Dracula

Blood Symbol Analysis

Blood Symbol Icon
One of the foremost colors in the novel is red, and perhaps the novel's most arresting image is that of blood. Dracula, of course, must feed on the blood of the living to survive—it is the "life-power" of one's blood that enables him to live for long periods of time. Dracula draws blood from Mina and Lucy, and attempts to draw blood from Harker; the Three Sisters, similarly, wish to drink from Harker's blood in turn. Renfield, Seward's patient at the insane asylum, has a desire to eat living animals, including their blood, in order to gain their "life-force." Arthur, Seward, Van Helsing, and Morris must all give Lucy blood transfusions, as Dracula is consuming enormous quantities of Lucy's vital fluid. The drawing of blood has, naturally, a violent undertone, and indeed Dracula's parasitic need to live off others is shared, in part, by the bat, which is his primary animalistic or bestial representation. But blood also contains a reference to sexual desire and sexual violence, as the flushing of cheeks, or "ruddiness," was considered a sign of sexual arousal in Victorian times, and Dracula's stealing of women's blood in the night is a thinly-veiled indicator of his desire to "take" from them, to "pollute" them in a manner not unlike sexual assault. Only when Dracula is stabbed through the heart, and when his head is cut off, does the cycle of blood-lust cease in the novel.

Blood Quotes in Dracula

The Dracula quotes below all refer to the symbol of Blood. 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 1 Quotes

I saw around us a ring of wolves, with white teeth and lolling red tongues, with long, sinewy limbs and shaggy hair. They were a hundred times more terrible in the grim silence . . . then even when they howled.

Related Characters: Jonathan Harker (speaker)
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 7 Quotes

Early this morning a large dog, a half-bred mastiff belonging to a coal merchant . . . , was found dead in the roadway opposite to its master's yard, It had been fighting, and manifestly had had a savage opponent, for its throat was torn away, and its belly was slit open . . . .

Related Characters: Mina Harker (speaker)
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 12 Quotes

Once again we went through that ghastly operation. I have not the heart to go through with the details. Lucy had got a terrible shock and it told on her more than before, for though plenty of blood went into her veins, her body did not respond to the treatment as well as on the other occasions. . . .

Related Characters: Dr. Seward (speaker), Lucy Westenra
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 14 Quotes

Now that you are willing to understand, you have taken the first step to understand. You think then that those so small holes in the children's throats were made by the same that made the hole in Miss Lucy?
I suppose so.
Then you are wrong . . . . It is worse, far, far worse.
In God's name, Professor Van Helsing, what do you mean?
They were made by Miss Lucy!

Related Characters: Abraham Van Helsing (speaker), Dr. Seward (speaker), Lucy Westenra
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 16 Quotes

Come to me, Arthur. Leave these others and come to me. My arms are hungry for you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come!

Related Characters: Lucy Westenra (speaker), Arthur Holmwood
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 18 Quotes

You will, I trust, Dr. Seward, do me the justice to bear in mind, later on , that I did what I could to convince you [to free me] tonight.

Related Characters: Renfield (speaker), Dr. Seward
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 20 Quotes

The attendant came bursting into my room and told me that Renfield had somehow met with some accident. He had heard him yell; and when he went to him found him lying on his face on the floor, all covered with blood.

Related Characters: Dr. Seward (speaker), Renfield
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Blood Symbol Timeline in Dracula

