Seward’s diary continues, as he describes Lucy’s burial. Before the funeral, Van Helsing covers the coffin and body with garlic and places a crucifix in Lucy’s mouth. He tells a confused Seward that after the funeral, they must cut off Lucy’s head and take out her heart. The next day, however, Van Helsing discovers that someone has stolen the crucifix from the body and tells Seward that they will have to wait before doing anything more. The heartbroken Holmwood—referred to as Lord Godalming since his father’s death—turns to Seward for consolation. Looking at Lucy’s unnaturally lovely corpse, Holmwood cannot believe she is really dead. Van Helsing asks Holmwood for Lucy’s personal papers, hoping that they will provide some clue as to the cause of her death.
Meanwhile, Mina writes in her diary that in London she and Jonathan have seen a tall, fierce man with a black mustache and beard. Jonathan is convinced the man is Count Dracula. Jonathan becomes so upset that he slips into a deep sleep and remembers nothing when he wakes. Mina decides that, for the sake of her husband’s health, she must read his diary entries from his time in Transylvania.
That night, Mina receives a telegram informing her of Lucy’s death. This message is followed by an excerpt from a local paper, which reports that a number of children have been temporarily abducted in Hampstead Heath—the area where Lucy was buried—by a strange woman whom the children call the “Bloofer Lady.” When the children return home, they bear strange wounds on their necks.
In this section, we witness Lucy’s transformation into a super-natural creature. The description of her death immediately alerts us that she has crossed into the realm of the supernatural: the wounds on her neck disappear and all of her “loveliness [comes] back to her in death.” The clippings about the threatening “Bloofer Lady” make it clear that Lucy has indeed become a vampire. Dracula’s attack has transformed a model of English chastity and purity into an openly sexual predator. When Holmwood visits Lucy for the last time, her physical appeal startles him: “she looked her best, with all the soft lines matching the angelic beauty of her eyes.” Equally startling is the newfound forwardness with which she demands sexual satisfaction: “Arthur! Oh, my love, I am so glad you have come! Kiss me!” Dracula’s power has indeed topped one former example of the Victorian female ideal.
Lucy’s body also becomes a metaphorical battleground between the forces of good and evil, between the forces for liberation and repression of female sexuality. While Dracula fights for control of Lucy, through whom he believes he can access many Englishmen, Van Helsing’s crew pumps her full of brave men’s blood, which they believe is the “best thing on this earth when a woman is in trouble.” This battle reflects the struggle of Victorian society to recognize and accept female sexuality. Victorian England prized women for their docility and domesticity, leaving them no room for open expression of sexual desire, even within the confines of marriage. Mina, though married, appears no less chaste than Lucy. This obsession with purity was pervasive: less than twenty years before the publication of Dracula, medical authorities still believed that a menstruating woman could spoil meat simply by touching it.
Van Helsing articulates these prejudices of the Victorian age as he praises Mina’s character, saying:
She is one of God’s women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist—and that, let me tell you, is much in this age, so skeptical and selfish.”
Van Helsing’s statement implies that a woman who cannot manage this much truth, sweetness, nobility, and modesty has no place in Victorian society. Though Lucy possesses all of these in plenty, she also betrays a fatal flaw: her openness to sexual adventure. Recalling Van Helsing’s lesson in vampire lore, we know that Dracula is powerless to enter a home unless invited. The count thus would not have been able to access Lucy’s bedroom unless she invited him in. Though no character ever blames Lucy for her susceptibility to seduction—or even mentions it—we are aware that the young woman has fallen from grace. Victorian society firmly dictated that wantonness came at a high price, and in Dracula, Lucy pays dearly.
sparknotes, where else? : )