Dracula

A Study of the Role of Women in Bram Stoker’s Dracula 12th Grade

In the first fifteen chapters of Bram Stoker’s Dracula the author examines and subtly comments on the role of women in Victorian England through the actions and words of Mina and Lucy. In particular, evidence from the passage that appears on pages 164 through 167 of the Norton Critical Edition of Dracula suggests that through the character of Van Helsing, Stoker emphasizes the idea that a woman’s purpose is to ensure her husband's happiness, and that a man's happiness should take priority above his wife's. In this particular excerpt, Stoker reveals a lot about Mina’s character, but more importantly, about his own view on the role of women and their importance (or lack thereof) in the events that are critical to the plot, i.e. the hunt to destroy Dracula. As such, this passage is integral in understanding how Mina, as a woman, still contributes to Van Helsing’s quest to kill Dracula, despite the fact that he views her as a less valuable individual because of her gender. Stoker depicts Mina's success as a boon to her husband as opposed to being evidence of Mina's own intellectual capabilities. Because Mina and Lucy are major characters in Dracula, the Victorian ideal of a woman's role becomes crucial to...

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