We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Vampirism and Sexuality, the story Dracula, by Bram Stoker

The whole doc is available only for registered users

A limited time offer! Get a custom sample essay written according to your requirements urgent 3h delivery guaranteed

Order Now

The role of the women in the story Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is seen as one that defines the role of women in society during the nineteenth century. During this time in Victorian England, women held a role that required them to behave in a certain way. The norm of this time entails her to be the ideal image of purity and modesty. Women of this era had to live as an virgin wife figure of purity, and if unable to fulfill this role, she would be seen as a whore.

However, the effect that the count Dracula has on the women after his attacking spree, results in vampirism. This vampiric role changes people into sexual predators who are out to bring others into their dark side for Dracula. There are many parallels between vampirism and sexuality that can be seen throughout the novel. These can be seen through the change in a woman’s sexuality after transforming into a vampire and the role of desire, and through the sexual implications of blood transfusions given to Lucy and the stake driving done to free her from her vampire state.

The two main women in the novel are compared to each other to emphasize the role of the ideal Victorian England woman. The woman in the novel who is seen as the epitome of this perfect role is Mina. She is an educated professional who is seen as an ideal wife and ideal motherly figure to others. In her journal she writes, “I have been working very hard to keep up with Jonathan’s studies, and I have been practicing shorthand very assiduously. When we are married I shall be useful to Jonathan.” This shows that Mina is such a good wife to her husband and will do anything to assist him.

She is the sweet nurturing mother figure that all the men praise and want. On the contrary however, Lucy becomes the opposite of the ideal Victorian England woman. Dracula’s success in overtaking Lucy to the dark side makes her a sexualized and corrupt woman. Instead of talking about being loyal to her fiancé Arthur, and being of help to him, she is wondering “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her.” This shows that she does not care about having loyalty to the man she is committing to and how much of a sex fiend she has become. She is seen as a woman with untamed desires and thus relieves those desires sexually going against the societal standards.

Although Mina is seen as the perfect woman, she is unknowingly competing with the overpowering sexuality of vampires with her husband. In his journal entry about his encounter with the weird sisters, Jonathan illustratively writes about the sexuality of the vampires and how they entice desire in him. These women, just like Lucy, are the opposite of what the ideal woman is supposed to be like. Jonathan describes “There [being] a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive.” The term voluptuous has been used several times by Stoker in order to describe women and their sexual physique and frame of mind.

The fact that Jonathan said this shows that he has a sense of fear about the sexual acts he was going through with the sisters, perhaps guilt for betraying his loyal wife. Oddly enough however, even though Mina has been a faithful loving wife to him, he has never had more sexual pleasure from anyone but the weird sisters. The fact that Mina has been so true to Jonathan and he cheated on her by letting his desires take control of him, shows how weak men are shown to be in the novel. Since they cannot control their own desires, they must put anything that tempts them to death because there is no way around it.

In an attempt to keep Lucy alive, the Van Helsing men performed blood transfusions on Lucy, which contained a lot of sexual implication. Due to the amount of blood she was losing, Lucy needed others to transfuse blood into her for sustenance. The men waited for her fiancé Arthur to arrive to do the transfusion instead of doing it immediately, even though she was dying. The men wanted Arthur to think they were loyal to him and they would never take advantage of his wife. However, what Arthur did not know was that Lucy’s three suitors, Van Helsing, Seward and Morris were actually transfusing blood to her as well. The reason that this was kept a secret is because of the sexuality Stoker describes in the process of the transfusion. Seward mentions it to be “life blood” that is flowing into “the women he loves.” He describes it making it sound like a sexual act of exchanging bodily fluid as done during intercourse.

Since he saw it as something to be kept as a secret because of his desire for Lucy, it is taken as something like a secret affair. The other two men do this too and feel like they have had sex with Lucy because of the bodily fluid that gave her life. Later, Arthur tells the others about the amount of importance that the blood transfusions had to him. He says, “the transfusion of his blood to her veins had made her truly his bride.” Even to Arthur, the blood transfusions symbolized a union between him and his wife because of the “sexual exchange of fluid.”

The idea of dealing with vampires in a sexual way is again constantly seen throughout the novel. When the men are trying to free Lucy of her vampirism, they go about doing it in a way that depicts rape. Due to the amount of temptation and desire that Lucy employs into men as a vampire, she too was to be put to death. Not only would this free her from her possession, but I also emphasizes the importance of putting anything that corrupts men and tempts them to death since they can’t deal with it any other way. The men would have to go to Lucy’s grave and drive a wooden stake through her heart. Just like the other diction found throughout the novel, the killing of Lucy’s evil spirit is described with sexual references.

Upon opening up her coffin and realizing her state, the men assign Arthur to the job of killing Lucy’s inner devil in order to salvage her into a pure innocent woman again. Because of the love that Arthur and Lucy shared, the other men thought it best that Arthur drive the stake into Lucy’s heart to free her. The description of the stake driving depicts something similar to the raping of a virgin. The wooden stake represents the penis that is being driven into the unwilling “writhing and quivering” body. The fact that the stake was wooden and it represents the male anatomy in this case, makes it safe to say that we may have adopted the phrase “He has a woody” to describe the male in a sexual desiring state from this. The phallic image of the wooden stake is driven straight into her heart, what we see as the symbol for love itself. Then, Lucy begins pouring with blood, just as a virgin would and she is freed from the evil spirit and becomes the innocent pure woman she used to be.

In conclusion, it can be seen throughout Dracula that Stoker draws many parallels between vampirism and sexuality. Showing Mina as the ideal woman of Victorian England emphasizes the changed that Lucy undergoes during her change into a sexual and lustful vampire. The way she entices desire in men depicts her evil side while also showing that men have no control over their sexual desires and must go to the extent of putting such things to death.

This was evident in Jonathan’s encounter with the weird sisters and how he broke his loyalty to his wife. Furthermore, sexual implications were discussed when dealing with vampires themselves. Stoker makes it a point to use sexuality to describe all acts are a associated with vampirism. The blood transfusions are shown to be an exchange of bodily fluid that give life to a woman as done during intercourse. In addition, the driving of the wooden stake, that is shown to represent a penis, depicts a rape or a virgin girl. These examples, and others throughout the novel show how the acts of vampirism and the way they are dealt with elude to show the sexuality of vampires and how they entice desire in man.

Related Topics

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.
Sorry, but only registered users have full access

How about getting this access

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?

Can't find What you were Looking for?

Get access to our huge, continuously updated knowledge base

The next update will be in:
14 : 59 : 59