At first glance, the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker appears to be a typical gothic horror novel set in the late 1890s that gives readers an exciting look into the fight between good and evil. Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that Dracula is a statement piece about gender roles and expectations for men and women during the Victorian age. Looking at the personalities, actions, and character development of each of the characters in Dracula bring to light startling revelations about Victorian society and how Stoker viewed the roles of men and women during this time period. To really understand Dracula, it is important to note that this novel was written during a time “of political and social upheaval, with anxieties not just about the …show more content…
Most of the men are shown to be brave in the face of danger and are extremely devoted to their significant others. They are also very heroic and in Quincey Morris’ case, he is willing to die for what he has determined to be a noble cause. An example of this heroism can be seen in Chapter 12 when Van Helsing states “A brave man's blood is the best thing on this earth when a woman is in trouble. You're a man, and no mistake” (Stoker,Chap.12). According to Van Helsing, the most useful thing to a woman in trouble is simply the very presence of a man and if a man is unable to help his wife, he is not considered to be a true man. In Chapter 13, Stoker also describes the emotional side of relationships between men, “In such cases men do not need much expression. A grip of the hand, the tightening of an arm over the shoulder, a sob in unison, are expressions of sympathy dear to a man's heart” (Stoker, Chap. 13). According to Stoker, men do not express their sympathy through words, but through their actions or a hard slap on the back. The only time a man is allowed to break down is in the presence of a woman, “I suppose there is something in woman's nature that makes a man free to break down before her and express his feelings on the tender or emotional side without feeling it derogatory to his manhood” (Stoker, Chap. 17). Throughout the novel, Stoker continuously reinforces and instills the …show more content…
The fact that there were some role reversals in the novel, especially among the female characters, made most characters all the more dynamic. All the same, the novel was very obviously influenced by gender roles and when Stoker was writing Dracula there was an obvious dividing line between male and female characters that he would not cross. Stoker’s preoccupation with female sexuality in Dracula “is attested to by the fact that [gender roles] actually come to dominate the story, with the vampire hunters mainly concerned not with Dracula himself but with his effect on their beloved companions” (Dixon) While Mina, who represented the ideal Victorian woman, acted as a support system and assistant to the heroic group of men. While things have changed significantly for men and women alike in the modern age, Dracula will likely remain in place as one of the most famous and telling critiques of Victorian gender
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Throughout the Victorian era, probably one of the biggest worries was the role of women in society. In “Dracula”, Bram Stoker makes most of the women in his story as very sexual and some as pure. The pure women in society were liked and the impure were considered evil and tempting. Throughout the story, Mina is the perfect fit for the “angel of the house” by remaining smart and loyal and she is seen as heroic and strong in the end because of it. Mina’s relationship with Harker represents the traditional part in society that women should play in the Victorian age.
His novel, Dracula, tells the tale of five people who encounter and have to deal with the evil undead vampire Count Dracula, who terrorizes them and even causes two out of the five to become undead like himself. Thankfully, the group eventually discovers a way to eventually vanquish Dracula once and for all, and by the end of the book they destroy him, preventing him from terrorizing the people of Europe once and for all. Stoker explores several significant themes in this book, including the theme of deception. In Dracula, Stoker uses the theme of deception with the characterization of Dracula,
In Bram Stoker’s gothic novel, Dracula, the overall and fundamental theme of the book is given away the further you read, expressing Stoker’s view of religion. The novel is an account of the paths taken by many different characters such as Count Dracula, Van Helsing, Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra. Since this poem was written with ideas focused primarily on the concepts of evil, as it was viewed during an appearingly-conservative nineteenth and twentieth century society, the book can be seen as a parallel to Eliot’s and others’ own religious quests. While Bram Stoker attempts to acquaint the reader with a frightening tale on the accounts of a dreadful vampire named Count Dracula, he also expresses the goal of strengthening
Everybody knows the classic tale of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is most famous for its introduction of the character of Count Dracula into both deep-rooted and contemporary literature and media. One critic claimed,” Bram Stoker set the ground rules for what a vampire should be.” It follows the story of Jonathan Harker, an English solicitor who visits Count Dracula in his castle in Transylvania – soon realising that he is being kept as a prisoner. Dracula forms a liking to the character of Lucy which ultimately leads to her death.
In the novel Dracula, Bram Stoker highlights the theme of sexuality that challenge ideas of sex to both the female and male characters. The author objectifies the female characters in the novel to be over sexualized and portrays sex to empower women. Stoker may present the theme of female sexuality; however, he demonstrates gender inequality triumphs at the end leaving women in the shadows again. Women in the eighteenth century hardly had any type of power outside of overseeing the household and they probably contained much less power expressing any type of sexual emotions. Stoker’s novel gives readers a different perspective of the female sexuality as if almost empowering women and stating that they too can be sexual creatures like men.
