by Bram Stoker
Dracula Theme of Marriage
Mina and Jonathan Harker are the only real married couple in Dracula. Yet the idea of marriage comes up pretty frequently. The questions of who should have the power in a marriage and what the roles of the husband and wife should be are asked and answered in various ways, both in Mina and Jonathan's relationship and through the discussions of other characters.
Questions About Marriage
- The three female vampires in Castle Dracula are often referred to by critics and readers as the "Brides of Dracula," although they're never referred to that way in the novel. Why are they referred to as his "brides," and what does that suggest about the novel's overall vision of marriage?
- The only real marriage described in the novel is Mina and Jonathan's—how would you describe their marriage?
- Why does Arthur think that the blood transfusion has made Lucy "truly his bride" (13.83)? What does that suggest about his view of marriage? What does that suggest the blood transfusion represented to him?
- Van Helsing mentions in passing that his wife is "dead to [him], but alive by Church's law" (13.85). In other words, his wife is alive, but insane. Why does Stoker include this detail about Van Helsing's backstory? Why is he not just an old bachelor, or a widower? Why is it important that he be married but to an insane woman?
Chew on This
Arthur Holmwood interprets the blood transfusion between himself and Lucy as analogous to a sexual consummation of their marriage.
Mina's victimization at the hands of Dracula is interpreted by the characters as a kind of rape—Mina is not allowed to sleep with her husband until after Dracula is killed and her sexual purity is restored.