Jonathan’s Conflicting Thoughts

Bram Stoker’s, Dracula, emphasizes sexuality throughout the novel.  One passage that this occurs in is Chapter three on pages 45 and 46 where Jonathan Harker is awoken by three women standing next to him.  The three of them try and seduce him to almost draining his blood, “the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the supersensitive skin of my throat.. ,” (46) until Dracula intrudes and declares that he belongs to him. 

This is the first act in the novel that is close to supernatural where Jonathan is the victim of these vampire women. Jonathan begins to comment on their beauty and his lust for them, yet with each positive description, it is followed with conflicting thoughts, “There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive..” (45).  These conflicting thoughts that Jonathan is having shows that he is afraid of what they could do to him due to the aggression that females can withhold.  However, it seems that this quality both attracts yet frightens him, and he still pursues their attention. I think that Dracula inhibits the idea of beauty, sexuality, and power.  In the victorian literature we have read so far; Lady Audley, My Last Duchess, etc., women seem to have an underlying power over men due to their beauty and sexuality.  Victorians emphasised the importance of women’s beauty in the social aspect with how they had to appear to the public eye   These women definitely have power over Jonathan due to his heightened feeling of fear and the attraction it brings, “There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear, “(46). Thus explaining that he feels uneasy and unsatisfied towards these women, yet he still desires the sexual tension and potential relationships with them. It will be interesting to see how women and sexuality play a role, especially in a more fantasy/horror and gothic novel.

3 thoughts on “Jonathan’s Conflicting Thoughts”

  1. I agree with your points. I feel like femininity and sexuality overall have negative connotations within the novel. If you are a woman, you cannot appear overtly sexual or come across as too interested in men. Women that are more open with their sexuality, such as the female vampires mentioned above, are portrayed as evil and seeking out the destruction of others. It’s like there is a fine line where Victorian women were expected to act feminine, but not too feminine cuz that would be dangerous. Women exert power through their sexuality, and apparently that makes them a danger to society.

  2. I also find it interesting how women are portrayed in this novel, especially Lucy Westenra who is in nearly the same power situation as The Count. In his castle, Dracula hides away three horrid women, which at one point gave their blood to him, although likely unwillingly. On the other hand, when Lucy is sheet white and nearly drained of blood, three men that confessed their love for her earlier in the novel willingly give their blood to her so that she may grow stronger. Lucy has three men unknowingly under her “spell” willing to do anything for her not matter the cost.

  3. I agree with your comments but I think it is fair to say that each novel there are some differences. While all of these novels have there own way of incorporating sexuality. I feel that it can be said that in Lady Audleys Secret the theme of sexuality is a much more present and underlying theme vs in Dracula I think some of the times where we witness a theme of sexuality it is a more underlying way. I think this could have to do with the larger image of how in how Victorian Life is viewed there is a lot of aspects that relate back to sexuality in a very “Low-Key” type of way.

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