The character of Lucy Westerna is created by multiple narrations in the novel. The character of Lucy is first introduced through Mina who is Lucy’s friend, Lucy Westenra, exchange letters about their respective romances. The dominant characteristic of the character emerges through Mina that she is a vivacious young woman who is much praised for her beauty, purity and sweet nature.
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In her journal, Mina expresses anxiety over her missing fiance and over Lucy, who has begun to sleepwalk during the night. Although she seems healthy, Lucy exhibits an “odd concentration” that Mina does not understand. Mina describes the night of the dreaded storm, her fears for Jonathan, and her concern for Lucy, who continues to sleepwalk.
Lucy falls disastrously under Dracula’s spell. Although Lucy’s letters pay homage to a certain male fantasy of domination “My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?” they also reveal that she is a sexualized being. Lucy writes: “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?”
On August 10, Mina awakens to find Lucy’s bed empty. She goes outside to find Lucy and sees her in the churchyard, reclining on her favorite bench with a dark figure bending over her. As Mina approaches, the figure looks toward her, exposing a pale face and gleaming red eyes. Lucy is apparently asleep but breathless, so Mina wraps her in a shawl and leads her home. When Lucy wakes, Mina finds “two little red points like pin-pricks” on her friend’s neck, and decides that she must have accidentally pricked Lucy while helping her pin her shawl.
During the next few days, Lucy grows pale and fatigued, and the wounds at her throat grow larger. Mina worries about the well-being of her friend about Lucy’s failing health; about Lucy’s mother, who is too ill to bear any anxiety over Lucy’s state.
Lucy begins a diary, in which she records bad dreams and recounts that something scratches at her window in the night. Seward and Holmwood are concerned about Lucy’s suddenly failing health. When Van Helsing arrives to find Lucy terribly pale and unable to breathe easily, he transfuses Holmwood’s blood into Lucy.
The next morning, he and Van Helsing find Lucy pale and completely drained of strength, her gums shrunken and her lips white. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward return to the Westenra residence. They are greeted by Lucy’s mother, who tells them that during the night she removed all the “horrible, strong-smelling flowers” from Lucy’s room and opened the windows to let in fresh air. He and Seward rush to their patient to find her near death. On September 17, the night of the wolf’s escape, Lucy awakens, frightened by a flapping at the window and a howling outside. Mrs. Westenra is also scared by the noise and comes in and joins her daughter in bed. Suddenly, the window shatters and the head of a huge wolf appears. As Lucy loses consciousness, she sees the wolf draw his head back from the window.
As Dracula repeatedly drains Lucy of her transfused blood, he comes to possess not only Lucy’s body, but also the bodies of all the men who have offered her their blood. Arriving at the Westenras’ the next day, Van Helsing and Seward find the scene of destruction: the maids unconscious on the dining room floor, Mrs. Westenra dead, and Lucy once again at death’s door, with terrible, mangled wounds at her neck.
On the morning of September 20, the wounds on Lucy’s neck disappear. Sensing that Lucy is nearing the end of her life, the doctors awaken Holmwood and bring him to say good-bye. In a strangely seductive voice, Lucy begs Holmwood to kiss her, but Van Helsing pulls him away, instructing him to kiss Lucy only on the forehead. Holmwood complies with Van Helsing’s instructions, and Lucy dies, recovering in death the beauty that she lost during her long illness.
Mina receives a telegram informing her of Lucy’s death. This message is followed by an excerpt from a local paper, which reports that a number of children have been temporarily abducted in Hampstead Heath, the area where Lucy was buried by a strange woman whom the children call the “Bloofer Lady.” When the children return home, they bear strange wounds on their necks.
We witness Lucy’s transformation into a super-natural creature. The description of her death immediately alerts us that she has crossed into the realm of the supernatural: the wounds on her neck disappear and all of her “loveliness back to her in death.” The clippings about the threatening “Bloofer Lady” make it clear that Lucy has indeed become a vampire. When Holmwood visits Lucy for the last time, her physical appeal startles him: “she looked her best, with all the soft lines matching the angelic beauty of her eyes.”
Lucy, also realizing she’s becoming inhuman, requests to Van Helsing that he protect Arthur. Helsing swears to do that for Lucy’s sake just as she passes away. The men think it’s over, but Helsing knows that with Lucy’s death, her transformation into the undead is just beginning. More than likely, what they witnessed was the last of her humanity fading away.
Van Helsing’s statement implies that a woman who cannot manage this much truth, sweetness, nobility, and modesty has no place in Victorian society.
Only after they return to Lucy’s tomb, finding her restored to her coffin and “radiantly beautiful,” does Seward feel the “horrid sense of the reality of things.” Van Helsing explains that Lucy belongs to the “Un-Dead” and insists that she must be decapitated.
As Lucy returns to a state of beauty, Van Helsing reassures Holmwood that he has saved Lucy’s soul from eternal darkness and has given her peace at last.
Everyone loves Lucy deeply: Quincey Morris, Jack Seward, and Arthur Holmwood all propose to her, Van Helsing thinks she’s the sweetest thing ever, and even Mina can’t stop talking about how gorgeous Lucy is. Lucy’s like a child: she’s blonde and innocent and seems very vulnerable, which inspires everyone around her to protect her.
Van Helsing feels it best that the men who loved Lucy in life play a role in freeing her soul. On his instructions, they stake Lucy, destroying the vampire part of her and Lucy is finally able to rest in peace.