How is sexual desire represented in Stoker's Dracula?

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As the novel is set in the Victorian era where sexual repression was rife, Bram Stoker's Dracula unleashes the "monster," so to speak, and explores sexuality and its many manifestations through its main monster, Dracula, and its characters, who are at the mercy of their human desires.

Dracula represents the fullness of sexual desire unabashed. He stalks the night for women; his hunger for blood insatiable. Here, sexual desire is greatly linked to power. Feared and regarded with both awe and disgust, the idea of him loomed large though he lived secluded and in the dark—the quintessential place where one would deposit and hide one's sexual fantasies in order to operate on a level that was acceptable to civil society.

As Jonathan Harker finds himself in the company of this creature, he in turn finds himself confronting his own desires as they emerge from deep within him. Confined in the castle, he begins to perceive in himself a certain liberation in feeling, which places him in a dilemma, as it exists in conflict with self-ascribed Victorian decency. Even greater moral expectations were placed on women during this time, and the very appearance of Dracula's brides makes an irreverent, rebellious mockery of this. As Harker describes them:

There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips.

It is important to note as well that Dracula was written as a compilation of journal entries and correspondences. This intimate style of storytelling employed by Stoker makes it even more in-line with the representation of sexual desire, as it echoes the way these thoughts exist—either as best-kept secrets or as subjects for self-examination.

Here, we see Harker reflecting on his own desires in a way that acknowledges their ability to wield tremendous power: a double-edged sword of pleasure and fear. When he recalls his encounter with the lustful women in his dream/nightmare, he refers to them as possessing "deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive."

In the same vein, Lucy Westenra represents the Victorian woman who was more in touch with her sexuality and, as such, displayed a rather liberated attitude in her dealings with men and her outlook on relationships. Here, she falls victim to Dracula after having sleepwalked and meets her eventual end with a stake through her heart and her head severed from her body. This death was dealt by the men who first sought to protect her and then later to protect themselves.

Perhaps Dracula is a representation (though gruesome) of just how powerful sexual desire is, even to a society that prided itself on protecting its people against it. It postulates how, when left unchecked, desire can incapacitate one's thinking— behead oneself, so to speak—and pose a threat to society and its children.

Nevertheless, it is a tale that does not shun the presence of desire. It seeks it in the darkness, follows it as it moves, struggles to wrestle with it, and shows us the complex nature of its existence within our very being, like blood.

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Bram Stoker's Dracula depicts the Victorian ideals of sexuality and gender roles. Women are expected to be examples of purity and Christian morals. It shows the responsibility of men and women to show restraint and control their sexual desires.

Dracula is a monster who does not bother to control his sexual desires. He ravages women without a second thought. As Dracula drinks the blood of his victims, there is an exchange of bodily fluids, which can be likened to the the act of sexual intercourse.

In chapter three, we meet the weird sisters. These women represent everything a good Victorian woman should not be. They are sensual, wicked, and seductive. They accost Harker with an overwhelming desire for pleasure. He writes in his diary:

I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips.

This scene depicts a lustful male fantasy. But unlike Dracula, who has no conscious, Harker succeeds in resisting the weird sister's seductions. 

Another symbol of sexual desire in Dracula is the blood transfusions which Lucy receives. Once again, an exchange of fluids takes place. Lucy has this experience with a few different men, alluding to her questionable purity. She has already mentioned in her diary that she wishes she could marry more than one man, which brings up questions of sexual fidelity and integrity.

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