Westenra, Lucy

Westenra, Lucy From the novel Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker, a character who dies from the attacks of the count, returning as a vampiress, a truly dreadful creature of the night known to her victims as the “Bloofer Lady.” Lucy represents the repressed aspects of the Victorian woman, the so-called New Woman whose longing for greater personal freedoms and a place in the world poses a threat to the male-dominated society of the time. At one point Lucy laments that she cannot marry three men, recanting immediately but showing that if given the opportunity, she would shed her inhibitions and succumb to her desires. The opportunity arises with the arrival of Dracula, an incestuous father figure who first slays her mother and then introduces her to the dark world of the vampire, where her hidden sensuality erupts into full flower. Her feeding on children is her final rejection of the role of nurturing mother. The seduction and transformation of Lucy is a major episode in the first half of Dracula, though it ends with her destruction by a stake delivered by her fiancé, Arthur Holmwood, on the very day of their planned wedding. Lucy provided the inspiration for similar characters in subsequent vampire films: women who secretly long to be vampirized, succumb to the attack, and then relish their new existence. But such creatures are merely used as instruments by the vampire, his true object of desire being the more virtuous woman who naturally opposes his evil.

Taken from : The Vampire Encyclopedia– written by Matthew Bunson. Copyright © 1993 by Matthew Bunson

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