Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Victorian Ideas about Gender and Sexuality

562 (1 page)
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

The British Victorian Era was marked by the world’s first Industrial Revolution, and with this came mass amounts of political reform and social change. With these social changes came new Victorian ideas, one of the most notable was the role of the Victorian women. The Victorian women create the gender division and created a model for the British women to fit. The ways in which Le Fanu’s Carmilla, figure of the female vampire enforce Victorian ideas by Showcasing the ideology of Separate Sphere, but also disrupted these by showcasing her sexuality opposite to the Victorian ideas held.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

The ideology of Separate Sphere is “rested on a definition of the ‘natural’ characteristics of women and men. Women were considered physically weaker yet morally superior to men…” (Hughes). This showcases that the Victorian women had an obligation to tend to her domestic duties but also prepare the next generation to showcase the same ideas and “carry on this way of life.” (Hughes) In Le Fanu’s Carmilla when they are first introduced to Carmilla her hosts describe her as “she is, I almost think the prettiest creature I ever saw, and so gentle and nice” (Le Fanu’s 83) showcasing that he hosts perceived her as outspoken and intelligent. This enforces Victorian ideas about gender because since Carmilla was well presented she seemed to ensure that she had been prepared to carry on the ideas of the women and he roles in society. However, Carmilla does challenge this idea slightly in showcasing that her hosts were a bit worried or of put of the company Carmilla traveled with, “Besides looking wicked, their faces were so strangely lean, and dark and sullen. I am very curious, I own; but I dare say they young lady will tell us all about it to-morrow…” (Le Fanu 84) Having her hosts being worried about her companions showcases Victorian ideas because the wealthy saw the poor as ‘capable’ and women in the lower class would usually have to work as well as tend to their domestic duties.

Sexuality according to Victorian ideas was that women needed to be off-putting because “being ‘forward’ in the company of men suggested a worrying sexual appetite.” (Hughes) Women were also expected to “desire marriage because it allowed them to become mothers rather than to pursue sexual or emotional satisfaction.” (Hughes) These Victorian ideas are disrupted in Carmilla because it showcases Carmilla’s sexual and romantic attraction to Laura. “She used to place her pretty arms about my neck, draw me to her, and laying her cheek to mine, murmur with her lips near my ear, …” (Le Fanu 89) This showcases how Carmilla is trying to seduce and innocent Laura. Laura does include that she is drawn to Carmilla, “her murmured words sounded like a lullaby in my ear, and soothed my resistance into a trance, from which I only seemed to recover myself when she withdrew her arms.” This showcases the want of homosexual behavior which is a direct contrast of Victorian ideas. It also showcases that Carmilla was ‘forward’ to Laura showcasing her “sexual appetite” to Laura.

In conclusion, Le Fanu’s Carmilla both enforces and disrupts Victorian ideas about gender and sexuality. It both showcases gender reinforces about the women and he roles in society and how she should be presented, but also contrast these by the inclusion of Carmilla’s sexuality, and the desire to seduce Laura. 

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Victorian Ideas about Gender and Sexuality. (2020, December 24). WritingBros. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/le-fanus-carmilla-and-victorian-ideas-about-gender-and-sexuality/
“Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Victorian Ideas about Gender and Sexuality.” WritingBros, 24 Dec. 2020, writingbros.com/essay-examples/le-fanus-carmilla-and-victorian-ideas-about-gender-and-sexuality/
Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Victorian Ideas about Gender and Sexuality. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/le-fanus-carmilla-and-victorian-ideas-about-gender-and-sexuality/> [Accessed 24 May 2024].
Le Fanu’s Carmilla and Victorian Ideas about Gender and Sexuality [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Dec 24 [cited 2024 May 24]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/le-fanus-carmilla-and-victorian-ideas-about-gender-and-sexuality/
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges