I need to write a thesis statement for Bram Stoker's Dracula. It has to be about why Stoker gave Mina her specific traits. Remember, it has to be debatable since it is a thesis statement and I have...

I need to write a thesis statement for Bram Stoker's Dracula. It has to be about why Stoker gave Mina her specific traits. Remember, it has to be debatable since it is a thesis statement and I have to put it in my essay. 

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator


Of all the characters in Bram Stoker's classic of Gothic horror, Dracula, it is perhaps Mina Murray who provides the continuity necessary for this epistolary novel to hold together. Initially introduced through the journal entries of Mina's fiance, a young solicitor named Jonathan Harker, the reader can be forgiven for prematurely concluding that this young female is little more than a literary device against whom Harker can bounce ideas and with whom he can share his thoughts. Harker is a dull but professional representative of the firm that employs him, and that dispatched him to the remote corner of the Carpathian Mountains that is home to Count Dracula. Harker's journal entries, written during his travels to and during his increasingly macabre visit at the count's castle, give little indication that this man's love and future wife is Mina. Note, for example, the following references to a woman we are yet to discover is an individual in whom Jonathan has a romantic interest:

"I had for dinner, or rather supper, a chicken done up some way with red pepper, which was very good but thirsty. (Mem. get recipe for Mina.)"

"I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina."

As we discover, however, Mina is a major figure in Stoker's novel, and a formidable one at that. It is Mina who, in her efforts at protecting her friend Lucy, coordinates efforts intended to restore this beautiful, vivacious young woman to good health. And, it is Mina who assumes a prominent role in learning the true nature of Dracula's being and, eventually, assisting in the latter's final, and presumably irreversible, demise. Additionally, it is Mina who, alone among the story's characters, provides the crucial linkage between the solicitor held captive in the count's distant castle and the woman who would become the count's first victim upon entering the British Isles (not including the hapless seamen who ferry the soil-filled boxes, and the one containing Dracula, to those islands). Early evidence of Mina's connection to Jonathan Harker has already been alluded to, but note in the following passage from Lucy's letter to Mina of the closeness of their relationship:

"There, it is all out, Mina, we have told all our secrets to each other since we were children. We have slept together and eaten together, and laughed and cried together, and now, though I have spoken, I would like to speak more. Oh, Mina, couldn’t you guess? I love him. I am blushing as I write, for although I think he loves me, he has not told me so in words. But, oh, Mina, I love him. I love him! There, that does me good."

More than confidant to other characters, though, Mina is a resourceful and brave woman who accompanies the men on their voyage to intercept Dracula before he can reach his castle and kill him, evident in the following passage from late in the novel in which she relates her and Van Helsing's actions in their pursuit of the count's casket, which is being escorted "home" by gypsies:

"‘They are all converging,’ he said. ‘When the time comes we shall have gypsies on all sides.’ I got out my revolver ready to hand, for whilst we were speaking the howling of wolves came louder and closer. When the snow storm abated a moment we looked again. . .Closer and closer they drew. The Professor and I crouched down behind our rock, and held our weapons ready."

This is pretty revolutionary material for a novel written in the late 19th century, well before women had attained their legitimate and proper role in society. The women's suffragette movement was still struggling for the right to vote, and here is Stoker putting a gun in the hand of his female character with the intent to defend herself and her companions while planning the death of the vampire. The foundation exists, then, for the development of a thesis statement centered on the character of Mina. While women were continuing to agitate for equal rights, they had made progress, and Stoker's character is a reflection of the changing times in which he was living. Women are powerful, sexual forces in Dracula. The three female vampires who torment Jonathan Harker during his captivity are unafraid of the master of the house, and Lucy is a very sexual being who revels in the attention paid her and in her power over those men's emotions. Mina, however, is a force of nature. A thesis statement revolving around her could be something along the lines of:

In his classic of Gothic literature, Dracula, author Bram Stoker presents a female characterization in the person of Mina Murray who represents a threat to the established, male-dominated order of the socially-rigid Victorian society in which the story takes place.