Jonathan Harker's Journal - The Castle - May 19th

I am surely in the toils. Last night the Count asked me in the suavest tones to write three letters, one saying that my work here was nearly done, and that I should start for home within a few days, another that I was starting on the next morning from the time of the letter, and the third that I had left the castle and arrived at Bistritz. I would fain have rebelled, but felt that in the present state of things it would be madness to quarrel openly with the Count whilst I am so absolutely in his power; and to refuse would be to excite his suspicion and to arouse his anger. He knows that I know too much, and that I must not live, lest I be dangerous to him; my only chance is to prolong my opportunities. Something may occur which will give me a chance to escape. I saw in his eyes something of that gathering wrath which was manifest when he hurled that fair woman from him. He explained to me that posts were few and uncertain, and that my writing now would ensure ease of mind to my friends; and he assured me with so much impressiveness that he would countermand the later letters, which would be held over at Bistritz until due time in case chance would admit of my prolonging my stay, that to oppose him would have been to create new suspicion. I therefore pretended to fall in with his views, and asked him what dates I should put on the letters. He calculated a minute, and then said:—

“The first should be June 12, the second June 19, and the third June 29.”

I know now the span of my life. God help me!

It seems that both characters have an idea of what the other is thinking but neither acts on it.  Dracula knows that Harker can't escape.  Not only is the castle an isolated fortress on a steep gorge, it is also haunted by three, extremely hungry vampire wives.  His urging of Harker to write letters predated for the future seems like a taunt.  But it is wise that Harker can see the psychotic rage building in Dracula and refrains from asking him why he had to write the letters.  Stoker highlights this fact by bringing in references to spousal abuse.  Harker not only remembers the horrible women but the fact that Dracula was violent towards one of them.

This leads to a strange equation between Harker and the Weird Sisters.  In some way, Harker is in their situation.  He is abused and locked up just like them.  He has been emasculated and part of a harem situation.

And I wonder, is Dracula's ultimate plan to kill Harker?  Or is he being primed to be a kind of playmate to amuse the weird sisters?

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