The New Woman In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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New Woman is one of the most prominent theme in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. The New Woman concept was a feminist ideal emerged in the late 19th century when women started to push the limits set by male-dominated society. The figure of the New Woman is independent, free spirited, educated and uninterested in traditional value of marriage and children. The New Women threatened conventional ideas about ideal Victorian womanhood. In Dracula, Bram Stoker discusses the changing roles of women through its two main female character, Mina Harker and Lucy Westrenra. When it comes to sex, the New Woman is more frank and open, exactly the opposite of the Victorians. The New Woman feels free to initiate sexual relationships and to explore alternativesto marriage and motherhood. Lucy is thus regarded as a New Woman. In an early letter to Mina, Lucy laments, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble? ” Through her speech, her sexual desire exposed and that, is forbidden for a Victorian woman. She is not bounded by the Victorian value of marriage, but rather aspired to be independent of patriarchal male dominance. She is sexualized and her physical beauty captivates each of her…show more content…
Although Mina has traits of the Victorian New Woman, which include intelligence and working out of the home, Mina, unlike Lucy, never really strays from being a supplicant wife. On the contrary of lustful and sinful Lucy, Mina represents an impossible idealism. As Van Helsing’s highly praises, “She’s one of God’s women, fashioned by His own hand to show us men and other women that there is a heaven where we can enter, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so sweet, so noble, so little an egoist…”
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