Event Title

Beauties and Beasts of Carmilla, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula

Location

Edwards 103

Document Type

Oral/PowerPoint Presentation (10 minutes and 5 minute Q and A)

Description

This presentation will explore the psychology inherent within the Beauty and the Beast trope, specifically its presence in Dracula, Carmilla, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This trope is not confined to the Cupid and Psyche myth Apuleius relates; the themes of bestiality, transformation, and sexual deviancy found in The Golden Ass follow in its footsteps. The battle between the Beauty and the Beast of the self is depicted in each of these novels. Female sexuality was undoubtedly repressed during the Victorian era; however, male authors like Le Fanu, Stevenson, and Stoker used women in their texts to express forbidden sexual appetites. For these men, women are “the other” and therefore monstrous, too weak and enslaved by their own emotions to be truly moral. These novels are repressive for women, serving merely as a tool to extend a man’s consciousness into the other – a metamorphosis into the beast – where he can be free enough to indulge his fantasies. Why then do women find these tales attractive? The monster-female relationship in each uses the Beauty and the Beast trope to fulfill certain emotional needs for women that real life cannot duplicate. The subversive nature of the women in the novels is still appealing to women who have no real freedom. The Beauty and the Beast trope in these texts satisfies the need for a lover, the desire to be a mother, and the yearning to be a child again.

Start Date

April 2014

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 26th, 2:10 PM

Beauties and Beasts of Carmilla, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula

Edwards 103

This presentation will explore the psychology inherent within the Beauty and the Beast trope, specifically its presence in Dracula, Carmilla, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This trope is not confined to the Cupid and Psyche myth Apuleius relates; the themes of bestiality, transformation, and sexual deviancy found in The Golden Ass follow in its footsteps. The battle between the Beauty and the Beast of the self is depicted in each of these novels. Female sexuality was undoubtedly repressed during the Victorian era; however, male authors like Le Fanu, Stevenson, and Stoker used women in their texts to express forbidden sexual appetites. For these men, women are “the other” and therefore monstrous, too weak and enslaved by their own emotions to be truly moral. These novels are repressive for women, serving merely as a tool to extend a man’s consciousness into the other – a metamorphosis into the beast – where he can be free enough to indulge his fantasies. Why then do women find these tales attractive? The monster-female relationship in each uses the Beauty and the Beast trope to fulfill certain emotional needs for women that real life cannot duplicate. The subversive nature of the women in the novels is still appealing to women who have no real freedom. The Beauty and the Beast trope in these texts satisfies the need for a lover, the desire to be a mother, and the yearning to be a child again.