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Literary Vampirism Destabilizes Traditional Gender Assignments English Literature Essay

In the Eighteenth Hundred years, vampire literature began to first appear. Vampirism in its literary form was seen as a representation of the Victorian ideas and anxieties of gender. It was believed through the Victorian era the male meant to be forceful. He is "the protector, the doer, the giver, the defender. " Whereas the female had not been only virginal, unaggressive yet receptive however Victorian women had to be wise and deceiving. In any other case if they confirmed female sexuality there would be swift accusations of witchcraft, homoeroticism that would occur. In gothic fiction gender functions would be destabilized and inverted; it almost seems that the gender functions switch amongst both sexes. Carl Jung also mentions this in his theory of analytical psychology, specifically the animus; unconscious masculine component in women and anima; the unconscious feminine characteristic in men. This theory would go on to clarify and bring a relationship to the climb of prominent females and unaggressive males, not normal in a common culture. In the Victorian culture literary vampirism "feeds" off such anxieties: gender destabilization, homosexuality, womanly sexuality.

This gender inversion can be demonstrated with the man who's "the doer, the protector" is all of a sudden inverted and becomes unaggressive. Furthermore, an inversion occurs through the female as well, as they take on the animus; an unconscious masculinized feature that occur in females. The feminine would take on the forceful role to be the instigator which is almost common in gothic books. This happens in Bram Stoker's Dracula, Marion Crawford's For the Blood is the life and Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu.

In the story of Dracula by Bram Stoker, Jonathan Harker is feminized by his failure to do something when he realizes he is a prisoner in Dracula's castle and feels deeply fearful, "The castle is a veritable jail, and I am a prisoner!" (Stoker 57). As a male personality in a gothic books Jonathan moves from the doer, the protector and it is destabilized in terms of his gender. Jonathan is becoming passive and simply seems as a prisoner of Dracula.

Jonathan's inability to act is similar to the rights of ladies in the Victorian time. Women didn't have many privileges so when they found themselves in times these were usually conquer with a sense of helplessness.

"When I came across that we was a prisoner sort of wild feeling emerged over me. I rushed up and down the stairs, trying every door and peering from every window I possibly could find; but after just a little the conviction of my helplessness overpowered all other feelings" (Stoker 58).

In Jonathans' circumstance he becomes completely overpowered by this feeling. The quote taken out of Dracula, could connect with a lot of women who thought the suppression of male dominance in a world where it was not wrong to take action. Furthermore, Jonathan Harker demonstrates his unconscious female attribute, the anima, which was becoming more lucid. The feminine component in that specific time frame as mentioned earlier was that women "felt feelings", these were innocent, virginal, helpless. Also it would also be the male, conscious or unconscious possessing traits such as protector, defender, doer to save the damsel in problems. The conviction of Harkers' feelings overpowering all other thoughts is not common, and may possibly be referring to Harkers' gender inversion taking stage.

Jonathan encounters the three feminine vampires who are open to their sexuality and is also seduced by the three feminine vampires,

"All three acquired brilliant white teeth, that shone like pearls against the ruby with their voluptuous lips. There is something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly dread. I felt in my own heart and soul a wicked, using desire that they would kiss me with those red lips" (Stoker 68).

The three female vampires were once again available to their sexuality which is unheard of in Victorian women, "He's young and strong; there are kisses for us all. " (Stoker 69). Mina includes the feminine unaggressive trait and "innocence" which was regarded as a "proper" Victorian woman.

What is more, despite being involved to Mina, Jonathan Harker likes the "delicious penetration" from these three vampires,

"[He] could have the delicate, shivering touch of the lips on the super sensitive pores and skin of [his] throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just coming in contact with and pausing there. [He] closed down [his] sight in languorous ecstasy and waited - waited with [a] defeating heart" (Stoker 70).

The gender inversion is a perfect parody of sexual intercourse where the feminine start, penetrates and dominates and Jonathan the male example is the recipient and who waits for the penetration. Furthermore, this love making collides using what was violence and child murder, "If my ears didn't deceive me there was a gasp and a low wail, by a half-smothered child" (Stoker 71).

The most violent world seems to be the arena that first offers delivery to gender stabilization and the eradication of homoeroticism for the first time in Dracula. Just like how Dracula penetrate ladies in non-sexual way along with his fangs, Van Helsing is similar to Dracula with a needle. This occurs with the blood vessels transfusion that Van Helsing along with Dr. Seward, and Arthur were administering to Lucy to be able to displace the bloodstream she provided to Dracula. Furthermore, the transfusion of blood from the crew of light helps stabilize Lucy from becoming sexually inverted. Nonetheless it had not been enough to avoid her from learning to be a vampire and in a few ways subliminally become homoerotic and sexually inverted. It is up to the penetrating and forceful actions from Vehicle Helsing that poses a threat to a sexualized woman, it jeopardizes their female sexuality. Perhaps you can make the argument that Truck Helsing represents the normal interest of men in the Victorian Era (repress women), whereas Lucy symbolizes the feminist movement. What is more in the field where Arthur stakes Lucy, she is punished for the expose of her unconscious masculine aspect; the animus. The staking itself is symbolic because it assures "Van Helsing" that they purged the frequent "hungering" for feminine sexuality. Finally reverting the homoeroticism and imposing the unaggressive and receptive female role.

In Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu, Carmilla and Laura are two acquaintances. As the story advances the audience commences to noticed that Laura commences to fall under the seduction of her houseguest Carmilla. This report becomes important in gothic literature as it tackles the problems of same-sex associations or homoeroticism, according to usual for a recurring theme it could happen in Dracula as well. Carmillas' nature was self-assured, forceful or quick tempered which could explain her hostility and more importantly her lustful quest for Laura. Contrary to Carmilla is Laura who signifies the purity of any Victorian female, innate innocence, taking, receptive and passive.

For the blood vessels is the Life, Angelo is a prosperous bachelor in his community, He lives with his father Alario, sadly when Alario dies, Angelo is remaining unprotected and alone along with his inheritance taken. "Angelo was very unhappy. As long as his father have been alive and rich, every lady in the community had been deeply in love with him; but that has all transformed now" (Crawford 196). In addition to Angelo's inheritance being stolen all the ladies in the village disregard him. Perhaps this shows how cruel and materialistic the culture keeps growing to be with currency, this could possibly be an argument made subliminally in literature. What is more a romantic relationship was powered by the primary concept that the male was the provider and have to be finically set up and the female common to history stayed at home. However intellectually and deceitfully (Tiger and Elena Woods), the ladies would try to drain the person of his "life force", in cash and in sperm.

In the storyline For the bloodstream is the life, "Cristina smiled at [Angelo] she confirmed two small razor-sharp pearly whites" (Crawford 197). Both small sharp pearly whites that Cristina shows are perhaps her approach to penetrating Angelo, "They feasted on his spirit and cast a spell over him" (Crawford 197). The penetration throughout this landscape seems to occur in a dream, which could explain a non-physical mean of penetrating Angelo. Once again this is comparable to how Dracula uses his tooth to non-sexually permeate their "victim". Cristina will not express characteristics of womanly sexuality but perhaps it must be studied in framework, because she has the capability to put Angelo in a trance. During this trance point out Angelo has a two times consciousness, he is unaware however all he is conscious is approximately is they are really wonderful,

"As she glided beside him, Cristina whispered odd nice things in his hearing, which in some way, if he previously been awake, he know that he cannot have understood; but now these were the most wonderful words he had ever heard in his life. " (Crawford 198)

Furthermore, in the story of For the blood vessels is the life and Dracula you can find evidence associated with Sigmund Freud's Primal Horde theory. The Primal horde theory fundamentally refers to something where a kid becomes a father not vice versa. SET FOR the bloodstream is the life span, what can be seen is the way the Primal Horde theory works under normal circumstances. The son Angelo is the successor of Algario and his fortune. Angelo will become the new brain of the family. However in Dracula when the Count relates Mina, as "flesh of my flesh; bloodstream of my blood; kin of my kin" (Stoker 328). Therefore that they will become blood related probably through marriage which is then that Mina can be the dedicated servant a little girl of Dracula. This works strangely as Dracula would works in the contrary route of Sigmund's primal horde, "My bountiful wine-press for some time; and shall be later on my partner and my helper" (Stoker 328).

As a recurring theme in gothic books, one can argue that it is always the feminine that instigates the sexual or non-sexual connections. Whereas the man who's the forceful one, seems to invert into what was considered a Victorian girl, passive yet receptive. However as it's been proven in this newspaper the context is very important into understanding this is within these fearful yet interesting stories. The three works of fiction: Dracula by Bram Stoker, For the bloodstream is the life span by F. Marion Crawford and Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu, includes the main topics within gothic literature. Just to list a few of the styles gender destabilization and inversion, homoeroticism and homosexuality and female sexuality will be the topics that gothic books uses to exploit the worries during the Victorian Period.

The destabilization of ones gender provides an uprising to the unconscious element male or female. This is known as the psychoanalytical theory known as the animus and anima coined by Carl Jung. We noticed this in Dracula with the three vampires that instigated and seduced (Animus) the inverted passive Jonathan Harker(Anima) who required the Count as the rescuer to save lots of him.

In a time seriously dominated by male thoughts and opinions and power it would be a headache to in perspective a feminist motion. The gender assignments have been founded far prior to the maturing of the existing society, where in fact the expectation of women would been viewed as barbaric. "Society and Culture" expected its women to be obedient, unaggressive with no impression, receiving especially to seem innocent. Any women who was simply intelligent enough would not mention a expression of the repression of women protection under the law. Perhaps the history of women repression and worries of gender inversion, homosexuality and feminine sexuality, paved way for literary vampirism to be such an interesting read. What is more are many of these characteristics of gothic books remain today, certainly the repression of women and the thought of traditional gender role still exist somewhat, although there might not exactly be the accusation of witchcraft. Stoning a female to death continues to be an option in some Islamic ethnicities.

Work Cited

Crawford, F. Marion. "For the Bloodstream is the life span. " The Penguin E book of Vampire Reviews. Ed. Allan Ryan.

New York: The Penguin Group, 1987. Print out.

Freud, Sigmund. "Civilization and its own Discontents. "

Web. 5 April 2011

Jung, G. Carl. "Aion: Studies in to the phenomenology of the self. " Vol. 9. 2 of the Collected works of C. J. Jung. Trans. R. F. C. Hull.

Princeton: Princeton School Press, 1969. Web. 5 Apr 2011

LeFanu, J. Sheridan. "Carmilla. " The Penguin Reserve of Vampire Reviews. Ed. Allan Ryan.

New York: The Penguin Group, 1987. Printing.

Stoker, Bram. "Dracula. " Broadview Press Ltd. Ed. Glennis Byron.

Peterbrough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2000. Print out.

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