Dracula

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Dracula Chapter 14 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Mina's Journal. September 23. Mina, who is worried about Jonathan after his vision of the Count in London, spends the day reading Jonathan Harker's Journal of his time at the castle, while Jonathan is away for the day on business.
Mina finally decides it is necessary to know what Jonathan has experienced while at the Castle, although she has still promised not to share this information back with Harker, who wishes to forget all he can.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Mina's Journal. September 24. Mina vows to transcribe Harker's journal via typewriter, as she fears that the Count might now be in London, and Harker might come in contact with him once more—in this case, Mina wants to have copies of Jonathan's account of the castle, even though she knows Jonathan does not wish to share his "ravings" with anyone.
But as Mina reads, she realizes that this information is of great value, and that it might somehow be connected to Lucy's illness—even in a small way. Mina appears, in this way, to be far more advanced than Seward in her hunch that Dracula is ultimately to blame.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Letter from Van Helsing to Mina. September 24. Van Helsing writes and introduces himself to Mina, saying that he has read Lucy's correspondence with Mina (with Arthur's and Seward's permission); Van Helsing asks to meet with Mina to discuss Lucy's "illness."
Here, again, Mina begins to sense that, because Van Helsing is asking her questions about Lucy, Van Helsing might have some knowledge, too, of Harker's time with Dracula.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Telegram from Mina to Van Helsing. September 25. Mina agrees to meet Van Helsing that day to discuss Lucy and her death.
These telegrams set out of the time and place of Mina's meeting with Van Helsing.
Themes
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Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
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Mina's Journal. September 25. That morning, Mina worries why Van Helsing wishes to discuss Lucy with her—Mina fears that she has done something negligent, which has allowed Lucy to sleepwalk more and therefore to get sicker and die. Mina also fears that there is a connection between Lucy's illness and Jonathan's time with Dracula, though she quickly announces, to herself, this can't be possible—she believes the events to be unconnected.
Now Mina seems to worry that Dracula might have something to do with Lucy, and she states that there cannot be a connection. But the very fact that she feels it is necessary to deny this connection belies the idea that she really does sense the two are related after all—that Lucy's illness is no normal illness, and that Harker's ravings were not ravings at all.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Romantic Love, Seduction, and Sexual Purity Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Later that day, Van Helsing comes to meet with Mina, who shares with the Professor her journal from the time of Lucy's illness. Van Helsing reads it quickly, thanks Mina profusely, and remarks that Mina has a great eye for detail, and that her account has helped him immeasurably. Mina says she is worried about Jonathan, after his attack upon seeing the Count in London, and Mina also says that Harker has his own journal with the events from the castle, which Mina has typed up. Van Helsing asks to read it overnight, in order to help Jonathan, too, and though Mina is worried that she is breaking the promise she made to her husband, she lets Van Helsing read the typescript.
Van Helsing takes an immediate liking to Mina, and the more one considers their relationship, the more one realizes that Mina, and not Seward, is actually Van Helsing's "star student" at this point in the narrative. From the beginning, Mina has sensed the need of collecting and collating the various journals and diaries kept by the characters of the novel—Mina believes that their experiences might be related before anyone else other than Van Helsing, while Seward continues to have trouble finding these links as he is too ensconced in the rational world to accept that supernatural events may be occurring.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Romantic Love, Seduction, and Sexual Purity Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Letter from Van Helsing to Mina. September 25. 6 p.m. Van Helsing tells Mina, in a brief letter, that Harker is a very brave man, that he was not afflicted by madness during his time at the Castle Dracula, and that his account of Dracula is therefore accurate.
Mina takes this as a great relief, since the reader might have sensed a certain fear on Mina's part, that her husband, for the rest of his life, would suffer from mental illness related to his "ravings" at the Castle.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Letter from Mina to Van Helsing, September 25. 6:30 p.m. Mina replies that she is greatly relieved to hear this from Van Helsing, and that she will meet with him the next day.
Mina makes sure to telegraph her exact emotional state to Van Helsing; Stoker is sometimes rather heavy-handed in his private communications, making sure that characters spell out exactly how they feel.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Jonathan Harker's Journal. September 26. Harker writes that he cannot believe he has started up his journal again, since his time with the Count, but that he wishes to continue to document events related to the Count. Harker meets with Van Helsing and the two discuss Harker's time at the Castle—Harker provides Van Helsing with some of the papers related to Dracula's purchase of property in England. Van Helsing commends Mina to Harker, saying that she is a beautiful and intelligent woman, and Harker thanks him.
For Harker, it is not just the visit to the Castle that was traumatic, but the actual keeping of a journal, which Harker associates with the terrible events in Transylvania that almost killed him. But Harker seems also to sense, like Mina, that the terrible events surrounding Lucy and others might in fact be related to his time spent with the Count.
Themes
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Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Van Helsing comes upon an article in the newspaper that causes him some consternation, but he does not announce what the article is about—he quickly takes his leave from Harker.
Van Helsing appears close to a point wherein he will share all with the group and with the reader—the theory he has connecting Dracula and Harker to Lucy's illness.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Seward's Diary. September 26. Seward mentions that he is starting to write again, though he believed his diary was finished following Lucy's death. Seward says that Renfield appears to be somewhat "sane"; Seward is puzzled by this, but does not know the reason why Renfield has become more normal-seeming. Van Helsing comes in and shows Seward the newspaper article about the "dark lady," the one he stumbled upon while speaking with Mina—Seward reads the article, but does not understand why it so upsets Van Helsing.
Seward, once more, seems to doubt that there can be any link between the strange events in the news and Lucy's recent death. But a more sympathetic reading of Seward's hesitation might be had: because Seward loved Lucy, he feels a need to mourn here in a normal and proper way, and he has a hard time believing that a woman he so adored might have changed into something demonic. Fortunately, Van Helsing is not blinkered by love and so can share with Seward the awful truth of Lucy's state.
Themes
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Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Romantic Love, Seduction, and Sexual Purity Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Van Helsing finally explains what he believes to have happened to Lucy—he asks whether Seward believes in "astral bodies, hypnotism," and other instances of occult and magical phenomena—Seward says he believes somewhat, as far as experiments seem to prove that these practices are real. Van Helsing announces that Lucy is probably a vampire—that she was bitten by a bat and slowly transformed into one, and this is why Lucy was losing so much blood. Seward is shocked by this, and has a difficult time believing, but Van Helsing reiterates that he is a man of science, and that he can prove, by experiment, that this "magic" is real.
A key scene in the novel. Van Helsing makes a case that in fact science and magic are unified, if "magic" in this sense is defined strictly as things that appear not to be true, but which can be proved true through diligent means if only the mind is open to these possibilities. In this way, there is actually no distinction at all between science and belief—both require an openness of mind and of heart, and both ask that the researcher never jump to conclusions, but wait to assemble his or her observations and facts.
Themes
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Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Romantic Love, Seduction, and Sexual Purity Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Van Helsing goes on to say that "faith" is the "faculty that enables man to believe in things that we know to be untrue." Van Helsing asks Seward to believe in his research and to work with him to track down Lucy, whom Van Helsing says is the "dark lady," and therefore responsible for the child abductions happening in London. Seward is further shocked and has a great deal of difficulty believing his former professor.
The key point, here, in Van Helsing's statement is that we think we "know" certain things to be untrue, but in fact we do not know that they are not true—we only think they are not possible. True faith means that we can believe beyond our own private prejudices, and be open to a world that is perhaps more complex and strange than we once thought.
Themes
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Romantic Love, Seduction, and Sexual Purity Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon