Gender Equality In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a novel set during the Victorian Era, made up of a series of documents such as journal entries and letters between several characters. The Victorian society didn’t allow a woman to choose her destiny. By law, a woman was the property of her father, husband or even her brother. (YILDIRIM,46) This society originated based on the belief that women were destined to be mothers and wives and no more. During this era, women struggled to attain gender equality as the ideology during this period rested on the belief that women were both physically and intellectually the inferior sex. (YILDIRIM,46) The topic of gender equality is a very controversial topic to discuss even today in the modern world. Female oppression has been …show more content…

(YILDIRIM,46) Women no longer wanted to adhere to the strict values imposed in the Victorian society and obey the demands of their autonomous husbands, nor remain responsible for everything in the household. Society labeled the females who had sex before marriage as evil and impure; therefore they could no longer marry a male because a man would be full of shame if he ever had relations with a dirty woman. Throughout the Victorian Era, there existed a concept that male sexual pleasure was more important to society than women sexual pleasure because men are fundamental to human reproduction. This idea clearly indicated that men were in control while women were inferior beings in society. Men were scared of the strong sexual desires depicted by women because they felt threatened that women would gain sovereignty over men. For the male gender to stop women from dominating society, women had to continue to suffer. In the Victorian Era, a woman was the purest form of a human or a wife owned by her husband and was responsible for the education and care of the children and the whole household. A woman had to ensure that everyone around her was happy even though she was not. If the woman fell somewhere in between, then she was a dirty, impure whore who did not add any value to the Victorian society. Men dominated during the …show more content…

A perfect example is introduced in chapter three when Jonathan Harker forced open a locked room in Count Dracula’s Castle. This locked room represents the way men locked women into their power at all stages of a woman’s life. Men owned women during all stages of their life because women were owned by their fathers, brothers, and husbands if they ever married. Jonathan forcing open the locked door represents the way women wanted to break away from the values instilled in Victorian society by transforming into the “New Woman.” After Dracula warns Harker never to fall asleep in a room in the castle which was not his own, he disobeyed and decided to fall asleep and disregard Dracula’s warning. Jonathan ignores Count Dracula’s warning foreshadows how women would revolt the Victorian society and no longer live under the power of men. This scene initiated the turning point of the female character’s innocence and powerlessness in the novel. He had a so-called “dream,” which may not have been just a dream. Jonathan’s experience consists of feelings he had never felt before in his life. He was afraid and full of desire, he remained still, as he watched the women through his half-closed eyes. These three vampire women seduced him; he could not control his feelings and viewed them as very appealing and dangerous.

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