The Role Of Sexuality In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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Killing the monster is obviously not as easy as killing humans. Luckily for the protagonists, Van Helsing seems well versed in vampire hunting. One of the ways he uses to rid England of vampires is through religion. This is also how one is able to purify the abject: Abjection appears as a rite of defilement and pollution in the paganism that accompanies societies with a dominant or surviving matrilinear character. It takes on the form of the exclusion of a substance (nutritive or linked to sexuality), the execution of which coincides with the sacred since it sets it up. […] It finally encounters, with Christian sin, a dialectic elaboration, as it becomes integrated in the Christian Word as a threatening otherness—but always nameable, always…show more content…
The monstrous-feminine permeates Stoker 's novel from start to finish. She is visible in the vampire women who seduce men and break gender boundaries through their overtly sexual behaviour. The restrictions put on female sexuality and gender performance during the Victorian Era are trespassed by these women. Blood is connected to these female figures not simply because they are vampires but also because they are women who loose blood every month through menstruation. Deprived of this blood, it seems only logical that they have to become vampires and accumulate the blood from someone else. Killing children, they also besmirch the image of the angel in the house and the perfect Victorian mother figure. The female vampire is also connected to the New Woman who is seen as a threat in connection with her open sexuality (Lucy Westenra), unless she incorporates mostly Victorian values and only superficially seems like a New Woman (Mina Harker). The monstrous-feminine is visible in Dracula himself as an archaic mother who gives and takes life at the same time. She is also visible in Transylvania 's nature – threatening but at the same time enchanting its visitors. Monstrous-femininity is marginalised throughout Stoker 's novel. Neither the female vampires nor Dracula get a voice. Moreover, the story focuses on the modern England rather than on the effeminate East. The monstrous-feminine constantly walks the line between terror and horror but ultimately horror overtakes and forces the male novel 's heroes to kill the monster. In the end, she can only be reigned in through male dominance and comforting religious discourse – restoring the status quo to a modern male-dominated England. Stoker 's novel offers a variety of female monsters but what they all have in common is that neither of them stands a chance in the rigid Victorian system that will not let anyone break its
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