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How does Stoker present men and masculinity in Dracula?

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Introduction

Dracula Essay on Men and Masculinity Daniel Malone How does Stoker present men and masculinity in Dracula? You should consider... * The degree to which he stereotypes and differentiates between his characters. * How his own, Victorian concept of masculinity contrast or compares with our own. * The idea of heroes and heroism. Within "Dracula", Stoker clearly presents the male characters in the book as heroes, without over emphasising this by giving them extraordinarily strong powers. They are portrayed as normal human beings with faults and weaknesses. This can be seen when Van Helsing suffers from hysteria, but despite this still plays an important role in the chase for Dracula, and brings confidence to their quest at desperate times. He describes the "Band of Brother's" as those ", who are willing to peril even our own souls for the safety of one we love-for the good of mankind, and for the honour and glory of God". A similar comparison could be made to fictional characters/super heroes in comics such as Superman. ...read more.

Middle

The men may have felt that this new species may lure their women away from them, since it can be seen that his prey needs some sort of willingness or co-operation for him to act. It is not clear in the novel if Jonathan and Mina have consummated their marriage, since Jonathan was in such a bad state at the time of the wedding, yet later in the play he again shows inadequacies in the bedroom department, and can only watch Mina sucking at the chest of Dracula having been paralysed by the more dominant figure, Dracula. In the novel, personal and universal strengths and weaknesses are present in the "Band of Brothers". Since all the characters concerned are human, there is no distinct line between the two, perhaps rather they represent individuality of characters. Due to the group's enthusiasm, and their keenness to save their beloved from Dracula, they play directly into the hands of Dracula, and this can be seen in London. This shows that the eager and hunger of the man exploits their weakness of not thinking correctly, rushing into things and a little gullibility. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dracula has both strengths and weaknesses, but the only thing to differentiate him from the band, is that he is the only male vampire in the book. Stoker has probably decided to do this because it presents him as more powerful and dominant over the other vampires. Dracula has companions in his mission to reach England, and is not alone. In the epilogue, Jonathan Harker makes it clear that the status quo, which is before Dracula had any effect on their lives, is restored. Harker has now consummated his marriage, and can be seen as he now has a child, the others are happily married. The fact that the status quo is restored shows that their manhood is no longer dependant on their protective nature over the people they care about, but rather as providers for their families. I believe that in Stoker has developed his male characters to represent different things, and this can be seen, as there are different personalities within the "Band of Brothers". However, the characters are brought together because of the simple common need to protect their women, this is emphasised when Dr. Seward calls upon Van Helsing to help him in his exploration for a diagnosis for Lucy's behaviour. ...read more.

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