Beginning this novel, I found the format as a difficult starting off point. Not knowing who the characters were provided some difficulty, but after sticking through it for a little bit, I was able to fall into the rhythm.
Dracula may be viewed as a novel about the struggle between tradition and modernity. The issue of technology throughout the novel interests me, especially with how it adapts to different characters. Dr. Seward provides a lot of observations and demonstrates a technical mindset, "I shall have to invent a new classification for him, and call him a zoohagous (life-eating) maniac" (71). These are observations taken from his notes on Renfield. He delves into creating a new scientific term to define Renfield and his actions. Overall, Seward's journals are obersvatons and noting changes/adaptations.
To extrapolate on Seward, I think he is a man that reserves himself from emotion and happiness, "If only I could have as strong a cause as my poor mad friend [Renfield] there, a good, unselfish cause to make me work that would be indeed happiness" (71). I think he envies the chaos and experience of Renfield. Can Seward not relate to others? Does he naturally reserve himself?
The idea of the typewriter and the phonograph illustrates the technological progression throughout the novel. For example, Seward's diary that is kept in the Phonograph is more up-to-date than Jonathan's shorthand or Mina's typewriter. The Phonograph functions as a nineteenth-century tape recorder. I find that Seward's observations are more credible, intelligent and intriguing, because of his adaptation to modern technology.
Van Helsing is also resonsible for citing scientific references, but he is not completely reserved from the fact that something supernatural could be the cause. He promotes blood transfusions, and discusses the ideas of psychology and hypnotism. At this time, these were borderline "magic" sciences.
However, science is an important theme in this novel, because not one character rejects the idea of science in favor of their beliefs or superstition.