What is the turning point in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The turning point in a story, also called the climax, is the moment when the rising action turns into falling action. The term rising action refers to all events that create suspense and tension, all events leading up to the climax of the story. The term falling action refers to all events that lead to the story's conclusion. At the moment of climax, or at the turning point in the story, the rising action has gone as far as it can go, and the conclusion of the story is in sight.

In Bram Stoker's Dracula, the rising action begins reaching its climax the moment the group--Mina Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Quincey Morris, and Jonathan Harker--start their hunt for Dracula. At one point, Mina and Van Helsing see a band of gypsies pulling a cart upon which rode Dracula's coffin. The moment Dracula's coffin is found marks the turning point because, though there is still another battle, the reader knows the end of the story is coming. Mina convinces the reader that the ending of the story is near when she says, "My heart leaped as I saw [the coffin], for I felt that the end was coming" (Ch. 27). Everything that happens after this point marks the falling action: (1) All of the men converge on the gypsies and their cart near Dracula's castle and, in a fight, drive off the gypsies; (2) Quincey Morris is wounded by the gypsies' knives; (3) both Morris and Jonathan are able to pry off the lid of the coffin before sunrise, and at the same time, the gypsies are driven off; and (4) Jonathan successfully kills Dracula.

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