Monsters & Madness

Secret Lives in Victorian Literature

The sisters

The passage I chose establishes a link between the monster and human aspects of mortality with both the vampires and humans perspective being on opposite ends of the spectrum. From sexuality to social norms the length that we know both will go to or have tried to go to in order to obtain their desire and who they will risk differing greatly from not just each other, but from what was acceptable in this time period. I see the Stroker as trying to embrace woman as being able to be the monster just as men were, while also keeping their innocence which is found on the other end of the spectrum.

The vampire sisters seduce Harker and then make an effort to drain his blood while keeping him in a vulnerable situation. “I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck, she actually licked her lips like an animal. . . . Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed about to fasten on my throat. . . . I closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited—waited with beating heart.” (Stoker). The quote can also be seen as a comparison between Mina and Lucy, pure women who are ideal models of the Victorian woman who one would assume wouldn’t be capable or even think of doing such an act to another human. Comparing this to the three sisters who are complete opposites. Woman of the devil who wants nothing more than to ravage and harm a man’s body. The overall control the vampires had on Harker had him in a vulnerable position that would not have been accepting of this time period, the females could be seen as dangerous regardless if they were vampires.


  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog post! There is a very sexual theme that dominates this novel. The three sisters have this captivating way of seducing these men in the same strange way Dracula can. The point you made about Stoker trying to show that women can be equally as monstrous as men is very evident in this novel. I feel that the way women are able to also maintain this display of innocence makes the women almost more threatening . The sisters are truly manipulative and it is interesting to see the comparison from them to characters like Mina and Lucy. Mina and Lucy are the ideal Victorian women who would never act in such sexual ways it makes the novel dangerous read.

  2. I think it’s interesting how you point out that Stoker’s trying to prove that women can be just as villainous as men. I realized while reading your post that all the people affected by Dracula where women and I think Stoker through this is trying to show the weakness of women in the face of sexuality. It is seen at Harker escapes the seduction of the Sisters showing that he is stronger in control his desires then Mina and Lucy. Society then and even still now tends to blame women no matter the context in sexual situations. Stoker is perpetuating the idea that women are weak, guilty, and the culprits of these sinful sexual deeds.

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