Coursera Fantasy and Science Fiction Week 3
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The male characters spend most of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" patronising the females, but the group only prevails when they stop trying to limit women's participation and work together.
Stoker uses two females to examine the changing role of women. The attractive, aristocratic Lucy Westenra represents the past, the practical and intelligent Mina Harker the future. While the former dallies over three marriage proposals: "Why can't they let a girl marry three men... and save all this trouble?" her self-possessed friend observes the differences between them: “the 'New Woman' won't condescend in future to accept. She will do the proposing herself."
Sleepwalking, the vulnerable Westenra is literally unaware when attacked by Dracula. Her three suitors cannot protect her and as her strength fails, they are unable to save her. Her fate is sealed when the men, fearing the shock will kill her mother, fail to explain their unconventional treatment and Mrs. Westenra unwittingly exposes her daughter to attack once more.
The turning point comes when the all-male team penetrate Dracula's lair. Mina Harker is now central to the group having collated their intelligence. The men, again knowing best, respond by excluding Harker from their expedition, leaving her alone and vulnerable, whereupon she is herself attacked.
As her strength fails, Harker's husband Jonathan remains blind to his error. He patronises her further, withholding news as they track the missing caskets. Though it "wrung my heart..." he reassures himself of his "courage... of keeping her out of our grim task..." because, ironically "...our growing knowledge would be torture to her."
Ultimately, through properly accepting Mina Harker as a member and fully employing her power, the group unites to overcome its powerful foe.
peer 1 → The sentences are good but I don't think the exposition is very clear. You should try to organize your text in a different way, for example: the main argument, examples and defense of the argument, and a conclusion.
peer 2 → The text is well presented and everything is clear.
peer 3 → Elaborated well with clear vocabulary.
peer 4 → Everything here is good except the lack of explanation of your argument. In the essay There is plenty of evidence given but tragically, there is no connection between the evidence and the point you are trying to make. Next time see if you can maybe cut down another example and explain the first one. Solid-low 2
peer 5 → Sentences are good and with a correct grammar. I'm not English mother tongue, so I don't dare to say there is something wrong (I actually didn't find any mistake), but I find some sentences a bit less clear, but still understandable. The schedule you have followed to present your thesis is simple but arranged in a good way, the whole text flows well. I don't understand why some sentences are written in a bigger font. I don't like too much the use of the noun "female" referring to a woman, it is correct but sounds a bit "sexist"; I would have used it only as "thesaurus", not main word of essay.
peer 1 → I liked the idea of Lucy and Mina representing the woman from the past and the woman from the future, but I think you should have explored it better.
peer 2 → Bravo! I think your thesis is excellent and well argumented. Your essay shows a deep understanding of the feminine symbolism presented in the work. You opened a new door in my reading of the novel.
peer 3 → Good point noticed about male attitude towards women.
peer 4 → The content wants to be there and I believe if this essay was more than 320 characters long it would be there. I did like your theory on how women are left out when things go bad, then when they are included everything starts to work.
peer 5 → Interesting thesis and good examples to support it and make your case. Nevertheless, you could have laid it out better. You made a good summary of the plot, focalizing on relationship and behavior toward women, but the reader of your essay understands the purpose of that only at the end. Alternating a bit more your considerations to the narration of events you could have got the point clearer.
Commentspeer 2 → Thank you for sharing your essay. It was fun and interesting to read.
peer 3 → Liked the idea.
peer 4 → Just remember that I have also read the Novel. You don't need to explain every character in excruciating detail (especially when there is such a short character limit). Other than that i believe you have great potential as a writer, keep up the good work
peer 5 → I like your point of view on this argument, good job! I note that you tend to quote a lot: when doing it, you can put some note (in the "Works cited" box) to exactly locate words you quoted on the book (i.e. "Chapter X", or "Mina's journal entry dated xxx"). That could make your essay a bit more "professional" and precise.