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How did Dracula Highlight Repressive Victorian Attitudes Towards Women

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Introduction

How did Dracula Highlight Repressive Victorian Attitudes Towards Women The Victorian age was a pivotal point in history. At this time the most powerful empire in the world Great Britain. During this period there were significant advancements in industrial technology. Britain was seen as the "Workshop of the World" it had the finest industries in the empire and could build equipment to unsurpassed standards. These advancements were highlighted in the Great Exhibition in 1851 in Crystal Palace; a showcase for the British Empire, where all of Great Britain's' colonies exhibited at it showing just how great the British Empire was. However, despite the advancements in industry and other technology, ideas about the role of women in society had not progressed, women's lives were still very limited. Their role was to be a patient and an affectionate wife and mother, "they belonged as property of their husbands and if they had no male relatives to support them they were destitute." ...read more.

Middle

In the middle of the night he is confronted by three women who were, as he described "both thrilling and repulsive." This comment can be compared to the two extremes of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde, where Robert Louis Stevenson raises the issue that Victorian society had a dark side in many cases a public and private face. We can equate this with Jonathan Harker and his feelings towards the women. The character of Dr Jeckyll was a pillar of respectability, yet there was a darker, repressed side as revealed by Mr Hyde. The darker side of Mr Hyde was one of lust and adventure. This becomes apparent to us through the episode with the three female vampires. Harker is amazed at these creatures as he has never seen women so unrestrained before and he is deeply stunned. He seems helpless to do anything to fight against them and we find out that he does not want to fight them off as he finds them very attractive. ...read more.

Conclusion

For indeed the concept of the ideal women was a much sought after creature "innocent but sensual passive but alert and always obedient to men". The power of women is continually being undermined in Dracula. They are continually perceived as of weak, and even Mina one of the stronger women in the novel falls under the spell of Dracula. Mina is forced to suck blood from his bosom. This reflects the manifestation of male dominance and female servitude is evoked through the imagery. Stoker's Dracula is an ambiguous figure, a source of both erotic anxiety and corrupt desire. He is the symbol of a relatively uncomplicated evil, which resided in secret wants and unconscious desire. This can be compared to the way the Victorians viewed themselves, they saw their feelings as wrong so they chose not to expose them: yet all these taboo subjects are highlighted in Bram Stokers novel. It is not known whether or not he intended to do this or if it was simply an unconscious telegraphing of his inner thoughts at the time. ...read more.

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