Essay about Gender Roles : Bram Stoker 's Dracula

Essay about Gender Roles : Bram Stoker 's Dracula

Length: 1119 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Throughout the history of literature, gender has played a vital role in shaping characters’ personalities and their respective outlook on their settings. The concept of gender roles in literature is readily on display in Gothic novels, or novels containing elements of the Gothic time period. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a perfect example of a novel containing Gothic elements and undertones -- including strong gender roles. However, Dracula’s gender roles have a bit of a twist to them: some are completely swapped. Male characters in Dracula displaying strong feminine traits and qualities, and a level-headed, goal-oriented female lead contribute to an overall sense of ‘gender swapping’ in Dracula.
Dracula has several characters who do not have clearly defined gender roles despite having a clearly defined gender. Oftentimes these characters even seem to swap gender roles on the fly, depending on which page of the book you’re currently reading. The three most prominent characters in particular are: Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker, and Count Dracula himself. The novel begins by homing in on the main character, Jonathan Harker. Harker is a young, engaged adult male traveling abroad on his own to a remote part of Eastern Europe to meet our primary antagonist and Gothic tyrant -- Count Dracula. The fact that Harker is traveling by himself to uncomfortable and unfamiliar territory immediately places him in the traditional male gender role that his physical gender reflects. One can assume that Harker is independent, motivated, headstrong, intelligent, and most importantly, masculine. However, it quickly becomes clear to the reader that Harker may not be exactly as he appears to be. Harker remains in a masculine gender role up until he embarks upo...


... middle of paper ...


...ina wakes up to find that Lucy is missing one night, she ventures to the churchyard to discover Lucy on a bench, with a figure huddled over her. Instead of acting as you’d expect a Victorian woman to and crying for help or being horrified, Mina confidently “ran on to the entrance of the churchyard”(79). Mina continues in this hybrid role of protector and nurturer of Lucy until later in the novel when she marries Jonathan. Interestingly enough, this is the point when Mina’s transition to a masculine gender role is most obvious. Mina is walking with Jonathan, and Jonathan “was holding me by the arm… I felt it very improper, for you can’t go on for some years teaching… without the pedantry of it biting into yourself a bit”(147). Mina has a very masculine outlook on the situation, while Jonathan is performing a very feminine role of hanging onto his beloved as they walk.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Gender Roles : Bram Stoker 's Dracula

- Throughout the history of literature, gender has played a vital role in shaping characters’ personalities and their respective outlook on their settings. The concept of gender roles in literature is readily on display in Gothic novels, or novels containing elements of the Gothic time period. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a perfect example of a novel containing Gothic elements and undertones -- including strong gender roles. However, Dracula’s gender roles have a bit of a twist to them: some are completely swapped....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Dracula, Mina Harker]

Better Essays
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Dracula by Bram Stoker Essay

- 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....   [tags: Men, Women, Gender Roles, Gothic Novel]

Better Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

Bram Stoker 's Dracul Boundaries Of Acceptable Gendered Behavior And Sexual Roles

- Fiction of each era reflects the insecurities, concerns, and ideals of its generation, and through this genre, authors are able to construct entire universes of their own fantasy. These universes might contain characters that push boundaries for what is socially acceptable, but the authors need not be held accountable for their actions. The same holds true for works of the 19th century, where authors question traditional Victorian notions of the boundaries of acceptable gendered behavior and sexual roles....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Abraham Van Helsing, Dracula]

Better Essays
788 words (2.3 pages)

Gender in Bram Stoker's Dracula Essay

- Gender in Bram Stoker's Dracula During the Victorian Era, women struggled to attain gender equality by challenging the traditional roles that defined them. These women no longer wanted to remain passive and obey the demands of their husbands nor be domestic and the caretakers of their children. They strived to attain the role of a 'New Woman', an intelligent, liberated individual who was able to openly express her ideas (Eltis 452). Whereas some women were successful in attaining this new role, others were still dominated by their male counterparts....   [tags: Bram Stoker Dracula Essays]

Better Essays
2702 words (7.7 pages)

Repressed Sexuality in Bram Stoker's Dracula Essay

- Repressed Sexuality in Bram Stoker's Dracula       Perhaps no work of literature has ever been composed without being a product of its era, mainly because the human being responsible for writing it develops their worldview within a particular era.  Thus, with Bram Stoker's Dracula, though we have a vampire myth novel filled with terror, horror, and evil, the story is a thinly veiled disguise of the repressed sexual mores of the Victorian era.  If we look to critical interpretation and commentary to win support for such a thesis, we find it aplenty "For erotic Dracula certainly is.  'Quasi-pornography' one critic labels it.  Another describes it as a 'kind of incestuous, necrophilious, ora...   [tags: Bram Stoker Dracula Essays]

Better Essays
1412 words (4 pages)

Essay about Representation Of Victorian Ideals Of Bram Stoker 's Dracula

- 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....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Woman, Dracula]

Better Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)

Representation Of Victorian Ideals Of Bram Stoker 's Dracula Essay

- 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....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Dracula, Woman]

Better Essays
1430 words (4.1 pages)

Bram Stoker's Dracula and the Fears of Victorian England Essay

- In periods of cultural insecurity, when there are fears of regression and degeneration, the longing for strict border controls around the definition of gender, as well as race, class, and nationality, becomes especially intense. If the different races can be kept in their places, if the various classes can be held in their proper districts of the city, and if men and women can be fixed in their separate spheres, many hope, apocalypse can be prevented and we can preserve a comforting sense of identity and permanence in the face of that relentless specter of millennial change....   [tags: Dracula Essays]

Better Essays
2747 words (7.8 pages)

Dracula: A Simple Tale of Good vs. Evil Essay

- Batman beats the Joker. Spiderman banishes the Green Goblin. For centuries story tellers have used the basic idea of good beats bad to guide their tales. Stories of blood sucking, human possessions and other tales have been passed down generations and vary between cultures. Among the creators of the famous protagonists is, Bram Stoker, the creator of Dracula. This fictional character was soon to be famous, and modified for years to come into movie characters or even into cereal commercials. But the original will never be forgotten; a story of a group of friends all with the same mission, to destroy Dracula....   [tags: dracula]

Better Essays
1486 words (4.2 pages)

Comparison of Dracula and Bram Stoker's Dracula Essay

- Compare/Contrast Dracula and Bram Stoker's Dracula A noticeable difference in the way movies have changed over the years is evident when comparing and contrasting two films of different eras which belong to the same genre and contain the same subject matter. Two vampire movies, Dracula and Bram Stoker's Dracula, present an interesting example of this type of study. Comparing the 1931 version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, with Frances Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula 1993 version yields some similarities....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Better Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)