Drachma was written in London, England during the Victorian Era. The Victorian Era lasted from 1837-1901 during the reign of Queen Victoria. During this era, men and women were not allowed to talk about sexual desires. It was also frowned upon to write about these sexual desires. Women were held to very high standards; they were not allowed to show skin besides for hands and their face, and were not allowed to have sex without being married. In addition, men were supposed to be very loyal and honest to their wives.
In this novel, Stoker writes some very intense, erotic passages that show that both the characters in the novel have repressed thoughts about sexuality. Stoker reveals these sexual desires through Drachma’s power of being able to control people with his strength and mind. In Drachma, the characters have desires that they do not want to speak of. With an uninfluenced mind, the characters do not have these sexual desires, but under the strength of Drachma these desires are exposed. The cover of being a vampire hides these desires from being part of the actual character, which would be absurd during this time.
In heaper five, we read a letter that Lucy sends to Mina which shows the correct way a woman in the Victorian era should act. In the letter, she is explaining to Mina how she was proposed to by three different men, and how sorry she feels for saying no to them. She does not want Mina to feel as though she is acting “sloppy,” and makes sure she knows that she is not like that (Stoker 60). “L am afraid, my dear, you will think this a very sloppy letter in more ways than one-and I really felt very badly. Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all the trouble?
But this is heresy, and I must not say it (Stoker 60). ” We see that Lucy has desires to be with multiple men at the same time that are not acceptable during the Victorian era. She knows that she is not supposed to think this way, but tells Mina anyway and then is afraid she will think of her the wrong way. This part shows that the women do follow society’s unwritten rules in this novel, even though they have desires as well. One of the first sexually erotic passages we read is in chapter three. This passage shows the desires of women and men under the control of Drachma and his power as compared to their own mind.
The passage involves Jonathan recollecting on what happened the night before. At first, he believes it is a dream, but soon after starting to write, he realizes that it could not have been a dream. It starts when three women entered his bedroom at night. The first thing Jonathan notices about the women is their appearance: “Two were dark… And had great dark, piercing eyes… The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great WA’. Y masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires… All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips (Stoker 2). Jonathan describes these women in a very beautiful way. He talks about their “brilliant white teeth” and their “voluptuous red lips” (Stoker 42). By doing this, we can see that Jonathan has an attraction to these women. He also says that women had noses similar to Drachma, which tells us that they are probably vampires like Drachma. Since it can be concluded that they are vampires, it seems as though they do not act like the other Victorian women would. They are trying to seduce Jonathan, which is against all Victorian rules.
This is the first example Stoker uses in hiding the strong series behind the character of the vampire. Since the women are vampires, it is not as taboo. Jonathan, under the control of the women, seems to like it, and says “l felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips” (Stoker 42). By saying this, we can see that Jonathan has a desire for these women to kiss him, even though that would betray his relationship with Mina. As the passage continues, we start to see the intense sexual writing by Stoker. “The fair girl went on her knees, and bent over me, fairly gloating… ND she arched he neck and actually kicked her lips like an animal… Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed about to fasten on my throat.. L closed my eyes in a languorous ecstasy and waited-waited with a beating heart” (Stoker 42-43). In this short passage, we implicitly receive the idea that Jonathan is about to receive oral sex from the vampire woman, and his desire for it. Even though Stoker does not bluntly say it, he is definitely implying it and trying to dig into the readers repressed thoughts.
Jonathan does know that it is wrong to think this way but can’t intro it since he is under the power of Drachma through the women. Reading this passage shows how Stoker wants to bring out the ideas of sexuality in the readers’ minds through the cover of the vampires. Another passage in the novel that shows the erotic language used by Stoker is in the paragraph where Arthur slays Lucy. When Lucy turns into a vampire, she becomes much more open about her sexuality, and loses her Victorian beliefs. This strengthens the argument that the sexual desires are revealed through the mind of a vampire.
She is now attracted to all three f the men who proposed to her, instead of Just Arthur. Her persona also quickly starts to change as Drachma feeds off of her blood. When it comes time for Lucy to be slain for good, the other men let Arthur do the Job, since it his wife. The men are all in Lully’s tomb while she’s asleep in the coffin. “Arthur placed the point over the heart, and as I looked I could see its dint in the white flesh. Then he struck with all his might. The Thing in the coffin writhed; and a hideous, blood-curdling screech came from the opened red lips.
The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild intentions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam. But Arthur never faltered. He looked like a figure of Thro as his interesting arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper the mercy-bearing stake, whilst the blood from the pierced heart welled and spurted up around it” (Stoker 192). Stoker uses tremendous sexual innuendos in this passage. According to Annelids Differentiation in her essay we can visualize this scene as
Arthur engaging in sexual intercourse with Lucy. The stake is representing Urethra’s pen’s, and the in and out motion of him stabbing her acts as the motion during sex. Lully’s “wild contortions” and her teeth closing together are portraying her as having as if she were having an orgasm (Stoker 192). Stoker describes Arthur as “a figure of Thro,” comparing him to a superhero for slaying Lucy, even though it has all the sexuality to it. And lastly, the blood spewing out of Lully’s heart can be visualized as the climax, and Arthur ejaculating (Differentiation).
This passage shows again how Lucy used to be the innocent woman, but now is vividly described in a scene that has an incredible amount erotica. Another character in Drachma that shows the change in sexuality through the power of Drachma is Mina. Mina starts the novel as being very loyal to Jonathan. She learns how to write in shorthand for him and becomes very intelligent in order to help him with him work. She is Just like Lucy in the beginning, and is very conservative. But eventually, she starts to fall under Drachma’s power when he makes Mina drink his blood.
The scene is very vivid and also shows a lot of uncovered sexuality. As this scene is happening, Jonathan is laying right next to Mina in bed. “A tall, thin man, clad in black… With his left hand he held both Mrs.. Harmer’s hands, keeping them away with her arms at full tension; his right hand gripped her by the back of the neck, forcing her face down on his bosom. Her white nightdress was smeared with blood, and a thin stream trickled down the man’s bare breast which was shown by the torn open breast” (Stoker 247). This passage has Mina breaking her loyalty to Jonathan by committing this act with Drachma.
It is very sexual, and later in he book Mina talks about the event and refers to what she drank from Drachma’s chest, but never finished what she was saying. We are never told what it is, but the way Mina says it could provoke our minds into the thought that she drank Drachma’s semen. This is extremely sexual, and it happens while Mina is under the control of Drachma. This proves once again that there is an extreme change in the sexuality of characters when under the influence of Drachma. The views of the people during the Victorian Era hold true in this book until they are brought out by Drachma’s power.