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What Twilight Says About Our Youth

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  • #16
    The only way that Bella makes any sense to me at all as a character is that she's not a character at all, but instead a symbol of a teenaged girl.

    In that case, the book then serves as a cautionary tale. Bella thinks she has two choices: to stay with Edward and remain a child eternally, watched over and cosseted inside the Cullen house and unable to leave because they will literally force her to stay there using their supernatural powers (see uh. the first half of Eclypse); or to go with Jacob who she thinks represents her freedom, but instead represents a physically abusive situation, where Emily (I think) represents the physical danger she could be in, especially as her fragility is so emphasised in the books.

    Both are abusers and live in abusive situations. Bella's tragedy is that she has to pick which abuse she will accept and what she will not. As such, she's kind of trapped by her own false conceptions of life and love. She never takes a third option because she can't conceive of a third option. While we as readers can see that she doesn't have to end up like this, she can't.

    So it's kind of a reminder that there are more options than just these two forms of abuse.

    Alternatively I am thinking way too much about a series of books I deconstructed at the behest of a lecturer who had a drinking game for every time Edward "chuckled darkly".


    • #17
      My school has an online book blog, and someone posted a Twilight haters thread. It has..*drumroll please*..about 360 comments, none of them by Twilight lovers. All of them are great arguments against Twilight, but I won't post them here to protect their privacy, because their full names show up on comments. Our blog has like 10 Twilight haters and 1 Twilight lover. There aren't that many people on the blog, like 25 in total.
      "This will look great next to my restraining order from Leonard Nimoy!" ~ Sheldon, Big Bang Theory


      • #18
        Okay, I have to say this. I just have to. As I read Frivs's first post, all I could think was that I know a girl who is Exactly. Like. Bella.

        Last year, in my freshman year of college, my mom thought it would be a good idea to buy me and pretty much prod me to read Twilight. So. I made it maybe about 2.5 chapters before I saved myself from actually throwing the book. I love books. I do. And even if the book is utter crap, I still feel a sense that I need to ride the thing out, at least see what happens to the two dimensional characters. With Twilight, I barley kept myself from being sick. Ugh.

        So. Bella. Well, there's this girl I know... let's call her... "Anna." Long story short, the boy breaks up with Anna so he can be with me. They dated for a year, and our relationship lasts about a year and a half. I have made a decision to seperate myself completley from the boy since the last "incident," as it hurts me and my friends, my family, and I see how crazy Anna is. Because she will not give him up. In the best of times, the boy can be a damn saint. In the worst of times... he is Edward.

        Quoting Frivs's First Post:
        Bella's life is completely and totally consumed by Edward. She literally does not function without him. She gives up friends and interests for him, puts herself in danger for him, lies to her parents for him, etc. Essentially, Bella's only desire in life is to be with Edward. She has no goals or aspirations beyond this. She doesn't care about her education unless Edward wants her to. She doesn't care about her -life- unless Edwards wants her to. And when Edward leaves, it is only another man (Jacob) who convinces her to function at all.
        As I read this, I literally went, "Oh... my... god. It's... it is... Anna... I... my... god." This describes the girl perfectly, and if I was to explain why, I honestly would just be repeating the same words I just quoted. Oh, and yes. Anna is a HUGE Twilight fan. (Which, yeah, makes her a little more despicable, I agree.)

        According to Wiki, the first book came out in 2005. I have absolutley no doubt that Anna read this, and when she started dating the boy, she obviously thought this was the makings of a perfect girlfriend, perfect boyfriend... perfect relationship. And with some good ole high school girl manipulation, she made the whole thing work, and keep him in her life.

        It's like MTV. Their people go out and observe kids, film kids, exaggerate a bit what the kids are doing. Other kids see it on tv. Want to emulate it. Do it. MTV films them. Exaggerates it a bit. Other kids watch tv. It snowballs. It's like... like a parasite and a host. They're feeding off each other.

