.. e hypnotizing of Mina, the men discover that Dracula has a psychic link through Mina (367). Using this link, Dracula has been able to determine what the mens plans are. Draculas next power is another mind power and it is the ability to command the behavior of animals and sometimes humans. The first example of this strange power is shown at the beginning of the book in the encounter with the wolves. “I heard his voice raised in a tone of imperious command, and looking towards the sound, saw him stand in the roadway. As he swept his long arms, as though brushing aside some impalpable obstacle, the wolves fell back and back further still” (19).
Dracula also frequently calls these same wolves to do his bidding and they obey without question always. In London he is also able to call upon a wolf that is in a zoo to help him. Another use of Draculas mind control is seen upon Harkers return from Transylvania when he cannot remember a single thing about his trip. Another time this power is used is when Dracula attacks Mina and Harker does not wake up, both of these were probably arranged by Dracula himself. Another useful power for Dracula is his ability to change into the shape of an animal.
We know that a large dog jumped off the grounded ship containing the earthen boxes and we can guess that the dog is really Dracula in disguise. Also, a “great bat” is seen quite frequently throughout the story, this is also definitely Dracula. One final power for Dracula is one that allows him to propagate his race; it is the power to make others a vampire. The process seems to be difficult and involved and is almost unsuccessful in Lucys case. It seems that Dracula must suck the blood of his victim repeatedly until the”effect” takes hold.
The men were giving Lucy blood transfusions so the process was slowed down considerably. Dracula was forced to suck her blood many times before it finally set in. The rest of these examples are weaknesses shown by Dracula that will temper the seemingly enormous power held by the Count. Every superhero must have weaknesses and Dracula is no exception. The first, and most serious, of his weaknesses is the fact that his activities are limited to the nighttime.
Dracula loses almost all of his power during the day and must rest in one of his earthen coffins. Harker first discovers this after growing curious as to Draculas whereabouts during the day. Harker finds Dracula -“either dead or asleep”- as Harker puts it, in one of his many earthen boxes. The men later discover that although Dracula loses most of his powers during the day, he does not lose all of them. He can still use his psychic powers to influence things, almost like a last line of defense for him in his vulnerable position. Related to this weakness is the fact that Dracula needs to have his great earthen boxes.
The Count seeks refuge in these when it is time for him to rest, that is why he had to bring them to London with him. Once the men discover this they set out to “sterilize” Draculas scattered boxes with pieces of holy wafer. Once this is placed in an earthen box, it is unusable by Dracula because it has been “purified.” Towards the end of the novel, Dracula is running out of these boxes, which is part of the reason why he must return to his home in Transylvania. The “bond” that he shares with his victims can also be seen as a weakness because it allows his victims a limited amount of access to his thoughts. Mina is able to tell that Dracula is on a boat by reading his mind, from there, the men discover he is going home and are ready for him.
Another weakness associated with Dracula is his bloodlust. While his need for blood is definitely a driving force in his life, at times, it can be overwhelming. It is obvious that Dracula needs blood to survive, it is his only sustenance. Because of this, Dracula must be around a steady supply of blood. It may be that Transylvania was becoming increasingly hard for Dracula to survive in, but in any case, Dracula decides that he needs a new home, in London. Dracula knows that in London he will easily be able to fill his passion for blood.
One strange weakness for Dracula is his inability to cast reflections on a mirror. It may be because he is so evil that light, or goodness, does not bounce off of him the same way. Whatever the case, Harker initially wonders at the lack of mirrors and then is scared witless when the Count does not snow up in his shaving mirror. At that point, Harker understands why Dracula has no mirrors. Another great weakness of Draculas is the Holy Wafer.
The Holy Wafer will repel Dracula, keep him away from an area permanently, and burn the skin of anything evil that touches it. The men used this as an all-purpose weapon, they used it to sterilize his boxes, repel him when he attacked, and protect people from his attacks by sprinkling it in an area. “First he took from his bag a mass of what looked like thin, wafer-like biscuit, which he carefully rolled up in a white napkin; next he took out a double-handful of some whitish stuff, like dough or putty. He crumbled the wafer up fine and worked it into the mass between his hands. This he then took, and rolling it into thin strips, began to lay them into the crevices between the door and its setting in the tomb.” (255) His next weakness, the Holy Cross, is related to the previous weakness in that it has strong repelling qualities and will also protect a person from evil just by having it on their body. In this story, it seems to have a calming effect on Dracula when Dracula was filled with blood lust.
“When the Count saw my face, his eyes blazed with a sort of demoniac fury, and he suddenly made a grab at my throat. I drew away, and his hand touched the string of beads which held the crucifix. It made an instant change in him, for the fury passed so quickly that I could hardly believe that it was ever there.” (36) Garlic is also another repellant of Dracula, but it is probably limited to Dracula as a repellant. It is likely that garlic is vampire specific when it comes to being used as a weapon. A common way to use the garlic is to wear it as a wreathe around the neck, this will definitely repel vampires, so it can be used to protect people or bodies.
There are only a few ways to kill a vampire, specifically Dracula. Some methods may be partially effective such as burning or shooting. However, it is likely that vampire will just regenerate with time. A good way to kill a vampire, then, is to chop off its head, preferably while it is sleeping in its coffin. This may or may not be enough to kill it so it is usually accompanied by other means, such as garlic in the mouth. A final way to kill a vampire, and the most popular, is to drive a stake through its heart. This method is very likely to kill the vampire but it is still usually used in conjunction with something else.
In conclusion, Dracula obviously follows the literary pattern of strengths balanced by weaknesses. During the night, Dracula has almost free reign; he is immortal and powerful. During the day, however, Dracula is as helpless a baby, in his coffin. This goes to show that, no matter how powerful or strong a person might seem; they will always have an “Achilles Heel,” so to speak. Bibliography The Essential Dracula: The Definitive Annotated Edition of Bram Stokers Dracula. New York: Penguin Books, 1193.
Carter, Margaret L., ed. Dracula: The Vampire and the Critics. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988. —-. In Search of Dracula: A Tue History of Dracula and Vampire Legends.
New York: Warner Books, 1976. —-. The Origins of Dracula. London: William Kimber, 1987.