Women's Role In Dracula

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The Victorian era witnessed the emergence of a shift in art, politics, science and social atti-tudes regarding gender relations. At this time women had to be docile. They were regarded as inno-cent and pure. Their purpose was to support their husbands. But at the end of the nineteenth centu-ry, the question of a new women’s role in society arose. Woman wanted to be emancipated in all areas of life. The "New Woman" was a term used to describe progressive women, who asserted their independence from men. This included more educational and employment prospects as well as a new sexual freedom (c.f. Diniejko). The concept of an autonomous, unfettered "New Woman" is reflected in the book Dracula just as the Victorian model of a woman. Mina Murray…show more content…
The idea that woman should do the proposing is likewise very unconventional for the time period.
Another fact is that Mina Murray is able to save Jonathan’s life. Jean Lorrah claims that “the weak woman who sees feminism only as a fad does not have the strength of the real “New Woman” to use sexual aggression as Mina does, to save the man she loves” (33). A woman’s place was at home she was considered as ignorant of intellectual opinion. The foregoing stands in opposition to to Mina, because she is independent.
To sum up, Mina Murray cannot be seen as a completely fully-fledged “New Woman“. On the one hand, the Victorian woman is shown as truthful, modest and a good mother and wife. But on the other hand she has no rights, the duty of submission and no possibility of individual fulfil-ment. Whereas the “New Woman“ is politically, intellectually, and sexually emancipated. “Within the dynamic of the novel’s narration, the New Womanly Mina, with her “man’s brain” and “wom-an’s heart (Stoker 248), becomes the site of complex negotiations between traditional femininity and intellectual agency” (Senf 224). Even nowadays, woman’s role as “angels of the house” and their career come into conflict. While many men still believe that the woman should stay at home, most woman believe this is wrong and needs changing. Mina Murray tries to be equal to the men but Van Helsing rejects her at the end of the novel,
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