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.
Therefore, it becomes quite obvious that Dracula’s wives are never really considered as “beings” but rather objects; the objectification of women was one of the main criticisms that arose from a feminist analysis of many popular texts like Dracula.
One of the main depictions of women in the novel is that are either both sexually promiscuous and overtly sexual, or they are pure and chaste. In Victorian society, you were either a virgin or a married woman, if women were neither then they were not of much moral worth to society. Much like this Victorian ideal, the overtly promiscuous and sexual females of Dracula are depicted as evil and monstrous, while the pure and chaste women are displayed as strong and heroic.
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.
Though it appears on the surface to be an engaging horror story about a blood-sucking Transylvanian man, upon diving deeper into Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, one can find issues of female sexuality, homoeroticism, and gender roles. Many read Dracula as an entertaining story full of scary castles, seductive vampires, and mysterious forces, yet at the same time, they are being bombarded with descriptions of sex, images of rape, and homosexual relationships. In Francis Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula, Stoker's presentation of homoeroticism is taken, reworked, and presented in a different, stronger light. Coppola does much in the area of emphasizing a homoerotic relationship between Mina Harker and Lucy Westerna: a relationship Bram Stoker
Lucy Westenra is presented to us by Bram Stoker in his novel Dracula as a very two dimensional character; however, Stoker uses her character as a beacon to convey the true, deeper threat that Dracula poses to society through three distinct stages being Lucy’s engagement, Lucy’s transformation, and the resulting Bloofer Lady. Lucy’s engagement and the proposals surrounding it establish her character as a standard, clear cut Victorian woman dismissive of any unfashionable thoughts. The later unfortunate transformation to vampirism displays impurities bubbling to the surface, with the subsequent Bloofer Lady displaying full force how damaging these impurities bestowed by Dracula are damaging
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
This passage characterizes Mina’s obedience to her spouse Johnathan, and introduces her as the modest woman. Lucy Westenra represents the sexual woman. In her second letter to Mina, she tells of the three marriage proposals that have come to her in one day, and the results of each. She has turned down two men, and accepted the last, but feels badly about having to turn down two of her suitors. She proclaims, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?” (61). From this passage, it can be assumed that Lucy desires sexual relationship with all three men, as that is the result of marriage. Here lies the main difference between the two women. In the end Mina benefits from her domesticity and life of service to men. Lucy, on the other hand, is deviate from social norms, and in turn suffers the consequences for her own sexual aptitude. Dracula’s deadly bite does not harm Mina due to her morals dictating that she continues to live as a human. Dracula soon disappears from the scene, and Mina enjoys her marriage and bears a child. However, Lucy is not as lucky. She is described as a sexual monster after her death. It is believed her sexuality that sealed her fate. It is clear that this is a statement about not only the roles of women in society, but also about the fears of society. The good Victorian woman, represses her sexual desires and will lead a respectable life.
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.
Just when all the characters and the audience had thought the events with Lucy were already enough, now they face a horrible reality; Mina is on the verge of turning into a vampire. As soon as Van Helsing began to speak, Jonathan was already fearing this. The love of his life was turned into an evil creature that he hated. Both the audience and Jonathan Harker knew that once Van Helsing informed she was changing, she was going to turn into a bloodthirsty vampire. Not only did Harker certainly have his fair share of terror with the Count, now he also faces the terror of loosing Mina.
The relationship that exists between gender, sexuality and sexual practice is one that is not static, but is ever changing and shifting dependent upon the society in which it exists (Brickell, 2007). This essay aims to describe how Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula, presents a “characteristic, if hyperbolic, instance of Victorian anxiety over the potential fluidity of gender roles” (Craft, 111-112), whilst also inverting and subverting conventional Victorian gender patterns through the characterisation and portrayal of the vampire women residing in Count Dracula’s castle, Mina, and Lucy as well as the ‘feminine’ passivity and submissive depiction of Jonathan Harker.
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
Mina’s role in the vampire hunters is extremely important. Not only is she one of the main characters, but because she is brave this makes her less afraid to deal with Dracula. She want’s justice for Lucy. The men think of her as frail and unable to
Mina believes that "Some of the `New Woman' writers will some day start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting." (p111)Therefore Stoker portrays Lucy as a New Woman as she admits to Mina in a letter that she and Arthur Holmwood have "slept
Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been adapted into film version i.e Francis Coppola’s Dracula in 1992 which is claim as the faithful adaptation to its literary source. This film contains several scenes straight from novel; however in representing the main female character is differ. The portrayal of women in Dracula’s novel and Coppola has received a lot critical attention especially the main female character (Mina Murray). Thus, this ppresent research tries to reveal crucial differences in the portrayal of Mina Murray. Feminist Literary Criticism Theory is the basis analysis to provide the general view points of women in novel and film. Besides, the Binary Opposition is applied to clearly showw the differences between reprentation of Mina. The result shows that Mina’s characters is very contradictory character. She regarded as traditional and modern, powerful and powerless, passive and active, among other characteristics.