Study Guide

Dracula Chapter 10

By Bram Stoker

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Chapter 10

Letter from Dr. Seward to Arthur Holmwood, September 6

  • Seward writes to Arthur Holmwood to tell him that Lucy isn't so good.
  • He disguises just how bad she is, though, because he knows that Arthur is with his sick father and can't very well leave him.

Dr. Seward's Diary, September 7

  • Van Helsing arrives and examines Lucy again.
  • He has some idea of what's wrong with her, but he won't tell Seward yet.
  • Lucy is very pale and her face seems more bony than usual.
  • Van Helsing says she needs a blood transfusion immediately. (This was very high-tech at that time—and it was a pretty messy procedure. Nothing like donating blood at a blood drive nowadays, where you sit in a chair and hardly feel a thing, then eat cookies. Back in 1897, it was a new procedure, and the needles they used were huge.)
  • Dr. Seward volunteers because he's younger and stronger than Van Helsing (who used to be his teacher and is probably in his late forties or fifties).
  • Besides, Dr. Seward is still in love with Lucy, remember? Of course he wants to donate blood to her.
  • But before he can, Arthur Holmwood arrives.
  • As Lucy's fiancé, he gets dibs on giving her a blood transfusion.
  • After the transfusion, Lucy is sleeping peacefully and looks a little better.
  • The black ribbon around her neck slips aside, and Van Helsing sees a "red mark" (10.29) on her throat and seems alarmed by it.
  • But he doesn't explain it to Arthur and Seward.
  • Reassured that Lucy's going to be okay, Arthur leaves to go back to his father, who is on his deathbed.
  • Van Helsing instructs Dr. Seward to stay with Lucy all night and to call him if anything happens.

Dr. Seward's Diary, September 8

  • Lucy sleeps well (partly because they gave her a sleeping drug with opium in it; that helped).
  • She wakes up and tells Dr. Seward that she's afraid to go back to sleep because of all the terrible dreams she's been having.
  • He assures her that he'll stay with her all night, and that if he sees that she's having a nightmare he'll wake her up.
  • This makes her feel better, and she goes right to sleep.
  • The next morning, Seward heads back to his office at the asylum to check on his patients.

Dr. Seward's Diary, September 9

  • Seward is getting pretty worn out—he didn't sleep at all during the day of September 8 because he was working at the asylum, and he has now sat up with Lucy for two nights in a row.
  • Lucy takes one look at him and tells him to sleep on the couch just outside her room—she'll call him if she needs anything during the night.

Lucy's Diary, September 9

  • Lucy writes in her diary that she is feeling a lot better, especially knowing that Dr. Seward is just outside her room in case she needs him.

Dr. Seward's Diary, September 10

  • Dr. Seward is woken up by Dr. Van Helsing.
  • He tells Van Helsing that Lucy looked pretty good the night before, and even insisted that he catch up on his sleep there on the couch.
  • They go into her room to check on her, and find her worse than ever.
  • She needs another blood transfusion ASAP.
  • Dr. Seward donates the blood this time, but with the understanding that neither of them will tell Arthur about it—he might get jealous.
  • Lucy sleeps for a long time, and still looks weak, although better than she did before.
  • Dr. Seward goes home to sleep that night, and Van Helsing agrees to stay and watch Lucy during the night.

Dr. Seward's Diary, September 11

  • Lucy seems much better, and Van Helsing seems cheerful.
  • Van Helsing puts a bunch of garlic flowers in Lucy's room, and tells her that they are medicinal, so she shouldn't throw them out or move them without his permission.
  • He puts some of them over her window and around her neck.
  • Lucy is skeptical at first, but then accepts them and thanks him.
  • Seward doesn't get it either, but Van Helsing won't explain it to him.

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