Lucy is sus

When it comes to Lucy Westenra, the most obvious thing about her that is mentioned over and over again is her beauty and its influence on other people. In fact, one of the first things that we learn about Lucy is that she is so beautiful that three men proposed to her within one day, resulting in this rather strange passage in the text:
“Why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them?…Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble? But this is heresy, and I must not say it” (Chapter V).
While a first reading suggests that this is due to Lucy not wanting to hurt the masculinity of these men (emphasizing the importance of masculinity in the Victorian era), comparing this to her depiction as a crazed and voluptuous vampire also suggests that Lucy has many desires that cannot be fulfilled. Judging from other characterizations of Lucy in the text (sleepwalking a lot, quick transitions from cheerful to illness almost akin to bipolar disorder), its safe to say that she is of a sensitive nature, although I would reword this as easily influenced. Thinking about this in terms of Dracula’s sinister influence over her lends a lot more plausibility to the interpretation that Lucy has many desires that cannot be fulfilled. What then, shall we make of the fact the Lucy’s death allowed for the intimacy between the men to grow (even more so after they “killed” her again)?
“And now, Arthur my friend, dear lad, am I not forgiven…Forgiven! God bless you that you have given my dear one her soul again, and me peace…We have learned to believe, all of us—is it not so? And since so, do we not see our duty?” (Chapter XVI)
Much like the relationship between Robert and George in Lady Audley’s secret, I think that this fact is not only saying something about Victorian society but is also an important plot point that pushes the story forward. Consider again what was said about Lucy: “The career of this so unhappy dear lady is just begun. Those children whose blood she suck are not yet so much for the worse; but if she lives on, Un-Dead, more and more they lose their blood and by her power over them they come to her; and so she draw their blood with that so wicked mouth” (Chapter XVI). And then what was said about Mina: “I come here full of respect for you, and you have given me hope—hope, not in what I am seeking of, but that there are good women still left to make life happy—good women, whose lives and whose truths may make good lesson for the children that are to be” (Chapter XIV).
What Van Helsing says at the end of chapter XVI insinuate that they still have to rid Dracula from the world so that no one might corrupted by him ever again (note the emphasis on ‘duty’). So then, even if Lucy is completely innocent, the fact that she is so easily influenced by evil forces make her an obstacle to Victorian sensibilities (and in extension masculinity). It also does not help that she was preying on children potentially turning them into vampires and spreading Dracula’s “wickedness” had she been left to live (quite a clear contrast to Van Helsing’s compliments of Mina). It seems that for the Victorians, no matter how beloved and dear an individual might be, they are ultimately expendable for the wellbeing of society.

A drawing I did that I thought was fitting for this topic

8 thoughts on “Lucy is sus”

  1. First off, wow that drawing is amazing?! I love your artstyle. On your opinion of Lucy, I agree. I kind of think of her as a martyr. Her life and death were used to push the narrative forward and help develop the other characters so that nobody else would have to share her fate. She comes across as expendable, especially compared to Mina. Lucy is portrayed as weak and pathetic, which may in part be connected to how she craved male attention while alive. Her seemingly negative attributes damned her, while Mina, the ‘ideal woman’, has the opposite happen. Mina was commended for having a “male brain,” which makes me think that the story views femininity as something negative and inferior.

    1. hehe pls support my art more. On that I would say that Lucy reminds me a lot of characteristics attributed to “weak” people in Vietnamese tradition. Such as being easily influenced “spiritually” or being so pretty they attract others attention that might be negative

  2. I already wrote my 2 blog comments but just wanted to say this drawing is beautiful, and really captures how Stoker portrays Lucy’s “voluptuous wantonness”!

    1. It was such a coincidence too. I was only copying a cool color palette and sketched up some sore of emotive pose. I should post more art on the blog post to clout chase 🙂

  3. First of all, your drawing is incredible, oh my goodness!!! In Lucy’s case, I would have to agree that she is very easily influenced, especially by evil. There are numerous religious references throughout this novel, which is especially important during a time of such uncertainty in religious faith. In this context, Dracula may be interpreted as religious doubt, infecting the minds of others around. Once one is “infected” (or fully convinced) they are now liable to spread this to others, especially to children who are also very easily influenced. This may be why, like you said, once friends and family see this impurity in a loved one, they now have a duty, no matter what, to rid society of them

    1. I honestly feel like this sort of “easily influenced” “mentally weak” kind of characteristics is personalized a lot in many cultures. Especially in my home country too which still has a lot of sexist undertones to this day.

  4. Firstly, what an AMAZING drawing! I agree with that last point you made about people being expendable for the well-being of Victorian society. Specifically, I think women are the most expendable to Victorians. Similar to Lucy, in the poem “A Triad”, the three women represent different fates that result from love. One is overly sexualized, one is unhappy but pure, and the other is longing. It suggests that regardless of the situation it seems that Victorian women never benefit from love and romance. Men do, but women always meet an unsettling or unhappy fate.

    1. In addition, In a similar way that Dracula’s influence reveals Lucy has deeper desires that cannot be filled, the Victorians fail to recognize this about women overall. Rosetti comments on this with “A Triad”, essentially saying that women long for love and pleasure as well. But any kind of love, even if it “looks” good socially, is never fulfilling the desires of women.
      (sorry I pressed post comment before finishing lol)

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