Dracula is such a fun read! I really love the difference in tone from the other texts we’ve read so far in the course. It’s horror, but super chic, victorian horror that feels familiar only because of the cultural repercussions Dracula is responsible for (Twilight, we still love you).
Something I thought was interesting in the reading was how gender and femininity was portrayed and valued. On page 55, when Jonathan is trapped he writes “I am alone in the castle with those awful women. Faugh! Mina is a woman, and there is nought in common. They are devils of the pit!” Jonathan is referring to the Vampire women that almost attacked him while he wandered the castle, but the distinction here was interesting to me because it almost seemed unnecessary; what is the point in comparing his fiancee to the women?
Then, on the same page when we get to read Mina’s letters to her friend Lucy, we learn so much about Mina regarding her career in the footnotes from the norton critical edition. Mina works as a schoolmistress, which is considered “traditional” and proper for a woman in this time (as all child centered professions are), but she has skill, or at least an interest in gaining skill, in subjects that are not necessarily traditional or popular for women to be possessing in this time period.
Her skill and interest, however, is only being pursued to “be useful to Jonathan,” which is kind of annoying until we take into consideration Mina’s reliability as a narrator, as well as anyone else who recorded their own experiences in Dracula, simply because they could all be saving face and leaving out or including details that favor their reputation. It makes sense that Mina would want to seem to Lucy as close to the proper victorian woman as possible based on how she values Lucy so much (as of chapter VIII, I can’t tell if its admiration or gay, but she sure does love Lucy).
(ps. I never know what to name these blog posts, I’m so sorry for how weird its about to get because lack of class is going to make me blog so much more — before I’d just think so much in class then forget all my thoughts, but now they are quite literally all i have teehee, anyways…)