Women During The 19th Century Essay

1473 Words Dec 8th, 2016 6 Pages
In retrospect, we can see that there were many anxieties shared by members of Victorian society regarding women during the 19th century. If an individual were born as a female, in the Victorian period, she would either be categorized as ‘the pure woman’ or she would be demonized as ‘the fallen woman’. It goes without saying which of the two options were more preferable to fall under, but there was never an agent available to women that could combine these models. In ‘Dracula’, Stoker plays upon these fears revolving female sexuality as an element of horror in the gothic novel. Through an extensive analysis of Stoker’s novel and consideration of the arguments made by scholarly commentators, this paper will showcase how the male authoritative figures of the work cope with their fear of female sexuality by assigning a duality in Lucy in order to make sense of her shifting from “pure woman” to “fallen woman”. Stoker exhibits in the structure of the multi-faceted narrative how certain characters are unable to cope with the duality present in Lucy. Before her encounter with the vampire, she was always described in an innocent, yet in an alluring manner. After the encounter with Dracula, Lucy becomes much more sexually liberated. The duality set up regarding Lucy is not only established by the male characters, but also Mina, whom is meant to represent the picture of the idealized woman by the standards of Victorian society. It is when Lucy’s condition becomes worse over the course…

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