|Dracula + Mina = Canon?
||[Apr. 19th, 2005|08:25 pm]
The Borgo Pass: A Community for Dracula Fans
|||||Dimmu Borgir - Perfection/Vanity||]|
There has been a lot of criticism against Coppola’s film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, by some of the more hard-core fans of the novel who claim the introduction of a romance between Mina and the Count deviated from Stoker’s original plot and turned what was supposed to be horror into sap. While I’ll admit that Mina as the reincarnation of Vlad Tepes’ wife was a bit hokey at times, the idea of a torrid affair between Mrs. Harker and the undead aristocrat may not be so far off the mark in regards to canon.
I think the most evidence for this theory comes from Chapter 21, where Van Helsing, Arthur and Quincey barge in on a half-dressed Mina drinking an equally half-dressed Dracula’s blood while her poor husband lays in a stupor in the corner. Dr. Seward remarks that it is only until after the Count attempts to attack the interlopers but is forced to escape from by the crucifix-wielding by turning into mist that Mina is compelled to scream. Certainly, the delayed response could be attributed to her regaining her breath, as Seward imagines, or shock. But in the amount of time it took for the scuffle to take place, she probably could have drawn her breath and let out a shriek. Perhaps Mina felt that she had to put on a horrified front once the men had driven Dracula out of the room, leaving her alone with the approaching hunters.
During her explanation of what occurred, Mina remarks that “strangely enough, [she] did not want to hinder him”, then quickly adds that this must be part of his terrible hypnotic powers. It would be my guess that Mina was carefully censoring parts of Dracula’s dialogue with her as well. According to her, his words to her before he ‘forced’ her to drink his blood were “and you, their best beloved one, are now to me, flesh of my flesh, blood of my blood, kin of my kin, my bountiful wine-press for a while, and shall be later on my companion and my helper.”
Companion and helper seem to be unusually neutral and passive terms considering their speaker’s origin. Dracula is, after all, frequently depicted as being a great admirer of feminine beauty; given the bevy of beauties he keeps his castle as well as being observed lecherously eyeing a pretty girl in Whitby. Further suspicions arise when one takes into consideration the inherently erotic position the two were found in. Dracula was discovered tightly gripping Harker’s wife to his naked chest in what could be interpreted as rapture, while his eyes “gleamed with devilish passion”. Something makes me doubt that Renfield would have received a similar transfusion. Regardless, the fact that Mina is unlikely giving an entirely truthful story suggests that she as a good Christian, married woman has something to either be ashamed of or at least has to hide.
This is all mushy, fan-girl speculation, of course. To argue that vampire and victim actually had a mutual hidden love affair before the vampire hunters ruined it for them would require ignoring a vast amount of contradictory evidence within the novel. Still, I believe that a certain level of animal attraction existed between the two, whether it was consciously acknowledged by Mina or not.
Any thoughts on this?