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Bram Stoker’s Dracula has been seen from a feminist reading in a variety of ways. The novel is about a young man named Jonathan Harker who goes on a business trip to help Dracula with his house in Transylvania.  After spending nights in Dracula’s castle, Harker recognized that he is trapped.  He tries to escape and later encounters three of Dracula’s brides who almost seduce Harker and suck his blood. While Harker is stuck in Dracula’s castle, two female characters Mina and Lucy are still in their hometown.  Mina and Lucy are later transformed into vampires and taken under Dracula’s spell. Van-Helsing a doctor and scientist recognize that a vampire is involved and later kills Dracula. The way the novel expresses’ feminism, shows the Victorian society and what their culture was based on in that time period.  Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.  Bram Stoker grew up in the 1800s where society was very patriarchal and there was the issue of women trying to rise above the society.  Through the examples of feminism in the novel, it is clear that Bram Stoker was present during a time where such feminist acts were being placed.  The female characters within the novel portray women within a Victorian and patriarchal society.  The female characters, Mina, Lucy, and Dracula’s three brides provide a sense of being the weaker gender.  This shows how the men within the novel distinguish the female characters as the more frail gender. In the film, Bram Stoker uses women in a sexual manner but in the novel, he uses the female characters for desires. Feminism is brought out in a variety of ways through these characteristics. Throughout Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Lucy represents a woman who at steps away from the patriarchal society but later transforms into a controlled women.  Because of Bram Stoker’s beliefs on women at the time of his writing, he represents Lucy as the weaker gender. For example, Lucy’s husband, Holmwood, gave his blood to her because hers was drained.  It was shown that his blood was the strongest and most important for supporting her life.  “She wants blood and blood she must have or die.” (Ch. 10 Stoker) This example represents how she does not portray feminism because she needs only her husband’s blood to live.  Lucy and the men in the novel feel as if she always needs a man’s help. Lucy is seen as a perfect woman because of the way she carries herself.  She has many different partners and focuses on nothing else but men.  Some men in this society were attracted to women who stand out from the rest of the Victorian women. Victorian women were very not always open sexually.  This era did not allow women to be who they wanted to be, they looked at women who are gentle and rarely sexual.  It was odd when women would go beyond the society and be who they want.  Lucy showed signs of feminist acts in a sexual manner, she went beyond what the Victorian era allowed for women and represented herself toward men in a way she wanted.  She also has many characteristics of anti-feminism.  She is easily controlled and does whatever a man tells her to do.  When Lucy is encountered with Dracula she quickly falls under his spell and shows no resistance.  Before she is even a vampire and under his full control she already falls for him.  Bram Stoker is representing Lucy in a way as weak and easy.  She falls for any man and lets them have control over her because she feels useless without them.  After Lucy becomes a vampire she uses her sexuality as the only way to be independent.  She has clearly let herself become weak and feel as if she always needs a man in her life.  She has no sense of independence other than using her sexuality.  “The whole carnal and unspiritual appearance, seeming like a devilish mockery of Lucy’s sweet purity.” (Ch.16 Stoker)  This quote represents how Lucy is characterized when she is and is not a vampire.  She is treated as the weaker gender and even presents herself that way.  She has no independence and constantly relies on men including Dracula, who is an evil monster.  In Bram Stoker’s Dracula the movie, the character Lucy is very sexualized.  In the first scene where we are introduced to Lucy, she is immediately talking about sex and men.  Lucy continues to represent herself in a sexual manner throughout the movie.  She is obsessed with the idea of enchanting men and being sexual towards them.  In ongoing scenes with Lucy, she throws herself towards three men.  She uses sexual manners towards the men and is constantly a flirt with all three.  She never stops talking to her friend Mina about how she needs a man, and this is a sign of weakness.  In the movie and book, it is clearly shown that Mina has no independence and is in constant need of a man as if she thinks she can never be anyone without them.  All of Lucy’s characteristics and how she portrays herself towards men prove that the book was written in a time where women were the more frail gender.   Bram Stoker proves his existence in a time of patriarchy because of the way Lucy is written.  Lucy is not treated or represented as equal to men throughout the novel and the film.Mina, another female character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, portrays feminism in a variety of ways.  In the beginning, Mina is introduced as a gentle and individual women.  She is never influenced by Lucy’s obsession over men.  Mina is independent and doesn’t feel that she needs a man all the time.  She is challenged in the patriarchal society as she tries and helps the men in the novel defeat Dracula.  By helping the men defeat Dracula she would be portrayed as equal to the men.  But she is only shut down when the men leave her behind because she is too fragile to hunt for Dracula, it is a man’s job.  Mina tries to go beyond society to achieve a task that is so-called only a mans job.  But once again the patriarchal society lets her down and does not let her defeat Dracula.  This represents feminism because Mina is going beyond what society portrays her as and tries to defeat Dracula with the men.  She knows she can achieve this task even though she is a female, but the men are so caught up in the society they believe she is too fragile to help.  The quote “she has a man’s brain” (Ch.18 Stoker) shows how the men are threatened by the idea that a women could do a physical task like them and be seen as equal to men.  In the novel and film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mina is shining through the patriarchal society.  She strongly represents feminism compared to any of the women.  At first, Mina tries to be as equal to men and wants to do a task of man to help defeat Dracula.  Even when Mina is transformed into a vampire she is still pure-hearted and has the same characteristics as always. In the film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula Mina is left behind when the men go to defeat Dracula, Dracula actually goes to Mina and puts her under his spell.  She is transformed into a vampire and lets Dracula take control. Dracula and Mina’s relationship is very sexual and she is very controlled by him. This goes beyond how she used to behave.  She used to show characteristics of feminism when she was trying to be equal to men and help them defeat Dracula.  But once Dracula puts her under his spell she completely loses that feminist characteristic and lets a monster man take her away from her individuality as a woman. Throughout the novel and film, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the three brides of Dracula represent feminism in a sexualized way.  These female characters are vampires who live with Dracula and are completely under his control.   They are sexualized and not treated equally to men once so ever. In the movie  Jonathan Harker interacted with the three brides, they are aggressive and sexual and assault Harker. Jonathan is quickly put under the spell of the brides and he lets them seduce him.  This suggests that a male acts obedient when an aggressive woman is coming onto him.  This shows how Bram Stoker lived in the Victorian era when he was writing this novel because of the way women portray themselves and how the men react.  Women in the Victorian era are good women and only give to their husband sexually when wanting to reproduce.  The reaction of Harker when the brides seduce him shows how men looked at women at this time.  They react passively when women go beyond what the Victorian society portrays women sexually. Although the three brides do vulgar acts to get what they want sexually, they are still going beyond what the society believes how women should act.  Throughput Bram Stoker’s Dracula film women are portrayed sexually in a variety of ways.  Lucy becomes sexual once she is taken by Dracula and transformed into a vampire.  She uses her sexuality to portray the new women she is becoming.  Mina starts off the film being a classic Victorian women, loyal, gentle, well mannered.  After Mina is transformed into a vampire she turns into a sexual derived women who is totally controlled by the power of Dracula. The three brides in the film are very sexualized.  All they do is lie around waiting to encounter in sexual relations with Dracula.  They are obsessed with the idea of pleasing Dracula so they can get what they want.  In the film, the female characters represent feminism in a sexual manner.  They go beyond the idea of a Victorian women and live a vulgar but different way than they were living in society.  They step away from the expectations of this era and somewhat have control sexually and who they want to be as a woman.  Throughout the novel, women are represented in a way for desires.  Lucy always is innocent and vulnerable but she is naturally desirable.  After she is transformed into a vampire her natural physical attraction truly comes out, her purity is transformed into a vicious monster.  She is no longer a typical Victorian woman and now a more desirable creature to Dracula.  She is transformed and controlled by Dracula.  She is used for desires and is now providing her own desirable independence to be an outgoing but horrible woman.  Mina goes beyond the Victorian society in a variety of ways.  She is independent and strives to have the intelligence and strength of a man in her society.  Although she is forced to drink Dracula’s blood and transformed into a vampire she still is pure and never goes beyond her true characteristics. Throughout Bram Stoker’s Dracula, novel and film feminist views are portrayed in a variety of ways through all the female characters.  

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