The concepts of “New Woman” and “True Woman” are major parts of the novel. “True Woman” is a concept usually associated with Victorian England, but generally women who are religious, pure, submissive, and domestic (Brashears). Mina is the best portrayal of this idea. For example, her husband, Jonathan Harker’s interaction with her expresses the submissiveness as a “True Woman.” When Professor Van Helsing asks who is willing to join the mission to kill Dracula, Jonathan says, “I answer for Mina and myself” which puts Mina under the authority of her husband (Stoker 256). On the other hand, “New Woman,” was basically opposite, by being outside the home, working, involved in society and free (Brashears). Although for the most part, Mina follows the idea of the “True Woman,” she does not when she assists her husband to have (in reference to the letters and journals) “type ...
Throughout the Victorian Era, society's extremely rigid social and religious expectations often dictated citizens' behavior, especially that of women. In the male dominanted society, women were expected to be maternal and sexually pure, succumbing to the so called “upper hand” of their stronger, superior husbands, and anything divergent of this image was inadmissible. Any form of female sexual expression was so condemned that it was hinged upon the moral battle between good and evil. Sexuality was considered a gender deviation—an act of straying from society's stereotypical views of masculinity or femininity—and was deemed unacceptable. In the beginning of the novel, Dracula, Mina and Lucy are the embodiment of this ideal Victorian woman. Mina is practical and intelligent, and her major goal in life is to be a useful wife to her husband, Jonathon Harker. All the while, Lucy's physical beauty thwarts her purity, fortifying her curiosity as sexual being that ultimately leads to her demise. Female sexual expression exemplified through the contagion of Mina, Lucy, and the Weird Sisters in Stoker's Dracula was a threat capable of overpowering the already established male dominated Victorian society, and like any other gender deviations that stray from the norms and disrupt social structure, it was associated as an evil that needed to be vanquished.
...females, and Mina, who is good only because of her masculine mind, Stoker uses a strict and dominantly patriarchal paradigm where men have freedom to be feminine, but women have freedom only in their masculinity to argue against Le Fanu. Stoker’s argument denies the possibility of the matriarchal paradigm in which women have more power that is suggested in “Carmilla” in order to maintain a male dominant paradigm not only in literature, but in the society of the time.
...battle to life. In the novel, on the other hand, Stoker makes sure that his female character triumphs (by surviving) and that she returns home to “become a dutiful wife and caring mother”. This is where we could argue that “Stoker is much ahead of his times in portraying a ‘New Woman surpassing even the best male ‘professionals’ in terms of intellectual labor, a ‘gallant’ woman wit a remarkable ‘man-brain’ who helps save the empire, even though her power abruptly dimishes toward the end of the novel, and she is finally summoned home to become a traditional mother figure” (Kwan-Wai Yu 158). Although Stoker was very accurate in the new scientific and technological advances that he incorporated into Dracula, he was also very accurate in portraying a strong willful woman who is able to complete a job that was unwittingly given to her in the most extraordinarily manner.
Throughout the Victorian era, a woman’s sole purpose was to marry, produce children, keep the house clean and have dinner on the table by the time their husband returned from work. They were restricted to working tedious jobs at minimum wage until they were married and were not allowed to receive a real education. Once married, a woman was expected to become a fulltime mother and house wife tending to the needs in the home on command. All these lovely skills were that of the traditional Victorian women. They were pressured to express their femininity through their dainty attire, gentle mothering, social order and expressing the manners and obedience that was expected of them. All in all it was required that they be as little of an individual as possible. With the rising of the ‘New Woman’, not only did it challenge the traditional traits of the suppressed Victorian female, but it gave power to women in a male dominant society to become what ever she wanted. Throughout Bram Stokers classic novel ‘Dracula’, we can see the prime and accepted theme of the traditional Victorian women as it battles with the new and rising theme of the ‘New Woman.’ Mina Harker (Murray), Lucy Westendra and the death of Count Dracula all aid the theme of the ‘New Women’ in their own way yet are all brought to their conclusive demise.
During the Victorian Era women were expected to be either a mother and a wife, or a pure, innocent girl. Any other deviation from the set path resulted in punishment, both physically and socially. Deviation can vary as women being over sexual to resembling men in their actions. Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, is no exception in its representation of Victorian ideals. For his purposes, Stoker uses symbolism, tone, and diction throughout to convey the standard Victorian British perception of themselves. Through this conveyed standard to express his belief that gender roles are essential and relevant to Victorian society and that there are consequences if strayed from.
The idea of Victorian womanhood is extremely sacred, especially to a woman like Mina, who primarily wishes to be of use to her husband. Dracula’s penetrating the West and his actions are threats to female purity, and so they are threats to Victorian culture and order of England (Western world). Dracula is penetrating the entire nature of Vi...
As the saying goes, “Women can do everything Men can do.” In the Gothic Novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, there is a constant theme of sexuality, from both male and females in society. In the Victorian era, the roles of male and females have caused a lot of tension. After reading Dracula, some would argue the roles men and women hold in society. As mentioned in Dr. Seward’s Dairy from Val Halsing., “Ah, that wonderful Madam Mina! She has man’s brain—a brain that a man should have were he much gifted—and a woman’s heart. The good God fashioned her for a purpose, believe me, when He made that so good combination” (Stoker and Hindle, 2003 250). A women’s mind is not the always the first thing on a males mind. Some would overlook what a woman really has to offer.
“Dracula, in one aspect, is a novel about the types of Victorian women and the representation of them in Victorian English society” (Humphrey). Through Mina, Lucy and the daughters of Dracula, Stoker symbolizes three different types of woman: the pure, the tempted and the impure. “Although Mina and Lucy possess similar qualities there is striking difference between the two” (Humphrey). Mina is the ideal 19th century Victorian woman; she is chaste, loyal and intelligent. On the other hand, Lucy’s ideal Victorian characteristics began to fade as she transformed from human to vampire and eventually those characteristics disappeared altogether. Lucy no longer embodied the Victorian woman and instead, “the swe...
In Dracula, Bram Stoker portrays a clear battle between the “traditional woman” of the time and the “new woman.”. Stoker uses the contrasting characters of Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray to depict this evolution in women and, also, to paint an image of the reaction to this advance, expressed by both men and women.