The Role of Characters in Dracula and Carmilla

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The Role Of Characters
In Dracula and Carmilla

February 16th, 2009
EN-102-69
Professor Kaplan
Essay 1 – Final Draft
Acknowledgements
This paper would not have been possible without the help of many people. Firstly, I would like to thank my classmates for all of their inputs and perspectives, in class discussions, thread discussions and their papers, which helped me gain a complete understanding of the two stories. I would also like to thank my peer edit partners Joey and Michele who provided me with constructive criticism that guided me in writing my final draft. Thank you to Professor Kaplan who guided our class discussions and played the “devil’s advocate” to get me thinking about the opposing side of the argument more thoroughly.
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– to destroy this monster; but it is not part for a woman” (Stoker 250). By doing so they were actually putting her directly in the way of danger. As the men rush in to find Mina one night they are surprised to see Dracula had beat them to her, “With his left hand he held both Mrs. Harker’s hands, keeping them away with her arms at full tension; his right hand gripped her by the back of the neck, forcing her face down on his bosom” (Stoker 300). In response to this passage Mara Model wrote, “I believe that when Stoker read in ‘Carmilla’ the unnecessary need for men, he wanted to prove a point, and see what it would be like if he made the Count have a female quality. If Laura could penetrate like a man, then Dracula could breastfeed like a woman. To me, it was a way to show the ridiculousness of the idea LeFanu wrote about” (3). I completely agree with Mara as I also believe that Dracula is mocking the motherly characteristic that Mina possesses by making her drink his blood from his bosom like a nursing child would drink milk from their mother’s bosom. By having a character mock the idea of the switching of gender roles, Stoker indirectly mocks LaFanu’s Carmilla.
While it is true that Stoker wanted to point out the power and control that men were supposed to have over women, it does not necessarily mean that they were completely successful in doing so. Mara Model concludes that Mina “…was once a strong, independent woman, but after her attack, as
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