Who knew vampires were such sexual creatures? It seems obvious once you consider their care free lust for human blood. Due to the context of the time period Dracula was written, the late nineteenth century, expressing your sexuality openly and publicly was not condoned. People in society, especially women, were taught to keep their sexuality under control and to themselves until they were legally married. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the reader witnesses how Lucy Westerna, Mina Murray, Jonathan Harker, and Count Dracula, individually, behave toward their secret sexual desires. Eric Kwan-Wai Yu states, “Whatever shapes or fear vampirism might evoke elsewhere, in this novel the dominant form has to do with sexual menace or the dreadful perception of sexual perversity” (147). Sexuality plays a critical role in Dracula, affecting each character in a unique manner.
Lucy Westerna and Sexuality
Lucy Westerna, probably the most sexual character in the novel, illustrates that losing control of your sexual desires will lead to inevitable consequences. Early in the novel, the reader draws a clear picture of how open Lucy is with her sexuality. Lucy exchanges letters with Mina Murray, her best friend, explaining her three proposals from three different men. In her letter to Mina, Lucy writes that she will “be twenty in September, and … never had … a real proposal.” This is devastating to Lucy, so the reader can clearly infer that she is the over confident, to the point of being a snobbish type of woman who expected to be proposed to at least once before she turned twenty. Lucy ends up fulfilling her wish by receiving “[t]hree proposals in one day.” She should be ecstatic about this news, since she dreamt about this day for so long, but her arrogance blinds her and she describes it as “awful,” and “feel[s] sorry, really and truly sorry, for two of the poor fellows” (55). The solution to her problem, according to the context of the time period, would be to let down the other two men and give her complete devotion to her fiancé. Not the case, Lucy actually has in her mind the question: “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble” (58). The reader can notice Lucy slowly straying from the social norm of marrying one man, to wishing to be with multiple men. Lucy and her three suitors, Dr. John Seward, Quincey Morris, and Arthur Holmwood, can be directly compared to Dracula and his three vampire ladies. There is a slow growing similarity between Lucy and Count Dracula.
After ultimately accepting Arthur Holmwood’s proposal, Lucy encounters the dangers of her sexual desires. Dracula knows that Lucy will be an easy prey since she desires to be with multiple men. One night, Mina discovers that Lucy has gone missing during the night. Frantically looking for Lucy, Mina stumbles upon her being attacked by something “long and black.” All Mina could discern was that this creature was “bending over the half-reclining white...