A Classics Challenge: October post

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This month's prompt for November's Autumn's A Classics Challenge is to jot down some notes from the classic you are reading. I am reading Chapter 17 of Dracula by Bram Stoker, and am just going to jot down some of my impressions.

:: I love the quick alternating viewpoints between Dr. Seward and Mina Harker.
:: I also love how Mina talks about how she can hear Dr. Seward's heartache in his phonograph.
:: What exactly is a phonograph? Wikipedia GO! Dr. Seward used one to record his diary.

:: It is interesting to hear the descriptions of the phonograph (seven cylinders, etc.) and also interesting that Mina used "manifold," an early version of carbon paper, to make three copies of the diary. I really feel like I know what is happening in the time period from the descriptions of the little technologies the characters use that are so impressive for that time. 
:: Renfield is the creepiest of all the characters, I think. I can't quite see how his behavior is connected to Dracula, though, other than the little run-ins they have had. 
:: The introduction talked about the contrast between Lucy and Mina, and I can see it here. Lucy was very sweet and innocent, but Mina actually gets things done. She is able to help the men learn about Dracula as well as comfort them in their mourning for Lucy. 
:: A quote I like: "We women have something of the mother in us that makes us rise above smaller matters when the mother-spirit is invoked; I felt this big, sorrowing man's head resting on me, as though it were that of the baby that some day may lie on my bosom, and I stroked his hair as though he were my own child. I never thought at the time how strange it all was." pg. 246

I liked that prompt quite a bit, although I was uncertain of it at first. It was definitely interesting to make notes as I went, and I think I will remember more from this chapter because of it. 


  1. I read Dracula this month, too and really enjoyed it. Not as I imagined it would be.
    I agree Renfield is the creepiest character - yuck! - and Mina was a very strong woman for a Victorian writer to create.

    1. Just thinking of Renfield makes me shudder. And that description of Dracula after he fed and was all swollen with blood. Gross.

  2. Fun to read your thoughts about this chapter--yep, Renfield is creepy, one of the creepiest in all of classic lit in my opinion.

    You've really captured much of what made Dracula such a special book for me. Stoker's technique of using fictionalized diary entries, newspaper accounts, doctor's journal notes, etc. really gives the story an immediacy.

    1. I felt that way about all the clippings and little details as well. I loved the way it would discuss the characters assembling their evidence and the fact that we could read that evidence for ourselves.


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