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Dracula

Dracula

by Bram Stoker

Dracula Chapter 2 Summary

Jonathan Harker's Journal, May 5 (continued)

  • Harker figures he must have been asleep as they approached the castle.
  • As they pull up to the door, the driver hops down and then helps Harker to climb out.
  • Harker is startled by the man's incredible strength.
  • The driver jumps back into the coach and drives off again, leaving Harker alone in front of the massive doors of the castle.
  • Harker waits for a long time, wondering what to do, when finally the door opens and a tall old man beckons him to come inside.
  • Harker describes the old man as being dressed all in black, with a long white moustache.
  • The old man invites Harker to step across the threshold into the castle, and Harker enters.
  • The old guy introduces himself as Count Dracula. He seems polite and speaks English well, but with a funny intonation.
  • He shows Harker to his room himself, rather than calling for a servant – he says that his servants are all in bed.
  • There is a great room with a fireplace, with a bedroom adjoining it for his use.
  • Harker changes clothes quickly and then comes back out for supper.
  • It is the middle of the night, so Harker isn't surprised when the Count says that he's already eaten.
  • After Harker has eaten, the Count invites him to sit by the fire and talk about his journey.
  • Harker describes the Count with more detail – he's very pale, has pointy ears, thick eyebrows, and hair growing out of the palm of his hands.
  • Writing in his journal, Harker comments that he felt weirdly repulsed by the Count, but obviously he doesn't realize that Dracula's a vampire.
  • Dracula left him to go to bed, and Harker started writing the whole thing down in his journal.

Jonathan Harker's Journal, May 7

  • Harker is writing early in the morning on May 7.
  • We'll jump into the past as Harker describes what happened during his first morning at Dracula's castle.
  • He sleeps until late in the day after his late-night arrival the day before.
  • When he wakes up in the afternoon, he finds a note from Dracula saying not to wait around for him.
  • Breakfast has been left out for Harker, so he eats.
  • He notices that there isn't a bell to ring for servants to clear up the breakfast dishes.
  • He finds that odd – in England, all big houses have servants, and generally every main room has a bell that's connected to the servants' quarters so that you can get their attention when you want something.
  • Harker also notices that there aren't any mirrors in either the bedroom or the sitting room where he'd had his meals.
  • After his late-afternoon "breakfast," Harker looks around for something to read, since the Count is out.
  • He finds a library adjoining his own sitting room with a bunch of English newspapers, books, and magazines.
  • After a while, the Count joins him there and talks about all the English newspapers from London.
  • He said he can't wait to be a part of the crowded London scene, but that he wants to work on his English for a while before he leaves Transylvania.
  • He asks Harker to help him with his English, to which Harker agrees.
  • He tells Harker that he can go anywhere he likes in the Castle, except through doors that are locked.
  • The Count then starts telling Harker all about the different superstitions of the region, including the superstition about the blue flames that Harker had seen the night before.
  • The tradition is that the blue flames mark places where gold is buried, but that most common people are too scared to seek it out because they believe it is haunted or cursed.
  • Then the Count starts asking Harker all about London and the house that he is going to buy through Harker's firm.
  • The estate is called Carfax and is close to London – it's an old house with a chapel attached to it.
  • There's a "lunatic asylum" next door, but Harker assures Dracula that it isn't visible from the house.
  • The Count excuses himself and leaves the library for a few minutes, and when he comes back, he tells Harker that supper is ready.
  • After Harker eats (the Count, once again, says that he's already eaten), they stay up until almost dawn chatting.
  • Harker is tired, but feels obliged to do what Dracula wants, since he's the Count's guest.
  • When the first rooster crows, Dracula jumps up and leaves, apologizing for keeping Harker awake so long.
  • Harker goes to his bedroom, but doesn't sleep until he's written it all down in his journal.

Jonathan Harker's Journal, May 8

  • Harker only sleeps for a few hours and then gets up to shave.
  • He has his little travel mirror all set up and is in the middle of the process when he hears the Count's voice behind him – he's startled and cuts himself.
  • He can't see Dracula in the mirror when he's just over his shoulder!
  • When he turns around with blood on his chin from the cut, he says that Dracula's "eyes blazed" and he suddenly lunges towards Harker's throat.
  • But Dracula stops himself in time, and then blames it on the mirror, and tosses it out the window.
  • Harker is understandably annoyed that Dracula smashed his mirror – how's he supposed to shave, now?
  • Harker finishes as best he can and then goes out into the sitting room, where, once again, he finds breakfast waiting and the Count gone.
  • He realizes that he's never yet seen the Count eat or drink…
  • Harker decides to explore a little – he goes all over the castle, but finds nothing but locked doors.
  • The only way in or out of the Castle that isn't locked and bolted are the windows, and there's a drop of hundreds of feet into a ravine below the windows.
  • Harker thinks he's a prisoner!

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