        My god I hope this is a phase. Because if it's not, I have a feeling a war might be coming.
        AIM: CeliaWells8 / Twitter: Scifi_Nerd
        Won 2nd Place for Topic Of The Week 04, January, 2010!!!


        • #19
          Steven King agrees with you almost word for word . He was asked to compare the books to Harry Potter. He said the difference was that J.K. Rowling could write and if there had never had been a movie Harry Potter would have been just as popular. The same can be said for Young Wizards.


          • #20
            I also have a huge problem with Twilight and the whole craze. I read Twilight and New Moon when I was 16, because a friend of mine who loves them said I would too. They were okay, bordering on bad, nothing spectacular. I read Eclipse after it came out, and thought the series was going to go downhill even more. Breaking Dawn... Well, let's just say I had to skip the first 150 pages 'cuz I couldn't stand Bella's whininess, and the last ~25 pages, 'cuz I knew it would be tied up in a sparkly bow.

            I tried re-reading the first three before Breaking Dawn came out, thinking it was just I didn't like them the first time around, and if I re-read them, I would start to like them better. Nope. Couldn't get past the first chapter of Twilight that time, let alone the other two.

            My main problems with the series are Bella being a cardboard cut out of a character, and losing all her smarts she apparently had before moving to Forks, just to lust over the super-mega-awesome-foxy-hot (thank you, A Very Potter Musical) Edward, who acts like an emo.

            Edward is the worst character to ever live in the literary world. In Midnight Sun, he admits he oils Bella's window to make it easier for him to get in and out of her bedroom, and calls himself a stalker. If Edward calls himself a stalker, don't you think that makes him one? It makes him creepy, by any means. Also the fact he and Bella "can't live without each other" makes him more annoying. New Moon was my favorite book, 'cuz Edward was in it the least. Doesn't make the suicidal tendencies of both him and Bella inexcusable, though. And people think this is a "perfect romance" when the guy is a stalker and the girl doesn't think for herself.

            Jacob, well, he's sort of amazing as a character, until he turns into a pedophile for imprinting on a baby. I have so many issues with this book series, I could go on forever about them all.

            Stephenie Meyer as an author also really bugs me. Her lack of professionalism, the way she treats her fans, and wanting to be compared to J.K. Rowling at every turn is infuriating. Meyer, you're a half-baked writer, who doesn't even have a plot to your stories, you just "write what your characters tell you to", so there's no coherence. You break your own rules for the world, cover up the evidence that you did so, and then blame your fans when they don't bow down and worship your rainbow farts because they're angry that you broke your rules. I don't know if J.K. even knows if your books exist, and if J.K. does, she might be a bit peeved in you saying you're the next big thing compared to Harry Potter. Or J.K. might just brush Meyer off with grace, who knows?
            I stand tall, proud, brave, straight, and strong.
            Fairest and Fallen, greetings and defiance.
            ~Book junkie~


            • #21
              Okay, this is probably going to be long because this is a subject I have a lot of things to say about.

              I believe I read Twilight about two years ago, when I was 16. I was visiting my friend in Michigan, and she was reading it. I picked it up, fell in love, and for the rest of my visit we fought over who got to read it when. :P New Moon came out shortly after, and I read that as soon as I could get my hands on it. I waited for Eclipse to come out, and re-read the first two of the series in the meantime. However, a second read convinced me that Meyer "cannot write worth a damn" and that greatly lessened the enjoyment of reading Twilight. New Moon I was uncomfortable with because of the entire premise. Boy leaves girl for "her own good," girl has no life, interests, hobbies, ANYTHING without boy and mopes around for months, other boy comes in, girl uses him, girl does stupid, dangerous things to "see" first boy, girl does something that looks like attempted suicide, first boy does attempt suicide by public sparkling, girl drops second boy to save first boy, first boy says "you stupid girl, how could you believe what I said was true?!" and girl takes him back, no questions asked. Honestly, when put that way, the whole plot is just ridiculous.

