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Claire Zulkey's Journal

I Love Lucy

10.14.09 | 8 Comments

Lucy Westenra must have been quite the catch in her pre-undead times.  After all, not only did she receive proposals from three strapping young men: John Seward (the doctor), Quincey Morris (the cowboy),  and Arthur Holmwood (the construction worker), they remain dedicated to her, and, by the glue of her awesomeness, each other well past her expiration date.

What I want to know is, is the devotion the three men show to Lucy and to each other more fantastical than the vampires?  There are a few things I am willing to accept as a historical fact in terms of romance being different during the writing of this book than it is today: getting engaged was a different situation a hundred years ago, for instance.  You didn’t wait as long to get engaged, it wasn’t quite as formal and so it wasn’t that weird to get multiple proposals. That’s fine.  I do wonder whether Stoker envisioned why Lucy was indeed so popular, or whether he just had it as a fact: Lucy is beautiful and popular with the mens.  If I were to write Dracula fan fic I might start with Lucy and explore just what makes her so great, since we barely know her before Drac gets to her.  Is she a good listener? A hilarious joke-teller?  An amazing lover?  Or is she kinda stupid and bitchy but just really, really hot? I wonder about these things.

But fine, she is proposed to three times.  But what are the odds that the three men who proposed to her would be good friends?  A.) As friends, do you think they consulted each other about proposing and just decided to go for it, or did they not mention it to each other and it was just awk-ward!  B.) Stoker imbued all three of these men with a remarkable sense of honor that they would respond to each others’ cry for help in Lucy’s time of need.  Part of me wants to envision a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” version of Dracula where one of them pulls a Larry and says “You know, I’m OK, you go on to the bloodletting without me.”  C.) Not only are they so eager to help each other out but they’re still willing to help Lucy too.  Again, it’s nice that they are so true to their devotion to her, but it would be funny if one of them said “I’ve moved on and my new fiancee really doesn’t want me donating my blood to the lover who spurned me.”  Even Van Helsing finds this weird: he jokes to John that if Arthur felt that he was married to Lucy via his blood donation, that meant she was also married then to John, Quincey and Van Helsing.  John didn’t find this so funny, however.  Killjoy.

Am I just way too cynical? Is Stoker describing a type of man that really was prevalent in 1897 or are these brave, strong sensitive men just chivalrous superheroes that he’s created for Dracula?

It’s just amusing to me how the guys’ heroism, honor and selflessness (dare I utter the term “bromance?”)  is the most unbelievable part of the book thus far.  I guess their near-blind obedience to Van Helsing is another matter but of course I envision Van Helsing as Hugh Jackman so who wouldn’t want to do what he says?

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