The abnormal way in which these sexual anxieties are presented permits the discussion of these apprehensions. The supernatural renders Lucy inhuman — her twisted face resembles “The coils of Medusa’s snakes ” (Stoker 250) — and as such, the sexual and moral dangers she posits in her independence are punishable by the four men. The same men who once desired nothing more than her pure affections are those who persecute her to the grave, for Lucy now personifies the destructive morals of the transgressive female. The violence employed in their fight against the vampire, in addition to their destruction of Lucy’s egregious body, demonstrates that male anxieties and fears often transform into hatred towards that which questions their masculinity. …show more content…
This unsettling evokes some of the key features of the Gothic, such as the use of phantasmagoria, transgression, and excesses, all of which disturbed the reader by surrounding them with dark reflections of a reality portrayed through fiction. Pacts with the devil to obtain one’s desires, monks and aristocrats who revel in luxury — even if this means they must stain their hands with blood —, vampires and mad scientists: all corrupt one’s morals, all corrupt the false appearance of serenity. Likewise, the female vampires who torment Jonathan Harker disturb the harmony of the domestic sphere and unsettle the delicate balance between the private and the public domain. These vampiric women are marked by heightened sensuality and tacked to other fatal women that permeate art and European literature at the end of the nineteenth century. In this novel, fear and desire are often confused, a clue modern anxieties surrounding desire toward sensuous but degrading bodies. These anxieties are transformed into hatred and aggression, suggestive of the codes of conduct that permeated during this historical period — codes that valued masculine strength and their physical feats, which are essential to overcoming the degeneration of the body and the mind. As such, the moral weight of …show more content…
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. Decadent in social and cultural dualisms, and existing amidst the struggle between idealized conduct and corrupted morals and lifestyles, this literature creates atmosphere necessary for the imaginative conception of the spirits and demons that haunt beyond the
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The central idea of this excerpt from Dracula was the fear of the prisoner living in the castle of Count Dracula who felt trapped and alone. The authors use of first person point of view of the prisoner was able to develop this central idea of fear because prisoner was able to describe his feelings first hand living in the castle with the Count as well as emphasize the thoughts that were scattered inside of his head during this time. An example of the author using first person point of view to help develop the central idea of fear was when the prisoner had realized that he was helpless in the situation of his current living conditions. The prisoner said "I think I must have been mad for the time, for I have behaved much as a rat does in a trap" (lines 4-5).
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
The horror genre of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, combined with mild eroticism is able to draw in readers due to the fact that Stoker is able to intricately weave suspenseful sexual scenes/scenes of desire throughout the novel—making it clear that
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
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).
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.
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
The topic I have chosen for my essay is how Dracula is meant to remind society of the importance of religion, specifically Christianity, in Stoker’s time. I intend to do this through analyzing symbols in Dracula, drawing connections between these symbols and Christianity, and analyzing the implications Stoker attempts to make. I chose this topic because vampires and their sacrilegious implications, such as burning when touching a cross, have always been of interest to me, hence why I chose to study Dracula in the first place. My thesis is: Stoker uses Count Dracula as symbol to represent what society may become if they abandon religious beliefs.
As she is sick, Arthur gives her a blood transfusion to try to help her become better but when it does not work, she is stabbed in the heart to go back to her original beauty and die. Lucy in the book shows how the ideal Victorian woman can so suddenly turn into the bad, evil, sexual woman that was unacceptable. Throughout the novel, Bram Stoker showed in detail what was considered to be the ideal Victorian woman through the character Mina. He also showed how women were sexualized, misbehaved, and evil through the behaviors of Dracula’s three daughters.
1. Introduction Madness as a theme plays an important role in Bram Stoker 's “Dracula”, almost every character at some point exhibits some kind of behaviour which could be connected with mental instability. “The working notes for the novel show that the idea of madness was present from an early stage; a cast list dating from the spring of 1890 includes a mad doctor and a mad patient who has ‘a theory of perpetual life’.” (Pedlar136). Even though, male and female characters are equally susceptible to madness, their actions and states which are similar in their nature are seen and dealt with in different ways.
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.
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,
Thus, the second category of Stoker’s violence is evident here – the visual aspect. The female vampires, with an immaculate mix of violence and sex, entrance their victims and prey on them. This seems to be a frightening portrayal of a “monster” since we do not expect a monster to attract the victims in using their beauty. However, it is for the same reason, that Stoker’s theme of violence has to be
Lucy Westenra is the best friend of Mina Harker and thus the second female main character of the novel. Stoker describes with Lucy a representative of the New Women movement, as the time was seen by the British population. She is single and lives with her mother, who is suffering from heart disease. Her family, that was once very prosperous, consist only of herself and her aging mother. She is Dracula’s first victim /vampire child in England.
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,