              But I read Eclipse when it came out. This one I found things wrong with almost immediately. Edward disabling Bella's truck so she couldn't see Jacob is one of the worst, but there's also the whole love triangle. Meyer, we know Bella will never give up Edward, so why even yank us around like that? The tent scene is cringe-worthy, but since Bella is a stand-in for every female reader, what girl wouldn't want to hear two guys proclaiming their respective love for her while they think she's asleep?

              Breaking Dawn did it for me. Part one: Bella whines. And whines. Like she has been for the previous three books. She and Edward get married. Part two: Bella is pregnant, Edward wants her to have an abortion, Bella doesn't want to, and Edward offers Bella up for puppies with Jacob. Part three: OH MY GOD JACOB IMPRINTS ON BELLA'S BABY, Bella becomes a vampire and is totally better than everyone else (but thankfully stops whining), and there is absolutely no conflict and everything is tied up in a shiny bow. THE END. It took a lot of self-control to keep from throwing the book across the room multiple times, but I just barely managed not to do so.

              What's the point of all of this? I was 16 when I read this and was sucked in like the rest of the screaming fangirls (I, however, am proud to say I liked the books only. There weren't movies out at this time, and if there were, I would NOT have been stalking Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner WHO IS NOT EVEN LEGAL, OKAY, TWILIGHT MOMS?). It wasn't until a few months later that everything was not as sparkly as it seemed, and it wasn't until Breaking Dawn came out that I swore off the series forever. However, there are entirely too many teen girls (and guys) out there who think that this is a good example of love, and think that Bella is a good role model (actually, there are nine-year-olds and fourty-year-olds who are in love with this series, which is absolutely baffling). Bella, in fact, is only a cardboard cutout and her life revolves around Edward. She has no hobbies (besides reading Jane Austen, and come on, I love my Jane Austen but I have plenty of other interests, thank you very much), makes absolutely no college plans (I have one more supplement to go before I'm done applying, and I've already been accepted to one), gets married with a baby right out of high school, and it makes you wonder what the heck she did with her life before Edward.

              I am also am a firm believer that Edward is abusive. He's emotionally abusive, not physically, but that's just as bad. People have already pointed this out, so I won't go into details why (if you want to know, read Midnight Sun. Edward pretty much comes out and says so...), but it's horrifying that teenage girls don't seem to recognize this and go around touting Bella and Edward's relationship as twu wuv 4eva. I'm almost eighteen and I've never been in a relationship before, but I fervently hope that if I were to date a guy like Edward, I would recognize the signs and get out of that abusive relationship, fast. What Meyer should have done with the series is admitted it's an abusive relationship and explored the consequences of that, but obviously that will never happen.

              Oh, and thank you, crazy_bookworm for throwing in an AVPM reference there. I never thought I'd see Twilight and AVPM in the same post, and I laughed.

              Sorry, there were absolutely too many teal deer in this post, but I had to get it out.


              • #22
                summer-breeze01, this is the part of me that takes over and hugs you tightly even though we barely know each other.

                THANK YOU!!!

                I couldn't BELIEVE it when I read that Bella and Edward actually get married. I mean, first, ok, total spoiler, not that I'm ever gonna torture myself and read the books, but... but... what the blankity-blank-blank!! I honestly can't think of anything else to say to that.

                I hope this craze is over SOON. It's ridiculous how many people think that this is real love. And that this is an ideal romance. It may actually be literally sickening (wow, no pun intended there) to talk about and read about this. Maybe it's the dining hall, but with the bits and pieces I'm putting together about these books that are far worse that I actually imaged, I am starting to feel ill
                AIM: CeliaWells8 / Twitter: Scifi_Nerd
                Won 2nd Place for Topic Of The Week 04, January, 2010!!!


                • #23
                  Wolf, no problem. And I accept hugs from strangers.

