Dracula

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Dracula Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Jonathan Harker's Journal. October 1. 5 a.m. The group discusses whether Seward was right not to release Renfield—and Van Helsing reassures Seward that he is doing his best, and that it is still possible that Renfield is, in fact, insane, and only appearing to be rational in order to gain his release and join forces with Dracula. The group (with Mina left back at Seward's chambers in the asylum) decides it is time to break into Dracula's house, on the presumption that he is not home, and they can find some of the boxes hidden in the chapel basement of the estate at Carfax.
The group here benefits from the fact that the chapel in the Carfax house is easy to find and to reach, and that the Carfax house is not in a part of town that might be observed by the authorities. Throughout the novel thus far, the group has done everything it can to avoid contacting the police about Dracula, since they fear that the police would only make their own investigation into the vampire's activities more difficult to execute.
Themes
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
The men of the group break into Dracula's house and make their way down to the basement, directly themselves based on Harker's knowledge of Carfax, derived from reading the plans and documents of the house earlier. They reach the chapel and find that 29 of the boxes are present, meaning that 21 have been removed. Suddenly, the chapel is overrun by rats—many hundreds of them—but Seward blows a silver whistle and three dogs from the asylum rush in, dispelling the rats and making the room seem "cleared" of its evil atmosphere.
Rats, like dogs, seem to be another animal that can be controlled by Dracula, and that are related to his terrible power. But Dracula does not seem to be able to inhabit the bodies of the rats—they merely come when he beckons them. It is interesting to note, then, that the "good dogs" Seward calls are strong enough to dispel the rats associated with Dracula's own demonic power.
Themes
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
Van Helsing is cheered to learn that other animals can drive away those animals (here, the rats) that Dracula appears to summon to do his bidding. Van Helsing also announces that they have only to locate the other 21 boxes. The group returns to the house, and they sleep.
Conveniently, the number of boxes the group needs to locate has been dropped to a more manageable number, although the reader perhaps senses that it will not be easy to secure and locate the final few boxes.
Themes
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. October 1. Later. Harker wakes up the next morning next to Mina, who complains of having terrible dreams, and who seems to be quite tired. Harker lets her sleep longer, and does not appear concerned at her distress, thinking it is just "normal" sleeplessness.
Terrible dreams seem always to accompany the first stages of vampirism, or vampiric attack—as Lucy, too, was visited by terrible dreams as she began her sleepwalking in Whitby.
Themes
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
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Seward's Diary. October 1. Seward, Van Helsing, and Harker have a brief conversation, in which Van Helsing shares the details of his latest meeting with Renfield, who appears sullen and withdrawn, unwilling to talk to the Professor, whom he had praised the day before. Seward wonders if Renfield hasn't reverted to his "normal" state of madness.
Ironically, Seward now believes that Renfield is once again mad, whereas Renfield's total dejection probably derives from a very sane response to his inability to avoid death at the hands of Dracula, since Seward will not let him leave the asylum.
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
Mina's Journal. October 1. Mina writes about the previous night's sleep, in which she heard dogs barking loudly, and Renfield shrieking in the room beneath her. Mina is worried that the men of the group are keeping information about the Count from her, because they fear this information would worry Mina. Mina reports a dream that occurs later in that night, in which she is surrounded by a dense fog or mist, with two red glowing eyes embedded within it. Mina wonders what this dream can mean, and vows to talk to Jonathan and Van Helsing about it the next day.
Once again, these dogs seem to be associated with the coming of Count Dracula—they presage his entrance. The fog and red eyes, too, are signs that Dracula is drawing near, and here Stoker marshals the detail of this "haunting" quite well, even as the reader understands now that these are signs of Dracula and that Mina is probably next in Dracula's terrible chain of assaults.
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
Mina's Journal. October 2. Mina meets with Renfield during the day—he appears quiet and withdrawn, again, though neither "mad" nor "rational"—only depressed. Mina asks Seward for a sleeping aid (an opiate) in order not to have another nightmare, as of the fog and red eyes the night before. Seward gives her a small prescription for this.
An instance wherein drugs are used as a way of inducing an artificial "hypnotic" state, which might keep Mina from worrying too much about the danger that seems to be drawing closer to her, day by day.
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