Keridiana Chez met with us to discuss her article from the Victorian Review 37.1, the Spring 2012 issue, “You Can’t Trust Wolves No More Nor Women”: Canines, Women, and Deceptive Docility in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Ms. Chez’s article addresses the “problematic husband-wife and master-pet relations” (89) in the novel. She examines English women and their affection for their pets, in relation to its effect on marital life. “The structural positioning of women and dogs is surprisingly similar,” she notes, “and the treatment of rabid dogs mimics the way that men were supposed to treat the women that they loved as well.” English women and their “chiens de luxe” are cast in the same light, suggesting that domesticated women, like domesticated dogs, are public and private hazards. As she asserts in the Victorian Review, idle women are spoiled, useless, and “deceptively docile household member[s]” (77). Furthermore, in Dracula the rabid pet wolf Bersicker, and other pets, are presented as being highly susceptible to rabies, and women, as keepers of these luxurious pets, are more likely than men to be bitten and infected with rabies, or worse, vampirism.
Keridiana Chez is a PhD candidate working on her dissertation “The Affective Uses of Dogs: Pet-Keeping in Nineteenth-Century England and America” at City University of New York Graduate Center. She is an alumnus of New York University School of Law and State University of New York at Binghamton.
– Sabrina Schoch, Constance Crompton, and Ruth Knechtel