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...
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...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.
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- 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]
1119 words (3.2 pages)
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1241 words (3.5 pages)
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