Response Essay 7_2012 - Gothic Literature Sexuality...

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10/7/2012 Gothic Literature Sexuality, Uncleanliness, and Salvation Stoker’s Dracula suggests that the drinking and sharing of blood is symbolic of a sexual act. The sexual undertones emphasize the idea that femininity and sexuality can be dangerous, particularly to patriarchal roles and even more simply, the virtuousness of men. In addition, both Lucy and Mina become unclean when they are ‘seduced’ by Dracula; only after being redeemed or cleansed can their souls be saved. Therefore, though Stoker discusses the fear of female sexuality, he also links sexuality to religion, suggesting that even after the most horrifying acts of depravity, the cleansing of one’s sins will result in salvation. Fundamental to Stoker’s novel is the voluntary and involuntary exchanging of blood. The sexual connotations behind this are clear: not only do Van Helsing and Dr. Seward suggest it in the novel, but also in the Introduction, Luckhurst writes, “semen was long thought to be a condensed form of blood.” Dracula does not only take Lucy’s blood, but also
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