The Sexuality of the Dark and Mysterious Man
Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula is a piece of gothic literature in which Count Dracula inflicts grief and pain upon mortal men by attempting to charm and steal their women, eventually turning them into vampires. Stoker portrays women as unintelligent beings who will follow the Count because of his apparent charm, strength, and stereotypical beauty. The Count is a dark, beautiful, and mysterious man, and this covers up the evil that he has committed and the amount of lives he has taken. In Dracula, Stoker uses gender roles to show the dominance of men and the sexuality within their roles, while showing women as victims of their own rebellion and prey to the men’s beauty. Throughout Dracula, the qualities of men are exemplified and praised, while women are the ones vulnerable to the Counts attacks. Stoker’s reasoning behind creating these females as vulnerable creatures may be that women are seen to be weak and men “are naturally more aggressive” (Ojeda 19), therefore able to prevent Dracula from attacking them. This aggressive and strong nature is what allows men, in a typical 19th century setting, to work in the outside world, while females are restricted to the house. An example of this is whenever Jonathan Harker goes to Transylvania to perform business with the Count, while his fiancé, Mina, stays home with her friend Lucy. In contrast to the current society’s “emasculat[ion]” of men, Stoker shows them to be brave, bold, and brilliant. Stoker’s exemplification of the gender roles hints at male superiority, leading one to see that men are the rising sexual power throughout the novel. In the 19th century, the idea of the “New Women” had come about, and these women “violated conventional expectations about women's sexuality” (Signorotti 620) by speaking out against their rights. Therefore, it can be seen that “Stoker's overriding concern in Dracula is the threat of rampant female sexual desire” (Signorotti 620), and to...
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