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
Are there still connections between Bram Stokers famous novel Dracula and modern day society? In Dracula, Stoker expands on many themes that indeed exist today. Not only does he touch on the most obvious theme, sex. He expands on gender division and good versus evil. Some say since times have changed the themes I introduced have changed as well, leaving connections between then and now irrelevant. However, I feel that although times have changed they still have roots from the time of the novel to now. In this essay I will expand on the themes of this novel while connecting them to modern day society, the critical texts I have chosen and will mention later on in the essay are a good representation of the commonalities between the chill, dark Victorian days in which the era that Dracula was written in and modern day.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is not only a classic story of men and monsters, but a dramatic reactionary work to the perceived threats to Victorian society in nineteenth century England. In modern times there have been many film adaptations of the novel, each developing a unique analysis or criticism of the literary text within the framework of the society and time period in which it was created. The 1972 film Blacula is one of the most culturally specific variations on the story of Dracula, and highlights many of the themes and messages found in Stoker’s original text. Among the primary similarities between the novel and the film is the portrayal of race, sexuality, nationality, and culture, and the characterization in each work speaks to the
Stoker’s novel Dracula, presents the fear of female promiscuity, for which vampirism is a metaphor. Such fear can be related to the time in which Dracula was written, where strict Victorian gender norms and sexual mores stipulated
The notion of separate spheres serves to set up the roles of men and women in Victorian society. Women fulfill the domestic sphere and are seen as submissive and emotionally sensitive individuals. Conversely, men are intelligent, stable, and fulfill all of the work outside of the home. In Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, the Count seems to actually embody the fear of the breakdown of such separate spheres. However, Stoker breaks down these separate spheres and the fear associated with their breakdown through the theme of the “New Woman” intertwined with the actions and behaviors of the characters in the novel.
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
During the Victorian Era, women struggled to attain gender equality by challenging the traditional roles that defined them. These women no longer wanted to remain passive and obey the demands of their husbands nor be domestic and the caretakers of their children. They strived to attain the role of a 'New Woman', an intelligent, liberated individual who was able to openly express her ideas (Eltis 452). Whereas some women were successful in attaining this new role, others were still dominated by their male counterparts. The men felt threatened by the rising power of women and repressed them by not allowing them to work, giving them unnecessary medications, and diagnosing them with hysteria (Gilman
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.
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.
In his Literary Theory: The Basics, H. Bertens classifies stereotypes of women in literature into a number of categories; dangerous seductress, self-sacrificing angel, dissatisfied shrew, and defenseless lamb, completely incapable of self-sufficiency, or self-control, and dependent on male intervention. Bertens concludes that the primary objective of these women – or “constructions” – is to serve a “not-so-hidden purpose: the continued cultural and social domination of males”. One such novel that came under feminist scrutiny for these particular reasons was Bram Stoker’s Dracula, although this perlustration didn’t occur until 70 years after Stoker originally penned his masterpiece. However, during the mid-1960s, the rise of the feminist
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 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
In a particular addition of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, Maurice Hindle had suggested that “sex was the monster Stoker feared most.” This essay will examine the examples of this statement in the Dracula text, focusing on female sexuality. The essay will also briefly look at an article Stoker had written after Dracula which also displays Stoker’s fear.
The gothic vampire classic Dracula, written by Bram Stoker, is one of the most well known novels of the nineteenth century. The story focuses on a vampire named Dracula who travels to England in search of new blood, but who eventually is found out and driven away by a group of newly minted vampire hunters. A major social change that was going on during the late nineteenth century, around the time of that this novel was being written, was the changing roles of women in British society which constituted as the “New Woman” movement and the novel seems to explore and worry about this subject extensively. These women wanted to be freed both politically and sexually, but much of the general population at the time found it unsettling (Dixon,
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.