Study Guide

Dracula Chapter 23

By Bram Stoker

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Chapter 23

Dr. Seward's Diary, October 3

  • Dr. Seward notes that Jonathan's brown hair has turned white overnight from the shock of what happened to Mina.
  • Van Helsing, meanwhile, has been studying up on Dracula's life—his real life, hundreds of years ago.
  • Apparently, our undead friend was quite the scholar in his day. But, Van Helsing insists, his brain stopped developing when he became a vampire. So now he's got a "child-brain"—Dracula is hung up on routine and habit.
  • Just then, they get a telegram from Mina. She warns them that she saw Dracula leaving Carfax (remember, Carfax is right next door to Seward's asylum, where she's staying), and that he's headed south into the city.
  • Jonathan is psyched to have a chance to kill the monster.
  • Van Helsing warns them all to keep their anti-vampire weapons ready.
  • Suddenly Dracula appears—Jonathan lunges forward with a huge knife, slashing at the vampire. Dracula dodges in time, and Jonathan just gets his clothes.
  • The others move forward, holding their crucifixes up.
  • Dracula retreats, but yells taunts at them as he goes, and tells them that he's got Mina in his power.
  • He escapes.
  • They go home to Mina, who is relieved that they're all safe.
  • They get Mina up to speed on everything that has happened.
  • Mina reminds them that even Dracula should be an object of pity—like Lucy, he's trapped in his undead state, so that when they kill him, they'll be freeing his soul.

Jonathan Harker's Journal, October 3-4

  • During the night, Mina wakes up and tells Jonathan that she hears someone in the hallway.
  • It's just Quincey, who is taking his turn guarding their room. Can't be too careful.
  • At dawn the next morning, Mina says she wants to see Van Helsing immediately.
  • She feels that Dracula's influence over her is weak around dawn, so she asks Van Helsing to hypnotize her.
  • She figures that they can use her as a kind of Dracula-barometer—maybe, by hypnotizing her, they can take advantage of the connection between them to figure out what the vampire is up to.
  • It works! They learn that Dracula is asleep, in the dark, on a ship, and that the ship's anchor is still down.
  • They wake Mina back up: Dracula is trying to escape from them!
  • But which ship is it?
  • Van Helsing is worried about time, now. Dracula can live for centuries, but Mina is mortal.
  • If she dies, even of natural causes, before Dracula is killed, she'll become a vampire.

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