Dracula is about vampires in general, the myth, the mystery and the horror. Even though Dracula wasn’t the first vampire story, it was the first really popular one. Throughout the novel, the author, Bram Stoker, portrays many different aspects of women's roles in the 19th century. With the use of imagery and symbolism, the theme of sexuality and gender roles has an enormous presence in the novel. Social gender roles of women and men during the Victorian Era were very strict and looked upon differently than any other time period. One of the many characteristic features of the Victorian culture was its patriarchal ideas about women. This culture looked upon sexual activity as a negative matter amongst women. The theme of sexuality is very significant
Dracula starts off in Johnathon Harker’s diary. Johnathon heads to Transylvania on a business trip to sell Dracula, a wealthy count in Transylvania, some real estate in London. After several incidents of Count Dracula attempting to suck Johnathon’s blood, and imprison him, Johnathon escapes and the novel switches to Mina Murray, Johnathon’s fiancé, and her friend, Lucy Westenra’s, points of view through their letters. Its mostly just gossip, but there are several references to Johnathon. Next, it shifts to Dr. John Seward’s, sometimes referred to as Jack, dairy with a description of Renfield who is a patient at Jack’s asylum. After this, it alternates points of view, with the occasional newspaper clipping thrown in. Lucy becomes Dracula’s victim
It was a time when almost everything was seen as either black or white, with no grey in between, and Victorian ideologies regarding women were not excluded from that notion. I believe that the fears revolving around the idea of the “New Women” resonates with Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, Arthur and Mina, as they are characterizations of the times they were composed. In order to combat against those fears, they treat Lucy in a way that revokes her personhood, to gain control over her and simultaneously make sense of her shifting personas, such will be explored at length throughout the
The novel, Dracula, is to this day a classic piece of American literature. Bram Stoker wrote, Dracula, in 1897, but what were his intentions for writing the novel? Hundreds of thousands of students every year read this book, but how many of them actually understand it? A theme is the subject of a piece of writing, and many books have multiple themes.
Option 1: Social Norms Lucy is a character who in the beginning follows the social norms for women of her time. Lucy believes that when marrying, her future husband should have knowledge of events going on in her days. She proves this when she writes in a letter to Mina, “You will tell him, because I would, if I were in your place, certainly tell Arthur. A woman ought to tell her husband everything—don’t you think so, dear?”(61). Now that Lucy is a vampire, obviously her idea of social norms changes.
Another noteworthy example of the way Stoker’s lascivious thematic begins outside the immediate circle of ‘good’ characters and then worms its way within is Mina Harker’s decent into vampirism. After Dracula manages to get into Mina’s bedchamber her forces himself upon her, drinking of her blood and forcing her to drink of his. “I was bewildered and strangely enough, I did not want to hinder him” (305), Mina declares as she realizes that even while she had tried to fight against the Count’s urgings she found it difficult not to yield to his demands. This is an intense moment where a pure hearted, if not pious, character is defiled and forced to recognize their own very human, and lustful desires. It is the basis of these humanizing desires
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a novel set during the Victorian Era, made up of a series of documents such as journal entries and letters between several characters. The Victorian society didn’t allow a woman to choose her destiny. By law, a woman was the property of her father, husband or even her brother. (YILDIRIM,46) This society originated based on the belief that women were destined to be mothers and wives and no more. During this era, women struggled to attain gender equality as the ideology during this period rested on the belief that women were both physically and intellectually the inferior sex. (YILDIRIM,46) The topic of gender equality is a very controversial topic to discuss even today in the modern world. Female oppression has been
The earlier gothic works as well as Dracula covered something that is outside the social norm. Female sexuality, something that was unacceptable and under the surface of society, it is exposed in these writings. The earlier readings such as Carmilla, as well as the poem of Christabel question the boundaries. The texts from these literature pieces contain passages of female sexuality and the passages contain phrases that hint towards the social taboos. In the era when women were thought of mere objects these pieces decide to give them a personality or at least a voice that can express desire, a voice that states women have a purpose apart from pleasing men. 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
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). Craft examines the usual roles of the Victorian men and women, passive women especially, requiring them to “suffer and be still”. The men of this time were higher up on the important ladder of that era. Craft believes the men are the “doers” or active ones in
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.
She is very flirtatious and loves male attention. Lucy demonstrates her love of male attention in the quote, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble” (Stoker Chapter 5). So that being said, she makes it fairly easy for Dracula to seduce her. She causes herself to be open to manipulation through her issue with sleepwalking. Due to Lucy’s sleepwalking, Dracula is able to easily seduce
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. Though he could not be explicit in his representation of homosexuality or queerness, in the
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 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.
In the novel Dracula, Bram Stoker highlights the theme of sexuality that challenge ideas of sex to both the female and male characters. The author objectifies the female characters in the novel to be over sexualized and portrays sex to empower women. Stoker may present the theme of female sexuality; however, he demonstrates gender inequality triumphs at the end leaving women in the shadows again.