In The Historian, how have Helen and Paul's backgrounds differed while still leading them both to investigate Dracula?I am having trouble comparing Helen and Paul's pasts to show how they came...

In The Historian, how have Helen and Paul's backgrounds differed while still leading them both to investigate Dracula?

I am having trouble comparing Helen and Paul's pasts to show how they came to investigate the whereabouts of Dracula.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is a rather complicated story; however, in its simplest form, the novel documents the journey of three characters searching for Dracula. They meet others who are doing the same thing, and their search inspires others to begin looking; but Rossi, Helen, and Paul are the three who drive the search for the elusive Dracula. The obvious connection between Helen and Paul is Professor Rossi. For Paul he is a mentor, and for Helen he is the father she never knew but resented. Paul was not consumed with Dracula or Rossi for most of his younger life; it is not until he is in graduate school that the professor--and thus the legend of Dracula--became part of his life. Helen, on the other hand, is consumed from an early age by Rossi and his studies of Dracula. She has made his field of study her own and has relentlessly pursued the legend of Dracula.

Paul and Helen's lives were much different, of course, up to the point where they meet and begin their joint pursuit of both Rossi and Dracula. It is their connection to Rossi which is the only real point of comparison between Paul and Helen.

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