Victorian Ideals In Dracula Essay

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The Rejection of Victorian Ideals in Dracula

Within Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Stoker gives readers an interesting yet controversial look into what love and sexuality is like in Victorian society. In the 19th century men and women had distinct roles. Women were confined to their homes and burdened with the idea that they couldn’t do the jobs that the men did and that they were only useful for being subservient and dependent. Men had the privilege of being able to vote and work imperative jobs outside of the home (“Gender Roles in the 19th Century”). Jane Austen’s romantic novel Pride and Prejudice displayed the battle that women had when it came to being a feminist. Caroline Bingley, one of the characters in chapter eight said, “A woman must
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Dracula entertained the imagination of men and discussion of female sexuality. Due to the rigid class structure of the 19th century, mentioning sexual desires, adultery, and other ideas were too taboo to talk about. Lucy mentions this in Chapter 4 “Why can 't they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble? But this is heresy, and I must not say it” (Stoker 60). Mina and Lucy both are first characterized as innocent and virtuous but are soon affected by Dracula’s interference and their image of purity is tarnished. Dracula turned Westenra into a bloodthirsty vampire which completely contradicted her former self. Another example of heresy and adultery would be when the three creepy vampire sisters wanted Harker at the same time. Having multiple spouses or love interests was not accepted in the Victorian Era. Furthermore, Murray was almost killed but lived to see the day that the Count would die. Murray was a much stronger character or woman than Westenra because Murray was informed and aware of the risks at hand unlike Westenra who was doomed from the beginning because of her ignorance. Westenra was a desirable character which was a big no no for the time period. Westenra being too desirous is what made her an easy
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