Monstrous Hidden Power

The passage I have chosen to close read is almost all of page 45. During one of his nights with the Count, Jonathan finds himself surrounded by three women as he is falling asleep. Immediately, Jonathan goes on to state how beautiful each of the women are. As he continues to describe their beauty and all of the things he wishes they would do to him, it becomes clear to the reader that Jonathan also has other thoughts about the approaching women. For every comment Jonathan makes about his lust for them, he counters it with a thought of how much fear they put in him. Eventually, Jonathan even slowly becomes aware of the monster like qualities that the women posses. However, he continues to desire them.

I believe this is due to the women having a supernatural power over Jonathan. I feel that Jonathan’s true thoughts during the encounter are those of fear and unease, but due to some supernatural ability those warning thoughts are blocked out by those of sexual arousal. This makes sense due to Jonathan’s initial thoughts being sexual but then immediately followed with warnings for himself. This could be Stoker making a reference to the idea that women have power over men through their beauty. This theme was present in Lady Audley’s secret at Lady Audley herself used her beauty to gain a position of power. Seeing as this is a common theme in other stories, I could easily see it present in this one. It could possibly refer to women being able to manipulate men into not noticing their terrifying true intentions. While for Victorians this could be something more realistic such as gaining power through a marriage, in Dracula their intentions are much more monstrous as they desire to kill Jonathan for his blood.

One thought on “Monstrous Hidden Power”

  1. I agree with you! I think that there is a continued emphasis on beauty (particularly women’s) through much of Victorian Literature. It seems almost as if the only way for a woman to gain power is by being beautiful. I also think this idea of control comes into play, because especially with Lady Audley and now these three women (and in some ways Lucy) they have control over the men because of their beauty (almost as if they can’t see past it). This is something that would be interesting to see if beauty and power continue to go hand in hand throughout the rest of the book.

Leave a Reply