Geoffrey A. Thomas
May 3, 2011
There has been a social gender order. For example, religiously speaking man has come before woman (Adam and Eve). As time progressed, the rights and opportunities of men and women began to separate. While men were granted the ability to vote and express their sexual freedoms, women received the short end of the stick. This misfortune was very evident during the Victorian Age. Evident so much that I can be identified in the literature of that time. Written in the late 19th century, Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood” both explore the controversy of the times by juxtaposing ideal narrow gender roles that were accepted during the Victorian Age. Also, through this exploration of these texts, one can find that both authors use subtle yet obvious symbols of a heightened sense of sexuality in there literature. Victorian morality can describe values that expose its sexual restraints of women. Victorian women were not allowed to engage in sexual acts freely unless for purposes of procreation. The role of women was to have children and tend to the house in contrast to men, according to the concept of Victorian masculinity. It made no difference whether Victorian women were single or married, they were expected to be fragile and helpless creatures. However in Dracula, women are not portrayed in the fragile manner of which many people think. Although the need for sex was acknowledged, it was only recognized in regard to evolutionary use. Stoker used the vampire as a metaphor and analogy for the Victorian view of sex. “In Dracula, sex with the Count transformed women into seductive sirens and horrific baby killers – the opposite of the Victorian ideal of chaste and nurturing womanhood.” Women of this time period were expected to be pure. In Dracula this ideal woman is represented in both Mina and Lucy. Both are very feminine. Van Helsing describes Mina as “one of God’s women,...
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