Dracula criticises the conservative nature of the social situation in the Victorian era, as well as the unrefined, superstitious nature of the pre-enlightenment era. An example of this juxtaposition is found in the character of Dr. Van Helsing. Van Helsing’s character juxtaposes the scientific man of the enlightenment era with the superstitious vampire hunter: “We went into the room, taking the [garlic] with us [to keep vampires away]. The Professor’s actions were
FEMALE SEXUAL REPRESSION IN DRACULA Women in Bram Stoker’s Dracula are primarily presented in two ways: There is the sexual being created solely with the aid Dracula’s vampire influence, and the device manipulated and virtually exploited by the men throughout the novel to contribute to the fight between Dracula and Van Helsing and his companions. This battle is not only the literal battle between Dracula and the men, but it is primarily a battle for the empowerment of women, both sexually and intellectually a fight against the constricting social boundaries which forced men and women into their respective roles. Dracula’s bite enables women to become sexual penetrators. Using their sharp teeth to penetrate men, the reverse the traditional gender roles and placemen in the passive position customarily reserved for women. The instance when Mina drinks from Dracula’s breast is the strongest example of this; where the reader to this point is accustomed to Dracula doing the “biting”, and suddenly Mina has the power to penetrate a male.
2 Feb. 2009 <http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/2008/11/21/2008-11-21_on_the_eve_of_twilight_why_women_find_va.html>. There are four top reasons why women find vampires sexy. Joanne Detore-Nakamura, a professor of a literary film and monster class at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, says, “The vampire represents the quintessential bad boy.” She also says that people are drawn to things they fear, like roller coasters and scary movies. There is a type of thrill
‘The role of female vampires in the novel is to warn of the dangers of female sexuality’ consider the presentation of the female vampires in Dracula in the light of this comment Many may argue that the novel Dracula highlights the suppression and belittlement of women during the 19th Century. In Victorian England, women’s sexual behaviour was dictated by society’s rigid expectations. A Victorian woman was either a virgin or else she was a wife and mother. If she was neither of these, she was considered a whore, and thus of no consequence to society This idea is reinforced by Stoker with the contrast of the ‘brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips,’ the virginal white is contrasted with the hellish red of their lips shows the battle the women went through suppressing and hiding their sexual desires. Stoker’s choose of women as the temptresses may be a warning to the women of the Victorian era to beware about pushing the boundaries of their sexuality.
The film contains strong sexual content, but according to Pirie (2008) does more than parade nudity, rather the film, with its strong rain soaked vegetation, employs a vivid natureous scene, along with, the violent sexual nature of the vampires. The film, was later re-released as Daughters of Dracula, and many similarities can be drawn with the film, Dracula, in terms of its theme and in terms of its props, such as, according to Pirie (2008) the castle like house and the elegant goblets of wine. Within this film, one of the female vampires becomes so obsessed with her partner that she cannot keep her hands off him, aware that with every bite she takes; he becomes weaker and weaker, thus demonstrating the violent sexual nature of the vampire. Indeed, in one scene, another vampire girl is seen literally prising the lifeless figure of her partner from the arms of another vampire, who has drained his body of all
Filled with theatrical themes, dramatic irony and symbolism, Dracula acts as much more than a vampire novel. Bram Stoker writes of an assembly of people who have to contract a way to save themselves and others by putting their lives in danger against a resilient vampire. Although society of the time period frowned upon certain behaviors, Stoker managed to get away with writing shocking the social values of a Victorian reader. Through symbolism, Stoker explores female sexual corruption and Christian salvation by contrasting the power of good over evil. Dracula opens with Jonathan Harker, a man who is newly engaged to Mina Murray, traveling to Transylvania on a business trip while telling of his journey through a web of journal entries that last from May to June.
The Victorians referred to homosexuality as "sexual inversion" (Kindron). In fact, many Victorians held the belief that a sexually inverted man was actually a woman trapped in a man's body (Kindron). Homosexuality emerged in the Victorian period much to the dismay of society. In reading Dracula, it is impossible for one to miss the homosexual tendencies that are present. Before diving too far into the homosexual side of Dracula, it is pertinent for one to understand the heterosexual side of the novel as well.
Readers feel uneasy and in terror after reading the novel. That type of book is for people who like gothic reading. Gothic novels focus on mysterious and supernatural and that’s what Victor wanted to create, a human out of parts of dead bodies for scientific experimentation. To show he can create a human. Victor lived in a gothic area, Europe – Switzerland and Germany with old buildings, dungeons, towers, dark laboratories.
The melodramatic events that happen between Dracula, Lucy and Mina can attest to the fact, that the opposite sexes are unequal. Mina and Lucy’s correspondence that was taking place while Jonathan was traveling to Transylvania to work do some work for Dracula; can be perceived as young love of possibly considered naive. What this says to me is that their world view is distorted by their era. These women see England as a safe place and as a seat of power; that England is a safe place. While the rest of the world is poverty stricken countries and they are in British control.
The reason certainly cannot just be because they initiate the feeling of fear; the reason definitely has a deeper meaning than that. Moreover, many people love reading, watching, and talking about vampires because vampires helps generate our inner wants and need that exist within the subconscious mind. To begin the explanation of the underlying desire, it is important to define the meaning of the subconscious. Subconscious in Freudian term is a repository (in human mind) for socially unacceptable ideas, wishes or desires, traumatic memories, and painful emotions put out of mind by the mechanism of psychological repression (Baughman). Since humans are considered to be a socialistic animal, many desires for sex,