Search Menu


Bram Stoker


Chapters V–VII

page 1 of 3

Chapters V–VII

Chapters V–VII

Chapters V–VII

Chapters V–VII

Summary: Chapter V

Chapter V consists of several letters and a diary entry. In England, Mina Murray and her friend, Lucy Westenra, exchange letters about their respective romances. Mina is an assistant schoolmistress whose desire to be useful to her future husband has led her to study shorthand and typewriting. She happily reports that her fiancé, Jonathan Harker, has written that he is on his way home. Lucy replies with tales of her own marriage prospects. She has entertained proposals from several men, including Dr. John Seward—the director of a lunatic asylum in London—and a rich American named Quincey Morris. Her heart, however, belongs to a gentleman named Arthur Holmwood, whose proposal she has accepted.

The women’s correspondence is followed by a diary entry, on phonograph, by Dr. Seward. The doctor admits his unhappiness at Lucy’s rebuff, but occupies himself with an interesting new patient, a man named Renfield. Following this entry is a congratulatory letter from Quincey Morris to Arthur Holmwood.

Summary: Chapter VI

In her journal, Mina describes her visit with Lucy in the picturesque town of Whitby, on the northeast coast of England, and the ruined abbey there that is reputed to be haunted. Mr. Swales, an elderly resident who befriends the two girls and tells them stories about the town, scoffs at such legends. Mr. Swales asserts that most of the graves in the Whitby churchyard are empty, as their supposed occupants were lost at sea. After Swales departs, Mina listens to Lucy’s wedding plans and notes sadly that she has not heard from Jonathan for a month.

John Seward continues to report the curious case of Renfield in his diary. The patient has the curious habit of consuming living creatures. He uses sugar to trap flies, uses flies to trap spiders, and uses spiders to trap sparrows. He delights as one creature consumes another and believes that he himself draws strength by eating these creatures. Seward classifies Renfield as a “zoöphagous”—or life-eating—maniac who desires to “absorb as many lives as he can.”

Meanwhile, Mina expresses anxiety over her missing fiancé and over Lucy, who has begun to sleepwalk during the night. Although she seems healthy, Lucy exhibits an “odd concentration” that Mina does not understand. While out walking one day, Mina encounters Mr. Swales, who tells her that he senses his own death is likely not far off. He assures her that he is not afraid of dying and that death is “all that we can rightly depend on.” Mina and Mr. Swales see a ship drifting about offshore as if no one were at the helm. Guessing the vessel to be “Russian, by the look of her,” Mr. Swales assures Mina that they will surely hear more about it.

Summary: Chapter VII

Two newspaper clippings indicate that the ship Mina and Mr. Swales have seen, a vessel called the Demeter, later washes up on the shore at Whitby during a terrific storm. Its crew is nowhere to be found, while its captain, dead and clasping a crucifix, is discovered tied to the wheel. When the ship runs aground, a huge dog leaps from the hold and disappears into the countryside. The Demeter’s only cargo is a number of large wooden boxes, which are delivered to a Whitby solicitor.

Test Your Understanding with the Chapters V–VII Quiz

Take a quiz on this section
Test Your Understanding with the Chapters V–VII Quiz



In her letters to Lucy, what does Mina say she is studying to be useful to her future husband?
Shorthand and typewriting
Cooking and cleaning
Test Your Understanding with the Chapters V–VII Quiz

Chapters V–VII QUIZ

Test Your Understanding with the Chapters V–VII Quiz

More Help

Previous Next
The theme and motif about Lucy's death is a disgrace to this site

by Somethingisbrokehere, January 08, 2013

Please let me state again: Finding anything sexual about Lucy's death and stating it as "unambiguous" that stake is a reference to a penis is absurd. Have you even read the book? I've read the book and I understand it well. Now here is a question: If a stake really meant penis than what did it offer in the books overall meaning? That a bunch of Christians are killing the undead by nailing their penises through people's hearts? Really? That is exactly what your notes are saying and it is embarrassing to think that someone ACTUALLY BELIEVES TH... Read more


153 out of 441 people found this helpful

My gosh, it's full of sex!

by Mysticmidget, January 10, 2013

I agree with "somethingisbrokehere". I read through this summary to aid in an essay about this book and was positively shocked...though it gave me plenty of giggles! Dracula has many things about it which make it partly comedy to me, though of course it's only due to the change of the times. The thought of Bram Stoker reading this site's take on his novel is...oh, do try it, it is HILARIOUS. Psychoanalyzing can be taken too far, and I would ask that this site DOES NOT CHANGE THEIR TAKE ON LUCY'S FINAL DEATH, because in the future I might lik


6 out of 24 people found this helpful

Sorry about earlier but let me explain

by Somethingisbrokehere, February 05, 2013

Okay I should've gone into detail more, but the whole penis idea doesn't fit into the plot and doesn't make sense. First of all from a Christian perspective (Mr. Stoker was Protestant) that would be considered an evil thing to do. Since they are undead that would similar to necrophilia which is most definitely unChristian and would go against everything the book is talking about. Also remember, this book was written in 1897 which really wasn't that long ago. The whole idea of stakes being penises doesn't make sense as cleansing (I don't thin


14 out of 43 people found this helpful

See all 16 readers' notes   →