Count Dracula, a vampire. A corpse during the day, he comes to life at night. He has lived for centuries by sucking blood from living people. He pursues his victims in many harrowing episodes, and is pursued in turn from England to Romania. There his body, in transport home to his castle, is overtaken and a stake driven through the heart, making it permanently dead.
Jonathan Harker, an English solicitor. He goes to Castle Dracula to transact business with the count, whose nocturnal habits and total absence of servants puzzle Harker. Harker finds himself a prisoner in the castle, comes one day upon Dracula’s corpse, and is occasionally victimized by the vampire. Then the coffin-like boxes are carried away, and Harker finds himself left alone, still a prisoner. Later, after he has escaped, he is able to throw light on certain strange happenings in England.
Mina Murray, Harker’s fiancée. She joins in the pursuit of Dracula; in a trance, she is able to tell the others that Dracula is at sea, on his return voyage.
Lucy Westenra, a lovely friend whom Mina visits at the time of Harker’s trip to Rumania. She is the repeated victim of Dracula, now in England, who appears sometimes in werewolf guise. Finally she dies and becomes a vampire also.
Dr. Van Helsing
Dr. Van Helsing, a specialist from Amsterdam called to aid the failing Lucy. His remedies are effective, but a fatal attack comes after he leaves; he then returns to England to still her corpse as well as to hunt Dracula.
Dr. Seward, Lucy’s former suitor, who attends her during her illness. Until he makes a midnight visit to her empty tomb, he does not believe Van Helsing’s advice that the dead girl’s soul can be saved only if a stake is driven through her heart.
Arthur Holmwood, a young nobleman and Lucy’s fiancée. As he kisses the dying Lucy, her teeth seem about to fasten on his throat. He goes with Seward and Van Helsing to the empty tomb and joins them in tracking down Dracula.
Themes and Characters
Stoker explores the conflict of good and evil throughout the novel and does not allow good to triumph until the last few pages. In the meantime, all of the characters are drawn into the conflict and divided into two camps: the good forces led by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing and the evil forces by Count Dracula.
The first and larger group, the good characters, forms around Van Helsing, a doctor of medicine, philosophy, literature, and more. He arrives from Amsterdam at the request of his former student Dr. John Seward to help with the diagnosis and treatment of Lucy Westenra. Van Helsing is older and more educated than the rest of the group, and he becomes a father figure and leader. Unlike the others, he is familiar with the folk stories about vampires and the ways to combat them.
He is assisted by a band of young men, most of whom have some relationship to Lucy. Dr. John Seward, an unsuccessful suitor for Lucy's hand, is the director of an insane asylum. Another unsuccessful suitor is Quincey Morris, a Texan whose major characteristic is his physical courage. The final suitor—Lucy receives the three proposals in a single day—is Arthur Holmwood, whom she accepts. Arthur's father dies during Lucy's illness, and Arthur inherits his title and becomes Lord Godalming. These three young men have shared adventures in the past and are drawn closer together because of their love for Lucy. The last member of the group is Jonathan Harker, the lawyer whose journal of his trip to Dracula's castle forms the first part of the novel. After his recovery, he marries Lucy's friend Mina. Harker's earlier experiences with Dracula make him particularly helpful to the group.
The group's two young women are introduced by means of their letters, which follow Harker's journal. Although they are associated with Van Helsing and his band, both are pulled over to Dracula's side. Lucy is extremely beautiful but has little strength of character; after...
(The entire section is 1,039 words.)