Dracula

by: Bram Stoker

Point of View

Main ideas Point of View

The text’s point of view shifts among the first-person perspectives of several characters, including Harker, Mina, Dr. Seward, and Lucy. The reader experiences the narrative through a collection of their written records, including diary entries and letters. In their accounts, each narrator describes and reflects on her or his experience of the novel’s events. Because the characters enter their reflections on a daily basis, they give a sense of immediacy rather than retrospection; they do not know what will happen next, but reflect in real time on the events of the previous day or days. Each narrator’s point of view also provides a degree of insight into their personality and interests. For example, Dr. Seward’s dependence on scientific proof makes it hard for him to see the supernatural nature of Lucy’s illness. His entries are frequently measured and suspicious, wrestling with possibilities he cannot quite accept. Mina’s entries, meanwhile, tend to reflect her deeply sympathetic point of vie she candidly expresses her worries and feelings, and regularly intuits the needs of her companions for emotional support.

Van Helsing, however, has a limited presence as a first-person narrator. For most of the novel, other characters report his speech and actions. His perspective appears directly in just a few letters, and later in an account of his solo journey with Mina to Castle Dracula. This aptly reflects the way that Van Helsing, at first, conceals his motivations and thought processes from the other characters. Quincey Morris and Arthur Holmwood never become narrators, either. Both men are primarily tools in service of the plot, advancing the action and supporting the major characters. Finally, the perspectives of Dracula and the vampire women are also omitted. Bits of Dracula’s backstory come out only in Van Helsing’s speeches, while the women remain nameless. The novel suggests that these vampires might once have been women just like Mina and Lucy. Unlike Mina and Lucy, however, their past lives will go unrecorded.