Chapter 8 Notes from Dracula

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Dracula Chapter 8

Many plot lines advance in this chapter. It begins with Mina Murray's journal. Lucy seems well and Mina misses Jonathan. Then, on the night of August 11, Mina wakes to find that Lucy is missing from her bed. She finds her sleepwalking friend across the valley at the churchyard, and not alone. "...[T]here, on our favourite seat, the silver light of the moon struck a half-reclining figure, snowy white... [S]omething dark stood behind the seat where the white figure shone, and bent over it. What it was, whether man or beast, I could not tell." Chapter 8, pg. 100 When Mina reaches Lucy, she is alone, breathing in "long, heavy gasps."

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 2

To keep her barely-dressed friend warm, Mina wraps a shawl around her neck and puts a safety pin through it. They sneak home unnoticed and tell no one of their adventure, to protect both Lucy's reputation and her mother's declining health.

The next day, Lucy seems healthier than ever, but has two tiny wounds on her neck, which Mina assumes are from the safety pin.

In the following nights, Lucy sleeps poorly, pacing the locked room in her sleep and hypnotically staring out of the window, as if drawn to something. Mina writes, "Between me and the moonlight flitted a great bat, coming and going in great, whirling circles." Chapter 8, pg. 103 By day, Lucy sits dreamily in the churchyard, speaking cryptically about "his red eyes."

Meanwhile, Arthur wants to advance the wedding date, as his father is getting better. Unbeknownst to Lucy, though, her mother is dying from a weak heart, and Lucy herself is growing weaker. Mina, in her sensible manner, takes care of everybody as best she can.

Two letters are shown at this point, the first from a solicitor in Whitby to a solicitor in London. It is a request to deposit a delivery of fifty boxes to the chapel at Carfax, the estate purchased by Dracula. The second is the return letter, a confirmation that the request has been granted.

Back in Mina's journal, she writes that Lucy is better, but had a strange dream that seemed real, involving "something dark with red eyes."

She finally receives word from Jonathan, in the unlikely form of a letter from a nun who works at a hospital in Budapest. The nun says Jonathan has been under her care for nearly six weeks, suffering from a violent brain fever. He had run to the station at Klausenburgh where, seeing that he was a crazed Englishman, the station-master sent him as far east as possible. He had since been too delirious to mention his fiancée. The nun tells Mina in a private addendum to the letter that they all adore Jonathan, and that she should treat him with care, as "the traces of such an illness as his do not lightly die away." Mina arranges to go to Budapest.

The next journal entry is Dr. Seward's. He is concerned about Renfield, who has begun to act strangely bestial and say things like, "I don't want to talk to you: you don't count now; the Master is at hand." Chapter 8, pg. 111 Seward believes he has religious mania and will soon think that he is God.

Topic Tracking: Religion/Religious Duty 4

Depressed about losing Lucy, he considers taking chloral to sleep, but decides against it. Later in the night, he gets word that Renfield escaped. He gets a late start going after him and barely sees him going over the wall to Carfax, the adjacent estate. He finds the lunatic pressed against the chapel door, speaking aloud, "I am here to do Your bidding, Master. I am Your slave..." Chapter 8, pg. 113

Topic Tracking: Religion/Religious Duty 5

Seward and his attendants, with some difficulty, capture Renfield and bring him back to the asylum.

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