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I would not send them into Dracula's at the break of dawn; though Dracula was incapacitated during the day, he heard the cockcrow and saw the sun rise with Harker in the mornings. Instead, I would send the party to Dracula's home approximately two hours after sunrise. I would arm the hunting party with garlic, a large number of crucifixes, wild rose, wood ash, long swords, hatchets, guns, and knives. The members of the hunting party would include Harker, Van Helsing, Morris, Seward, and Mina.
In the book, there are many figures that would be willing to battle Dracula, and it would be important to utilize them in any fight against Dracula.
However, I would not use Holmwood to kill Dracula; Dracula recently killed Holmwood's fiancee, which I think would make Holmwood too distracted and personally invested to be an effective killer. In addition, though Holmwood gave Lucy his blood for a transfusion, he was not as involved in her illness and treatment as others, like Seward and Van Helsing, and it is questionable whether he would believe that Dracula was a vampire. Finally, he might not be willing to decapitate Lucy, if she was present at Dracula's resting place, and posed a danger to him or any other member of the hunting party.
A also have reservations about including Seward in the hunting party. At first blush, seems as if he would be helpful in a vampire expedition. After all, he studied Renfield, and would be able to recognize the same type of influence and infatuation if Dracula chose another minion. However, one might hesitate before choosing Dr. Seward for such an expedition because of his reliance on chloral to sleep. (Stoker, 161). Dependence on any drug is a potentially fatal weakness, and Dracula appears adept at exploiting personal weakness. Therefore, Seward could possibly be a liability in hunting. However, if one were to be certain that Seward did not use any drugs while on the expedition, his experience would prove invaluable. After all, Seward saw the steps that Van Helsing took to counteract Dracula's impact on Lucy. Therefore, if Van Helsing were to fall victim to the vampire, the hunting party might still have some chance of success.
Of course, the hunting party would need to include Van Helsing. Of the Western Europeans in the book, he is the only one with actual knowledge of vampires. He diagnosed Lucy's illness as the result of vampire attacks, although he did not share this knowledge. Furthermore, he knew that to prevent Lucy rising as a vampire, one would have to cut off her head and remove her heart. (Stoker, 262). Because he is the only person in the book who demonstrates the knowledge of how to kill a vampire, he has to be included in the hunting party.
Morris and Harker would be in the hunting party for the same reasons that they would be in the reconnaissance mission. The inclusion of Mina in the hunting party might seem foolhardy, but she seems the most sensible person in the entire book. Unlike others, she was ready to accept the possibility of a vampire. Furthermore, she seems to possess the grit and determination to fight a vampire, if that becomes necessary. More importantly, Dracula appears very drawn to females, and her presence at his execution might provide enough distraction for the men to get the job done. In addition, I do not believe that her presence at Dracula's execution would distract Harker from his task, because Harker knows enough of Dracula to be aware that Mina will not be safe as long as Dracula is alive.
I would send the members of the hunting party into Dracula's home, together in a group, to explore the possible hiding places. Once they had determined where Dracula rested, I would have Van Helsing approach the sleeping vampire. I would have Van Helsing act as if he were going to drive a stake of wood ash into the vampire, because I am not sufficiently certain that Dracula cannot respond during the daytime. While Van Helsing was distracting the vampire, I would have Morris, who appears to be the strongest, wield the long sword to sever Dracula's head from his body. If one blow was not enough, or the long sword proved inefficient for the job, I would have Morris and Seward using hatchets on the neck. Harker and Mina would be engaged in watching for any of Dracula's wives, animals, or human minions to interfere in the process. Once Dracula's head was severed from his body, I would have Van Helsing remove his heart. I would then rely on Van Helsing's knowledge to…[continue]
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