Money - The True Force Behind Dracula
In Dracula (1897), Bram Stoker explores the "wonderful power of money" (Stoker 341). Through the actions of Van Helsing and the "Army of Light" Stoker ponders "What can it not do when it is properly applied; and what it might do when basely used!" (341) through Dracula's machinations. Though one does not usually associate a vampire with a bank statement, Dracula utilizes the power of money as well as his abilities to turn into dust and bats. By granting Dracula the same influence of the "blessed buck" that the Army of Light uses to acquire information, Stoker augments the Count's threat to British society and allows him to function as not only a creature of the night but as a person of the day.
Through interactions of various characters, Stoker establishes a way of functioning in British society, specifically in dealing with members of a lower class. In the clipping of the interview with the zookeeper whose wolf escaped, the reporter writing the story includes several quotations which indicate that the zookeeper only agreed to the interview because he received monetary recompense. When first approached, the caretaker frankly told the reporter "to go to 'ell" (133), but he acquiesced when offered money because "...the 'arf quid made that all right" (133). Not only does the reporter use money to initiate the conversation, he also offers the zookeeper more money during the interview saying that he will "..consider that first half-sovereign worked off, and this brother of his is waiting to be claimed..." (135) after the zookeeper dispenses more information.
Harker, Seward, Van Helsing and the others who try to foil Dracula's plot also use similar techniques in gathering information from people of the lower classes. Quincey Morris gives a man at the harbor "...something from his pocket which crackle as he roll it up" (304) that makes the man "...still [a] better fellow and humble servant to us" (304). In his search for Dracula's boxes, Harker bribes nearly everyone he encounters; "A half-crown tip put the deputy's knowledge at my disposal" (252) and another man provides information because Harker treats him "wery 'an'some" (251) and gives him half a sovereign. Harker's behaviour during this pursuit of Dracula differs greatly from the beginning of the novel when he travels to Transylvania. While journeying to Dracula's castle, Harker does not bribe the...