Women’s Rights in Literature

Some critics seem to be of the view that the main character, i.e., Count Dracula, might have actually been a woman or a feminist in disguise. The truth is that in Dracula, many controversial questions are indeed raised, among them those regarding womanhood and the role that women were expected to fulfill in Victorian English society. Whether or not these moral questions were indeed formulated intentionally or, perhaps, subconsciously by Stoker, it is something we cannot know with certainty.

Women's Rights in LiteratureIn Victorian English literature, such as the Gothic novel Dracula, many controversial questions are indeed raised, among them those regarding womanhood and the role that women were expected to fulfill in Victorian English society. Whether or not these moral questions were indeed formulated intentionally or, perhaps, subconsciously by its writer, Bram Stoker, it is something we cannot know with certainty. The truth is that a very interesting parallel can be drawn between the monstrous Count Dracula and his equally monstrous counterpart, the suffragists movement (within a few years dissident members of this movement would move on to form the Women’s Social and Political Union which came to be popularly known as “the suffragettes”), which had already started to dawn on England by the time the novel was published. Increasingly, feminism and awareness of women’s rights were spreading, not only throughout the United Kingdom but also globally (e.g., in Canada, Australia and the United States of America) and people who were of the view that society as a whole should remain under the rule of men felt threatened by the new ”malign” forces at work that planned the demise of the patriarchal empire.

Now, let us consider for a moment the rather bold claims, made by certain scholars, such as Anne Williams, writer of The Art of Darkness, which posit that Dracula may have indeed represented that feminist menace over “the Empire”, looming over England ever so threateningly, with its ferociously sharp, wanton, feministic, white teeth, ready to indulge in the bloody feast of the flesh.

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