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
Lucy Westenra’s sexual appetite is expressed through her medical condition. She was constantly loosing blood because Dracula fed on her in her sleep. Stoker implied while she was sleepwalking, she actually escaped to” enjoy the night’s forbidden pleasures” (71). Victorians believed they should not fuse their blood with those of another race, but Lucy did so with Dracula. She received four blood transfusions. The blood transfusions stand for sexual intercourse “to transfer from full veins of one to the empty veins which pine for him.”(Stoker 141). Hughes explained how “Lucy seemingly demands sperm, but wants blood.”( 141). She received blood transfusions from Arthur Holmwood, John Seward, Abraham Van Helsing and Quincey Morris but Arthur’s transfusion is particularly interesting. Only men gave blood, Nelson explained that a man’s sexual drive was caused by nature and woman’s sexual drive should be focused on pregnancy without pleasure (9).
My experience, or “biography” with gender and gender inequality can be attributed to what C. Wright Mills’s calls “history”, or the social world. According to Mills, our individual lives interact with society to formulate our experiences. This perspective “enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society” (C. Wright Mills 3). As discussed in Module Twelve: Gender, Work, and Family, women and men are placed into two separate spheres; the private sphere and the public sphere. My life experiences relate to the private sphere, which is associated with femininity and domestic work. Society reserves the public sphere for men only, in which they are dominant and “breadwinners”. This is the sphere that I have been conditioned by society to not pursue.
1.T.Hall was singled out because he had both qualities of male and female. Because of this fact, he played the roles of female and male. This made people upset, because there was clear guidelines and social rules that must be in place for both genders. The idea that a female can role-play as a male and gain the same rights of males scared many people.
As a country, we have come a long way to reaching equality between women and males. During the 19 centuries women fought for their right to vote. When talking about gender, there are a lot issues that continue to be present until this day. Women had to fight for equality during the 19 century which lead up women in today’s society to have a voice. Despite of all the improvement close to gender equality, society still expect particular things from females and males.
The Victorian Era women was vastly different than the female we think of nowadays. Women during that time were expected to fulfill more of a domestic and motherly role, one that stayed at home and took care of the house. They were confined within the private sphere of the world while the men toiled away in the public sphere. The ideal Victorian women was described as:
“These scholars note that Victorians often bowed to conformity, concealing their true natures and tastes and pretending to adhere to social norms. Some Victorians passed themselves off as more pious or moral than they really were. But in reality, pornographic literature and prostitution were common phenomena during the late nineteenth century, showing that some Victorians only pretended to lead chaste lives.”(Joyce Moss)
In Arthur’s absence, Lucy unknowingly takes up her old nervous habit of sleep-walking. Late in the night while sleep-walking she makes her way to the church courtyard overlooking the harbor. Here, Lucy is exposed and helpless and Dracula begins to take advantage of her. As Weissman notes, the change in Lucy is almost immediate; throughout the day she appears frail, gloomy and preoccupied, but as night falls, Lucy’s manner changes and she is sultry and aggressive (4). Arthur Holmwood returns to Lucy’s side and with the help of Van Helsing and his group of God-fearing men attempt to save her. Sadly, the men’s efforts are in vain, as Lucy does not contest her transformation and surrenders to Dracula. Lucy’s undead body is buried; however, she flees her coffin nightly to feed on unsuspecting victims. Dr. Seward notes in his diary, “ ‘ The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness’ ” (Diary, 29 September, Continued). Van Helsing and the gang of men descend on Lucy’s burial chamber where they dread the task that is at hand. Nonetheless, Arthur bravely accepts the duty of freeing his beloved’s soul. With the aid of Van Helsing, Arthur drives a stake through Lucy’s heart. The men look on as Lucy’s body quivers and her soul is freed. Lucy’s appearance returns to the soft, beautiful girl of their memory. The men can at last mourn the loss of sweet Lucy, and she may finally rest in peace.
Barr begins her book making the claim, “In some ways, it is an old fashioned insight that gender is about power, but in native worlds, where kinship provided the foundation for every institution of their societies, gender and power were inseparable.” From the beginning, Barr separates herself from other historians who focus on Native-European relationships during the colonial period by placing women and family at the center of the narrative. In doing so, she challenges conventional wisdom that men dominated colonial interactions. Through detailing misinterpretations of the role of women and family in Native cultures she sheds light on how violence and mistrust dominated Native-Spanish relations in the Texas borderlands.
Lucy is the center of attention between the men in this group, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her” (Stoker 69), and because of this she is Dracula’s first target. She opens up more possibilities to Dracula.
