Fairly Gloating

I’m definitely not the first or the most interesting person to talk about the seduction scene in chapter III of Dracula. The section exhibits shifts in language and tone that are pretty on the nose, the solicitor’s normally dry language becomes noticeably more ornate. On the discussion of language, I noticed how peculiarly the narrator’s encounter with the three women is described, and how there is an emphatic nod towards the not just the general Victorian anxiety surrounding sex and sexuality, but the fear and arousal from fear of a sexually experienced, initiative woman. There is something awry about the women that Harker cannot thwart, an unfamiliarity that nonetheless excites him. To conjure the image of one of the women “fairly gloating” as they engage sexually with the narrator seems indicative of some kind of imbalance of power. “Deliberate voluptuousness” assigns a perpetrator, and implies a feeling of spatial intrusion or disruption. Said voluptuousness is “thrilling and repulsive” to Harker, who if it weren’t for the interruption of Count Dracula, was ready to completely submit.

 

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