Carolina Day School

Honors Papers 2021-22

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Calloway 1 Sam Calloway Dr. Husemann Victorian Ghosts and Monsters 18 September 2020 Dracula Is Far Too Voluptuous For Victorian England Folks Horror stories have been popular for ages. People gravitate towards them for many reasons, so it is no surprise Dracula, by Bram Stoker, caught the imaginations of countless individuals. Even today Count Dracula remains an intriguing monster. Most readers may not be able to put their finger on it, but something about him scares and interests them. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen described why monsters have this effect on people in "Monster Culture (Seven Theses)" (Cohen 1). He describes seven different types of fears that monsters can embody. Dracula utilizes several of these; however, Cohen's first thesis, "the monster's body is a cultural body," catches the eye (Cohen 4). The first thesis says that monsters embody a culture's fear, which is what makes them so scary. Dracula embodies Victorian England's fear of sexual desire. In particular, it contradicts the idea that men have a stronger mind than women, shows Dracula bringing out women's sexual desires, and hints at homosexuality. The first way in which Dracula represents, and challenges, Victorian England's cultural fear of sexual desire is by demonstrating women having power over men in sexual positions. Victorian England had very strict gender roles. Men were viewed as "industrious breadwinners and women as their loyal helpmeets" (Gender Ideology & Separate Spheres). The men had the intellect, and the women had the heart. However, in Dracula, when the women vampires go after men, they become nearly powerless against the women. When Johnathan Harker first meets the three vampire women, in Dracula's house, he is powerless to stop them: "[He closes] his eyes in

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