• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


John Seward 6

Page history last edited by Haylee Kochar-Mack 8 years, 7 months ago

Dr. John Seward


     Dr. John Seward is first introduced as one of Lucy Westenra’s three suitors in letters between Lucy and her best friend Mina Murray.  “I told you of him, Dr. John Seward, the lunatic asylum man, with the strong jaw and the good forehead.  He was cool outwardly, but was nervous all the same” (48). The book then begins to be told from Dr. Sewards journals as the doctor who runs the insane asylum in Carfax introduces an odd patient of his, Renfield. Seward is then involved in the odd case of Lucy and brings in Dr. Van Helsing to work with.  Van Helsing convinces Seward of the sad truth of Lucy and together they investigate and later kill the undead Lucy, releasing her soul from the cruel Bloofer Lady.  Under the command of Van Helsing, Seward dedicates himself to destroying Dracula, the one who created her, with the other vampire hunters, who all were extremely close to Lucy.  After helping to track and ultimately defeat Dracula, at the end of the book, Seward is happily married.


     Dr. John Seward symbolizes perseverance and intellect.  As a doctor, his continual observation and research of Renfield as not only his patient but also more closely out of pure curiosity, both symbols are demonstrated.  “… and he look very strong and very grave as he took both my hands in his and said he hope I would be happy and that if I ever wanted a friend I must count him one of my best” (49). His dedication to those he cares for is seen first with Lucy, with his proposal and acceptance of its rejection, and is continued after she is bitten by Dracula and begins her transformation into a vampire.  His concern for Lucy is seen in how he helps her and seeks help from his old professor and mentor Van Helsing to obtain the best possible treatment for her.  Dr. Seward is also more than willing to give himself to Lucy in any and every way he can, and spends his time and resources on her.  He is even eager to give her her third blood transfusion after both of her other suitions, Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris, have already done so without success. Once Lucy ‘dies’, Seward’s focus shifts to further studying Renfield, and helping Van Helsing research what happened to Lucy.  Dr. Seward’s intellect is seen as the two studies become connected and Seward sticks with Van Helsing in discovering and destroying the undead Lucy so her soul can rest in peace.  Seward also represents intellect in his style of writing.  He uses technology in that he keeps his diary by phonograph, so it is kept how he would speak.  “Patient greatly improved. Good appetite, sleeps naturally, good spirits, colour coming back” (102). His journals are very observational and factual.


     Dr. Seward is the connecting piece in the story. “Dr. Seward is loved not only by his household and his friends, but even by his patients” (206). Without Seward’s inside view of his insane asylum and, more importantly, Renfield, the story would be unconnected.  Renfield gives Dracula access to Mina which progresses the story by giving Dracula the means to get revenge on the vampire hunters and attack purity, in the form of Mina, another woman they have all come to care for.  The location of Seward’s asylum is also key because they are able to stay close to Dracula and begin destroying his safe-houses quickly since it is right next door.  Dr. Seward is the link between the rest of the vampire hunters.  Seward is friends with Arthur Holmwood and Quincey Morris even before they all propose to Lucy.   John Seward’s love for Lucy is how Mina knows of him and his connection with Mina, through Lucy even after her deaths, introduces him to Jonathan Harker.  Their relationship is maintained once Harker’s experiences with Dracula in his castle in Transylvania prove to be relevant to their case.  Van Helsing, as Seward’s professor and mentor, solidifies the group by giving them a strong leader.


Comments (4)

MichaelG35#ranked said

at 1:50 pm on Dec 15, 2011


Haylee Kochar-Mack said

at 2:03 pm on Dec 15, 2011


Adam Nelson said

at 8:50 am on Jan 10, 2012

Very well written, although the explanation of Seward's "arc" within the story is a little bit too long.

Becky Thwing said

at 8:33 pm on Jan 11, 2012

really good details and even though it is a bit long, i enjoyed all of it.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.