The Branding of Women

After Mina is attacked by Dracula, Van Helsing brands her with a holy wafer. This while framed by him trying to do good, shows that it was viewed that unfaithful Victorian women were viewed to need to be marked so all could see that they had transgressed, even if not by their own fault. After she screams “she sank on her knees on the floor in an agony of abasement” (Stoker 316). Here we see how even after being assaulted the rest of society treats the woman almost worse for having such a thing happen. She is branded and is double hurt both by the physical branding and also the “abasement” it is after this that she truly loses herself and says, “I must bear this mark of shame upon my forehead until the Judgement Day” (Stoker 316). The issue for her isn’t even the being part vampire it is “the mark”. Every time she starts feeling better, she sees the mark again and goes back to feeling terrible about herself. Even when she is in the foreign country, she has to keep her hat on, or people treat her like a horrid creature for having been assaulted. The assault by the men of Victorian society on her is almost framed through the book as more traumatic but simultaneously as a good thing by the men in her life. This shows just how badly the Victorian men viewed women who were sexually promiscuous even not by choice.

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