Female Characters in Bram Stoker's Dracula Essay

Female Characters in Bram Stoker's Dracula Essay

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Female Characters in Bram Stoker's Dracula

Having studied Bram Stoker's Dracula as part of my GCSE English
Course, I am going to consider the representation of women in the
novel. The three main characters I will study are Mina, Lucy, and the
three female vampires (belonging to Dracula). I am going to consider
the similarities and differences of each character, and how well they
compare to traditional Victorian women. I will support my answers with
quotes and evidence.

During the early twentieth century, the traditional Victorian ideal
would be a lady of leisure. A Victorian woman effectively had only two
options: she was either a virgin- a model of purity and innocence, or
she was to be a wife and produce an heir. If she was neither these,
not only would men not take any interest in her, but also she had no
consequence in society. Women had to run the household and obey their
husbands, not only them, but to treat all men with respect. Moral
behaviour, and a feminine appearance were also aspects of a
traditional Victorian ideal. As well as this, Victorian women were
expected to be obedient and virtuous.

However, in the late 1800?s the Victorian ideal was being challenged,
which better became known as the ?New Woman?. These new women were to
be considered the feminists of the time, they rejected clothing that
restricted their movement, like corsets and petticoats, and others
even took to riding bicycles. All of these matters evolved into being
a threat for the traditional way of Victorian life.

In Bram Stoker?s ?Dracula?, Mina measures up fairly well as a
traditional Victorian woman. She has a good extent of tradition, and
she matches the acquirements well. Mina is beneath veneer of
modernity; ...

... middle of paper ...

...acters fulfil their role well, but sometimes everyone betrays the

Stoker created an image at a first glance that the characters appear
to be cast in typical gender roles, the purpose of this being not to
upset or threaten the reader?s sense of how things should be. He then
creates suspense into the actions of the characters, for example, Mina
turning into some one like Lucy; will she be lost?

Bram Stoker shows us with Mina, that she was able to achieve her own
goals, as well as the typical goals of Victorian women. Mina still
carries on with the tradition as well as maternal instincts, and we
know this from the important information given to us after the novel;
her having a baby. This is therefore showing us that Victorian Women
could do more than that was traditionally common or expected, without
the rebellious, threatening ?New Woman?.

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