Dracula Summary and Analysis of Chapter 25-27

Summary Chapter 25

Includes the October 11th entry of Dr. Seward's diary; the October 15th, October 16th, October 17th, and October 24th entries of Jonathan Harker's journal; telegram from Rufus Smith of Lloyd's in London to Lord Godalming, dated October 24th; the October 25th, 26th, and 27th entries of Dr. Seward's diary; telegram from Rufus Smith to Lord Godalming, dated October 28th; the October 28th entry of Dr. Seward's diary.

Mina makes the five men promise that if she becomes a vampire, they will kill her rather than allow her to be damned. She also asks her husband to read the burial service for her now, in case it should come to the worst. The heroes secure passage on the Orient Express from Paris to Varna, arriving there early to await the Count. Hypnotism of Mina brings the same news constantly: the sound of waves, masts, the movement of a ship at sea. Finally, they receive news that the ship has boarded at Galatz instead of Varna.

The group takes the setback grimly, but they board the next available train to Galatz‹knowing that they now may have to face Dracula on land. Van Helsing believes that the Count's unholy connection with Mina may have allowed him to discover their plans. He is optimistic, however, that the Count will not expect them to track him into his own country. A change comes over Mina, and Van Helsing believes that Dracula has released some of his hold over her spirit. The clue is in Dracula's past, which Mina and Van Helsing analyze together: back when he was a mortal warrior invading Turkey, when the invasion failed he fled home and left his army to be cut to pieces. In the same way, he now thinks only of escape and has cut himself off from Mina‹not realizing that because she has tasted his blood, Van Helsing can still hypnotize her and learn of Dracula's whereabouts.

Analysis Chapter 25

Although the Count is able to elude them at Varna, he makes a critical error when he cuts himself off from Mina (note, however, that Mina is still not free from the threat of becoming a vampire). He assumes that he is safe in his castle, and he does not understand that Van Helsing's hypnotism, combined with Mina's connection to the vampire, will give Dracula's enemies a critical edge over him. Van Helsing and Mina both use the terms of physiognomy in this chapter, referring again and again to the Count's "child brain." He is a criminal "type" (Mina even refers to two renowned physiognomists to back up her classification of the Count), and thus he has predictable limitations. He is selfish (he thinks of escape at all costs), and he uses the same strategy whether he is a mortal invading/escaping Turkey or an undead invading/escaping England. Here is another example of the heroes' use of science as a weapon against the Count. It must be remembered that many intelligent people took physiognomy very seriously during Stoker's time, and that for Stoker physiognomy was a viable tool for understanding and classifying human nature. Its racist/classist biases and unscientific methods are much easier to see in hindsight.

Summary Chapter 26

Includes the October 29th and October 30th entries of Dr. Seward's diary; the Ocotber 30th entries of Mina Harker's journal; the October 30th entry of Jonathan Harker's journal; the October 30th (later) entries of Mina Harker's journal; Mina Harker's memorandum (entered in her journal); the October 30th (night), October 31st, November 1st, and November 2nd entries of Jonathan Harker's journal; the November 2nd, November 3rd, and November 4th entries of Dr. Seward's diary; and the October 31st entries of Mina Harker's journal.

Mina's latest trance allows the group to learn that Dracula is still near the water‹from the signs of it, river water. Van Helsing believes that Dracula may have great difficulty being transported back to his castle, as running water and daylight are both dangerous for him, and an inspection of his coffin's contents will undo him. The old professor hopes that the group can reach Galatz before the box departs. Seward notes that it is growing more difficult for Van Helsing to hypnotize Mina.

When they arrive in Galatz, they learn that the box was passed off to Immanuel Hildesheim. The ship's skipper informs them that his "superstitious" Romanian crew wanted to destroy the box instead. The friends find the businessman and question him, to learn that he passed the box on to Petrof Skinsky, a trader who deals with the Slovaks who trade down the river to the port. Petrof is found shortly afterward in a cemetery, his throat ripped open. At a loss over their next step, the men retire to the hotel and try to figure out what to do. Mina takes the maps and all of the facts at her disposal and makes a thorough analysis of the situation, until she correctly reasons the most likely route for the Count's escape. He is going to take the river Sereth up to the river Bistritza , which makes a loop up near the Borgo Pass. The men plan: Arthur and Jonathan will take a steamboat upriver, Quincey and Dr. Seward will take horses and follow the river, and Van Helsing and Mina will cut straight through to the castle, where the professor will sterilize Dracula's home. Jonathan protests at being separated from Mina, and he hates the idea of Mina going to the castle. But Van Helsing needs to use hypnotism to track down the places that he will need to sterilize; otherwise, if Dracula escapes, he can sleep for centuries. Funded by Quincey and Arthur, the group arm themselves to the teeth and part ways. From Jonathan, Dr. Seward, and Mina, we read accounts of the early part of the journey into the country. Van Helsing buys a carriage and horses, so that he and Mina can make the seventy-mile trek. Arthur and Jonathan are detained by an accident when they try to make it up a very turbulent part of the river. No sign of the box yet.

