The Portrayal of the Feminine in Stoker’s Dracula

Topics: Gender role, Gender, Dracula Pages: 4 (1379 words) Published: February 19, 2012
Discuss the portrayal of the feminine in Stoker’s Dracula

In Dracula, Stoker portrays the typical women: The new woman, the femme fatale and the damsel in distress, all common concepts in gothic literature. There are three predominant female roles within Dracula: Mina Murray, Lucy Westenra and the three vampire brides, all of which possess different attributes and play different roles within the novel. It is apparent that the feminine portrayal within this novel, especially the sexual nature, is an un-doubtable strong, reoccurring theme.

The first proper introduction to women in Dracula is when Harker encounters with the three vampire brides. During this encounter the gender roles are reversed as Harker becomes submissive to the women as they take on the dominating role. Harker, now being submissive is easily overpowered by the women’s seduction and evidently his own desire and temptation. The initial fact that Harker is both aroused yet thoroughly disgusted by these women indicates how his Super-Ego fighting his ID. His ID wants to satisfy his “burning desire that they should kiss me” but this is challenged by his Super-Ego as, as a respectable Victorian man he should be repulsed by them and should be selfless of his wife “lest someday it should meet Mina’s eyes and cause her pain”. In addition to this reverse of gender roles is the preliminary fact that these women are a total of three. Greek mathematician Pythagoras determined that numbers have genders. He stated that even numbers were more feminine, being divisible into two equal parts and passive, leaving odd numbers to be male and active. So taking into consideration Pythagoras’ theory towards numbers and genders, the initial fact that these women are in a group of three shows how they have the male role. In addition, three is a strong mythological and religious number. Demonstrated as: the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the three sirens, the three fates and the holy trinity. It is because of...
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