Although in modern times people are exposed to sexuality from a young age through advertisements, media, and pop culture, during the Victorian era in England, the only acceptable exploration of repressed sexual desire was through a book that upholds the Christian belief of sexuality’s corruptive effects on society. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a gothic, horror novel, Dracula, a vampire from Transylvania, preys on Mina Harker, a devoted Christian and intelligent woman, and Lucy Westenra, an innocent, young woman pursued by three suitors, by luring them and sucking their blood; the women and their suitors form a gang of vampire fighters who track and eventually kill Dracula defeating his devilry with the forces of …show more content…
I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited -- waited with beating heart” (Stoker 32). Both repulsed by and attracted to the vampires, Jonathan experiences sexual desires, and while recounting it in his journal, he focuses on sensory images, the mouth, skin, and throat, describing the experience as “ecstasy” and mirroring the images of sex scenes. The women tempt Jonathan with their sexualized appearance, but giving into their enchantment would lead to the ultimate punishment for sin, being brutally attacked and turned into a vampire. Moreover, the pauses and waiting periods that Jonathan experiences expose the sexual tension prolonging the temptation and sin. Voyeurism further compounds the sinfulness of Jonathan’s interactions with the female vampires. Multiple women who are not his wife entice him while one engages in sexual behavior with him, and the others watch and await their opportunity (Green). A religious man and a serious person, Jonathan falls to the evils of sexuality, lusting for the female vampire.
Van Helsing similarly meets the three female vampires in the night, but he steadfastly maintains his righteousness. When he meets the vampires, he says, “The mere beauty and the fascination of the wanton un-dead have hypnotised him…. Then the beautiful eyes
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Bram Stoker’s Dracula illustrated fears about sexual women in contrast to the woman who respected and abided by society’s sexual norms. Joseph Sheridan LeFanu’s “Carmilla” represented not only the fear of feminine sexuality, but also the fear of sexuality between women. John William Polidori’s “The
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
The story of Dracula is well documented and has stood the test of time since it’s Victorian age creation. More times than not, literature writings are a reflection of the era from which they are produced. In the case of Dracula, Vampire literature expresses the fears of a society. Which leads me to the topic I chose to review: sexuality. The Victorian Era was viewed as a period diluted in intense sexual repression and I believe that Dracula effectively exploited this as the fear of sexuality was commonplace in the society. In this paper I will examine Bram Stoker’s Dracula and highlight his use of sexuality. I will analysis the female sexuality that is prevalent throughout the book, the complexities are at work within the text, and the
These women have strong sexual powers, to which they use to their advantage in dangering men with their reasoning. Nearing the end of Dracula the three brides are brought back into focus. When even Van Helsing, the strong doctor and picturesque example of what a Victorian male was expected to be, hesitates because “She was so fair to look on, so radiantly beautiful, so exquisitely voluptuous, that the very instinct of man in me, which calls some of my sex to love and to protect one of hers, made my head whirl with new emotion.” This heightens the danger over the women’s control and influence over men as even the knowledgeable and powerful
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.
If there is one thing that has not changed in the past one hundred years it is the populations love for a thrilling, eerie story; including those about vampires. However, what has changed in the last one hundred years is cultural appropriation and the idea of vampirism itself. So despite being written in two entirely different centuries with two entirely different vampire etiquettes, the novels Twilight by young adult author Stephanie Meyer and Dracula by 19th century gothic author Bram Stoker, both use of the matter of sexuality through characters actions and to help develop the good vs. evil based plot throughout the stories.
When Dracula was published, sexual repression was at its height in England. This was also an age which saw a tremendous rise in prostitution and pornography, both of which were seen as moral corruption. The novel shows the hypocrisy and the consequences of sexual repression. Both men and women could be immoral, but women were treated worse for it. Gentlewomen were supposed to be ladylike and were thought to be inferior to men. In Dracula Lucy writes,"My dear Mina,why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?" Women in Dracula are at the men's beckon as if they were like dogs. Anything the men asked, they did.
