dracula

1785 Words8 Pages
Eun-Ah Lee
Professor L. Tromly
ENGL 1200 A01
5 April 2013
The Effect of Supernatural Aspects on the Victorian Society Bram Stoker 's Dracula, presents an interesting perspective on death and illness in the Victorian period. This can be viewed as a creativity on Stoker 's part, or as a form of religious or social commentary on his changing era. There are several flaws presented throughout the novel as the plot unfolds, which are: characters in the novel dismiss the old traditional belief of the supernatural, the constant power struggle between the sexes and the Victorian views on sexuality. The supernatural or metaphysical aspects presented in Dracula reflect the tragic flaws of the patriarchal society during the Victorian Era. One
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This was the era of the confronting 'New Woman ', who strove to be emancipated both politically and sexually, a concept which much of the society at the time found highly seditious and unsettling. Not only is the idea of the 'New Woman ' despised by the society, but the concept of a patriarchal society changing towards modernity poses as a threat to the Victorian men. For example, Lucy is the first victim of Dracula in England who turns into a vampire and the men are shocked at the appearance of what she has changed into: "My own heart grew cold as ice, I could hear the gasp of Arthur as we recognized the features of Lucy Westenra. Lucy Westenra, but yet how changed"(196). Dr. Seward is the speaker of this quote and he is horrified by Lucy 's transformation because the former Lucy had characteristics of an ideal Victorian woman; which is to be frivolous and naïve. However, now she is a woman who is carnal and unspiritual, which is the perceived danger represented by the 'New Woman '. This posed a threat to the upper middle-class heterosexual Protestant male in the society because the 'New Woman ' is thought to be equal to men. In addition to the society moving towards modernism, due to the contagion of an ancient creature, the gender roles are constantly in flux. For instance, a wolf controlled by Dracula kills Lucy, Mina allowed Arthur Holmwood to
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