Bram Stoker’s Dracula uses blood in different ways. One function being, the feeding of blood by Dracula to represent sexual desire and the exchange of bodily fluids associated with sexual intercourse. In Victorian England at the time of this novel, women’s sexual behavior was dictated by society’s strict expectations. She was either a virgin, the model of purity and innocence, or she was a wife whose job was to bear children.
Lucy was a pure and innocent woman, but Dracula changed that. Dr. Seward describes in his diary how “the sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness” (225). He goes on to say, “…on Lucy’s face we could see that the lips were crimson with fresh blood, and that the stream had trickled over her chin and stained the purity of her lawn death-robe” (225). Lucy is now like Dracula, desiring blood, therefore desiring sex. A death-robe was usually white, which is playing on the idea of purity and the image of marriage. In Victorian England, women almost always wore a white dress on their wedding day since white is a color used to indicate purity. However, once a woman is married she loses her virginity and innocence. That is exactly what Stoker is trying to touch upon. Lucy is not yet officially married, but the blood stains on her white dress infer that she has lost her virginity and her purity is gone. Dracula has penetrated Lucy, taken blood from her and changed her into a blood thirsty vampire/sex desiring woman. This behavior coming from a women was not socially acceptable, so the men want to kill her in order to return her to a purer state, the only state in which women can be respected.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. London: Penguin Group, 2003. Print.