The timeline below shows where the symbol Blood appears in Dracula. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
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
...to greet Dracula himself, he realizes he has cut himself on the chin, while shaving; blood is trickling down his chin. Dracula sees the blood and, in a frenzy, immediately grips... (full context)
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
...be careful how he cuts himself—that it can be "dangerous" in Transylvania to show one's blood. Dracula also throws the shaving-mirror (which Harker brought with him) out the window, calling it... (full context)
Chapter 4
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
...Count "asleep" in his wooden box filled with earth. Dracula's mouth has been smeared with blood—Harker does not know whose, but seems dimly aware that it might be his—but Harker cannot... (full context)
Chapter 6
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
...July 20. Seward walks in to find only masses of feathers and a speck of blood on Renfield's pillow—the birds are gone. An orderly tells him, later that morning, that Renfield... (full context)
Chapter 8
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
...at Lucy, sleeping soundly, as sees that Lucy has a small cut and trickle of blood at her throat. Mina believes she has cut Lucy by pinning her nightgown, and so... (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
...The nurse says that Jonathan was found in Klausenbergh by a policeman—Jonathan was raving about blood, demons, and violence, and the policemen helped him onto the train to Budapest, where he... (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 Seward were alone, however, Seward examined her more closely, and saw that she looked "bloodless," without the usual signs of anemia. Lucy also complains of occasionally difficulty breathing. Seward tells... (full context)
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
...Lucy, that Van Helsing agrees with Seward that Lucy has lost a good deal of blood but does not seem typically anemic. Van Helsing, who must return briefly to Amsterdam before... (full context)
Chapter 10
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
Van Helsing visits Lucy and sees that she has lost even more blood. Van Helsing determines that Lucy must have a blood transfusion, and Seward, who is younger... (full context)
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
...ever, though Van Helsing detects a pulse, and says that Lucy can survive with another blood transfusion. Van Helsing asks Seward, this time, to donate blood, which Seward does. The transfusion... (full context)
Chapter 11
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 proceeds to give some of Lucy his own blood—she has again lost some in the night, and looks more waxy and pale than ever.... (full context)
Chapter 12
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
...stone-dead, and the former on the verge of death, having lost a great deal of blood. Van Helsing begins working in a fury to bring her back; he notices that the... (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
...house, since Arthur had not heard from Lucy for several days. Morris agrees to transfuse blood to Lucy, and the operation appears, once again, to improve her condition. After the operation,... (full context)
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
...explain to Seward. Morris draws Seward aside and reminds Seward that Lucy has had the blood of "four strong men" in her veins, in large quantities, but that something appears to... (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
...severely weakened condition—although the transfusion helped, it seems that Lucy simply has lost too much blood to survive. Seward worries what will become of her, and continues speaking his journal entries... (full context)
Chapter 13
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
...in a cemetery near her house; after doing so, Arthur remarked that, by transfusing his blood into her veins, he felt that he and Lucy were truly married. None of the... (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
...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... (full context)
Chapter 15
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
...neck, indicating that he has been bitten by a vampire, and that some quantity of blood has been sucked from his veins. (full context)
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
...between life and death, capable of moving only at night, when she feeds on the blood of the young and innocent. Van Helsing attempts to convince Arthur, by saying that he... (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
...can command rats, bats, wolves, foxes, and other "lower" animals; and they must suck the blood of the living in order to survive. (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
...plans of attack. Dracula can only enter a space once invited by the victim whose blood he wishes to take. Dracula can operate only at night, between dusk and dawn. And... (full context)
Chapter 20
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Life, Death, and the Un-Dead Theme Icon
...souls, nor souls at all—he has found another source, which he strongly hints to be blood. Seward is terrified by this, at a second meeting later that day, and realizes, after... (full context)
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
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...found in his room, his face smashed, lying face-down in a pool of his own blood. Seward rushes back into the room to investigate the cause of this. (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
...two that Dracula appeared outside his 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... (full context)
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
...a terrible scene in the bedroom. Mina has been bitten on the neck by Dracula—her blood is smeared all over his face, and he is holding her head to a wound... (full context)
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
...Van Helsing, who attempt to calm him down. Mina, realizing that she has drunk Dracula's blood, fears that she has been "contaminated," and that she is now unclean, and unfit even... (full context)
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
...her, and saw, on waking in the dream, that Dracula was bending to suck her blood—she was powerless to stop him, and then Dracula forced her to drink his own, in... (full context)
Chapter 22
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
...discovers a red scar there—a mark, she believes, of her "pollution" by having drunk Dracula's blood. Mina is horrified, but the men of the group bend on their knees and pledge... (full context)
Chapter 23
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
...asks him if he can hypnotize her—she feels that, since she is now "connected by blood" to Dracula, perhaps she can be hypnotized into a state in which she communes with... (full context)
Chapter 24
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
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...recounted interactions with a strange passenger, whom they could not name but who brought up "blood" several times, and sounded a good deal like the Count. (full context)
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
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...from her, as she fears she will share them unknowingly with the Count, since her blood has been "linked" with his, in some sort of shared consciousness. Harker agrees not to... (full context)