Inverted Gender Roles: Dracula By Bram Stoker

1585 words - 6 pages

There’s a Hidden “Monster” in Everyone
In Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, Stoker’s use of inverted gender roles allows readers to grasp the sense of obscureness throughout, eventually leading to the reader’s realization that these characters are rather similar to the “monster” which they call Dracula. Despite being in the Victorian era, Stoker’s use of sexuality in the novel contributes to the reasoning of obscureness going against the Victorian morals and values. Throughout the novel the stereotypical roles of the Victorian man and woman are inverted to draw attention to the similarities between Dracula and the characters. Vague to a majority of readers, Bram Stoker uses Dracula as a negative connotation on society being that the values of the Victorian culture are inverted amongst the sexes of characters, thus pointing out the similarities of the characters and the so called “monster” which they call Dracula.
Bram Stoker’s use of gender inversion is first evident in the novel when Dracula’s voluptuous brides attempt to seduce Johnathan Harker. “In an agony of delightful anticipation”, “The blonde girl's “deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive awaiting consummation with eyes closed in languorous ecstasy” (p. 48) Johnathan being quite coy “responds” to this occurrence by taking the approach “What happens in Transylvania stays in Transylvania.” As the three women lean over Johnathan he is attracted by their “red” succulent lips on his throat “so powerful an ambivalence, generating both errant erotic impulses”, but when the brides are about to feast and devour Johnathan, Dracula suddenly appears and puts an end to the party. Dracula openly displays his uncontrolled dominance over these women by saying “How dare you touch him? Any of you! How dare you cast eyes upon him when I had forbidden it? Back, I tell you all! Beware how you meddle with him, or you shall have to deal with me!” (Stoker 51) In the Victorian era, the Victorian belief was that women were helpless creatures, but Stoker includes the gender inversion of a woman by having these women display the attitude of a “New Woman” by laughing at Dracula’s authority. In addition, Johnathan Harker is depicted as the helpless creature in this scene as the brides attempt to seduce the human being displaying their masculine ideal.
If not reading between the lines in the novel Dracula, Dracula would come off as a very masculine man. Stated in the novel, Dracula had three beautiful brides in his home and had hairy palms meaning that Dracula masturbated quite a bit. Although Dracula might have come off as a ladies’ man, Dracula possessed homoerotic emotions. These emotions were especially present at the sight of man’s blood and during the scene where Johnathan is almost devoured by Dracula’s brides. Defending his love for Johnathan, Dracula acted at the moment and “With a fierce sweep of his arm, he hurled the woman from him”, subsequently informing them that “This man...

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