Notes on Dracula Themes

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Dracula Topic Tracking: Friendship

Chapters 1-4

Friendship 1: As an excuse to destroy Jonathan's shorthand letter to Mina, Dracula calls it a gypsy 'outrage upon friendship,' which is the greatest insult he can muster. Despite their disparate backgrounds, both men can agree upon the sanctity of friendship.

Chapters 5-8

Friendship 2: Quincey and Lucy seal their bond when Quincey describes her as a friend, which is "rarer than a lover, it's more unselfish anyway." Even though he has been rejected, he remains devoted to her; this is what initially ties him to Van Helsing and the others when it comes time to fight evil.

Friendship 3: The three men put aside their competition for Lucy for the sake of their friendship. The losers even congratulate Arthur. Their friendship predates Lucy, and it will be strengthened by her death, not to mention their subsequent killing of the monster she becomes.

Friendship 4: Even at the height of his despair, when writing in his private diary, Seward complains, "...nor can I be angry with my friend whose happiness is [Lucy's]..." This devotion to his friend Arthur reflects the moral standard that is in all of the main characters. Without it, they could not join forces to defeat Dracula.

Chapters 9-12

Friendship 5: Arthur must sacrifice his sense of decency and ask his friend to examine his fiancée. Seward must put aside his feelings of love and examine Lucy for the sake of her and his friend Arthur.

Friendship 6: Van Helsing, who refers to Seward as 'friend John,' tells his former student that he would go to London for the sake of their friendship even if it meant breaking promises and ignoring his duties.

Friendship 7: In the name of friendship, the doctors inadvertently cause harm to Lucy by not telling her mother about the cure. Van Helsing then gives his own blood to his new friend. This is not only a pseudo-sexual act, but one that ties Van Helsing to Lucy the way Quincey's devotion did earlier.

Friendship 8: Quincey Morris arrives at Lucy's sickbed and is taken into immediate confidence by his old friend Jack Seward. He does not hesitate in offering his services in any way possible, in this case in the form of his blood.

Chapters 13-16

Friendship 9: The newly titled Lord Godalming admits he knew of his friend's love for his fiancée, but thanks him all the more for his help. Then he and Van Helsing secure their friendship after Arthur declines to use his title in the presence of the group. Personal relationships are beginning to form between all of the main characters.

Friendship 10: Van Helsing, Seward and Morris all agree never to tell Arthur that they gave blood to Lucy. This is done out of pity for their friend, but is nonetheless a dishonest act that is not consistent with the high standards of friendship upheld in the rest of the novel.

Friendship 11: Van Helsing is very impressed with Mina, and immediately takes her into his expanding circle of close friends. The reader, who already is familiar with the good qualities of both characters, is shown very little interaction between these two at this point. It must be taken on faith that they quickly expose their best sides to the other.

Friendship 12: Van Helsing adds Jonathan to the list. He has seen even less of Jonathan than of Mina. It is possible that, knowing he must have nothing less than a completely devoted team to carry out his mission, Van Helsing is eager to see the good in potential helpers.

Chapters 17-20

Friendship 13: Upon meeting Mina, both Quincey and Arthur feel so comfortable around her that they confide in her about their love for Lucy. Arthur even goes so far as to break down crying in her presence, and she comforts him. The three form a fast bond. Now virtually everyone in the group has met and formed a connection.

Chapters 24-27

Friendship 14: After their vampire-fighting ordeal, the Harkers name their first child after all of the friends that so helped them. . The child is primarily named for Quincey, who died for the group and whose last thought is for Mina. Seven years later, the rest are still good friends.

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