How does Dracula by Bram Stoker present the idea of masculinity in its time?

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Dracula by Bram Stoker presents masculinity in keeping with the prevailing patriarchal standards of Victorian Britain. Thus, masculinity in Dracula is equated with strength, courage, and a willingness to protect women, who are presented as weaker than men.

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When it comes to the presentation of gender roles in Dracula, there is virtually no ambiguity whatsoever. Men are men, and women are women, and that's pretty much all there is to it. Men are presented as strong, manly, and resolute. They use their superior strength and courage to save damsels in distress, for, as Van Helsing tells us, "A brave man's blood is the best thing on this earth when a woman is in trouble."

Though men are also in danger from Dracula's fangs, it's women who are much more likely to be his victims. That being the case, it is the duty of every man to step into the breach and protect comely young maidens, preventing them from becoming brides of the vampire. In doing so, they are not just protecting these ladies' lives but also their virtue. By succumbing to the count's diabolical charms, his female victims are displaying (in the eyes of Victorian society) a scandalous degree of open sexuality—certainly not something one would associate with respectable young ladies.

Dracula is more than just a bloodthirsty vampire; he poses a threat to the existing social order. Whenever he sinks his fangs into a woman's neck, she immediately becomes promiscuous. This threatens the whole foundation of Victorian society, in which women are expected to be chaste and pure. So when Van Helsing springs into action to do battle with the fiend he's not simply attempting to save lives; he's endeavoring to protecting the moral integrity of Victorian womanhood.

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