Victorian Women were highly held back in their full potential. Their main role in the household was to “be happy - a sunbeam in the house, making others happy” (Hardy, E.J. 1887). On top of this, Women in the Victorian era were not allowed to display their sexuality or “tempt” men in public; they were meant to be submissive and meek (Causey S., 2008). The Victorian era lasted from 1837 til 1901, with women being punished everyday for crimes that are nowadays just part of living for a woman. Bram Stoker was born during this era and wrote his most famous novel, Dracula (Miller, E. unknown). One of the main discourses in this novel is that of Women and their Morality of the time.
Stoker uses 5 women in total to portray the Women discourse. The first is Mina Murray, a sensible young woman engaged to the main protagonist of the novel, Johnathon Harker. Mina is a highly educated woman for her time and was very fortunate to have a job as a teacher. Ms Murray, as well as being in the women discourse, is also one half of another very important discourse by Stoker: East meets West, or in other words, Traditional vs. . Mina represents the West and the good side of Women, abiding by the laws of society. The East and the evil is represented by Dracula’s three brides.
The three brides are introduced to the reader on page 51 of the novel, when they seduce Jonathon. This is one of the main reasons they are traditional and don’t obey the modern laws of the Victorian era. For women to seduce and show their sexuality in those times was one of the huge horrors of the novel for the intended audience of the Victorian age. It was also one of the most wanted yet fearful thing men had; they wanted women although they were afraid to lose power from a “Wanton Woman”. The Succubi definitely come under the label as Wanton women; however, they are not empowered by this notion as the Western people may have thought. In the castle they were extremely disempowered by Count Dracula. They relied solely on him to get them “food” and it depended on him whether they would in fact feed on any night. The Count also did not allow them to have the kisses available for them all, from the young and strong gentleman (Stoker B. Pg 52), claiming that he was Draculas’, and Dracula’s prize alone.
Another woman in the novel to portray the Woman discourse is Lucy Westenra. She is Mina Murrays’...