Great White Snark: Dracula Part II: Meanwhile, in Merry Old England...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dracula Part II: Meanwhile, in Merry Old England...

I wanted to repost my dream cast, because this is where it gets a little more confusing character-wise.

Okay, so we left off with poor Jonathan Harker coming across leechified Dracula and attempting a daring escape plan.

MEANWHILE, back in England, his fiancee, Mina Murray, is visiting her wealthy, pretty and totally virginal bff, Lucy. Lucy is all aflutter because she's had THREE marriage proposals in like, as many days. The first guy to propose is Dr. Seward. He runs a mental assylum and is like, old enough to be Lucy's dad. The second guy is Quincey Morris, your token American cowboy badass. He speaks slang, so you know he's a cool cat. And the third guy is a wealthy ponce, Arthur Holmwood. He's handsome and enamored with Lucy. But who isn't enamored with her, apparently? It's because she's so incredibly virginal. Lucy says yes to Arthur.

So she and Mina are hanging out and walking by the sea and doing what polite Englishwomen do, when all of a sudden Lucy's childhood habit of sleepwalking returns. It's not a big deal until one night when Mina wakes up and finds Lucy gone. She looks all over the house and can't find her, but the door's open, so she knows that Lucy's gone outside. IN HER NIGHTGOWN. AND BAREFOOT. Which is totally scandalous. Since she's such a virgin and all.

So Mina grabs a cloak and goes up to her favorite bench by the sea because she thinks Lucy might be there. So she's racing through the town looking for her when lo and behold, Lucy IS indeed at the bench. BUT SHE'S NOT ALONE--a tall, dark figure is bent over her in what looks like some kind of scandalous caress! So Mina starts in that direction, and by the time she gets there, the guy-shape-thing is gone. Lucy is unconscious...or like, barely conscious, I can't remember. But she's clutching her throat, and Mina wraps her cloak around her to cover her up since she's out in her nightgown, which is, as aforementioned, scandalous. Mina realizes Lucy has a little wound on her neck, and thinks she's just stabbed Lucy with a pin while fastening the cloak. They return home.

I forgot to mention that a few days earlier there was a massive storm (like hurricane levels), and the storm washed up an abandoned ship onshore. There was a super cryptic captain's log though, wherein all the crew members started dying off one by one of unknown causes. When the ship came ashore, the Captain was tied to the mast by a rosary, and a massive dog leapt off and went bounding off, never to be seen again. It was sufficiently creepy but no one thought anything of it. WELL, THEY SHOULD HAVE.

Over the next few days, Lucy gets sick. She doesn't have a lot of symptoms, but she has nightmares and refuses to eat and gets ungodly pale. Everyone is worried. Arthur, Quincey and Seward all take turns visiting her and praying and discovering that nothing is making her better. Being a medical man, Dr. Seward has mad connections and sweet hookups, so he calls his bro, Professor Van Helsing, from Amsterdam.

We need to talk about Van Helsing for a minute. Van Helsing is a BAMF. He is probably the biggest literary BAMF ever, up there with Robin Hood and Severus Snape. He's dripping in awesome. He's a doctor, metaphysicist, professor, and leader in the fields of the supernatural. WHAT A GUY.

So he comes by railway ASAP because everyone thinks Lucy's gonna die, and since the whole male population of the earth is in love with her (did I mention she's a virgin? Because she is), we can't have her dying.

Somewhere around here, Mina gets a letter that Jonathan showed up in Budapest absolutely out of his mind. They call this "brain fever," but it basically means, "batshit crazy." So Mina packs up to go help nurse Jonathan back to health. She's an orphan, so she doesn't have any parents or anything. She goes, and Jonathan is all weak and haggard, and totally spooked out about something, but he won't say what. He gives his diary to Mina, and says she can read it if she feels she must, but he would rather spare her. She wraps it in a ribbon and seals it, and makes it a symbol of their trust. It's very Victorian and very sweet. Then they get married while Jonathan is in the hospital, because they don't ever want to be apart. IT'S SO CUTE.

Meanwhile, Van Helsing is all like, "Ya ya, I know exactly vhat is ze matter. She has ze blood loss." So he performs a super sketchy blood transfusion, using Dr. Seward as a donor. This is the world's worst transfusion, because I'm pretty sure blood transfusions were discovered like 4 days prior to this scene. He takes a giant tube and basically just shoves it into Seward's arm, and then does the same thing to Lucy. And he takes like WAYY too much, so Seward is all like, pale and puny and has to lie down and have brandy and stuff. It's so shady. Van Helsing is awesome, but do not let him give you a transfusion.

Lucy perks up after she gets more blood, and starts looking better. Somewhere in here, btw, there's a freaking MASSIVE bat that keeps scratching at her window at night. But that's whatever. Van Helsing goes out and comes back with like 200 tons of garlic. He makes a wreath of garlic for Lucy to wear around her neck whilst sleeping, strings it up over the doors, chimney, window, and headboard, and then smears crushed garlic all around all the doorjambs and windowpanes. It's epic. Then Lucy goes to sleep and wakes up all refreshed and stuff.

