“ ‘Come, Sister. Come to us. Come! Come!’ In fear I turned to my poor Madam Mina, and my heart with gladness leapt like a flame; for oh! The terror in her sweet eyes, the repulsion, the horror, told a story to my heart that was all of hope. God be thanked she was not, yet, of them.” This is the passage where Mina is with Van Helsing and she is ill and the three women are trying to get her to ‘come with them.’
I think that through this interaction Bram Stoker is expressing the fear in the Victorian era of sexually free women. The way Mina’s reaction is described shows the complete fear that was felt that she would become ‘one of them.’ Stoker uses the juxtaposition of her ‘sweet’ eyes and then the words following being ‘repulsion’ and ‘horror’ while describing her looking at the three women to contrast this pure woman, Mina, and the repulsive, horrifying women that are trying to get her to ‘come to the dark side.’ I think that Stoker is playing on the idea in this time that sexual freedom was somehow contagious, and someone could ‘catch’ this terrible ‘disease.’ In this time sex wasn’t seen as anything pleasurable for a woman, the purpose of sex was to get pregnant, and there wasn’t any conversation about anything other than a heterosexual relationship. So, women who were sexually liberated were considered to have something wrong with them, and that thing that made them abnormal could be passed on to others if the pure soul was left unattended. Mina in this scene is vulnerable and continuing to get closer to becoming a vampire and ‘dying’ and Van Helsing is protecting her with multiple holy contraptions to try and save her from these villains. The three women are trying to entice Mina to go, and the reason Mina is saved is because of the holy circle that is protecting her.