Our "class" on Friday made me think more about what it means to be a sexualized Victorian woman. We discussed for a while how both Mina and Lucy are representations of various types of powerful women-- Mina is independent, while Lucy is sexual. We also discussed the power of the three sisters. Before class, I hadn't realized what a big deal this was. There was often (in class) mention of the threatening nature of this sexuality for men, as well as the general implications of this sexuality for society in general. I think that this point was emphasized further in the reading that we did last night, where Mina mentions the "New Woman." "Some of the 'New Women' writers will someday start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other sleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the New Woman wouldn't condescend in future to accept; she will do the proposing herself." (87 Norton Critical Edition) This New Woman is independent, sexual, and completely reverses the previously specific understanding of gender relations. This is something that we see in Mina, who later arranges the hour of the wedding while her fiancé is asleep, taking the engagement and eventual marriage into her own hands. Though officially ashamed of the concept, she, as well as the other female characters in this novel, become representations of the "New Woman," whether they like it or not.
Meagan Gagnon

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