Analysis Chapter 26

Dracula must sleep in special soil, sacred to his family. This need is one of his greatest weaknesses. The group is now able to exploit this weakness, using the wealth of Quincey and Arthur to fund their expedition as they hunt the now-helpless Dracula across the Eastern European wilderness. Mina's brains prove vital to the group once more when she figures out the Count's route‹her brilliance makes it possible for the journey to continue, and this feat is just at the time when it seems that Dracula may have eluded the heroes permanently. Her initiative salvages the situation.

Summary Chapter 27

Includes the November 1st and November 2nd entries of Mina Harker's journal; a memorandum by Van Helsing, dated November 4th and November 5th; the November 4th entry of Jonathan Harker's journal; the November 5th entry of Dr. Seward's diary; the November 5th entry of Van Helsing's memorandum; the November 6th entry of Mina Harker's journal; and a final note by Jonathan Harker.

Mina begins to sleep more and more during the day, and she loses her appetite. Van Helsing can no longer hypnotize her, and he is worried about her changing habits. The two friends make it up through the Borgo Pass, using Jonathan's journal for guidance. When Mina and Van Helsing are drawing closer to the mountains on November 4th, Van Helsing makes camp as night falls and makes a circle of crushed holy wafer around Mina. He asks her to move out of the circle, and she cannot; Van Helsing is overjoyed. What Mina cannot do, the vampires will be unable to do. The three women appear that night, calling Mina "sister" and asking her to join them. But Mina does not go outside the circle. Van Helsing stays within the protective circle as well, but the horses are not so lucky‹they die of fright.

Van Helsing makes his way to the castle, entering and using his hammer to destroy the doors so that he cannot be locked in. He finds the tombs of the three vampire women. He is conflicted about his task: their beauty and sensuality affects him, even in their sleep, and he is able to make himself go on only by thinking of Mina's peril. He also finds Dracula's great tomb, which he renders useless with a wafer. He then uses the hammer and stake to kill all three of the vampire women, whose bodies turn to dust immediately after the moment of death‹the decay that should have taken place centuries ago happens in an instant. At the moment of death, there is a look of peace on each of their faces. Before leaving, he uses the holy wafer to block all of the entrances to the castle. On foot, they go east to meet the others. Snow is falling heavily, and the sound of wolves is terrifying. As sunset nears on November 6th, they come upon a cart driven by gypsies. On the cart is the last box. Van Helsing makes a protective circle around Mina and prepares for battle. Quincey and Seward are galloping up the road from the south, and Arthur and Jonathan are coming from the north. The cart is surrounded, but if Dracula is not destroyed quickly, he will be in full possession of all of his powers in a matter of minutes. There is a fierce fight, but the gypsies are overpowered. Jonathan flings the coffin to the ground, and he and Quincey pry open the lid. They then kill Dracula just as the sun drops below the horizon, Jonathan's knife across the throat, Quincey's bowie knife into the heart. Mina notes that even Dracula, at the very end, has a look of peace on his face. The gypsies flee in terror. Quincey has been mortally wounded in the fight against the gypsies. Mina rushes to him, now able to pass through the barrier of holy wafers, and Quincey tells her that his death was worth it. He points out that the scar on Mina's forehead has vanished, signifying that the mark of the undead is gone from her, and then he dies, "a gallant gentleman."

In a final note, Jonathan says that seven years have passed since the events of the novel. The Harkers have a son that they have named Quincey, and both Seward and Arthur are married. Their writings have all been compiled, but even those who wrote them seem at times unable to believe them.

Analysis Chapter 27

As the heroes journey farther into the wilderness, the land of the East itself, rather than Dracula, provides all of the dangers and obstacles. Dangerous rapids, wolves, snow, gypsies, and the three vampire women all combine to make for a treacherous journey. Mina reports at one point that the natives seem simple and strong, but they seem to exist at odds with their land, in constant fear of the evils that walk there.

This last chapter drives home the theme of Christian redemption, which is possible for all. Although not exactly redemption in the strongest spiritual sense, Jonathan makes up for his earlier failure by being the fiercest in fighting the gypsies; he also is one of the men who deliver the killing blow against Dracula. Mina's full purity is restored. The three vampire women, before they die, have a look of peace on their faces. Even Dracula is allowed to know peace at the end. The heroes have not only ended the threat posed to England and Mina; they have also brought peace to Dracula's soul. Christian redemption awaits all, and Mina's earlier statement that perhaps these heroes were brought together to do God's will seems to have been accurate. The final coda ensures the reader that all the characters have lived happily ever after, while preserving, at the very end, the illusion that the reader has just read a factual account.