Dracula: A Breaker Of Sexuality and Gender Roles In the Victorian-era

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For centuries, monsters have been used to portray many bad qualities, personalities, and versions of humans. Monsters are used to help us cope with our fears and worst nightmares in society. According to Patricia Donovan, who wrote an article titled Monster Culture, fear of monsters has brought many communities and cultures together in the past (1). Many monsters are created to teach society a lesson in a way that they will pay attention, fear. When it comes to the infamous Dracula, he can represent many societal problems. Such as, sex, sexuality, sexual liberation, and gender roles. Dracula disrupts gender roles by sometimes taking the role of a motherly figure to other vampires. Which is different than the Victorian societal normalities. Dracula also challenges sexuality, by having totally different standards compared to the Victorian-era expectations.

Bram Stoker’s infamous novel, Dracula is what brought Dracula into the limelight. The gothic horror novel was released in 1897, and it introduced Count Dracula. The novel tells the story of Dracula’s journey to move from Transylvania to England, so he can find new blood and spread the vampiric curse. Upon the release, Dracula wasn’t an immediate success. The gothic novel had a lot of mixed reactions, due to the vulgarity and the sexual themes throughout the novel. As many decades passed, the novel started to get praised for the literary themes and concepts. Modern day readers appreciated and understood the importance of the novel, whereas Victorian-era readers seen the novel as a good adventure book.

Sexuality has always been a prevalent part of society. It’s been a recent hot topic and there’s a lot of controversy that surrounds a person’s sexuality. Not that there should be, but the world has many different views on sexuality. Whether it’s stereotypes or assumptions, someone’s sexuality will always be questioned, even a terrifying monster known as Dracula. This all stems from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, that sparked the questioning of Dracula’s sexuality. Sexuality in Dracula is pretty complicated, ultimately pointing out the sexual repression of men and women during the Victorian-era. Women during the Victorian-era were expected to be pure until marriage and not show any sexualbehavior that was considered promiscuous.

In Dracula, Bram Stoker writes characters that come face to face with sexuality. Sexual repression is at the core of this theme. Both men and women are sexually repressed. As witnessed by Jonathan Harker’s thoughts and actions during his jail time at Dracula’s castle. His sexual repression is best described in the following quote: I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck, she actually licked her lips like an animalI closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited–waited with beating heart.(Stoker. Chapter 3, page 8).

To add onto the previous point abow, Jonathan Harker is about to be bitten by Dracula’s three daughters.

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