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From the readings and films discussed in class, vampirism is used to reinforce gender stereotypes and cultural depiction of the Victorian age. Gender role played by men and women in the world of vampires can be compared to the Victorian era due to the similarities they both contain. In the two, women have been categorized into two classes. The upper-social class being the first, women are supposed to maintain high integrity values. They tend to dislike sex with many sexual partners but are happy to have intimate moments with their husbands only. These women do not perform any work apart from taking care of their children and husbands. The other class is the lower-social class women who do not posses the qualities of high integrity. People view them as people who love having sex with many sexual partners and they are often referred to as prostitutes. What people really do not know is that they do this to survive.
On the other hand, the men are viewed differently by the two societies. The men are stronger than the women are. Similarly, the men are also categorized into two groups. The wealthy men and strong violent men. The wealthy men posses qualities of high integrity and they are powerful because of there wealth. Additionally, the strong men often take the beautiful women who are pure. The strong violet men are involved in many vigorous activities. Fighting is the common activity in these men and they use it to gain power. These men often find pleasure in lower-social class women. In both instances, the men are the providers to the women while the women take care of their homes and the children. These different gender roles of men and women are similar in both the vampirism and Victorian age.
In the novel “Camilla,” the two girls, Camilla and Laura, are used to show the gender roles of women in the vampirism society. Despite their age, Camilla is sexually active because there are several instances where she tries to seduce Laura. However, Laura does not like sex and she often rejects the advances made by Camilla. Additionally, Laura portrays herself as a woman of high integrity based on the type of values she was brought up with as she was growing up. On the other hand, Camilla does not have integrity at all to an extent where she laughs at the way Laura is singing Christian hymns. This is similar to the roles of women in the Victorian era. The upper-social class is Laura who dislikes sex and has qualities of high integrity. Camilla is the lower-social class woman because she does not have high integrity values and she is sexually active. This proves that there is a connection in the roles played by the women between the two societies.
Virginity and purity hold high integrity in the two societies, vampirism and Victorian era. For instance, in the novel “Dracula,” purity and virginity is highly regarded and recognized in vampirism. Mina, one of the women characters in the novel, is a virgin. She portrays a lot of purity in her thus; she becomes a woman of high integrity in the society of vampirism. On the other hand, Lucy another character in the novel is not a virgin. Because of this, the vampirism society sees her as impure thus a woman of low dignity. These different roles played by the two women in vampirism society are similar to the roles of women in the Victorian age. In the Victorian era, Mina can be compared to the upper-social class women. This is because the society holds virginity and purity to be of high integrity. Lucy is the lower class woman in the Victorian era, because she does not have purity and she is not a virgin. Additionally she does not have integrity. Therefore, virginity and purity are roles played by women connecting the two societies.
The men in the vampirism society are struggling to prove their might and power using money and violence. For instance, in the novel “Dracula,” Jonathan Harker, is extremely wealthy and he is using it to show that he is powerful than the other men. He is doing so by trying to acquire the numerous assets and estates. In addition to this, he has one of the pure women as his fiancée, Mina. This is a clear indication that Harker is using his wealth to portray his superiority and protect his family. This is also similar to the Victorian age, because the worthiness and power a man has is equal to the amount of money and assets he contains. Therefore, in the Victorian society Harker is the man who uses his wealth to show his powers and might.
Dracula, another character in the novel uses violence to prove to that he is also powerful. It is indicated that Dracula is extremely feared by the people in the community because of the power he posses. This fear is an indication of the amount of power Dracula commands. Additionally, Dracula finds pleasure in women of low dignity even though he falls in love with Mina. Most of the time Dracula manipulates lures the women of the lower-social class. For instance, he has been able to lure Lucy by the use of his charms. Additionally, in the film “Nosferatus” Count Orlok is a violent man who commands his powers based on the violence. Nobody can dare travel at night towards his castle because he or she might be killed by him. In the Victorian society, Dracula is the strong violent man. This is because she finds pleasure lower-social class women and he is using violence to gain power in the society. For that fact, this has clearly shown that there is a connection in the roles played by the men in the two societies.
Lastly, in vampirism the women are the weakest as compared to the men in the society. For instance, the men are the providers of the family while the women are the caretakers of the families. In the novel “Dracula,” Van Helsin is the protector where he is protecting Mina from the attack by vampires. Additionally, Dracula has also tried to protect Lucy in every possible. Moreover, Harker is also a protector but he is using wealth to protect Mina. On the other hand, the women are weak and they can protect the men. Therefore, they only thing they are good at is taking care of the men. In the end, the way Mina is taking care of Dracula despite the fact that he is dying. This is also similar to the Victorian society where the men are always the protectors despite the means they are using while the women take care of the children and their homes.