Dracula: Group 1: The Body

In reviewing the terms you’ve gathered from the recent sections of the novel, do you find that discussion and description of the body converges mostly on certain characters or genders? If so, please elaborate. If not, explain your reasoning.
Examples you might examine (you may choose others, of course): 
—Lucy’s “voluptuous” transformation
—Mina’s forced feeding
—‘Unclean’ blood

3 Replies to “Dracula: Group 1: The Body”

  1. The discussions and descriptions of the body mostly fall on the vampires. Specifically female vampires and their overwhelming sexual attraction men have to them. When a character first sees a vampire they usually describe them physically. Dracula, the only male vampire, is not described in the same way as women but as a tall, sharp-toothed, pale and unpleasant man. The three female vampires Jonathan and Van Helsing encounter are described as radiantly beautiful, voluptuous, kissable lips and sexually desirable. Lucy, before she turned into a vampire, was a beautiful young woman. After turning into a vampire, she is then described the same way as the vampire woman. Non-vampire female characters like Mina and Lucy are described physically more than any male character. They are discussed to be the average Victorian woman who is a submissive, pure, innocent and chaste woman. This is very opposing to the way the vampire women are described.

  2. I think that the discussion and descriptions of the body primarily surround the women in this novel. One term that appears repeatedly throughout this novel is voluptuous. This term mostly appears when describing the women in this novel and their sexual physique and temperament. This can be seen when Jonathan feels an extreme desire for the three vampire women, one that confused and shocked him. He loves his wife Mina, but is overwhelmed by his sexual desire for the three vampire women. There was also a handful of sexual implications when Lucy needed blood transfusions to keep her alive. She was losing a lot of blood, and yet the men waited for her fiancée to arrive to do the blood transfusions, even though this came with an increased risk of her health declining. This shows the exchanging of blood as something as intimate as a sexual act, which opens up how we view vampirism as a whole. This entire novel is filled with sexual acts, including both fantasy and more importantly, fear. Vampirism as a whole encompassed all of these factors and spread through England as a sort of disease.

  3. It is clear that discussion and description of the body converges mostly on genders — but also partly on human/vampirical qualities. Characters have different roles and ways about them — Morris the modern American man, Helsing who knows the ways of old times, Seward the doctor and Psychologist, etc. However no character who isn’t a woman is blatantly sexual in their bodily description.
    The three vampire women are described to be extremely sexualized, beautiful and seductive. Jonathan, despite being engaged and in love with Mina, confesses that he would like to give in to their “kissable lips”.
    Lucy is not particularly sexualized until she falls under the vampire influence — when she is about to die, beckoning for a kiss, though Van Helsing warns it to be a trap. When she becomes undead, she again almost seduces her fiancé despite the situation. Of course, a word often used throughout the book and also with Lucy is “voluptuous”, meaning a “curvy/sexually attractive” woman.
    Dracula is not described in the same light, while he has occasional odd homoerotic scenes with Jonathan (“I can love…”) he is not a particularly sexual character in nature aside from his interactions with Lucy and Mina.

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