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The Roll Of Gender In Dracula

1437 words - 6 pages

Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is a story about a Vampire named Count Dracula and his journey to satisfy his lust for blood. The story is told through a series of individuals’ journal entries and a letters sent back and forth between characters. Bram Stoker shows the roll in which a certain gender plays in the Victorian era through the works of Dracula. This discussion not only consists of the roll a certain gender takes, but will be discussing how a certain gender fits into the culture of that time period as well as how males and females interact among each other. The Victorian era was extremely conservative when it came to the female, however there are signs of the changing into the New Woman ...view middle of the document...

“Although the women in the novel do betray some very questionable desires, it is important to emphasize that neither Mina nor Lucy is an example of the New Woman” (Pikula p.289). Due to the fact that Mina works as a schoolmistress before her wedding, learns shorthand and typing and has some journalistic aspirations, but she mainly acquires practical knowledge in order to “be useful to Jonathan” (Pikula p.289) she is not a vision of the New Woman. Lucy on the other hand is considered to be a prime example of a Victorian woman of upper class and innocent femininity. For instance how Lucy could not resist Dracula’s charm and got turned into a vampire, while Mina was somewhat enjoying the becoming traits of the New Woman. Lucy, although not representing a New Woman, is somewhat of an example of the traits of the New Women to come (Pikula P.289).
In the Victorian era, the image of being beautiful consisted of maintaining an anorexic appearance and being pure in the eyes of the beholder as well as what is deemed correct to society. For example, Mina symptomatically jokes about their excessive eating at teatime. “A carnivorous diet in women was associated with uncontrolled lust, and it was even though to bring about nymphomania” (Domínguez-Rue p.301). Through Mina and Lucy are finding their lack of satisfaction through their hunger, it is showing that both Lucy and Mina are have characteristics of being anorexic to maintain a certain small body shape.
Throughout the story of Dracula the standard of a women being pure such as the Victorian era does portray this standard. “The virgin and the whore, the saint and the vampire: these two contradictory definitions of women pervaded Victorian popular culture, haunting men’s imagination- and destroying women’s lives” (Domínguez-Rue 300). For example, count Dracula’s 3 wives. Jonathans lust came in to play when these 3 wives appeared, “All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips” (Stoker p.181). This situation that Jonathan is experiencing translates directly to lust after sex from these three women. But it is important to remember that Dracula is a product of its time. Jonathan said, “ It is not good to note this down; lest some day it should meet mina’s eyes and cause her pain; but it is the truth” (Stoker P.181). This is fairly important because it shows that man has a serious desire for lust yet know it is wrong. Then a few lines down one of the brides said, “He is young and strong; there are enough kisses for all of us” (Stoker p.181). Back in the Victorian era, this is considered to be as whore-like as possible. This honestly excited Jonathan to have these three fair women talking about doing scandalous things with you. In the Victorian era it is considered...

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