                  I honestly didn't think the Twilight craze was going to last this long, but with the movies out, I suppose I should have known better. But it's sickening to me to listen to people rave about the books/movies and especially about Bella/Edward's relationship. If it's people I know I then put my two cents in about how it's not as shiny and sparkly (hey, Meyer asked for people to use those descriptions negatively when she created vampires that sparkle in the sun) as it seems and I give them specifics, like the part where Edward disables Bella's truck to keep her from seeing Jacob. It never ceases to amaze me how many times I've heard "yeah, well... He loves her! He's over-protective so she won't get hurt!" in response. I've gotten to the point where I just want to yell "WHAT DO I HAVE TO SAY TO GET YOU PEOPLE TO BELIEVE THIS ISN'T A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP?!?" to every single one of them. Sigh.


                  • #24
                    summer-breeze and Wolf: I totally agree. Hopefully the Twilight craze will die out sooner than later so we can go back to lives without sparkly vamps.

                    The movies are getting done so fast because vampires don't age, so they want the actors to change in appearance as little as possible between them (read: they don't look older than 17-18). I've heard there's some difficulty getting Breaking Dawn getting green-lighted because of some elements Summit wants to change for the movie (the imprinting, the creepy birth scene, an actual battle) Stephenie Meyer is fighting for them to stay in, because the books are her babies, and they shouldn't be changed for the big screen.

                    I also can't believe it when people think Bella/Edward is an actual healthy relationship. If you want something like that, you're in for rough times ahead in the dating scene, either by being with someone abusive because you think it's tru wuv, or no guy ever meeting your expectations of the "perfect" man because they're not like Edward.
                    I stand tall, proud, brave, straight, and strong.
                    Fairest and Fallen, greetings and defiance.
                    ~Book junkie~


                    • #25
                      Oh Powers that Be in a bucket, Twilight. I heard about it a couple years ago, saw several people reading Breaking Dawn, hovered over one person's shoulder, saw them flip to the bleedin' glossary of vampires, cringed, and tried to forget about it. (And that was after I saw it was in multiple parts.) But nooo, my favorite Inheritance TrilogyCycle critique site started talking about it too, so I started reading...

                      And then I went to Chapters, saw the frackin' great 'Bella's Reading List' piles, winced at those because I did not and still do not understand the awesomeness of them, and then later found Twilight at the library and started reading.

                      Edward. Is. CREEPY! And Bella is stupid and should really have cracked him upside the head with her bedside lamp the moment she saw his sparkly ass being all stalky-watchy-like and Bella whines oh god she WHINES all waaahwaaahwaaaaah I'm moving in with my dad waaaaah I'm ivory pale waaaah there are boys fawning over me waaaaaah Edward isn't fawning over me waaaaah Edward saved me from Tyler's van waaaaah Edward's stalking me let's hook up with him! Edward wants to take it slow waaaaah Edward's playing baseball blaaaaah omigod other vampires OMIGOD MY MUM'S BEEN KIDNAPPED no she hasn't omigod -faints, misses EPIC BATTLE (I'd hate the book just because of the missed moment of awesome, but slogging through Bella...!)- Edward's taking me to the prom waaaaaah Edward won't turn me into a vampire waaaaaah -end-

                      And Twilight wasn't even all that bad! Now, New Moon... I'm eighteen waaaah I'm older than Edward waaaah I'm all old and wrinkly waaaaaah the Cullens are throwing a birthday party for me waaaaaaaah they got me presents waaaaah OMIGOD PAPERCUT OMIGOD JASPER'S INSANE OMIGOD EDWARD SHOVED ME INTO A TABLE OMIGOD OMIGOD omigod Edward's DUMPING ME?!??!?!?!? -dissolves into catatonic state, Mousey throws the book at the wall and raegs-

                      I mean really. I didn't even get a hundred pages into New Moon. I do have to admit I like the character of Jacob in the first book; he's a bit of a wasted character, as I hear he turns into a sort-of-attempted-rapist-then-pedowolf thing later on. But Bella is whiny and Edward is creepy and their 'love' is Bella's hormones and the fact that Edward being a virgin for a hundred years or so has got to do something funny to his head. Oh, yes, and Bella's blood smells like his own personalized brand of crack. Just take a nice long drink and end her whiny existance, it would make a much better book! Not least because it would be shorter...

