In fact, it becomes quite obvious that Stoker deliberately characterizes her differently than her male counterparts. Mina barely lives a life of her own, constantly relying on men to make decisions for her. To the reader, it might seem like a woman taking orders or something of the sort, but it comes to the point where the reader is forced to think that Mina does not know a different way of life. Whether that analysis is true or not, Mina falls completely dependent on men. For example, when looking for Dracula, Mr. Morris says,
Dracula is a novel written by Bram Stoker during the late 1800’s. The book starts out with Jonathan Harker, who is a smart young business man, who wants to travel to Count Dracula for a business ordeal. Many locals from the European area warned Jonathan about Count Dracula, and would offer him crosses and other trinkets to help fend against him. Mina, who is at the time Jonathans soon to be wife, visits to catch up with an old friend named Lucy Westenra. Lucy gives Mina an update on her love life telling her how she’s been proposed to by three different men. The men are introduced as Dr. Seward, Arthur Holmwood, and Quincey Morris. Unfortunately for her she will need to reject two of the men, and Lucy ends up choosing to marry Holmwood. Later on after Mina visits Lucy, Lucy starts to sleep walk, becomes sick, and then finds out she has bite marks on her throat. Due to this incident, another new character is introduced who happens to be Van Helsing. As the novel progresses, lady vampires are introduced and Lucy is eventually turned into one of the lady vampires as well. With the introduction of female vampires, the novel Dracula turns into a sexual and sensational novel by Bram Stoker. The female characters in the book are overly sexualized to where we can compare it to how women are viewed from back then in history to today’s world.
In the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, we are introduced to two specific ladies that are essential to the essence of this gothic, horror novel. These two women are Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra. The purpose for these two women was for Stoke to clearly depict the two types of women: the innocent and the contaminated. In the beginning, the women were both examples of the stereotypical flawless women of this time period. However, as the novel seems to progress, major differences are bound to arise. Although both women, Lucy and Mina, share the same innocent characteristics, it’s more ascertain that with naïve and inability of self control, Lucy creates a boundary that shows the difference between these two ladies and ultimately causes her
In Dracula, Stoker portrays the typical women: The new woman, the femme fatale and the damsel in distress, all common concepts in gothic literature. There are three predominant female roles within Dracula: Mina Murray, Lucy Westenra and the three vampire brides, all of which possess different attributes and play different roles within the novel. It is apparent that the feminine portrayal within this novel, especially the sexual nature, is an un-doubtable strong, reoccurring theme.
The normal Victorian representation of a woman would be that of a weak character, who would faint at the sight of blood; a character who would only discuss weather and art. In this novel, the stereotype of an ideal Victorian woman is broken as it is contrasted with the modern woman. The two best friends, Lucy and Mina, are each a representation of each. While Lucy is shown as all weak and someone who gives in easily, Mina stays on the “good side” even after she has been bitten by a vampire and her conversion has started. She is presented a hero, who plays an important role in bringing Dracula down through her intelligence and resourcefulness. Hence, by representing Mina as such a powerful character, Stroker breaks the stereotypical idea of a
Dracula is a novel that indulges its male reader’s imagination, predominantly on the topic of female sexuality. When Dracula was first published, Victorian women’s sexual behaviour was extremely restricted by social expectations. To be classed as respectable, a women was either a virgin or a wife. If she was not either, she was considered a whore. We begin to understand once Dracula arrives in Whitby, that the novel has an underlying battle between good and evil, which will hinge on female sexuality. Both Lucy Westenra and Wilhelmina “Mina” Murray embody two-dimensional virtues that have been associated with female. They are both virgins, whom are innocent from the evils of the world and that are devoted to their men. Dracula’s arrival threatens those virtues, threatening to turn Lucy and Mina into the opposites, noted for their voluptuousness, which could lead to an open sexual desire.
Almost every sin imaginable is included in this text if one were to interpret Bram Stoker’s writing to be as such. The glaring Christianity, coded sexual innuendo, and the vampire stereotype still attracts many to this novel. Despite the Victorian era’s social expectations of a woman, gluttony and lust are the two most abundant and greatly detailed sins alive in this text and usually descriptively, if not symbolically intertwined. The female characters of this novel lavishly display their sexual and physical appetites throughout the novel thus tempting the male figures. Mina and Lucy are portrayed in opposition to both each other and societal norms, in the nineteenth century and these traits are still displayed today in the twenty-first century. Voraciousness and Lust as portrayed through vampirism in Dracula details the dichotomy of Bram Stoker and of all men; which wife would a man want to have, the smart maternal plump woman or the fanciful beautiful thin woman.
