Sexy Women are Evil

          In reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I have reached the conclusion that through his depiction of the three vampiric women who attempted to suck Jonathon Harker’s blood, Stoker believes that Victorian women having power, especially sexual power over men, is unnatural.  As Jonathon wakes to find three women talking about “kissing” him, he first describes them to be fair and beautiful, but then claims that something about them makes him “uneasy,” and he feels an uncontrollable “longing” and “deadly fear” (Stroker, 45).  The three women have a strong sexual allure that makes Jonathon want to receive their kisses, but this uncharacteristic yearning also terrifies Jonathon.  He has a fiance, and would never wish to be involved with any other woman.  I believe that in writing this scene, Stoker intends to portray women who are seductive as evil beings who can convince perfectly honest men to leave their wives/girlfriends/etc.  To drive home the point that they are evil, he writes the goal of the vampires to be obtaining blood, rather than just having a sexual experience. 

          As one of the women descends upon Jonathon to suck his blood, he notes that she possesses a “deliberate voluptuousness…both thrilling and repulsive,” and she behaves “like an animal” (Stoker 45).  Stoker emphasizes the point that women who exercise sexual power are unseemly when he includes how the vampire’s actions repulse Jonathon.  This quote also hints that not only are seductive women evil, but in Victorian society, a woman who can cause a man’s loyalty to waver is inhuman.  In comparing the lady to an animal and making her a vampire, Stoker insinuates that the only type of woman who could actually influence a man could not possibly be human, because in Victorian society, men have all the authority.  In addition, Stoker seems to believe that Victorian men are loyal and morally sound people, so cheating on their significant other could only be the fault of some unnatural force produced by an inhuman woman, just like how Jonathon appears to be under hypnosis when he has thoughts of kissing the vampires. 

          I believe this inclusion to the book is a result of Stoker’s fear of changing gender roles in the Victorian era.  Women who gain more influence during this time must be witches or vampires, and Stoker worries that men will become adulterous, and innocent, proper Victorian women will get cheated on.  

 

2 thoughts on “Sexy Women are Evil”

  1. Your take on this scene is extremely interesting and I find myself agreeing with the fact that it was unseemly for a pure Victorian girl to express any sort of sexual desire or prowess. I wonder, too, if the women in this scene are depicted as vampires and monsters because they are also foreign or have been touched and associate with Dracula himself. I feel that this might go along with the fear that marrying or having relations with someone outside of one’s own culture could have a terrible impact on the British Empire, harming the good people of society.

  2. I think you did a really great job on delving into the reason why women are portrayed as sensual but also villainous. The idea of a woman being able to be more powerful than a man in the area of manipulation must automatically make them inhuman and evil, because no one is more powerful than Victorian men right?I am not sure if this trope originated in Dracula, but the idea of a seductress villain has appeared in so many more forms of media since then. I wonder if this was the catalyst.

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