The essay I chose to compare Dracula with was “Kiss Me With Those Red Lips: Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker’s Dracula” by Christopher Craft. The essay explains the sexuality in Dracula, desire, gender, and even homosexuality. Craft mentions his essay gives an account of Stoker’s “vampire metaphor” (Craft 108). He highlights certain and very valid points in the story of Dracula that breaks the Victorian gender role, writing, “a pivotal anxiety of late Victorian culture.” (Craft 108).
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is a classic that has been enjoyed by readers for many years. It is one that involves fantasy, gore and even has the potential of scaring readers. It is a story that has been enjoyed and feared by readers for centuries. With that said, even though it is commonly known as a classic horror novel, it can also be seen as an erotica. Throughout the novel, Stoker incorporates sexual scenes, and scenes of desire that may or may not capture readers’ attention due to the presence of horror.
During the Victorian period in which Dracula was written, morals and ethics were often strictly enforced. Some of the morals that were upheld had to do with personal duty, hard work, honesty, as well as sexual proprietary. It was very important during this period that one was proper in their sexual behaviors and conventional in whom they had sexual relations with. However, during this period, many authors sought to challenge the ‘norm’ with ideas of reform and change and Bram Stoker was no exception to this. In his novel, Dracula, Stoker provides a critique of this rigidity in his portrayal of Dracula and Dracula’s relationship with Jonathan Harker.
The beloved novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker is an influential piece of gothic literature. Horror stories typically portray the Victorian woman to be a helpless victim and to be sexually objectified, but the story “Dracula” continuously uses the character Mina Murray Harker to challenges these gender norms. Mina is one of the several protagonists in the story, and it is important to note that she is the only female in the protagonist group. She is engaged to a man named Jonathan Harker who is also in that group. Initially, she embodies the ideal Victorian woman who is gentle, maternalistic, and loyal to her husband, but as the story progresses, her character develops to show independence and take on a more active role in defeating the antagonist, Count Dracula.
What would it be like to be a vampire? What would it be like to have a vampire in one’s life? What were the vampires of folklore like? These topics will be reviewed throughout this essay by comparing four of the vampire books and movies. All the vampire movies have some similarities and differences but four literature pieces in particular will be gone through in this comparison.
Feminist Reading: Dracula between Beauvoir’s and Roth’s Ideas In her article, “Suddenly Sexual Women in Bram Stoker’s Dracula” Phyllis Roth argues that Dracula is a misogynistic novel which is obvious in the system of power in which men are dominant and active figures whereas women are just followers and obedient to their system. She draws on Simon de Beauvoir’s idea that “ambivalence as an intrinsic quality of Eternal Feminine”, in order to show that women are victims to men powers. In her chapter, “Myth and Reality”, Beauvoir discusses the way that anybody in the society, specially men, doesn’t do their job in taking a step towards the oppressed women, but to act just like what the system of myth impose them to act.
The major theme in the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker is the threat of female sexual expression. During this time period, female sexual behavior was frowned upon. Women were said to have to be either a virgin or a wife and mother. Social standards were very strict during this time, making it unheard of for women to show sexual expressions. In is era, the main concern was the role women had in society.
In the novel Dracula, author Bram Stoker creates a peculiar situation that pushes the main characters to decipher the supernatural from reality. Originally thought of as a myth, Dracula quickly becomes something more than the supernatural. By slowly building the conflict of Dracula himself, Stoker depicts all stages of the change from believing that Dracula is a fictitious character to being face to face with Dracula himself. As he terrorizes the lives of the characters in the novel, they soon come to the realization that Dracula is more than what they formerly believed, and in actuality he is their harsh reality.
Gothic horror novel Dracula, the title character makes only several relatively short appearances, some of which are while in disguise. Throughout the novel, Stoker keeps Count Dracula in the shadows, both literally and figuratively. This essay will describe these appearances and analyze Stoker’s use of them to determine what effect they might have on the impression of the character and the novel overall. It will be claimed that by keeping his title character hidden for much of the novel, Stoker’s Dracula is made much more frightening to the reader. Human beings tend to fear the unknown, and by leaving Dracula to the imagination,
Indeed, the work condemns the expression of sexuality, particularly deviant sexuality, as in the case of Lucy, who is eventually destroyed and transformed into a voluptuous vampire. Dracula is the immoral foreigner; he contains and conveys a sexually transmittable disease, perhaps akin to syphilis in its internal and external transformation of the afflicted. In this novel, Stoker stands by the ideal woman, Mina, who resists temptation and becomes a submissive and dedicated wife and mother. Finally, Abraham Van Helsing and his group of men defend the patriarchal pillars of society and try to contain, at all costs, the sexually dominant behavior that attempts to contaminate society. The anxieties surrounding and permeated by the characters of the novel emulate a literary culture inspired by Gothic literature.