Chapter 4 Notes from Dracula

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Dracula Chapter 4

Using his gift for self-analysis, Jonathan tries to determine whether or not the scene through which he lived was actually real. He decides that, although he woke up in his own bed, he was placed there by Dracula while unconscious and he was indeed very nearly a victim of a vampire. Furthermore, Dracula persuades him to write three letters, postdated June 12, 19, and 29, describing to his friends various stages of his voyage home. Sticking to his earlier plan, Jonathan writes the letters, with the newfound knowledge that he has six weeks to live.

Nine days later, a chance to escape is foiled. Spotting a band of gypsies encamped outside of his window, he attempts to send word to the outside world by throwing them two letters and a piece of gold. His plan is smashed when the gypsies give the letters to Dracula, who offers to mail one to Peter Hawkins, Harker's boss. The other letter, written entirely in shorthand to Mina, Dracula destroys, pretending that he thinks the note is a gypsy trick.

Topic Tracking: Friendship 1

To make matters worse, the Count has taken to going into the nearby town dressed as Jonathan, in order to give the impression that it is the Englishman who is mailing his own letters and then stealing children. A townswoman actually comes to the castle in despair, demanding her child; Dracula sets a pack of wolves on her.

Meanwhile, the gypsies are hard at work in the castle, filling great wooden boxes with earth.

Jonathan, knowing he is doomed anyway, rallies himself to risk his own life in order to find a key to the front door. He climbs out of his window and scales the castle wall until he reaches Dracula's room. Instead of a key, he discovers a passage to a ruined chapel containing the fifty wooden boxes. The Count is lying in one, in a state of hibernation. "I bent over him, and tried to find any sign of life, but in vain." Chapter 4, pg. 52-53 Unnerved, Jonathan flees back to his room.

The day before he is to die, Jonathan simply asks Dracula if he may leave immediately. Dracula, with all the courtesy of a polite host, consents and opens the front door. Surprised, Jonathan begins to exit - until he sees the wolves: vicious, hungry, and allied with the Count. Thwarted, he realizes that he must get the key at any cost.

At the turn of dawn, when he feels "that sudden change in the air," he once again scrambles down the wall and into Dracula's lair. To his horror, he sees that Dracula is newly fed and looks decades younger. Disgusted with the monster, unable to find the key on his body and fearing for the future of London, he strikes Dracula with a shovel, cutting his forehead and slamming the box shut in the process.

He sees his final chance for escape as the gypsies enter the castle to take their sleeping master away. He writes his last thoughts of love for Mina, and attempts to climb his way down the wall, down the cliffs, and run for his life. Here the journal ends.

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