Thursday, May 2, 2013
Review of an Unbeing
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is about a vampire. No kidding. He is hunted down by a band of investigators including Jonathan, his wife Mina, Seward, and Van Helsing, who each have an interest in tracking down this evil creature. The book begins with Jonathan traveling to Transylvania to arrange some business with the count. He becomes trapped inside of Dracula’s castle, so that he, the count, then travels to Britain to take over the property there without Jonathan interrupting his plans.
But what are vampires? They seem to be beings, who need the blood of another to live through the pain of their own curse. They are cursed with the problem of not having to die, so that they must seek life in other people or animals to survive. They feed usually on people that are weak and are prone to put their trust in strangers. So a vampire can be described as an unbeing where you do not know whether it is either a human person or a monster.
But to say that Dracula is a book might be misleading because it is actually a series of journal entries, newspaper clippings, and recordings from old pieces of technology. And from these documents you learn about each of the characters who become involved with each other due to the vampire’s reign of terror that he has brought upon Britain. He has been luring the woman to become these unbeings, which we call vampires.
At first Jonathan, a property guy, provokes Dracula to travel to Britain. Lucy, another character from the book, eventually becomes vampirized, so that others attempt to keep her life. In the second half of the book, the informed assailers plan to bring down Dracula as they learn from the journal entries that were written when they were assaulted by the blood drinker.
The story is told from the perspective of different characters who seem to be at the mercy of Dracula until they begin to work together to rid Britain of this monster of a foreign land. This gives the reader a sense of this vampire from different angles, which allows us to see the conflict from an informed viewpoint. As we read about their struggles, we are freed from the prejudice of a single character, which must defeat evil without anyone’s help. The book suggests that there is strength in numbers.