Dracula: Chapter 5 In Gothic literature, the battle between well-defined forces of good and evil frequently dominates plots. In Dracula, that battle is waged over the fate of its female protagonists, Lucy Westenra and Mina Murray. Neither Mina nor Lucy is a particularly profound character?instead, both represent the Victorian ideal of female virtue. Lucy and Mina represent purity and goodness, while the predatory female vampires in Dracula?s castle represent corruption and evil. The count threatens womanly virtue, as the frighteningly voluptuous sisters testify to his ability to transform ladies into sex-crazed ?devils of the Pit.? Both Lucy and Mina face the threat of such transformation later in the novel. It is perhaps no surprise that, of the two, Lucy falls most disastrously under Dracula?s spell as Mina shows more strength as a person. Although Lucy?s letters pay homage to a certain male fantasy of domination??My dear Mina, why are men so noble when we women are so little worthy of them???they also reveal that she is a sexualized being. Lucy is not only an object of desire who gets three marriage proposals in a single day, but is herself capable of desiring others. Lucy writes: ?Why can?t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble?? Though Lucy immediately condemns her own words as ?heresy,? her apology does not blot out her desire to experience life beyond the narrow confines of conventional morality. Mina and Lucy?s correspondence contrasts sharply with the terror-filled journal entries of Johnathan that make up the first four chapters. The London society that Mina, Lucy, and Dr. Seward inhabit is marked by order, reason, and progress: Mina is a schoolmistress who occupies herself with shorthand and typewriting lessons, while Seward, ever hopeful of diagnosing and curing his mentally ill patients, records his diary entries on a newfangled phonograph. The world that Dracula inhabits, in contrast, is ruled by the seemingly impossible or unexplainable: people neither age nor die, and men crawl down walls in a lizard-like fashion. Dracula?s foreign presence threatens to overturn the whole of Western culture by subverting carefully constructed and policed morals and by allowing superstition to trump logic. Lucy?s and Mina?s letters also introduce most of the main characters we see in the remainder of the novel. Lucy describes her three suitors, who are largely two-dimensional characters: Seward is a serious intellectual, Quincey Morris a slang-talking Texan, and Arthur Holmwood is a bland nobleman. Stoker is more -concerned with creating a band of men whose goodness is -unquestionable than with creating complex, multifaceted characters. This characterization sets up a framework for a clear-cut moral battle later in the novel.
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