After reading all of Dracula, there is something that still strikes me about VanHelsing's speech and how it works as communication and manipulation within the text. Mostly I noticed the continuous and pervasive use of the word "friend" used as a tag when addressing his companions. This word may not seem terribly out of place and certainly could be explained as simply a quirk of his speech (which is that of a foreigner). However, VanHelsing seems to use this terminology more heavily when his is trying to manipulate those around him, or when he is playing the role of leader. One particular instance that struck me was when he is telling each man his task as they hunt down Dracula: "must think. Now let us organize. You, friend Arthur, go to the train and get the tickets and arrange that all be ready for us to go in the morning. Do you, friend Jonathan, go to the agent of the ship and get from him letters to the agent in Galatz, with authority to make a search of the ship just as it was here" (114-15). The list continues by doling out other tasks to the rest of the group. To me, and I feel a little hesitant to draw the connection, this reoccurring use of the tag "friend" seems to echo the stereotypical communist "comrade" tag. While it is meant to equalize everyone (and indeed, VanHelsing uses "friend" to refer to all the other characters including the female Mina), it does not realistically reflect the nature of the group dynamic. VanHelsing is the leader, no question, and while the others can have input, all ideas are sanctioned or dismissed by him. However, at the same time that VanHelsing is dictator ruling over the others, they seem unaware of how much power they actually give him over themselves. I feel that the title "friend" or "comrade" is partly responsible for building up verbally the ideal of an egalitarian body that is still controlled by a single man. I'll admit this idea may be a stretch.

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