Femme Fatale: Lucy Westenra

Not all femme fatales start off morally corrupt women who use a sexual allure to put men and women (don’t forget Carmilla) into dangerous situations. Sometimes we get an insight into the creation of a femme fatale. Such is the case with Lucy Westenra, a hapless socialite who falls foul to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

So how does one move from respectable London ‘it’ girl of the 19th century to a deplorable blood-sucking vampire? Well first of all you need a vaguely annoying and self-righteous friend like Mina Harker. You need a few unusual habits, such as walking in your sleep (91). Then you find yourself a collection of interested suitors. Lucy attracted the attention of three suitors Arthur Holmwood, John Seward and Quincey Morris. She then confides to Mina that she would like to marry all three:

“Why can’t they let a girl marry three men, or as many as want her, and save all this trouble? But this is heresy, and I must not say it.” (76)

Marry three men! Are you not shocked and appalled by the gall of this girl? Well you shouldn’t be. Her desire to marry three is born out a sensitive nature that does not want cause any of them harm: “Three proposals in one day! Isn’t awful! I feel sorry, really and truly sorry, for two of the poor fellows” (73). If you are going to make a femme fatale, we want to develop a little sympathy beforehand and make the transformation clear so when you become that vampiric femme fatale “The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness” (252-3).

In order to become that woman, you’ve got to begin to establish a pattern of men submitting to your will. Your suitors come in helpful here. By giving Lucy a number of blood transfusions, Holmwood, Seward and Quincey begin to sacrifice themselves for Lucy. This is good practice. Then there is nothing too it, just die, become resurrected as the undead and head off on your way as a femme fatale.

One brief note, if some guy turns up with a big case, garlic flowers and some old books, watch out. He might be named Van Helsing and carry wooden stakes around with him. This kind of things can really dampen your ability to feed off others.

To see Lucy in full on femme fatale mode, watch a clip of the 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After Lucy returns to the crypt with a midnight snack, she goes full force on former fiancé Arthur Holwood. The creepiest part is watching Jude Law’s ex-wife getting the hots for The Dread Pirate Roberts.

The femme fatale rouges gallery:
Phyllis Dietrichson
Poison Ivy
Carmilla
Xenia Onatoppa
La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Ayesha

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