In the late nineteenth century, women were beginning to take a stand for their equal rights in society. The term “new woman” was used to describe these women, openly proclaiming their independence from men. It was a woman’s way to threaten the conventional ideas of society, and to bring about their own changes (Buzwell). Following their well-known suffrage movement, women claimed their freedom sexually, physically, and in the workplace. For many years’ prior, women were expected to be the typical housewife, watching over the house, cooking, and cleaning. They were property of their husbands. During their equal rights revolution, women pursued careers like doctors or lawyers and fulfilling their sexual desires for purposes other than bearing children. As today’s society may never know the struggles and misfortunes during the Victorian era, Dracula leaves a time capsule behind to elaborate on the realities during such a prominent generation (Podonsky). Considering this given criteria, a new woman comes in a variety of forms; some women represent a stronger sexual desire while others demonstrate character traits on equality in work and education. In the case of Dracula, the two main female characters take two different forms; one blatantly sexual and one chaste (Humphrey). Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula portrays the ideas of a “new woman” in a modern society, utilizing Mina’s and Lucy’s characters to display opposite characteristics of the feminist movement which draw attention to
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 inside of Dracula. Essentially the woman was to be assistance to a man and stay pure inside of their ways.
Consider as well how the four men in the story risk their lives for that of Mina's. Bram Stoker reveals his attitude towards the nature of Victorian society by making the evil side in this novel very seductive. Even though the side of good is well aware of the harm the evil side can cause, the seductiveness of the evil side tempts our protagonists on many occasions. For example when Van Helsing has trouble bringing himself to stake the three women because of their physical beauty and when Jonathan Harker nearly allows himself to be bitten by one of the women because of how physically attracted he is to her. "I felt in my heart some wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips."# Stoker comments on the nature of Victorian society by showing how unacceptable it was to give in to those primal desires. This relates to the struggle between good and evil between our heroes of Victorian society and the devilish vampires. Vampires are in control of those evil, primal desires in the story and good people like Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing must fight off these desires lest they lose their clean and pure Victorian existences.
Arguably, Dracula’s wives are guilty of another of Bertens’ proposed stereotypes, that of utter dependence on man. They rely on Count Dracula to bring them their food, and therefore without him they would presumably die. This seems to reflect the well-established idea of public and private “spheres” that pervaded so much of Victorian domestic life. In this system, the woman was effectively condemned to the role of homemaker, while the man became the breadwinner. The inability of Dracula’s wives to resist feeding on Jonathan when he falls asleep in the study could also reflect on the – once again, Victorian idea – that women were too hysterical and so inept at keeping control of themselves that they were unfit for a vast range of careers. However, while Stoker does indubitably include these stereotypes in his work, it does not necessarily mean that he agrees with them.
Bram Stoker's Dracula is a highly controversial novel written in the Victorian Era. The Victorian era was a time when gender played a very restrictive role in society. Men and women were expected to follow certain behavior and to stay within the conventions of the time. In Dracula, the reader encounters "the new woman", a woman who does not stay within the bounds of Victorian gender tradition. The reader also gains insight into the dominate role that men play in the novel and how the patriarchy impacts society. There are two opinions among critics, one being that the men primarily dictate the events and characterization in the novel, or the second argument being that women actually fulfill this role
In the late 19th century, when Dracula by Bram Stoker is written, women were only perceived as conservative housewives, only tending to their family’s needs and being solely dependent of their husbands to provide for them. This novel portrays that completely in accordance to Mina Harker, but Lucy Westenra is the complete opposite. Lucy parades around in just her demeanor as a promiscuous and sexual person. While Mina only cares about learning new things in order to assist her soon-to-be husband Jonathan Harker. Lucy and Mina both become victims of vampirism in the novel. Mina is fortunate but Lucy is not. Overall, the assumption of women as the weaker specimen is greatly immense in the late 19th century. There are also many underlying
Critical analysis of the novel reveals the themes of sexuality and the buried symbols held within the text. Due to feminism and sexual ideas presented in the book, the stories focus the attention on men who fall victims of the forbidden female pleasures and fantasy. From the setting of Dracula, Victoria Era, the novel encompasses all social prejudices and beliefs regarding the roles assigned to women and men. Men used to have enough freedom and lifted up to authority while women were suppressed socially. Bram Stoker uses the two women; Lucy Westenra and Mina Harker and Professor Van Helsing to express the ideal women should be and should not be in the ideal society. The dissenting opinion gives threat to the patriarchal Victorian society to end in ruins.
Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, published in 1897, explores various sexual erotic possibilities in the vampire's embrace, as discussed by Leonard Wolf. The novel confronts Victorian fears of homosexuality; that were current at the time due to the trial of playwright Oscar Wilde. The vampire's embrace could also be interpreted as an illustration of Victorian fears of the changing role of women. Therefore it is important to consider: the historical context of the novel; the Victorian notion of the `New Woman' specifically the character of Lucy Westenra; the inversion of gender roles; notions of sexuality; and the emasculation of men, by lessening their power over women; in the novel Dracula. In doing this I will be able to explore the effects