Bram Stoker's book, Dracula was written through the overdue nineteenth century and is commonly categorised as a horror novel. Further examination however, has taken to light the buried symbols and designs of sexuality that the book supports within it. Due to its female sexual symbolism, the book draws the interest of mainly men, as discovering these female forbidden themes were more of a dream for the coffee lover than certainty. As Dracula was occur the Victorian culture, it is proven to encompass all the values and prejudices of the world, especially with regards to the social gender jobs of men and women. Women were regarded as suppressed and put down socially while men were lifted up and known for the authority and liberty they possessed. Through both main female characters of his book, Mina and Lucy, Stoker reveals both ideal Victorian model of what a female should be, and the opposite of this model illustrating just what a woman shouldn't be; for the next becomes a threat to patriarchal Victorian world and will ends up in ruin.
Mina and Lucy are extremely significant to the novel because they are the only female personas, and narrators, who are depicted in a big amount of detail by Stoker. He juxtaposes Mina and Lucy throughout his book to spell it out and contrast the two different types of women that he presumed existed in the Victorian period: the ideal, innocent, submissive women and the dangerous, rebellious women who want to take risks and break free from the confining top features of world. Although they maintain different views on which of the two categories a female should take her put in place, they both acknowledge the conventional perception that men tend to be more prominent in Victorian world than women: "My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worth them?" (Stoker 96).
Stoker uses Mina to demonstrate his version of what an exemplary Victorian female is like. Vehicle Helsing represents Mina in the novel as "one of God's women, created by His own hand showing us men and other women that there surely is a heaven where we can go into, and this its light can be here on the planet. So true, so special, so noble, so little an egoist" (Stoker 306). Mina can be an intelligent, educated female who uses her attained skills exclusively to better her hubby, Jonathan Harker. Stoker uses Mina's conversation in the novel to point out her determination to her hubby: "I have already been working very difficult lately, because I wish to match Jonathan's studies, and I have already been exercising shorthand very assiduously" (Stoker 86). Although she works fulltime, she tirelessly assumes other commitments such as perfecting her shorthand so that she'd "be beneficial to Jonathan" (Stoker 86). She actually is also seen pondering very highly of men in general and their freedom from women: "a brave man's palm can speak for itself; it generally does not even need a woman's wish to listen to its music" (Stoker 386).
Lucy on the other hand, falls into Stoker's second category of Victorian women. She actually is not seen devoted physically and psychologically to one man together throughout the novel. She is described as a voluptuous, beautiful girl who is approached with three proposals from three different suitors. Lucy complains to Mina asking her: "Why can't they let a girl marry three men, or as much as want her, and save all of this trouble?" (Stoker 96). Although she would do this if she were allowed to, she recognizes that she's uttered words of heresy after declaring them. This demonstrates although such a thought sometimes appears as absolutely promiscuous, immoral, and forbidden in the Victorian culture, it does not stop her from mentally crossing the limitations create by the public conventions of the world.
Lucy is portrayed as somebody who is driven by her erotic openness and flirtatious, attractive nature. Her physical beauty retains the interest of most her suitors and she loves the attention she'd not get otherwise from the men of her modern culture. This, in ways, helps Lucy to equalize herself to the same male gender that is stated to be more advanced than females. Conversely, Mina is shown to be content with her monogamous position in contemporary society and does not wish to work with her womanly sensuality to verify anything. In fact, Mina's sexual wants, if any, remain undiscovered throughout the novel. By presenting Mina in this manner, Stoker provides a stark contrast between your sexuality of Lucy and Mina. Mina's perspective on the subject is left untold to demonstrate that it must not be a woman's concern to think about might be found, and that a Victorian woman's role includes is succumbing to a man's erotic desires and needs.
Lucy's character does not trust this. Because she cannot live out her intimate appetites in the public sphere, she should it in the private through sleepwalking. Inside the point out of sleepwalking, she can unconsciously and quite openly share her thoughts and longings. It really is in this declare that she actually is first bitten by Count up Dracula. As this sequence occurs more regularly, she is made into a vampire and openly expresses her suppressed erotic dreams. This defiles her purity and makes her a "voluptuous wantonness" (Stoker 342). Lucy as a vampire presents most of her built up, yet restrained intimate urges and passions. Her ravenous, insatiable erotic hunger becomes increasingly more obvious all the way through to the killing of her life as a vampire.
