Gender Roles of the Victorian Era in “Dracula”

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Dracula makes an effort to portray what the role of sexuality and gender had in the Victorian Era. It does a good job of making the novel more realistic and adding a different aspect to it. Women were very naive and were not allowed to show affection towards men or do anything that would show them as impure. They had to be chaste until marriage and the Victorian era was a very strict time for women, which is shown in the novel, Dracula. Bram Stokers writing makes it so both men and women are sexually repressed.

Jonathan Harker is the first character we encounter that is introduced to sex. Draculas three daughters act completely opposite of every other women in the Victorian era. They are able to act on their sexual desires whenever they please and they are extremely erotic women, especially for the times they are in. The sexuality of the female vampires is shown in the scene, The fair girl went on her knees, and bent over me, fairly 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 animal, till I could see in the moonlight the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth (Stoker 3.32). Jonathan is not used to handling sexual desires from woman so while this is happening he has to close his eyes. He also closes his eyes because deep down he knows he wants the female vampires to please him sexually, but he knows that isnt right and it makes him feel guilty. The ability of the female vampires to portray sexual openness is something that Jonathan is very conflicted with because while he likes it, he also finds it to be distasteful and sleazy. He refers to Draculas daughters as monsters because he has never seen anything like them before. Jonathan also experiences the theme of gender as he is trapped in Draculas mansion. Just as anyone would, he starts to go crazy and breakdown crying but it was not normal for men to show emotions like that in this era.

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