Disdain for Progress in Bram Stoker’s Dracula College

With the rise of the Victorian Age, another movement began to develop--the “New Woman.” Considered by some to be the predecessor of modern feminism, this movement marked a change in the attitudes and desires of Victorian woman, with more and more females pushing for better working conditions and jobs, voting rights, and educational opportunities. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the female characters, whether it be the lively and flirtatious Lucy, the sexually liberated vampire wives, or the journal-collecting wife of Harker, Mina, all exhibit traits that fall within the category of “New Women.” However, the fates of these characters--especially that of Lucy and Mina--demonstrates Stoker’s disapproval of the movement. For, underneath the horror and fear created by the demon Dracula, there is another terror present in the novel, especially for those of traditional ideals--the horror of a woman being free to make her own choices.

When we are first introduced to Lucy, she is a vivacious, yet naive, nineteen-year old with dreams of marrying--desires that are traditionally to expected of a lady. However she breaks tradition when she is proposed to by not one, but three men on the same day, meaning that she had been juggling multiple lovers...

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