The Portrayal Of The Novel ' Honey Sweet But With A Bitter Underlying The Sweet

709 Words May 11th, 2016 3 Pages
Together, this trinity of unholy women embodies a bestial form that both seduces and terrifies the traveler — in his words, the attack was “Honey sweet… but with a bitter underlying the sweet.” (Stoker 69). While the vampires fulfill Jonathan’s physical yearning with their beautiful bodies, their tart presence signals to him the possibility of moral violation. These are the women who yield to the impulses that their moral and societal obligations would otherwise prohibit; the sexually tinged bodies of these vampire women terrorize the Victorian man because they embody behaviors that, at the time, were considered heavily immoral. This is because one of the most prevalent dichotomies in the Victorian era was that of men as protectors and women as frail, angelic figures. The terms used to mark the monstrous women who advance toward Van Helsing in the final scenes of the novel both delineate and subvert this dichotomy; they are “Radiantly beautiful [and] so exquisitely voluptuous, that the very instinct of man… [is] to love and protect [them].” (Stoker 411) However, these women do not need protecting, for they are the same vampiric women who lust after men’s blood and are ready to extract their masculinity.
Associated with the exotic and the mysterious, these diabolical women crystallize male fears toward the feminine and synthesize their lust for degeneration. The sexual aggressiveness of the women causes Harker to experience a “languorous ecstasy” (Stoker 70) along with…

Related Documents