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How Does Bram Stoker Characterise the Following Roles in Dracula?
How Does Bram Stoker Characterize the Following Roles?
Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, uses many devices to present characters appearance and personalities, such as a physical description, dialogue, actions, stage directions, narrators description and epistolary.
He characterises Lucy by using stage directions “[Laughing]”, showing that she is a humorous person. He also uses other devices, but mainly dialogue. She is also a very supportive friend, as in a conversation about Mina’s dreams about Jonathan being in danger. “And it won’t be long before he’s home again, will it?” (Rhetorically.) Another part of the story that shows her as a supportive friend is when Lucy takes Mina to meet Mr Swales, to convince her that Jonathan is ok. When Mina receives a letter saying that Jonathan is not well, “Jonathan needs you. Go to him. I’ll be all right. Arthur will be here in a day or two. And, thanks to your care and your dear friendship, I am feeling much better. By the time you return, you’ll see I’ll be quite my old self again."
She is also very unorthodox for the time the story was written in, she has three proposals for marriage, which is very unusual for the time, and was frowned upon.
Lucy is easily frightened, “Mina, I’m frightened” after waking up outside, and forgetting her dream. “I fear the light will never come again.”
Furthermore, she is somewhat uneducated, and often uses sentences that are not complex and contain very short words. “No it won’t”, “Did I speak?” “I want my mother” and other similarly straightforward sentences are heard spoken by Lucy throughout the book.
Mina is an intelligent young woman, who has been good friends with Lucy since childhood. She seems to know all about Lucy’s personality as she comments on it in the second scene of act one. “Of course, only Lucy could have had three proposals. And of course, she could not rest now, until she’s described each of her suitors in great detail.” This quote also illustrates Mina as being intelligent, using tortuous sentences and intellectual vocabulary.
She is also caring, especially about Jonathan, as she says at the beginning of act 3. “Poor Jonathan. When he spoke of his ordeal, when he described the terrible things he had suffered, I could see how the horror of it lived in him again.”
Stoker makes her appear, to some extent, cynical, by using dialogue. “Can you believe it was Count Dracula who killed Lucy?” and apologetic, “Doctor Seward – I’m sorry.”
Jonathan is a young lawyer who is engaged to Mina. He is also somewhat intelligent, and uses multi syllabic words, for example, “Even to the distress I felt at having to part from Mina, my fiancée, couldn’t quell my sense of excitement and anticipation.”
He is also very understanding, and Stoker portrays this in the script by using dialogue. “Of course.” After he is asked to find information about Carfax Manor. Even at the beginning of the story, in act 1 scene 1, he never questions going to see Dracula. (Talking to himself) “Even the distress I felt at having to part from Mina, my fiancée”.
As a corollary, Stoker also characterises him in the same scene as commiserating by using dialogue, when he comes across a lost girl. “And speaking so pitifully, her voice frail and weak”.
In addition, by using actions, Stoker depicts Jonathan as brave in act 1 scene 3, where Jonathan climbs out of a window to try and escape Dracula.
Stoker delineates Dracula as the baddie, the one who no one likes. However, he also characterises many aspects of his personality, for example; loneliness is shown in the Prologue, when Dracula says “For centuries I have walked my world alone”; furthermore, in act 1 scene 1, he is shown to have a facet of protectiveness, when he shouts at the vampire/lost girl “No!” This is also shown in act 1 scene 3, when he tells the hags to leave Jonathan alone; and to some extent generous, giving Jonathan food and his house for a day. “For tomorrow, my home is yours. There will be food prepared”; and grateful. “It is excellent! I could desire nothing better.” (After reading the documents for the house.)
But overall, he is portrayed as having undesirable features; in the same scene that he is shown as protective, he is also shown as deceitful as he tries to befriend Jonathan when actually he wants to imprison him.