SIX DEGREES: From Gabriel Utterson to Jonathan Harker

Six Degrees of Kool Books ImageWelcome to my last entry in the exciting game of Six Degrees of Kool Books… at least, for a while. With the impending arrival of baby #3, I fear that I will have to take a short hiatus from some of my more regularly scheduled blog posts for a while. I am not sure when I shall return to the game (never fear, this does not mean I won’t be blogging at all! I hope to keep updates coming at least once a week for the next few months, but I need to cut a few things back in order to not go crazy trying to juggle writing, homeschooling, new baby, and general life-happens sort of occurrences).

Last week, DJ posted about the characters in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I must confess, dear Reader, that I had a truly difficult time trying to come up with a character for today’s post. And while there is no need in the Six Degrees game to remain within certain genres, I ended up having to stick with the gothic horror/monster story. I tried really hard to come up with parallels between Gabriel Utterson and characters from various Jane Austen novels, but to no avail, nothing fit right.

So, instead, I am linking from Gabriel to Jonathan Harker from the marvelous and spine-tingling work of fiction known as Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Jonathan, like Gabriel Utterson, is a lawyer. He is also possessed of a great amount of curiosity and is the quintessential “perfect gentleman.” Neither character would be all that interesting outside of their stories. Like Gabriel, Jonathan sort of gets sucked into the story against his will. Gabriel because of his loyal friendship to Dr. Jekyll, Jonathan because he has the misfortune of trying to close a land deal with Count Dracula, gets taken prisoner, escapes, and then must help hunt down the Count when his wife, Mina Harker, becomes one of Dracula’s victims.

Mina Harker is definitely the most complex character of the story. She narrates part of the story through her diary and letters, giving the reader a pretty good glimpse into who she is as a character. She is intelligent and innocent, described by others in the story as “angelic.” She is a school-teacher, and the motherly figure of the story – supporting and comforting the men who band around her to protect her and others. She is always praising her husband and the men hunting the vampire for their bravery and offering to make someone a cup of tea if they need it.

Speaking of the band of men hunting the vampire, a few of the more notable characters from that group are Dr. Van Helsing, a character with enough importance and interesting qualities to make him worthy of his own story. He is Dutch, a professor, incredibly intelligent, and has many strange personality quirks that only serve to make him more interesting. Of the “Crew of Light,” Van Helsing is the one most qualified to hunt vampires, and often overshadows the rest of the band.

Dr. Seward is another member of the “Crew of Light.” He helps tell the story through his journal entries, which reveal him to be intelligent, loyal, clear-headed, and a deep romantic. He is in love with Lucy Westenra, a sweet, innocent, beautiful, and fragile girl that everyone else is in love with as well. Three of the members of the “Crew of Light” propose to Lucy, but she eventually chooses Arthur Holmwood. Though he is broken-hearted over not being chosen, Dr. Seward bears no ill-will towards Holmwood, who is his best friend.

Arthur Holmwood is not a huge character in the story, despite being Lucy’s fiance. He is a Victorian Gentleman. He is down to earth, preferring to be called by his first name rather than his inherited title.

Finally, we have Quincey Morris, the third man in the Crew of Light who proposes to Lucy. Though he is not a large role in the story, Quincey is definitely the one who provides the most humor. He is quick-witted, values the truth and courage above all else, is extremely honorable, and has a propensity for using “American Slang” in his speech. He is also the character who is most willing to show initiative or volunteer when something needs to be shot or killed.

Dracula himself, though the main villain of the novel, is not truly present for most of the story. Instead his is a shadowy, threatening presence. Although he spends the majority of the novel one step ahead of the Crew, he is not spoken of as being overly intelligent. His villainy resides mainly in his ability to change form, his strength, and his unholy perversion of everything he touches.

And with that, I must bid you adieu for now. I hope you have enjoyed this little game of ours for the past few months, I know I have! I look forward to returning to it in the future. If you would like to play Six Degrees of Kool Books, you can find details on how the game works HERE. Please let us know if you do decide to play, you can find a list of previous posts in the game HERE - feel free to branch off from any one of them!

Have you read Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Did you like it? Whether you’ve read it or not, do any of the characters I mentioned today remind you of characters in other stories? I’d love to hear about them!

~ jenelle

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