Dracula

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Bats Symbol Icon
The bat is the primary animal-representation for Dracula. Bats in the novel, of course, desire the blood of other living things—they are mammals, and certain species of vampire bat do indeed feed on living animals. The bat, also, is nocturnal, or active at night, and the bat can fly, allowing it access to places Dracula might not otherwise be able to reach. Morris attempts to shoot a bat he sees flying around a meeting of the group, at the insane asylum; Harker fears that Dracula has changed himself into a bat, at his castle; both Lucy and Mina report having seen bats near them when they are being attacked by Dracula (or having their blood sucked); and Van Helsing later informs the group that bats—and also, secondarily, wolves and rats—are creatures historically associated with vampires, or the Un-Dead. When Dracula is truly killed at the end of the novel—when his spirit is "set free" by the group—representations of bats also cease—the bats are no longer under Dracula's power, and are free to return to their normal lives in the wild.

Bats Quotes in Dracula

The Dracula quotes below all refer to the symbol of Bats. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Dracula published in 2000.
Chapter 19 Quotes

Last night I slept, but did not dream. I must have slept soundly, for I was not waked by Jonathan coming to bed; but the sleep has not refreshed me, for to-day I feel terribly weak and spiritless.

Related Characters: Mina Harker (speaker), Jonathan Harker
Related Symbols: Bats
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:

Dreams are an important part of the narrative. Because they exist outside of waking life, they are a means of tapping into whatever supernatural or spiritual energies flow beneath life's surface. They are also a window into other consciousnesses - and when Dracula is present, dreams allow the dreamer to see him, perhaps to confront him or flee from him. That is why Mina reports that she does not remember her dreams - she does not remember having contact with Dracula at that time.

But Mina also notes that the sleep she slept did not possess characteristics typical of sleep. That is, it did nothing to restore her. It was not a respite from anything - it was a way of coming closer to Dracula's dangerous energies, even if she does not remember them. Sleep, in the novel, is therefore not a way of refreshing the body. It is instead a plane on which supernatural forces can act, without regulation of the conscious mind in waking life. 

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Chapter 21 Quotes

First, a little refreshment to reward my exertions. You may as well be quiet; it is not the first time, or the second, that your veins have appeased my thirst!

Related Characters: Count Dracula (speaker), Mina Harker
Related Symbols: Blood, Bats
Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:

For the first time in the novel, the Count remarks explicitly on what it feels like to drink the blood of a human, to feed on the life essence of a living being. For Dracula this feeding satisfies several urges. It is, first, a way of refreshing his energies. It is not dissimilar to a human eating "normal" food. But it is, too, a way of restoring a supernatural balance of power. of refreshing his "un-deadness."

This is the paradox of the Count. He is a being who is so dead as to be beyond death - he lives in that state of un-deadness that Lucy also occupied. In order to maintain this state, he must consume the very thing that keeps human beings actually alive - and that is the blood that runs through their veins. Thus blood, symbolically, is revealed to be the key of human life, and also the key to life beyond the pale of the human, in the realm of those existing beyond death. 

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Bats Symbol Timeline in Dracula

The timeline below shows where the symbol Bats appears in Dracula. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Romantic Love, Seduction, and Sexual Purity Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
...her knowledge), sits up and points to the window, where Mina, woken up, spies a bat trying to get in. Mina finds this odd, but Lucy goes back to sleep and... (full context)
Chapter 9
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
...and the hospital orderlies catch Renfield, he looks upward, and they all spot a large bat flying ominously above. At this, Renfield becomes calm, and says he will go quietly back... (full context)
Chapter 11
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
...Lucy has not been disturbed in her sleep, but has heard the wings of a bat battering against the window of her room. (full context)
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
...or Seward present. She goes to her window in the night and sees a big bat outside. Her mother walks into her bedroom and Lucy asks her mother to sleep with... (full context)
Chapter 14
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
...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.... (full context)
Chapter 18
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
...men; they can marshal the forces of wind, thunder, and rain; they can command rats, bats, wolves, foxes, and other "lower" animals; and they must suck the blood of the living... (full context)
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
Morris, after this speech, walks outside and tries to shoot a bat which has flown around the house—he misses, but this reminds Van Helsing that the Count... (full context)
Chapter 21
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
...window and promised Renfield an "infinite" amount of red blood in the form of rats, bats, flies, moths, and other forms of life—Renfield was so excited by this prospect that he... (full context)