Blood spurts from the female vampire’s chest, as her human lover drives the stake further and further into her heart. The scene where Lucy is killed can be interpreted in different ways due to the varying interpretations of blood. One way to interpret blood and vampirism in Bram Stoker’s Dracula is through the psychoanalytical critical lens. In this interpretation, blood symbolizes sexual fluid and vampires are a metaphor for eroticism. The novel was written in Victorian England, which had strict morals regarding female sexuality. In an article, Jesse Battan describes ideals from this time period as “insist[ing] that women 's erotic impulses were shaped by maternal instincts and a social conscience”. Victorian society trained women not to act upon their desires and instead to repress their sexuality. Lucy Westerna, a main female character in the novel, has a sleepwalking habit that reveals her subconscious desires. However, as the novel progresses, her desires are no longer merely subconscious because her sexuality is expressed through her vampirism. This prompts the hunters to try and remedy this issue by murdering her. Bram Stoker conveys that Lucy defies Victorian England standards due to the progression of her character from the typical nineteenth century maiden into a sensual creature.
Dracula succeeds in doing so with Lucy. After Lucy herself becomes a vampire, she requests a kiss from Arthur Holmwood, her fiancée, which turns voluptuous – a word Stoker continually uses throughout. Here Stoker presents the female characters
According to Victorian ideology women were expected to behave with politeness, meekness, delicacy, and gentleness (Wolbrink, 4 Nov. 2011). Essentially a “sweet vocation” was the goal and employment of women in the 1700s (CP 141). Victorian author Jean-Jacques Rousseau often spoke of women’s virtue as a unifying strength, “ [A] woman’s empire is an empire of gentleness, skill, and obligingness; her orders are caresses, her threats are tears” (DiCaprio 250). A brash women would have been seen as an embarrassment to the family.
Lucy is not seen to be the ideal Victorian wife, “why can’t they let a girl marry three men or as many that want her”, due to her low morals and her naivety towards the way a women was expected to act it allowed Dracula to exploit her. Stoker presents Lucy in a way that would be shocking and unacceptable for a Victorian reader. Stoker insinuates that Lucy is fatherless because Stoker only refers to her father once in the book and it is in the past tense, “Lucy’s father, had the same habit he would get up in the night and dress himself”, even if Lucy’s father is alive it is clear that he has had minimal involvement and impact on Lucy’s life. Stoker could be suggesting that Lucy’s lack of a patriarch has meant that she has a desire and craving for one leading her to finding one where ever she could find it. When Dracula is removing blood from Lucy she is described as “half-reclining” Stokers use of this word suggests that Dracula is not forcing her or even restraining her, it implies that she is accepting what is taking place. Stoker goes as far as to imply that Lucy is enjoy the experience, “Her lips were parted… heavy gasps”, this is very sexually suggestive of a post climatic moment. It could be argued that at this moment she is conforming to the hierarchy of society by being submissive due to her possible positive “father complex” (created by Sigmund Feud and Carl Jung), so is therefore acting how a Victorian should by
Despite being under the rule of a female monarch, women faced many inequalities and suffering during the Victorian age. Examples of these inequalities include not having the right to vote, unequal educational and employment opportunities. Women were even denied the legal right to divorce in most cases. As the Norton Anthology states, these debates over women’s rights and their roles came to be known as the “woman question” by the Victorians. This lead to many conflicting struggles, such as the desire by all for women to be educated, yet they are denied the same opportunities afforded to men. While these women faced these difficulties, there was also the notion that women should be domestic and feminine. There was an ideal that women should be submissive and pure because they are naturally different. The industrial revolution introduced women into the labor workforce, but there was still a conflict between the two identities; one of an employed woman, and one of a domestic housewife.
Once infected by Dracula, Lucy becomes sexually overt and aggressive; and is portrayed as a monster and a social outcast. She transforms into the Bloofar Lady ' and feeds on children making her the maternal antithesis as well as a child molester (Jones, p. 87). In order to rectify Lucy 's condition she is sexually overpowered by her fiancee Holmwood; he penetrates her to death with a stake through the chest, a staking which is overtly sexual in interpretation, as "the thing in the coffin writhed; and a hideous, blood-curdling screech came from the opened red lips. The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam.........He looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper" (Stoker p. 241). This sexual innuendo restores the Victorian balance of sexual penetration from the female domain back its accepted station within the male domain. Showalter interprets the killing as a gang rape, done with "impressive phallic instrument" (p. 181). "Those serial transfusions which, while they pretend to serve and protect good women, ' actually enable the otherwise inconceivable interfusion of the blood that is semen