A Challenge of Victorian Sexuality College

The Victorian Era produced a community organized strictly into stratified classes and social positions. Men dominated this cultural structure, with women acting as their inferior counterparts. Women were bound to an expectation of servitude, viewed as lesser-beings to the strong, intelligent men, and required to act as docile subordinates, especially to their husbands. The duties of the women were restricted to household-related endeavors, including keeping the a proper home, raising children, and entertaining guests. The ideal woman of the Victorian age embodied purity and obedience. Sexual interactions were strictly between a husband and wife, and any provocative expression outside of these relationships were prohibited. Sexuality is a fundamental human characteristic, and men feared that women who indulged in these innate tendencies would then seek other freedoms and disrupt the balances of Victorian society. Thus, in order to maintain despotism over the female sex and protect Victorian virtues, it was crucial for men to demoralize and reject women who defied these sexual restraints. In Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, Lucy Westenra, initially the Victorian woman archetype, is bitten by the evil protagonist vampire, and thus...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1336 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 9979 literature essays, 2515 sample college application essays, 474 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in