Are Women Scary!?!?

When one thinks about Dracula their first thought is about vampires and the horror the characters experience as a result. One of the most important factors that emerges, however, is the role of women. Women are given a clear guideline as to what is good and bad when it comes to their sexual expression. Mina and Lucy are, I would say, shown in a positive light and manner as two major female characters of the work. They also show good virtue and reserve when it comes to their sexual expression. That is unlike the demonic women that given Harker a massive dilemma. The dilemma comes from those women playing on a sort of male fantasy. The monstrous creatures, as the reader is aware, are described as “voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal” This is one description that shows both the type of internal conflict one of the main characters must face which comes down to the appealing sexuality as a trap. These devilish women are meant to show that women during this time are expected and should be reserved. Women who are so openly sexual are dangerous to Victorian society and to men themselves. There is also this interesting contrast between Mina and Lucy versus those voluptuous women as polar opposites where one represents a type of Victorian ideal, whereas the others show the exact villainous opposite. This novel may be less about the horror or the gothic and more about the role of women in Victorian society than it may seem. As the story continues the threat of over sexuality, instead of just becoming a vampire victim, to these pristine models of the Victorian woman becomes a further proof of that focus.

5 thoughts on “Are Women Scary!?!?”

  1. It is very interesting to see you pointing out the contrast among the two types of women described in the story. I agree that these images depict accurately women in the Victorian Era and the social norms placed on them. It is also very interesting to see these absolute contrasting images of a woman depicted side by side so intensely to really emphasize the critiques and prejudice Victorian women had to endure. This also got me thinking about Mina’s transition process from being a human to being a vampire. Could this be interpreted as a warning that women who try to break the norm are following the demon and that they will certainly have terrible things happening to them for living against the imposed standard?

  2. I completely agree with your assessment of the portrayal of women in this novel. I would argue though, that there is a distinction shown between Mina who has her one spouse, and Lucy who was courted by three separate gentlemen. I don’t know if this is something you would want to address, but it might be interesting to look into Lucy’s interactions with men correlating to her fate versus Mina’s interactions with men and her fate/wellbeing.

  3. I agree with you that this book portrays the view of women in a scary or dangerous way. I also think the time period this book was written in gives the readers that horror or sensation that they want. It distracts the readers into thinking these women are dressed very horrifically and at night the evilness comes out. I also agree that the women in this book have the sexual expression that reals the readers and the men in the book with one another.

  4. I agree that the portrayal of women in Dracula reflect on what the Victorian expectation for women was. I felt that in the novel, Lucy and Mina were presented as what the ideal Victorian woman was and that the vampire women represented what would happen to a woman if she broke these societal ideals. I also feel that Lucy’s transition to a vampire was used as a sort of warning to women about what could happen to them if they start to stray from what was expected of them.

  5. Gender roles show up constantly throughout the text and it is interesting to also see how the men buck traditional gender roles as they are constantly framed in more feminine ways than might typically be expected. In that scene with the three women in particular, Jonathan is the one being seduced. I wonder if the fear is not just of women skewing their own gender roles, but the fear that if women were allowed to go against what was expected of them, then it might show the more feminine sides of men they would have tried to hide.

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