Lucy's Duality In Dracula

506 Words3 Pages
In Victorian society, women had the choice between two roles: the pure woman or the fallen woman. Bram Stoker plays with these anxieties revolving around female sexuality – he follows the gothic tradition of innocent damsel in distress against looming evil. The narrative structure Stoker imploys to the text through intertextuality reveals multiple point of view distinguishing a duality in Lucy - her true self and 'thing'. In order to cope with Lucy’s worsening condition, the male authoritative figures of the text assign a duality present in Lucy to make sense of her shifting from “pure woman” to “fallen woman”. Stoker exhibits in the structure of the multi-faceted narrative how certain characters are unable to cope with the duality present…show more content…
The ways in which Van Helsing and Seward customarily address Lucy with pet names and terms of endearment, is the same as how an adult would treat a child that denies their maturity. In spite of the fact that these appear affectionate on the surface, it is a manipulative tactic exercised frequently by the band of men. Whether or not they are aware that they are doing such, revoking Lucy of her name strips her of her identity and, essentially, her authority over her personhood. Women in Victorian could only be two things; either you were a pure woman or you were a fallen woman. Lucy can only be one or the other, it was not common for women of the time to possess the traits of both types. It was a time when almost everything was seen as either black or white, with no grey in between, and Victorian ideologies regarding women were not excluded from that notion. I believe that the fears revolving around the idea of the “New Women” resonates with Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Arthur and Mina, as they are characterizations of the times they were composed. In order to combat against those fears, they treat Lucy in a way that revokes her personhood, to gain control over her and simultaneously make sense of her shifting personas, such will be explored at length throughout the
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