Dracula by Bram stoker is a novel that is often associated with the theme of horror and good vs evil but with further reading into the text we discover the theme of gender roles and how women were supposed to act during that time period. Dracula was written in the later part of the nineteenth century which was known as the Victorian era. During the Victorian era, women were seen as virgin and pure but during the course of the reading, we are introduced to a different side of women and throughout the novel were refer to as New woman. During the Victorian era women was thought of as caring and kind. The author uses two main female characters in the novel to show how women in the Victorian era were expected to act but also how the idea of becoming a new woman is going against everything of that time period.
Mina and Lucy are the two main character in the novel and mina is a representation of the Victorian culture and Lucy is of the era of becoming a New Woman.Mina said to Lucy We women have something of the mother in us that makes us rise above smaller matters when the mother-spirit is invoked. (chpt 17. Pg59). At that point she was referring to the nurturing feeling that all women in the culture were to have. This nurturing side of her is also shown when Jonathon came back from his trip and he was in the hospital and she was by his side till he got better. Also, when Lucky would sleep walk and Mina would take care of her not because she had to but because that feeling of taking care of the people you love is a part of who she is.
The Victorian women were normally passive toward there significate other which is the caring side of them, Lucy once wrote a letter to Mina expressing to her, that women were to tell everything they know to their husband making them loyal. Although, women of the Victorian era were view as pure and not sexual. However, Lucy had all the characteristics of a woman of that time period but she was also developing the traits of what they called a New Woman, she was starting to questioning tradition. Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble? (Chpt 5. Pg. 11). Lucys curiosity is coming to live and her need to woman more than one men is a behavior that we generally see in men and their need to have more than one girlfriends. At this point gender roles are being question by the women and they are not becoming more like men but they are taking on an identity for themselves, showing that whatever a man can do, they can do it too.
The tradition role of a woman was not described in the reading but from the way that Mina and Lucy talked about it in their writing, we can conclude that the role of a woman was to stay home and make the home look nice. Mina was more of a Victorian woman than Lucy but she too was becoming a New Woman, throughout the book it seems that men were more intelligent than woman but in the case of Mina, she was more on the progression side of things. She learns to do the work of a secretarial to help her husband with his business but jobs like that were usually, jobs that were taking by men because women were to stay home and care for the family. Dr. Seward once told Mina that her brain was a gift and a man would be lucky to have but she was also told to have a brain of a man and a heart of woman. She and Lucy can be seen in the novel to be the progressive side of the Victorian era and breaking down the gender roles that is set, through the was they interacted with the men or their curiosity to learn things and improve their lives.
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