Roles Of Mina And Lucy In Dracula English Literature Essay

Bram Stoker's book, Dracula was written through the late nineteenth hundred years and is often classified as a horror book. Further evaluation however, has taken to light the buried symbols and styles of sexuality that the novel contains within it. Because of its female intimate symbolism, the novel draws the interest of typically men, as checking out these feminine forbidden themes were more of a fantasy to them than actuality. As Dracula was set in the Victorian culture, it is proven to encompass all the beliefs and prejudices of the world, especially with regards to the social gender assignments of women and men. Women were regarded as suppressed and deposit socially while men were lifted up and known for the specialist and liberty they possessed. Through the two main female individuals of his novel, Mina and Lucy, Stoker presents both ideal Victorian style of what a female should be, and the opposite of the model illustrating just what a woman should not be; for the second becomes a threat to patriarchal Victorian modern culture and will ends up in ruin.

Mina and Lucy are extremely significant to the book as they are the only feminine individuals, and narrators, who are depicted in a sizable amount of detail by Stoker. He juxtaposes Mina and Lucy throughout his book to describe and contrast both different types of women that he believed existed in the Victorian era: the perfect, innocent, submissive women and the dangerous, rebellious women who wish to take hazards and liberate from the confining features of contemporary society. Although they hold different views which of the two categories a woman should take her devote, they both acknowledge the conventional idea that men tend to be prominent in Victorian contemporary society than women: "My dear Mina, why are men so noble whenever we women are so little worthy of them?" (Stoker 96).

Stoker uses Mina to demonstrate his version of what an exemplary Victorian girl is like. Van Helsing describes Mina in the book as "one of God's women, fashioned by His own palm to show us men and other women that there surely is a heaven where we can go into, and that its light can be here on earth. So true, so special, so noble, so little an egoist" (Stoker 306). Mina is an intelligent, educated girl who uses her attained skills entirely to raised her hubby, Jonathan Harker. Stoker uses Mina's conversation in the book to stress her commitment to her man: "I have already been working very hard lately, because I want to match Jonathan's studies, and I have been rehearsing shorthand very assiduously" (Stoker 86). Although she works fulltime, she tirelessly takes on other commitments such as perfecting her shorthand so that she'd "be beneficial to Jonathan" (Stoker 86). She is also seen thinking very highly of men generally and their self-reliance from women: "a daring man's hands can speak for itself; it does not even desire a woman's want to listen to its music" (Stoker 386).

Lucy on the other side, comes into Stoker's second category of Victorian women. She is not seen devoted physically and psychologically to 1 man by themselves throughout the book. She is referred to as a voluptuous, beautiful girl who is contacted 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 many as want her, and save all this trouble?" (Stoker 96). Although she would do that if she were permitted to, she recognizes that she has uttered words of heresy after saying them. This demonstrates although such a thought sometimes appears as absolutely promiscuous, immoral, and forbidden in the Victorian culture, it generally does not stop her from psychologically crossing the boundaries set up by the social conventions of the society.

Lucy is portrayed as a person who is influenced by her erotic openness and flirtatious, tempting characteristics. Her physical beauty supports the interest of all her suitors and she looks forward to the attention she'd not get usually from the men of her modern culture. This, in a way, helps Lucy to equalize herself to the same men gender that is claimed to be superior to females. Conversely, Mina is been shown to be content with her monogamous position in population and will not feel the need to utilize her female sensuality to prove anything. Actually, Mina's sexual dreams, if any, stay unidentified throughout the book. By showing Mina in this way, Stoker offers a stark contrast between your sexuality of Lucy and Mina. Mina's perspective about them is still left untold to illustrate that it must not be a woman's matter to think about such things, and that all a Victorian woman's role requires is succumbing to a man's intimate needs and desires.

