The three vampire women who inhabit the more remote regions of Count Dracula’s castle are of great significance to the narrative. Stoker’s depiction of them could be considered to embody the very worst Victorian nightmares regarding womanhood. Jonathan Harker’s reactions after his encounter with them also convey late nineteenth-century anxieties concerning the feminization of men.
Female gender identities were narrowly defined in Victorian society. Women were generally considered to be of two types, either the doting wife and mother, or the fallen woman. The vampire women, or ‘weird sisters’, as Harker calls them – referencing the three witches from Macbeth – could be considered an exaggerated literary equivalent of these fallen women. With their “brilliant white teeth” (p.37) and “voluptuous lips” (p.37), they are portrayed as overtly sexual beings. Their appearance and behavior stand in stark contrast to that of Jonathan’s fiancée, the virtuous Mina, who he describes as having … Read More