Dracula

by: Bram Stoker

Gender

Quotes Gender
1

I am alone in the castle with those awful women. Faugh! Mina is a woman, and there is nought in common. They are devils of the Pit!

Jonathan Harker writes in his journal to express his fear of and frustration with the three brides of Count Dracula who came to him one night. By thinking of them as “women” he immediately compares them to Mina, his exemplar of womanhood. The sexualized, powerful, and dangerous female vampires have lost the feminine virtues that Mina possesses as defined in the nineteenth century. Harker, reflecting the Victorian era sensibility, finds it impossible to reconcile his ideal of what women should be with the female vampires he meets.

2

It is a very strange thing, this sleep-walking, for as soon as her will is thwarted in any physical way, her intention, if there be any, disappears, and she yields herself almost exactly to the routine of her life.

Mina describes how she manages to get a sleepwalking Lucy to go back to bed. While Lucy seems to have an unknown goal in her nighttime wanderings, she easily gives in to anyone who intervenes. While Mina marks this behavior as “very strange,” most of the women in the novel appear to be easily swayed or controlled. Mina and Lucy both reflect ideal qualities of the nineteenth-century woman: passivity and a tendency to quickly give up their own will to appease others.

3

Some of the ‘New Women’ writers will some day start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the New Woman won’t condescend in future to accept; she will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she will make of it, too! There’s some consolation in that.

Mina writes in her journal about how peaceful Lucy looks in her sleep, and she thinks how many more men would fall in love with her if they saw her sleeping. Mina seems cheered by the anticipation of couples seeing one another more intimately before getting engaged, and even by the idea of women proposing. While she may be attracted to such modern ideas, Mina lives as a woman of traditional virtues. Despite seeing the virtue of women having more power, she would never take action to secure it herself.

4

Lucy’s eyes in form and colour; but Lucy’s eyes unclean and full of hell-fire, instead of the pure, gentle orbs we knew. At that moment the remnant of my love passed into hate and loathing[.]

Dr. Seward writes this description of Lucy in his journal after they see her in her vampire form. Eyes hold special meaning as portals to the inner self. Although Dr. Seward loved Lucy when she was alive, and he proposed to her, her changes dissipate the last vestiges of his devotion. He, Arthur, and Quincey Morris seemed to love Lucy for her purity and chastity, which were important characteristics for women to have at the time. However, once she becomes demonic they feel no more affection for her.

5

I suppose there is something in woman’s nature that makes a man free to break down before her and express his feelings on the tender or emotional side without feeling it derogatory to his manhood[.]

When Lord Godalming begins to cry to Mina after reading her account of Lucy’s last days, Mr. Morris leaves the room. Here, Mina observes in her journal why Lord Godalming should feel comfortable showing his emotions to her but not to the other men. Mr. Morris’s reaction reveals that people of the time consider showing emotion a more feminine behavior than masculine, and believe women handle other people’s emotions more easily than men.