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Gender Expectations Within Society By Swartz Levine

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Gender expectations in society were not only limited to marriage guidelines, but went as far as to outline what a woman should wear and say. The proper Victorian woman was supposed to always be suitably dressed. This means that she should wear a dress that covered everything down to her ankles. It was even scandalous if a woman were to show her feet in public. A proper woman should also always be conservative with her speech and hide her sexuality. If a woman were to speak about or show her sexuality, she would automatically be seen as ‘loose’ and be looked down upon. Swartz-Levine describes how ‘loose women’ were seen when she explains: “…an Imprudent woman is looked on as a kind of Monster; a thing diverted and distorted from its proper…show more content…
However, she holds back as she knows that society would not approve of these thoughts. Nevertheless, Lucy still expresses outlandish ideas that are viewed as highly ignominious. Furthermore, Lucy actually takes action on these thoughts. Due to the continuous vampire bites from Dracula, Lucy receives blood transfusions from John Seward, Van Helsing, and Arthur Holmwood. It is a common analysis that in the novel, a vampire bite and blood transfusions both symbolize sexual intercourse due to the exchange of bodily fluids. For example, after Lucy dies, Arthur tells the other men: “Then this so sweet maid is a polyandrist, and me, with my poor wife dead to me, but alive by Church 's law, though no wits, all gone—even I, who am faithful husband to this now-no-wife, am bigamist”(188). Accordingly, Arthur believes that he and Lucy are connected, as in marriage, due to sharing blood. Of course, he does not know that the other men have also shared blood with Lucy. This is demonstrated when John Seward explains: “None of us said a word of the other operations, and none of us ever shall” (186). If the men feel like they need to hide the operations, this insinuates that the blood transfusions may have been more than just an “operation”. Based off of this information, it would mean that Lucy has had sex with almost every man in the novel. Although throughout the novel, it does not seem like Lucy intentionally means to be wild, she perpetually acts like the new scandalous
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