Dracula: Women Who Step Out of Their Victorian Role and Are in Turn Punished for Their Actions

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The Victorian ideology of women is centered on the oppression of females and the idea that a woman’s sole purpose and duty in life is to be obedient and compliant to her husband. It was believed that “New Women” who stepped out of the ideal Victorian role were whores, unfit mothers and brides, and would ultimately cause chaos. In Bram Stoker’s, Dracula, Lucy and the three seductive vampires serve as women who step out of their Victorian role and are in turn punished for their actions.

From the beginning of the novel, Lucy had already started to secretly think and step away from the boundaries set for Victorian women. In a private letter to Mina, Lucy wrote “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all the trouble? But this is heresy and I must not say it” (Stoker 60). By admitting that her ideal fantasy was inappropriate to acknowledge publicly, Lucy knowingly realizes that she is crossing the boundaries set for her. One consequence for her continually stepping out of the Victorian role is her bite from Dracula. Once Dracula turns her into a vampire, Lucy is unleashed from her Victorian laces causing her sexual desires to erupt, and she is portrayed as an untamable pedophile. Stoker emphasizes immoral behavior through his portrayal of vampire-Lucy when describing her in the act of preying on innocent children and how “with a careless motion, she [flings] to the ground, … the child that up to now she had clutched strenuously to her breast, growling over it as a dog growls over a bone. The child [gives] a sharp cry, and [lays] there moaning” (Stoker 211-212). With these details, Stoker illustrates how the “New Woman” would serve as an unfit mother and as well as a profane wife. She is described as wild and animalistic; the fact that Lucy assaults multiple children discredits her even more as she is the one to seduce the children and want them coming back for more to play with the “bloofer lady.” To correct and moralize Lucy,...
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