Sexuality And Gender Roles In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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Dracula is about vampires in general, the myth, the mystery and the horror. Even though Dracula wasn’t the first vampire story, it was the first really popular one. Throughout the novel, the author, Bram Stoker, portrays many different aspects of women's roles in the 19th century. With the use of imagery and symbolism, the theme of sexuality and gender roles has an enormous presence in the novel. Social gender roles of women and men during the Victorian Era were very strict and looked upon differently than any other time period. One of the many characteristic features of the Victorian culture was its patriarchal ideas about women. This culture looked upon sexual activity as a negative matter amongst women. The theme of sexuality is very significant…show more content…
He compares and contrasts these two women to each other throughout the novel in order to describe the two distinctive categories of women that he believed existed in the Victorian Era. One category focused on women who are innocent and submissive. The other category focused on women who are rebellious, daring and aren’t afraid of going against the restraining features of society. Although Mina and Lucy hold different views on both categories, they both are well aware of the belief that men are seen to be more prevailing than women in this culture. An example of this is when Lucy asks Mina, “My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?” (Ch 5, pg. 86) They both discuss these matters throughout the…show more content…
Lucy has commitment issues to marrying only one male. She is described as beautiful and voluptuous woman who receives three proposals in total from three different suitors. It is seen wrong to be with more than one male in the Victorian culture, however Lucy does not agree with this culture and sees nothing wrong with the idea. She complains to Mina asking her, “Why can't they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?" (Ch 5, pg. 87) Lucy is illustrated as someone who is continuously driven by sexual temptations and flirtatiousness. Stoker puts emphasis on her beauty, which is what grabs the attention of men. Lucy ends up getting killed because her sexual openness was seen as a threat to Victorian society. Stoker uses a character like Lucy in his novel to portray that sexually assertive women who try and use their beauty to win over men will not make it in the Victorian culture. On the other hand, when Dracula intimidates Jonathan during his effort to attack Mina, she reacts in the correct matter of what the Victorian culture would want her to. In this very situation, she puts Jonathan’s safety and life before her own. Therefore, Mina is rewarded by having her life spared in the novel due to her truthful behavior and how she helps the men track down

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