Key Quotes

1. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips. It is not good to note this down, lest some day it should meet Mina’s eyes and cause her pain; but it is the truth. They whispered together, and then they all three laughed—such a silvery, musical laugh, but as hard as though the sound never could have come through the softness of human lips. It was like the intolerable, tingling sweetness of water-glasses when played on by a cunning hand.

In this passage from Chapter 3, Jonathan Harker is being approached by the vampire women. Jonathan is entranced by their “voluptuousness” and longs to be kissed by the women, but with this attraction is mingled a “deadly fear.” This mixture of anticipation and anxiety embodies the novel’s overall take on female sexual expression, which is in keeping with the repressive Victorian model of gender roles. The “unnatural” vampire women are implicitly contrasted with Mina—who, as a model Victorian woman, never arouses such longing or such fear in Jonathan. The women laugh in the same way that Lucy does later, like the tinkling of water glasses, which is described as an unnatural, inhuman sound. The sound is beautiful but wrong somehow, and its appeal contains an element of repulsion. Like Jonathan, Mina later admits that just before Dracula bites her, she does not want to resist. Part of the folklore surrounding vampirism suggests that seduction of the victim is essential; thus, there is always a tension between desire and fear. In the context of the novel, this implies the contrast between overt sexual expression and the repressed, chaste code of Victorian morality, which is ultimately the code that triumphs. Jonathan and Mina never experience these kinds of feelings for one another, but only conjugal, noble, virtuous feelings.

2. Little girl, your honesty and pluck have made me a friend, and that’s...

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Essays About Dracula