Throughout the novel, Dracula is described through biblical terms. An example is when Dracula is crawling up the wall Jon asks “What manner of man is this?” and this is the same scenario and question from the disciples when Jesus calms the seas in Matthew 8. Another biblical example is when Mina describes Dracula as a “pillar of cloud” when she sees him in her bedroom, this is the form God took when guiding Israelis into the wilderness. Mina is picturing Dracula as a godly figure which pushes the evil representation of Dracula back causing the reader to not see him so fiercely as the anti-god.
As Lucy becomes a vampire, she becomes increasingly sexualized. Like the vampire ladies of Castle Dracula, her repressed sexuality comes to the surface, and she becomes the sexual aggressor, women in 1897 weren 't supposed to be the ones to ask for kisses. They were supposed to be
The ways in which Van Helsing and Seward customarily address Lucy with pet names and terms of endearment, is the same as how an adult would treat a child that denies their maturity. In spite of the fact that these appear affectionate on the surface, it is a manipulative tactic exercised frequently by the band of men. Whether or not they are aware that they are doing such, revoking Lucy of her name strips her of her identity and, essentially, her authority over her personhood. Women in Victorian could only be two things; either you were a pure woman or you were a fallen woman. Lucy can only be one or the other, it was not common for women of the time to possess the traits of both types.
The essay I chose to compare Dracula with was “Kiss Me With Those Red Lips: Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker’s Dracula” by Christopher Craft. The essay explains the sexuality in Dracula, desire, gender, and even homosexuality. Craft mentions his essay gives an account of Stoker’s “vampire metaphor” (Craft 108). He highlights certain and very valid points in the story of Dracula that breaks the Victorian gender role, writing, “a pivotal anxiety of late Victorian culture.” (Craft 108).
Feminist Reading: Dracula between Beauvoir’s and Roth’s Ideas In her article, “Suddenly Sexual Women in Bram Stoker’s Dracula” Phyllis Roth argues that Dracula is a misogynistic novel which is obvious in the system of power in which men are dominant and active figures whereas women are just followers and obedient to their system. She draws on Simon de Beauvoir’s idea that “ambivalence as an intrinsic quality of Eternal Feminine”, in order to show that women are victims to men powers. In her chapter, “Myth and Reality”, Beauvoir discusses the way that anybody in the society, specially men, doesn’t do their job in taking a step towards the oppressed women, but to act just like what the system of myth impose them to act.
At first glance, the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker appears to be a typical gothic horror novel set in the late 1890s that gives readers an exciting look into the fight between good and evil. Upon closer inspection, it becomes apparent that Dracula is a statement piece about gender roles and expectations for men and women during the Victorian age. Looking at the personalities, actions, and character development of each of the characters in Dracula bring to light startling revelations about Victorian society and how Stoker viewed the roles of men and women during this time period. To really understand Dracula, it is important to note that this novel was written during a time “of political and social upheaval, with anxieties not just about the
It may skew her thinking and at times be subjective. The intended audience is someone who is studying literature and interested in how women are portrayed in novels in the 19th century. The organization of the article allows anyone to be capable of reading it.
The topic I have chosen for my essay is how Dracula is meant to remind society of the importance of religion, specifically Christianity, in Stoker’s time. I intend to do this through analyzing symbols in Dracula, drawing connections between these symbols and Christianity, and analyzing the implications Stoker attempts to make. I chose this topic because vampires and their sacrilegious implications, such as burning when touching a cross, have always been of interest to me, hence why I chose to study Dracula in the first place. My thesis is: Stoker uses Count Dracula as symbol to represent what society may become if they abandon religious beliefs.
During the Victorian period in which Dracula was written, morals and ethics were often strictly enforced. Some of the morals that were upheld had to do with personal duty, hard work, honesty, as well as sexual proprietary. It was very important during this period that one was proper in their sexual behaviors and conventional in whom they had sexual relations with. However, during this period, many authors sought to challenge the ‘norm’ with ideas of reform and change and Bram Stoker was no exception to this. In his novel, Dracula, Stoker provides a critique of this rigidity in his portrayal of Dracula and Dracula’s relationship with Jonathan Harker.
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.
Throughout the Victorian era, probably one of the biggest worries was the role of women in society. In “Dracula”, Bram Stoker makes most of the women in his story as very sexual and some as pure. The pure women in society were liked and the impure were considered evil and tempting. Throughout the story, Mina is the perfect fit for the “angel of the house” by remaining smart and loyal and she is seen as heroic and strong in the end because of it. Mina’s relationship with Harker represents the traditional part in society that women should play in the Victorian age.
She is a strong, independent, intelligent woman who breaks gender and societal barriers. Stoker’s writing begs the question, how does Mina break societal barriers, but at the same time possess many traditional abilities and behaviors? Based in the late 1800’s in Victorian England, women were not likely to be educated and independent, but rather submissive to their husbands. Stoker creates Mina’s “New Woman” persona to develop the novel into more than the audience of the time would expect. Mina occupies inspirational qualities such as loyalty and strength, as well as finding a balance between her independence and not overstepping societal boundaries.
Lucy stands in many ways in contrast to Mina’s character as their moral views and ways of life are distant. She has no occupation and is in no way seeking any form of education. Due to this fact she resembles at first initially in no case the modern New Women, as these sought for independence and education. Her personality can be described as girly, lovely and ‘sweetly innocent’, a seeming sample of Victorian perfection. Lucy is highly beheld for her beauty as her appearance is that of a luminous beauty with fair hair, that is described as “sunny ripples” , and pure bright eyes.
The literature pieces help explore the subject of female sexuality, as time progress the amount of female sexuality increases. Women can desire, they can have aspirations, even though shown as vampires the text still suggests that they are women. The gothic writing of Victorian era such as Dracula, Carmilla, and Christabel help
“We have to free half of the human race, the women, so that they can help to free the other half. ”- Emmeline Pankhurst. Pankhurst, a suffragette during the Victorian era in the UK, made the claim that the freedom of all humans is intrinsic to the success of humanity. The protest for freedom for women during the Victorian era was called the New Woman movement.