Femininity In Dracula

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In Dracula, the two leading ladies, Mina and Lucy, represent the two stereotypes of women that existed during the time period. The way each woman is described frames them directly against one another, because even if they are close friends, a woman’s worth is determined by how she is compared to other women. Each woman is described, as in Frankenstein, relative to their position to men and how they interacted with men. Moving past Jonathan’s time in Transylvania and back to London, the two main women, Mina and Lucy, are both markedly feminine. They don’t do anything that is “improper” by society’s standards, which makes them worthy of the respect and attention that the male characters pay them. For both, however, their femininity is both a…show more content…
The novel ends with Jonathan’s note, and he records what Van Helsing says about Mina: “This boy will some day know what a brave and gallant woman his mother is. Already he knows her sweetness and loving care. Later on he will understand how some men so loved her, that they did dare much for her sake’” (Stoker 541). This is an extremely important statement, not just in Dracula, but for all of these novels. Remarkably, when one recollects, Mina is the only woman who actually survived and lived to be happily married with a child. Unlike the other female characters, she was the only one who was deemed worthy of living. To tie all these stories together, all the other female characters were hardly more than plot devices, but Mina was, essentially, the main character in Dracula, battling with the Count in her own mind and contributing the most to the hunt for him. The men, including her husband Jonathan, did do the majority of the heavy lifting, but she did the legwork for them and was critical to their success. Yes, she did need to be saved, but she was capable of speaking for herself and making her own decisions, like when she makes them promise to kill her if she “turns” too much. This is the indicator that attitudes towards women have started to shift positively. Mina embodies many “traditional” feminine qualities, but she is also just as complex as Victor Frankenstein and Dr.
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