Mina Harker

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Mina Harker



        Wilhelmina "Mina" Harker is a fictional character of Bram Stoker's seminal horror novel Dracula.



        At the beginning of the story, she is referred to by her maiden name, Mina Murray, but later in the book she marries her fiancee Jonathan Harker, and takes on his last name.

        Mina is introduced as an "assistant schoolmistress" who describes herself as "simply overwhelmed with work" for quite a while. She was also practicing shorthand and typewriting. She corresponds with her best friend Lucy Westenra. Her first letter in the novel expresses her hope of seing Lucy in person again. "I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air."

        She was finally able to visit Lucy in Whitby on 24 July of that year when schools would have closed for the Summer. "Lucy met me at the station, looking sweeter and lovelier than ever".

        Mina is in many way contrasted to Lucy. Lucy is a vivacious, playful, often silly, upper class girl, while Mina is resolute, reasonable, prudish and lower-middle class. Mina and Lucy symbolise Victorian era womanhood and the sensibility of the age but while Mina stays resolute, Lucy's sexual tendencies are to be her end. In fact, Lucy portrays more sexual energy in one chapter than Mina shows throughout the entire book.

        After her fiancee Jonathan has escaped from Dracula's castle, Mina travels to Transylvania and joins him there. Mina cares for him during his recovery from his traumatizing encounter and the two return to England as a married couple.

        Mina and Jonathan join the coalition around Abraham Van Helsing, who now turn their attentions to dealing with Dracula himself. After Dracula learns of this plot against him, he takes revenge by visiting -- and biting -- Mina at least three times. Dracula also feeds Mina his blood, destining her to become a vampire at her death. The only way to forestall this is to kill Dracula first and the rest of the novel deals with the main characters trying to achieve this. Mina slowly succumbs to the blood of the vampire that flows through her veins, switching back and forth from a state of consciousness to a state of semi-trance during which she is telepathically connected with Dracula. Mina uses this connection to track Dracula's movements.

        Dracula flees back to his castle in Transylvania, followed by Van Helsing's gang, who manage to kill him just before sundown. As a result, Dracula's spell is lifted and Mina freed from the curse of the vampire.

        The book closes with a note about Mina's and Jonathan's married life and the birth of their first-born son, whom they name Quincey in remembrance of their American friend Quincey Morris, who was killed by Dracula during the final confrontation.


Media appearances

        Mina (or a similar character) has appeared in most film adaptations of Stoker's novel. Helen Chandler played her in Universal Pictures' legendary 1931 film directed by Tod Browning and starring Bela Lugosi as the count. Mina was portrayed by American actress Winona Ryder in Bram Stoker's Dracula, the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola film adaptation of the book. (A minor but interesting detail is that in real life, Winona Ryder is a natural blonde and Sadie Frost is a natural brunette, and in the novel, Mina is blonde and Lucy is dark-haired -- yet in the Francis Ford Coppola movie, Mina is brunette and Lucy is a redhead. This, however, may be explained by the fact that Ryder has dyed her hair brunette ever since childhood, and Coppola did not want Frost's dark hair to compete with Ryder's.)

        The same character also appeared in Alan Moore's comic series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Here, it was revealed that her husband, repulsed by the scars on her neck, divorced her. As a result, she returned to her former name, Mina Murray.

        In the film adaptation of the first volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, she is portrayed by actress Peta Wilson and is depicted as still being a vampire, despite not having been one in the actual graphic novel.


Source: Wikipedia.