Because Mina is not packed with erotic neediness like Lucy, she has a lot less to restrain. She alternatively, uses her energy on being truly a maternal figure to prospects who require it. She feels the necessity to use her natural maternal intuition to raised the men around her. She allows Arthur and Quincey to cry on her shoulder not long after encountering them in the novel just in order that they would have the comfort of any mother:
He stood up and then sat down again, and the tears rained down his cheeks. I felt an infinite pity for him, and opened up my biceps and triceps unthinkingly. Using a sob he laid his head on my shoulder, and cried such as a wearied child, whilst he shook with feeling. We women have something of the mom in us which makes us go above smaller matters when the mother-spirit is invoked; I noticed this big, sorrowing man's mind relaxing on me, as though it were that of the baby that some day may lay on my bosom, and I stroked his locks as though he were my very own child (Stoker 372-373).
Lucy, on the other side, is shown as someone who does not take interest in the maternal characteristics of women and mistreats little children in the novel. "With a careless motion, she flung to the bottom, callous as a devil, the kid that until now she acquired clutched, strenuously to her breasts, growling over it as a puppy growls more than a bone. The kid gave a well-defined cry, and lay down there moaning" (Stoker 343). This demonstrates her craving is more important to her than the maternal quality of looking after a child; she'd rather feed on the child than feed the child itself.
Although both Mina and Lucy are attacked by the Matter, the reasons for the episode differ for both personas. When Matter Dracula threatens Jonathan during his attempt to attack Mina, Mina does the actual Victorian culture would expect in times such as this and sets her husband's life and safeness before hers. Through the final invasion on innocent Mina, Stoker illustrates the fresh desire of men exploiting innocent women and tests their submissiveness. He also shows through this event his belief of how weakened and susceptible women are. Effortlessly, the initial thing Mina does indeed is succumb to the unusual man's behaviour: "I got bewildered, and strangely enough, I did so not need to prevent him" (Stoker 466). However, when she realizes her purity is being defiled, she becomes revolted by the unclean event that has occurred and cries out "Unclean! Unclean!" (Stoker 461). Struggling to change what has happened to her, she uses the incident to help the men who are in search of Count number Dracula. Lucy on the other palm, is attacked and killed for another reason. Men want to see her demolished because they see her beauty and sexual openness as a threat to Victorian population. Stoker uses Lucy to demonstrate that sexually extreme women who use their beauty to get a certain power over men won't go on in the Victorian culture. Rather than being actually ruined, they'll be socially demeaned and out-casted. This sociable abuse is depicted through the staking and getting rid of of Lucy by her own partner, Arthur. He can be used in the passing to bring her back under Victorian cultural order and purity: "There, in the coffin lay no longer the bad Thing that we had so dreaded and grown up to hate that the work of her devastation was yielded as a privilege to the one best entitled to it, but Lucy as we'd seen her in life, with her face of unequalled sweetness and purity" (Stoker 351). This damage of Lucy restores the confidence of the male audience of the novel because they are given back their place of superiority and are still left realizing that they could continue steadily to repress any liberating vitality women try to attain.
Mina's life is spared in the book on her behalf socially correct behaviour throughout the storyplot. She uses her intelligence, her firm skills, and her resourcefulness to service the men and help them locate Count Dracula. Vehicle Helsing explains her intellect as a "trained just like a man's brain", demonstrating the fact that intellect is not something women naturally own (Stoker 551). Mina is also always seen placing men above herself, even if it means giving up her own life: "without a moment's hold off, drive a stake through me and take off my brain, or do whatever else may be wanting to give me relax!"(Stoker 537). She asks her man to take the duty of eliminating her before she becomes a risk to men's lives.
To conclude, Stoker uses Mina and Lucy to confirm his sexist Victorian values about the tasks of men and women in world. The social construct of that time period engaged women being inferior to men in all regions of life, with the exception of child bearing and child upbringing. Their value was only observed in their maternal characteristics and their submissiveness to men. Through Mina's figure, Stoker exhibits the perfect, virtuous, Victorian girl and shows, through her survival, what the advantages of following this model are. He also goes to show what happens to women when they believe that they should be viewed as equals to men. Women who attempt to use their sexuality to realize power and break free from the patriarchal limitations of Victorian world will wrap up ruined, exactly like Lucy.