Bram Stoker's Dracula

Bram Stoker's Dracula is a tale of mystery and the battle of good vs. evil. Having never read this book before this class, I was again surprised at how different the original tale is from almost every other Dracula movie or book. I found the struggle between good and evil, Christianity vs. satanism, to be a fascinating part of this book. There was one prevailing theme that stood out in this book, namely, the unusually high amount of sexual references. The undead characters, Dracula, the three succubus', and eventually Lucy all display increased sexual appetite and lust. The closer you analyze the book, the more you are able to notice these oftentimes underlying sexual themes. Phyllis A. Roth wrote an essay in the back of this book entitled "Suddenly Sexual Women In Dracula", which details the transformation of the women from proper ladies to lust-filled vampires. She further examines the book, pointing out many things about sexuality contained within that I would never have noticed on my own, but are nonetheless really great points. While reading her paper, it seemed like my eyes were opened to many new things. In response to her critical essay, I wrote this short paper that explained my viewpoints on her observations.

Analysis of Phyllis A. Roth's Essay

The critical essay I read was “Suddenly Sexual Women in Dracula” by Phyllis A. Roth. After sorting through the abundance of 10 dollar words and copious literary references, one discovers that the essay is essentially about the prevailing sexual undertones of the book. Mostly focusing on the sexuality of women in the book, Roth makes several very good points about how the women simultaneously transform from normal “fair” women into “sensual and sexless” women as soon as they transform from humans into undead vampires. Roth attempts to prove this point by offering up two examples. First of all, she mentions how Lucy transforms from a normal woman into a much more beautiful creature upon death and consequent revival as a vampire. Secondly, she constantly brings up the three voluptuous women. In addition to these two examples, Roth mentions something that I definitely saw myself while reading this book: The human characters in the book, including the couples, seem remarkably non-sexual, as if they have no sex drive at all. The only characters that display any form of libido are the undead, and I think that this is the most pivotal point that Phyllis A. Roth was trying to make in this essay. My own opinion regarding this essay is one of agreement, yet with certain reservations. For one, I think that Phyllis A. Roth over-analyzed every little detail regarding the characters and their sexuality in order to make this essay, and consequently, her take on the book, into what a few scenes from the book vaguely show. After completion of the book and the essay, I am confident in saying that this essay was exceptionally well-written and clearly took a lot of research and effort, but I am still not convinced, by a long shot, of the importance of the sexual undertones in this book. While I understand that they do exist, I just don’t think that it is all too important an issue to cover.