Women=Bad

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, there seems to be an on-going theme regarding a women’s sexuality. The first instance of this can be seen when Jonathon wakes up to find three women talking about kissing him and attempting to seduce him. While Jonathon does characterize them as “beautiful” he also calls them “the devils of pit.” Which insinuates that women who are sexual beings and have embraced their sexuality are devilish and unnatural.

Later on in the story, we learn more about Mina and Lucy, the other two main women in the story. Mina and Lucy are both charactered as more “normal” women compared to the three vampires, however their gender also impedes people’s judgments about them. Most notably Is the moment when Mina writes about how peaceful Lucy looks while she is sleeping. She also takes the time to make fun of the New Women, claiming in Chapter 8 that “Some of the New Women writers will someday start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting.” Mina is essentially making fun of the progressive women and insinuating that women need to be docile and needy, especially when it comes to men.

Reading this book at first, the insinuations and highlights may not be obvious. But digging in deeper, the theme and issues within the story are obvious. These two moments are just a few of many genders related issues at play within Dracula. These moments show us that women who are perceived as sexual, who may not be married, however they are comfortable with their own sexuality, are considered devils and from the pits of hell in Victorian culture. This theme also shows that progressive women were considered outsiders in Victorian culture and even other women played into the idea that women need to be docile and follow men.

One thought on “Women=Bad”

  1. To connect this to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, while Stoker sees women as those who should shun sexuality, the appearance of women in Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel is almost nonexistent. There are no prominent women who have dialogue in the novel so far, only men and frame stories about men. The way the two authors see women might reflect two different sentiments in Victorian literature written by men: women should follow strict etiquette even in fictional novels about monsters, or women should not be in the at all.

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