he returns, he explains that he saw a bat that was bothering him.

They go on to describe their plan of action, which is to find all of the boxes of earth and sterilize them, thus keeping Dracula at his weakest. They decide that this will be Mina's last night of involvement, for her own safety. They convene in order to go to Carfax immediately.

Seward writes in his diary that before they leave the house, an urgent message is brought that Renfield needs to be seen. Van Helsing, Godalming and Morris join Seward. Renfield asks to be pardoned from the asylum. When Seward refuses, he appeals to the others, in the most polite, refined and educated language. Seward is amazed, and Van Helsing impressed, but the patient is still refused. He begs to be let go, explaining that he cannot say why, but for the noblest of reasons he must be taken away this night, even if only to a jail. When all of his reasonings and pleas are turned down, he simply says, "You will, I trust, Dr. Seward, do me the justice to bear in mind, later on, that I did what I could to convince you to-night." Chapter 18, pg. 272

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