                      Ooohh, and my older sister Becky tried to get me into them around Christmas before last. There was a nice cross-purposes conversation there...

                      Her: "Have you read Twilight?"
                      Me: "Yeah, didn't like it."
                      Her: "But it's got vampires!"
                      Me: "Don't much like vampires, really."
                      Her: "But it's a love story!"
                      Me: -really?- "I'm not into that, really." -I lies, I lies hard, you can tell by my faves that I loves me some shipping-
                      Her: "But it's a love story!"
                      Me: "I'm not into that, really." -turns to the chips and busies my mouth with munching-

                      And it is ever so slightly frightening to read people saying 'ohhh it's so romantic! it's true love!' because if that's true love, I do not want to see an abusive relationship.
                      "Accomplishing the impossible means only the boss will add it to your regular duties." - Anonymous
                      Nita, Kit, pay attention to that one!


                      • #26
                        Here is my basic relationship with this cultish nightmare:
                        -reads Twilight very early before the craze, mildly likes
                        -others read it go completely crazy praise it incessantly all I hear at school is how hawt creeper Edward is, thinks sure what ever
                        -reads New Moon and Eclipse, thinks people are being overly dramatic
                        -twilight movie comes out, thinks god I hate this will people shut up and talk about something else!?!? Other than Edwards looks and how nice Jacob is and how vampires are awesome.
                        -reads Dracula by Brahm Stoker, washes hands of this craze.
                        -sees the new classic covers in Borders and nearly dies (see: Romeo and Juliet (9780061965494): William Shakespeare: Books )

                        All in all its a 'meh' piece of writing that has been over publicized and hero worshipped when there is plenty of awesome literature out there for people to read.
                        Now I must sleep cause I keep on making spelling errors...
                        Ha! A few minutes after I first posted this I was thinking and wow all the fictional guys I like* are all intelligent, and have trickster/bad boy persona's and they are all emotionally damaged... Hmm. I wonder what this says about me. In my opinion this makes them more likable because these faults are so human even if the character isn't. Y'know? I think this is the main reason I don't have positive feelings for Twilight, all the characters are too perfect. Sure you HEAR Eddy boy moan and groan about how hard it is to be a vamp blah blah freaking blah but does he ever REALLY struggle with it? We hear Bella moan about how ugly she is but yet she has flocks of boys dying to go out with her... This is probably why my most liked character in the series is Jasper, in my mind he is more like a genuine vamp and oddly enough a genuine human.
                        Now I really must sleep!

                        *In any capacity not in a romantic sense.
                        Last edited by Garrett Fitzgerald; October 6, 2010, 02:48:32 PM.
                        I think I'll go ennoble some waffles.


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by bookgirl View Post
                          Frivs- I think you are being a tad harsh on Bella. Now I will be the first to tell you that the Twilight Saga is by no means great literature, however the characters do have a few redeeming features. First of all, Bella loves unconditionally. She forgives quickly and doesn't hold grudges. While not all of her traits are admirable, she still has traits that are good.

                          Ink-Knight- I agree that there are a lot of heroines that are much better than Bella. Much stronger. One of my favorite books series came out at the same time as Twilight, it's called Poison Study. If you are looking for a [I]strong[I] female lead, check out those books. Yelena is incredible. However, I really don't think that it's fair to say that all female youths are like that. Sure there are a lot of airheads out there, but I'd say the majority are selfless, and very smart. Maybe my opinion is affected because as a Junior in college I'm around more responsible people than I was when I was in high school.

                          Anyway, that's my two cents. But I still think that Nita would grind Bella into the dust in a fight.
                          I agree with you all the way! Bella is a teenager. Many teenagers love the novel because how you can connect to it and just able to enjoy.
                          A spell always works. -So You Want To Be A Wizard I wonder would it work on my sisters... hmm...