As we have discussed before, the Victorian ideal of femininity centers around the idea that women should be pure emotionally and physically. Bram Stocker's "Dracula" presents this ideal and the antithesis of this ideal. Johnathan's encounter with the "brides of Dracula" represent the Victorian idea of how women should not act. The brides of Dracula are lustful and sexually expressive, things that were looked down up through the lens of Victorian femininity. When the brides visit Johnathan in an attempt to feed on him, they are driven away by Dracula, but their lust for him is apparent. "Your's is the right to begin." The view Johnathan as a piece of meat to be chased after and fed upon. From this, the reader can conclude that, like in "Carmilla," vampirism was used in the Victorian age to express the suppressed female sexuality.
Lucy and Mina, on the other hand, represent the feminine ideal to the fullest. They are pure of the evil's of the world, devoted to Van Helsing and Jonathan, and, most importantly, they are virgins. When these characters are compared to each other, the theme of vampirism and a lack of femininity is easily seen. They stand in stark contrast to each other. Furthermore, in an earlier blog cataloging the works and influences of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, I commented that "Carmilla" is often thought of as a large influence on Bram Stocker. I think that the appearance of an identical theme with almost identical players affirms that point. Carmilla can be equated to the Brides of Dracula, while Laura seems very similar to Mina and Lucy. Men of this time seem fascinated with not only women's sexuality, but with contradictions to the socially accepted norm.