Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
In my thesis paper I look at three primary texts, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray to analyze their main antagonists through a vampiric lens. I explain how the characters of Bertha Mason, Miss Havisham, and Dorian Gray are all written with veiled vampiric traits that revolve around themes of sexuality, secrecy and seclusion, and unbridled physical and emotional violence. Although none of these texts is obviously a “vampire novel”, the authors lean into vampire tropes including eerie physical description, doubled relationships, and other vampire lore that can be best seen when compared to Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla. These vampiric portrayals bring to light Victorian societal fears surrounding threats to the patriarchy.
Harford, Jenna, "Veiled Victorian Vampires: What Literary Antagonists Reveal About Societal Fears of 19th Century England" (2023). Honors Theses. 1707.