Lucy's character does not trust this. Because she cannot live out her intimate appetites in the general public sphere, she can it in the private through sleepwalking. In the point out of sleepwalking, she can unconsciously and quite easily share her thoughts and longings. It is in this declare that she is first bitten by Count up Dracula. As this collection occurs more regularly, she is converted to 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 represents most of her developed, yet restrained sexual urges and passions. Her ravenous, insatiable intimate hunger becomes a lot more obvious all the way through to the getting rid of 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 a maternal figure to those who need it. She feels the necessity to use her natural maternal instincts to raised the men around her. She allows Arthur and Quincey to weep on her shoulder not long after encountering them in the book just so 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 noticed an infinite pity for him, and exposed my biceps and triceps unthinkingly. Which has a sob he laid his at once my make, and cried such as a wearied child, whilst he shook with sentiment. We women have something of the mother in us that makes us go above smaller matters when the mother-spirit is invoked; I felt this big, sorrowing man's mind relaxing on me, as though it were that of the infant that some day may rest on my bosom, and I stroked his head of hair as if he were my own child (Stoker 372-373).

Lucy, on the other hands, is shown as somebody who does not take interest in the maternal features of women and mistreats little children in the novel. "Which has a careless motion, she flung to the ground, callous as a devil, the child that up to now she experienced clutched, strenuously to her breasts, growling over it as a dog growls on the bone. The child gave a distinct cry, and lay there moaning" (Stoker 343). This shows that her craving is more important to her than the maternal quality of caring for a child; she'd rather feed on the kid than feed the kid itself.

Although both Mina and Lucy are attacked by the Count number, the reason why for the episode differ for both people. When Count Dracula threatens Jonathan during his attempt to assault Mina, Mina will the particular Victorian culture would expect in times such as this and puts her husband's life and protection before hers. Through the final assault on innocent Mina, Stoker illustrates the uncooked desire of men exploiting innocent women and examining their submissiveness. He also shows through this event his notion of how vulnerable and susceptible women are. Easily, the very first thing Mina does is succumb to the unusual man's behavior: "I got bewildered, and strangely enough, I did so not want to hinder him" (Stoker 466). However, when she realizes her purity is being defiled, she becomes revolted by the unclean event that has took place and cries out "Unclean! Unclean!" (Stoker 461). Unable to change what has took place to her, she uses the incident to help the men who are in search of Count up Dracula. Lucy on the other hand, 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 contemporary society. Stoker uses Lucy to demonstrate that sexually hostile women who use their beauty to get a certain electricity over men will not go on in the Victorian culture. Instead of being in physical form ruined, they'll be socially demeaned and out-casted. This cultural abuse is depicted through the staking and getting rid of of Lucy by her own partner, Arthur. He is utilized in the passage to bring her again under Victorian public order and purity: "There, in the coffin lay down no longer the foul Thing that people had so dreaded and grown up to hate that the task of her damage was yielded as a privilege to the main 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 devastation of Lucy restores the self-confidence of the male audience of this novel because they are returned their host to superiority and are left understanding that they could continue steadily to repress any liberating electric power women try to attain.

Mina's life is spared in the novel on her behalf socially correct behavior throughout the storyline. She uses her intelligence, her group skills, and her resourcefulness to service the men and help them track down Count Dracula. Truck Helsing represents her intellect as a "trained like a man's brain", demonstrating the belief that intellect is not something women naturally have (Stoker 551). Mina is also always seen adding men above herself, even if it means quitting her own life: "with out a moment's delay, drive a stake through me and take off my brain, or do other things that may be attempting to give me rest!"(Stoker 537). She asks her husband to take the duty of killing her before she becomes a threat to men's lives.

To conclude, Stoker uses Mina and Lucy to verify his sexist Victorian beliefs about the tasks of men and women in contemporary society. The social construct of that time period involved women being inferior compared to men in all regions of life, with the exception of child bearing and child upbringing. Their value was only observed in their maternal features and their submissiveness to men. Through Mina's figure, Stoker exhibits the ideal, virtuous, Victorian girl and shows, through her success, what the benefits of third, model are. He also goes to show what happens to women when they believe that they must be viewed as equals to men. Women who attempt to use their sexuality to achieve power and liberate from the patriarchal limitations of Victorian culture will end up ruined, exactly like Lucy.

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