Dracula

by: Bram Stoker

Foreignness

1

But a stranger in a strange land, he is no one; men know him not—and to know not is to care not for. I am content if I am like the rest, so that no man stops if he see me, or pause in his speaking if he hear my words, to say, “Ha, ha! a stranger!”

After Harker compliments Count Dracula on his impeccable English, the Count responds by claiming that although he mastered the technicalities of the language, he cannot truly speak English as a native speaker does. The Count admits he prefers to blend in, as he does in his own home country. He seems to fear the idea of sticking out as a foreigner in England, perhaps because people would notice his powers and try to stop him.

2

It is a lovely country; full of beauties of all imaginable kinds, and the people are brave, and strong, and simple, and seem full of nice qualities. They are very, very superstitious. In the first house where we stopped, when the woman who served us saw the scar on my forehead, she crossed herself and put out two fingers towards me, to keep off the evil eye.

As Mina and Van Helsing travel to Transylvania, Mina makes notes in her journal about the people she encounters on her first venture outside of England. Rather than fearing the new people she meets, she finds them fascinating, and she considers their superstitions as more of a cultural peculiarity than an ominous manifestation. Mina’s reaction to Transylvania contrasts with Jonathan Harker’s initial journey there, when he felt wary of the Count even before meeting him. Their different responses to this foreign country show that strangeness does not always mean frightening.