Kistler, JL (2018) Rethinking the New Woman in Dracula. Gothic Studies, 20 (1-2). pp. 244-256.

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Abstract

The existing canon of scholarship on Dracula asserts that the sexually aggressive female vampires are representative of the New Woman, and thus are evidence of Stoker’s conservative reaction to changing gender roles. In contrast, this article offers a reinterpretation Dracula in the light of key writings of the New Woman movement which sought to demonize the Victorian marriage market because of its creation of a class of female parasites: idle middle-class woman entirely dependent on fathers and husbands. A close reading of key sections of the novel demonstrates that the female vampires are characterized as traditionally subordinate Victorian housewives, in contrast to the positive presentation of Mina Harker as a New Woman. This reading reveals a text that argues that work for women is the only antidote to the degeneration inherent in traditional womanhood, through which women are reduced to nothing more than their biological functions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Manchester University Press at https://doi.org/10.7227/GS.0047 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: New Woman, Dracula, Bram Stoker, Sarah Grand, Olive Schreiner
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 11:18
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2019 15:32
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4269

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