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.
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
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. Stoker’s use of structuring emphasizes a women’s role in society at the time, this is the first women that Harker meets in the novel and they are devilish vampires, this implies that the novel appeals to an only male audience and their fantasy of women giving in to their temptations. Harker is simultaneously confronting a vampire and another creature equally terrifying to Victorian England, an unabashedly sexual woman, the evidence for this comes from the implied act of oral sex, ‘The fair girl went on her knees, bent over me, fairly gloating.’ Contextually the fact that Harker becomes the ‘submissive’ and is easily overpowered by their seduction and his own temptation shows the role reversal as women take on the dominating role that a traditional Victorian man is supposed to possess. The fact that Harker is both aroused and disgusted by the Vampires shows the Freudian
Dracula stands for Satan, and that stands for whatever is evil and bad. He hates goodness and tries to perpetuate evil while at the same time keeping an almost charming since about himself. However despite the vampires charm and strangely enticing appearances their wickedness could not be hidden from the band of men. Even beautiful Lucy, when she becomes a vampire, is hated by this band of men, despite the fact they were in love with her before. This is clearly a battle between the two most significant supernatural beings in the Christian Faith.
“A bit about taking a bite out of Dracula” In the classic novel about Dracula, there are distinct differences between men and women and their roles in society. In this late Victorian-era, these distinctions are a commonplace idea. In this society it is dominated by males, who are seen as the providers and the women are the caretakers of home and hearth. The marked differences between men and women in this era are significant to this story. The melodramatic events that happen between Dracula, Lucy and Mina can attest to the fact, that the opposite sexes are unequal.
One can see that as a wife, servant, or employee, the female was subject to the authority of the male. This included sexual authority. These established conceptions are prominent in the novel Dracula. The late part of the Victorian period gave way to something even more taboo than regular sexuality. The Victorians referred to homosexuality as "sexual inversion" (Kindron).
Since Lucy had such a large interest in men, she succumbed to Dracula because he was just another gentleman to please her. This shows that Lucy changes her allegiance to men constantly and cannot stay in a committed relationship. Lucy does not even seem to be bothered by Dracula sucking her blood and slowly draining the life out of her. She says, "Dr. Van Helsing had told me [not to remove the garlic], but I would have some of servants to sit up with me now" (175). Lucy acknowledges that she needs to wear the garlic at all times to keep her safe, but it does not seem to dismay her when they fall off.
Analyzing the gender roles of ‘Beauty’ and ‘Beast’ in Madame de Beaumont’s fairytale entitled “Beauty and the Beast” illustrates why I view women as the civilizing agent in their relationship with men. Madame de Beaumont, through her story “Beauty and the Beast,” showed her view of sexism and the typical gender role of both males and females at that time. She used ‘Beauty’ to describe ideal women while she used her sisters to show the cynicism in women. On the other hand, she used ‘Beast’ alone to show two personalities that men may have had. As seen in the plot, one may observe subservience in ‘Beauty’, dominance in ‘Beast’, and arrogance in Beauty’s sisters.
Whilst both Dracula and Twilight explore similar themes they are expressed in different ways to represent different insecurities in society. For example in each text we see the classic universal battle of good versus evil however in Dracula this battle has been used to express societies fears for the loss of Christian values. In Twilight a key theme involves acceptance of others, which represents societies insecurities about the lack of acceptance for others within our modern society. The concept of the new woman used in Dracula demonstrates the 19th century role of women within society, this is then contrasted by the role of women in twilight, allowing the responder to see how differing themes in each of these gothic texts demonstrate the context of the society during the era in which they were composed. As these themes mirror the insecurities and fears of society as Dracula reflects the 19th Century society and Twilight represents a 21st Century society.
Web. 5 Dec. 2014. In the article of criticism “Macbeth,” Mary Ives Thompson and Francesco Aristide Ancona analyze how Macbeth and Lady Macbeth change dramatically from the beginning of the play to the end. Both the critics believe that such change happens due to the fact that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have motive to break out of their strict roles given to them by society. They write that Macbeth emerges as a man who is “completely confident in his grab for power.” Lady Macbeth, the one who told Macbeth to simply wash the blood off of his hands, ends up roaming around in her sleep through “the castle corridors at night bemoaning her unclean hands following the murder of Duncan and his guards.” At first, Macbeth was a kind man, but he became “completely remorseless in his bid for the crown.” And Lady Macbeth was fixed upon power and prayed that spirits would help her by getting rid of her feminine aspects.