Sexual Anxieties In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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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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