The Fallen Woman In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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Rough Thesis: Stoker revolutionized nineteenth century society through Dracula by challenging the accepted sexual, domestic, and educational expectations of Victorian women and exposing the cultural anxieties such as loss of reputation and sexual freedom. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a truly iconic work, redefines nineteenth century values and challenges the cultural anxieties of theVictorian era. But why did Stoker create such an erotically symbolic novel? In the Victorian era, this type of language was unheard of; therefore his work appeals to the unspoken conversation: sex. But, in his writings, Stoker does more than simply use language that was neither typical nor acceptable, he provokes controversy and change in the societal norms by arousing…show more content…
Lucy represents the “Fallen Woman” whereas Mina represents the “New Woman”. In Victorian literature, women were often portrayed in monstrous ways to depict the consequences that would occur when going against the normalities of society. The Fallen Woman is a common theme throughout literature; since women were expected to maintain a pristine reputation and virginal status until marriage, those who failed to do so were pegged as “Fallen Women”. Victorians viewed Fallen Women in a negative light, and were displayed in literature as such. Lucy Westenra, initially a kind girl, changed into a seductive, carnal woman post-vampire bite: “Lucy Westenra, but yet how changed. The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness” (187). Stoker developed Lucy’s character from a vain, privileged young girl, to an animalistic woman. What onsets this transformation is the bite from Count Dracula: “She seemed like a nightmare of Lucy as she lay there; the pointed teeth, the bloodstained, voluptuous mouth- which it made one shudder to see- the whole carnal and unspiritual appearance, seeming like a devilish mockery of Lucy’s sweet purity”…show more content…
The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cute, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam. But Arthur never faltered. He looked like a figure of Thor as his un-trembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake, whilst the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted around it
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