• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

During the late 19th Century women's views and ideals were radically attempting to overpower the patriarchal system. How are these changing ideals portrayed in Stoker's 'Dracula'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

During the late 19th Century women's views and ideals were radically attempting to overpower the patriarchal system. How are these changing ideals portrayed in Stoker's 'Dracula'? Bram Stoker's Dracula is a late 19th century novel; this era in British history saw the expansion and gains of the Empire and the development of technology, which could be seen as an after product of the Industrial revolution. The introduction of these inventions and working practices led to Britain becoming one of the major politically and economically stable countries heading into the 20th century. The unstoppable advancement towards the 20th century and the advancements in technology led to a natural fear among the population. This tension was increased when immigrants from East European countries arrived in England. This fear of change and of invasion was utilised by authors at the time. They used this fear and tension and embodied it into monstrous characters. Stoker immersed his contemporary audience into a world of foreign language and culture, with Dracula being the fight between good and evil. The novel also raises the issue of patriarchy, which was very apparent during the 1800's. ...read more.

Middle

At the start of the novel this division of the ideal woman is portrayed greatly by the three female Vampires, they are viewed as a group of sexually obsessed and predatory monsters. This view could be seen as a link to those ladies of the 19th century who had rebelled against conformity and thus been outcast by society. This division is apparent between Lucy and Mina,: Lucy is very open about sex and sexuality, whereas Mina rarely comments on the subject at all. The reader gets the impression that Lucy is selfish and concentrates only on her own issues in life regardless others. In only the second letter written by Lucy, she laments 'Why can't they let a girl marry three men, or as man as want her, and save all this trouble?'. Even though Lucy recognises that this is a somewhat heretical comment, she still makes this inner confession to her friend Mina, and whilst it appears that the two have an emotional link through their friendship, there is no point in the novel where Mina makes such a controversial comment; rather, Mina is everything that a Victorian woman could be expected to be, 'So true, so sweet, so noble' as Van Helsing comments. ...read more.

Conclusion

This act can be seen as a re-establishment of power and order, which 19th century men were striving for. Stoker's attitudes towards the female characters in his novel are not a defence of the patriarchal system of Victorian England but not a complete acceptance of the modern women. Although Stoker incorporates the ideals of the rebellious (deranged) woman through the female vampires, he also in Mina's character includes small characteristics of a modern female but not to stray too much into this he constantly reinforces her dependence on patriarchy. In a way Stoker is trying to portray his ideal woman. And through the statements made by Van Helsing, 'So true, so sweet, so noble', 'we are but men and able to bear, but you must be our star and our hope...' Mina is created into a type of feminine role model. The fact that Mina is glorified in a talismanic way by Van Helsing shows his inability to accept the changing roles of women. The division, which is seen throughout the play and the fate of the main female characters, could be seen as a deterrent for women to accept these 'New Woman' ideals. Matthew Wright ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Bram Stoker section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Bram Stoker essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Write about Chapter 1 of Bram Stoker's Dracula as an introduction to the rest ...

    4 star(s)

    As the journey continues, there is a change of the scenery as dusk and night falls. As the evening fell it began to get very cold, and the growing twilight seemed to merge into one dark mistiness the gloom of the trees, oak, beech, and pine, though in the valleys

  2. What boudaries does the vampire threaten? Discuss possible answers to this question with ...

    Dracula uses his gold to buy a house in London to feed his desire for noble blood, whereas Van Helsing and the Crew of Light share the wealth that they have and do not use it for selfish purposes (pp.

  1. Sexuality in Bram Stocker's Dracula Most critics agree that Dracula is, as much as ...

    However, this "sexual proficiency threatens to undermine the foundations of a male dominated society by compromising men's ability to reason and maintain control"27 . For this reason, the sexually aggressive women in the novel must be destroyed without consequence. Vampirism and sexuality are closely related, and Freud observes "morbid dread

  2. Bram Stoker's Dracula

    Chapter 2 is simply the continuation of Jonathan's journal. It is 5th May, Jonathan writes that he was standing in the courtyard of a huge castle in the middle of the night. The carriage driver leaves him with his baggage in front of a large wooden door, and then he disappears into the darkness.

  1. On the basis of a discussion of one or two passages explain why you ...

    a very different picture to the harmless gentleman described by Lucy in her letter to Mina Harker. To the men, Quincy is seen as a brave and honourable fighter; he has served in the army alongside Seward and Holmwood. Quincy brings with him knowledge and technology of warfare; Stoker gives

  2. Vlad III Tepes Dracula (1431-1476): Romanian Freedom Fighter or Cold-Blooded Impaler?

    and son King Matthew Corvinus. Interestingly, Dracul was a member of the Order of the Dragon and sworn to fight the invading Islamic forces. Despite this religious obligation, Dracul like father, Mircea the Old, had been forced to pay tribute to the Sultan. From 1436-1442 Dracul cautiously attempted to please both neighbouring powers.

  1. Discuss possible answers to this question with reference to at least two critical or ...

    actually enable the otherwise inconceivable interfusion of the blood that is semen too. Here displacement (a woman's body) and sublimation (these are medical penetrations) permit the unpermitted, just as gang rape men share their semen in a location displaced sufficiently to divert the anxiety excited by a more direct union" (Craft, p.

  2. The novel Dracula by Bram Stoker was written in 1897 during the Victorian period ...

    Senf's essay, "Dracula: Stoker's Response to the New Woman." "Familiar with the feminist movement and apparently supportive of women's struggles for professional equality, he creates women characters who are the intellectual equals of the men in his novels." This was almost unheard of in that Victorian era. It seems that Stoker was a bit of a feminist, and word

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work