Comparison and Contrast of Van Helsing and Dracula’s Strengths and Weaknesses
The battle between the Dracula and humans has led to a disastrous situation whereby the strengths and weaknesses of Count Dracula become a very integral weapon used by Van Helsing to counter him in the war and vice-versa. This paper therefore clearly analyzes the main differences and similarities that lie in the strengths and weaknesses of both Van Helsing and Count Dracula. Count Dracula is the vampire in the story that has for centuries been surviving by feeding of the blood of the peasants. He forms the main adversary against which Van Helsing and his crew that is composed of holy warriors are constantly aiming at completely eradicating from the society. It is due to this fact that the battle of wits between Van Helsing and the Count Dracula forms a very sensitive part of the book.
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The most important power possessed by Dracula is his immortality. The reader is first notified of the possibility of Dracula being immortal when he is in discussion with Harker where they are speaking about the history of the country. Dracula is speaking of the history in a manner suggesting that he was there when he uses the term “…we…” (Stoker 39). This is on several occasions within the discussion about the country’s history. Another illustration on the same issue on Dracula’s immortality comes when Van Helsing says that the un-dead are bound to continue living till eternity and the only way out is for him to stop them using the help of his holy warriors (Stoker 254). Finally when Dracula says “…I spread it over the centuries and time is now on my side” (Stoker 365) clearly indicates that he is bound to live for ever.
Another strength possessed by Dracula is that he can attain youth just by taking blood. As a matter of fact, his youth is almost half renewed after he has taken blood (Stoker 67). Dr. Seward confirms this strength by saying that by taking other people’s life inform of blood, Dracula renews his own life hence making him live even longer. On the same note Dracula is capable of healing from his injuries very fast. This makes killing him very difficult since he can easily escape using very risky means like jumping off from the window without falling prey to fatal injury. Finally, the superhuman strength that is possessed by Dracula adds him a huge advantage over man whose physical ability is very limited. Harker describes Dracula’s iron grip as “He moved impulsively forward and holding his hand grasped mine with a strength that made me wince…” (Stoker 23).
Major weakness of Dracula is that his activities are only limited to nighttime. During the day, Dracula is asleep in his box and can not even change his shape during the day. This makes it very easy to loose to man whose strengths are more alert during the day. Dracula can not attain sleep without his boxes and it is this that Van Helsing uses to tame him into surrendering. The lust and reliance that Dracula has on blood to survive forms a point of weakness for him as he travels to the traps set fro him by Van Helsing just in order to take the blood (Stoker 59). Finally, Dracula’s skin is susceptible to burning when exposed to the holy water that the men use to repel him from certain places. He is therefore not freed to traverse all corners as it would please him.
On the other hand, Van Helsing lacks the much strength that Dracula has but is strategically advantaged to win the battle against Dracula. Being the most advanced scientist who is experienced in philosophy and metaphysics, Van Helsing is in the best position to fight against the Dracula. This gives him the sense of logic and intellect needed to clearly understand the war more than any other person. He is also strong willed in the war and the determination he has is worth more than the physical strength that Dracula overpowers him with. Besides the fact that he has the moral authority to fight the war knowing that he is serving God, Van Helsing is very realistic in the war and unlike other men, he believes fully that the vampire exists. These aspects become very helpful in empowering Van Helsing to win against the Dracula.
The only point of weakness that Van Helsing suffers from is the fact that he is human yet he is fighting a battle against a supernatural being. While he is susceptible to injuries, death and victimization by the Dracula himself, all these are easily overcome by the Dracula.