For example, Mina’s concern with chastity and virtue causes her to struggle to bury her erotic desires. Wandering through Castle Dracula, Jonathan comes across three vampire women who charm and entice him, and, ashamed, he admits. Jonathan is both attracted to the three voluptuous vampires, but they also repulse him because of their vile, horrible nature. He does not want to give in to his desires because of his loyalty to Mina, but he cannot help his feelings when exposed to and sexually attracted to the appealing features of the sensual vampires. Jonathan is not used to the wanton actions of these vampire women because the chaste women in his every day society do not possess the degree of sexuality that turns him on.
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 figure of the vampire has become inherently familiar in Western culture, experiencing an enduring popularity in literature, film, and television, particularly since the fin de siècle. Though they appear to be human, they are radically Other, an ‘undead’ species which preys on the human for survival. As such, the vampire has come to embody a multiplicity of meanings, to represent various social anxieties. This is indeed the case with the eponymous vampire of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s ‘Carmilla’ (1872), whose monstrosity derives not least from the fact that she female. Similarly, the title characters of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories ‘Berenicë’ (1835) and ‘Ligeia’ (1838), though not actual vampires, are vampiric figures, whose presence ‘preys’ on the mind of their narrators. All three stories, then, can be read in terms of the anxieties surrounding the authority of patriarchal order in the early-mid Victorian period. The female vampire (figure) encroaches on male space, both physically and mentally, and engenders a male instinct to attempt to contain them in various ways. Through a lens of psychoanalysis, this essay will consider the possible reasons behind these attempts, the processes by which they are enacted, and ultimately, will question whether or not these aims are successful.
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.
acts as a seducer and corrupter of virtuous women, whose transgression of moral conventions inspires horror within the righteous Aubrey. Especially the act of biting as a form of penetration of the victim links vampirim closely and so obviously to sexuality, than showing it on screen was still considered a great risk in the early Dracula movies of the mid-nineteenth century (Beresford). Finally, Coppola's movie Bram Stoker's Dracula (1993) went one step further, showing explicit sexual interaction between Dracula and his victims, rendering the sexual metaphoric quality of vampirism superfluous. This does not mean vampirism lost its ability to portray sexuality, but in Twilight they are not equivalent. On the one hand, Bella is attracted to Edward first and foremost due to his vampiric qualities, and as
This novel can be classified as an erotic novel as it intends to stimulate readers sexually. The technique of feeding of Vampires on human beings, Claudia’s relationship with Louis and
Prior to the creation of the literary classic “Dracula”, Bram Stoker spent his time managing the Lyceum Theatre and legendary actor Henry Irving. According to Jennifer Dorn, when the novel was first published in 1897, critics regarded it as a “pulp fiction potboiler” (Dorn). The novels declaration as a literary masterpiece came many years later. A graduate of Trinity college, Stoker came from a middle class Irish family, the son of a civil servant. The publication “The Literary World of Bram Stoker,” by Jennifer Dorn, declares that Stokers vision of the setting of London’s Victorian upper-class society, derived from his station in the acclaimed Lyceum Theatre and from his memories of summer travels to the
In comparison to modern perversions of the vampire genre, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was slower in progression, yet deeper in meaning. In modern interpretations of the genre, such as Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and The Originals, which are all stories I enjoyed, the plot progresses quickly and vampires are portrayed as redeemable. Contrasting these stories, Dracula progresses sluggishly with Stoker giving “too much information” throughout the entire novel. Moreover, Count Dracula is seen as an irredeemable, soulless monster. Since I was accustomed to modern perversions of the genre, Dracula was extremely dull. At various points in the story, I expected stronger plot development or suspense but the story lacked both. The climax of the plot is reached when the story is nearly over, when the main characters decide to hunt down Count Dracula. Due to the late climax, I was constantly expecting the story to climax throughout my reading, yet it seemed like it would never come. Holistically, the story lacked cohesion as the vast imagery and explanations of the character’s internal thoughts contributed nothing to the plot.