In Dracula, the incessant conflict between good and evil manifests itself in the form of female sexuality. Mina Harker and Lucy Westenra, being chaste and pure in the eyes of Victorians, represent the good, while the “trinity” of vampire women represent evil.
Mina and Lucy embody values which have been regarded by Victorians as proper for women of society. Both are innocent and—in the beginning, at least—uncorrupted by the apparent evils of the world. Both women are devoted to the men to whom they are bound: Mina “helping to nurse” (Stoker 109) Jonathan back to health, and learning shorthand so as to attend him at work, and Lucy, looking forward to settling “down soberly into [an] old married [woman]” (Stoker 64). Thus, these women are deemed virtuous, or “good” by Victorian standards. They are not a threat to anyone as of yet.
The three vampiric women are a completely different story. All three are “voluptuous,” “coquettish,” and cause a feeling of “longing” and a “burning desire” within Jonathan (Stoker 43). Stoker provides ample imagery to describe their lips, their figures, and the eroticism that they exude. They are threatening—to men, and more specifically to Jonathan. This experience was more sexually thrilling for Jonathan than anything he had experienced with Mina, or ever would in her present chaste state. Jonathan lost his head, and therefore considered the women “evil,” as he had no power over them. Instead, they possessed the power over him.
The balance of good and evil begins to shift as Lucy is corrupted by Dracula. The reader can see her subtle transformation from virtuousness to sinfulness. She becomes more forward with her sexuality, asking Arthur to kiss her in a “soft, voluptuous voice,” which until now, had “never been heard from her lips” (Stoker 172).
The novel seems warn Victorian men to avoid women who are open and comfortable with their sexuality, for fear that–through no fault of their own–she will force them to lose control over themselves. And when men cannot control themselves, they cannot exert power over women.