Van Helsing leaves for a couple days to go back to Amsterdam. He comes back and he asks Lucy's mother how she's progressing. The Mom's like, "Oh, doctor! She slept so soundly! I was so worried about her, so I went to see her in the night, and she was sleeping like a baby! But lord, doctor, the smell was so oppressive! So I threw out all those rubbish garlic things." Van Helsing's like:

So he goes back into Lucy's room and sure enough, she's all pale and sickly again. And the wound on her throat is like, really grody and infected and nasty. So they have more transfusions, this time using Quincey, Van Helsing, and ultimately Arthur. They do all this stuff, and she gets a little better, but it becomes apparent to Seward and Van Helsing that she's gonna die and they can't keep transfusing more blood into her. Van Helsing says though that if she were just going to DIE, it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but she's in for a fate worse than death.

Van Helsing totally knows what's going on at this point. He has realized that the bat is Dracula and that he's been feeding on Lucy at night and that's why she's so weak. He also knows, from his extensive research on the subject of vampires, that they can turn into big hulking wolf-dogs. KINDA LIKE THE ONE THAT RAN OFF THE WRECKED SHIP. So yeah, he's got it all together. He hasn't told Arthur or Quincey though, and he's hinted to Seward, but Seward thinks he's crazy, so he bides his time. Like a boss. Also, Lucy's mother is one surprise away from dying in some kind of cardiovascular fit, so she has no idea any of this is going on.

Okay, so, something happens with a missed telegram and Dracula manages to possess a wolf (he can do that, too, y'know) and attack Lucy and her mother. The shock kills her mother and Lucy gets fed on to the point where she's near death. All the men come in and find this horrid scene (with shattered glass and the mom's corpse and Lucy being pretty much a corpse), and Van Helsing is like, "She vill die soon." Arthur wants to kiss her goodbye but Van Helsing is like, adamantly against it.

I totally forgot to mention that one of the symptoms of her illness was that Lucy's canine teeth got like crazy long and her gums receded. It's super gross.

Anyway, all the guys who love her are there and she dies. They have a funeral and bury her. La dee da.

Within the next week or so, children around the town are ending up in the hospital with bizarre neck wounds LIKE BITES, so Van Helsing is like, "I KNEW IT." He knows that Lucy is now a vampire and is wandering around at night eating all the kids' blood. So he decides to take Seward and the gang there one night to prove to them that vampires are FACT.

While he's preparing the guys to go down to Lucy's grave, he makes them promise to do whatever is necessary. Of course, no one actually knows what he means by that is "drive a stake through your dead beloved's heart, then cut off her head." But they all agree to it anyway because Van Helsing is such a cool guy.

So they get to her grave and find that it's all like, open. And the coffin is empty. They're all shocked and horrified and then they turn around and Lucy is there, holding the body of a child she's just fed from. And she is definitely NOT acting virginal. She's like a supersexualized version of herself and she starts begging Arthur to come to her like a wanton slut. He's like, "YEAH ALL RIGHT!" and Van Helsing stops him. He drives Lucy back to her grave with a communion wafer, and then gives Arthur the stake and tells him to kill her so that her soul can go to heaven. Arthur does and it's really gross, and then Seward and Van Helsing decapitate her, which is a precautionary measure necessary to ensure that she doesn't come back from the dead again. After she's dead, she returns to looking like normal, pretty, virginal, normally-gummed Lucy. Van Helsing assures them that Lucy's soul has gone to heaven, and they all go back to Seward's asylum to mourn for a while.

Three things that happen during all this:
1. Arthur's father also dies, which makes him Lord Godalming. It's so confusing because now Arthur has two names he goes by, but whatever, I will still call him Arthur.
2. Seward has a patient in his asylum called Renfield, who is totally creepy. Renfield eats animals. Alive. He starts with flies. Then he catches spiders who eat the flies. And he eats the spiders. Then he catches sparrows to eat the spiders who eat the flies. And he eats the sparrows. He begs Seward for a kitten, but he's like, "hell no." During all this, he goes through manic episodes where he talks about his master and his master's approach and basically runs around screaming, "THE BLOOD IS THE LIFE!" He's really gross and creepy, and not actually all that important in the grand scheme of things, but he gets a lot of print, so I thought it was worth mentioning.
3. The blood transfusions are metaphors for sex, so sexy-virgin Lucy actually exchanged bodily fluids with four different men. Which is gross. And also part of the theme of Dracula corrupting the pure sexuality and mother role of Victorian women. BACK TO THE STORY...

Once she hears about Lucy's death (via, I think, letters from Seward), Mina is distraught and she and Harker come home to England.

That's all for now, but the third part will be up soon. THIS BOOK IS SO CRAZY, GO READ IT.

{Part I.}
{Part III.}

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