Knowing that I let (force, maybe?) my opinion of Twilight be heard at any opportunity, I'm surprised I haven't written here about it. Let it now be forever a constellation in cyber space.
First of all, I feel the need to explain that I have read every book in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. Therefore, no one can tell me "you can't knock it unless you've read it." I have. I have earned the right to do what I'm about to do. It's like, you can't complain about a president if you stayed home on voting day. You can't complain about a book you've never read. But, again, I read them all.
It all started at Artco, where I worked a few years ago. I had heard of the series but it never really interested me. But every last woman and some men on my team had read the novels. All the women raved and ranted, oh it's so good, it's the best ever ever, you're not cool unless you read it. My friend Ben said it's crap. He read it and he hated it. But he was the one voice among many, many of whom were my trusted friends. So I gave in.
Twilight started out a little dull. But it picked up and the story was fascinating. A family of vampires living in the normal world! Who don't eat people! Fascinating. It got me curious. I was able to look past the heroin's unlikeable-ness, and the wasted words (seriously, the book could have been tremendously condensed by omitting meaningless pages). I was intrigued by the story. Stephenie Meyer started off with a very creative idea. The premise was fascinating. The book wasn't worth the raves it received, but, certainly, it was fascinating.
I should have stopped there.
But then I wouldn't have the right to say what I'm about to say.
First of all, let's talk about Bella. Bella has nothing going for her. She's not all that pretty, she's not all that smart, she's not all that friendly, she's not noble or compassionate or witty or sweet or anything! She's also not evil. She is the flattest character I've ever encountered. Even fans will agree that Bella doesn't have a lot to offer. So why does Edward fall in love with her? I'll come to that.
Now let's talk about Edward. Edward is worshiped by teen girls the world over. This frightens me. Who is Edward, really? He's a vampire, we know that. He's a hundred and something years old, we know that. He catches Bella's attention, we know that. He's good looking. And that is the only thing he has going for him. Is that really why all the girls love him? Because he's hot? Have we really come to that?
Edward is abusive. Go back and read and you'll find many instances where Edward leaves bruises on Bella. I've pointed this out to fans and, inevitably, the fans make excuses for Edward. "He doesn't know his own strength!" they say. To that, I say, So What? Why does that make it okay? He's had all this time to figure out his own strength, why hasn't he? And why, when Bella got hurt the first time he left his mark, didn't he stop? He is abusive. Twilight makes this okay. She makes it okay for girls and women who are in abusive relationships to justify it. Because Edward is abusive, but he's also admired and loved, so it must not be that big of a deal.
Edward is angry. So, so, so angry. He manipulates Bella (probably due to her weak mind). He yells. He freaks out. He's just an angry vampire. To this one may respond "Well wouldn't you be if you were in his shoes?" YES! Yes, I would be! And that would make me unworthy of worship!
Edward is spineless. He was totally okay with Bella cuddling up in a sleeping bag with his nearly nude arch rival. He watched it! And when Bella told him she made out with Jacob (and this was when Bella and Edward were engaged!), he didn't even care. That is BS! Who of us really really want a man who is okay with us making out with other dudes? That's NOT OKAY!!! Twilight makes it okay. Bella pays no consequences for her pre-adultery behavior. She gets whatever she wants and pays no consequences for it. Why wouldn't Edward be jealous? Because he doesn't really care about Bella. And why should he? Again, she has nothing to offer. They're perfect for each other.
Some say well Bella was about to die in that cold mountain and Jacob was the only thing warm around. So he had to warm her up by getting almost naked and climbing in the sleeping bag with her. Um, doesn't Edward run really fast? Couldn't he have flown Bella down the mountain to somewhere safe and warm and run back and missed nothing? Or, better yet, Meyer could have written a different scene where Bella was in peril that didn't require her fiance's rival to get in the sleeping bag with her.
Edward is a liar!! How many times did he lie to Bella? But, it's okay, because he was just trying to protect her. NOT. It is NOT okay to lie in a romantic relationship!
Edward is also a pedophile. He's over a hundred years old when he falls for a 17 year old. I don't care if he looks young, that's still gross.
I really like Alice and Jasper and Carlisle and Esme.
So now that we understand that Edward and Bella are characters devoid of morals, of honor, of true love, and of any sort of depth, we understand their attraction to each other. Birds of a feather.... What I don't understand is how their relationship is so envied and worshiped.
Bella tries to commit suicide. She, again, pays no consequences, and therefore shows the world that it's okay to attempt suicide when you're in love. She hates herself. She totally depends on Edward for emotional stability. This is the exact thing we should be teaching our girls NOT to do. Don't depend on anyone else for your happiness! But.... Twilight says it's okay. And desirable.
Twilight is a feminist's worst nightmare.
Remember the time when Bella tries to seduce Edward? I have actually heard the argument that because of this scene, the book has morality, has LDS values. What? When is seduction okay in the LDS church? In marriage. If it's your spouse you're seducing. When is it okay to talk to others about your bedroom life in LDS culture? NEVER. To display that part of one's life is a mockery, a mockery of sex and what it means, a mockery of marriage even. But that's a different post. Anyway, Bella is trying to convince Edward to sleep with her on the bed and he says no, refuses, and this is why some people say it has LDS values. They do wait till their wedding to have sex, and this is why people say it has LDS values. But, again, their honeymoon is displayed to the world. So. You can't really choose that one time when Edward makes a moral decision and say the series has good Christian values.
Remember how after they get married Jacob comes over all the time and cuddles with Bella on the couch and holds her hand and stuff? How is this justified? (oh yeah, it's justified because Bella is pregnant with Jacob's one true love- more pedophilia! EW!) Edward is there- is that how it's justified? Edward is okay with it- is that justification? Again, if I'm married, and I'm cuddling with some guy on the couch in my home and my husband catches me, and has no negative response whatsoever, I'm going to be convinced he's not in love with me. Either that, or he has no self esteem whatsoever, no self respect. And that's not cool.
Remember Breaking Dawn? What a waste of a book. The ENTIRE book is preparing for a big bad battle between the good vamps and the bad vamps. You're all sorts of pumped up after 500 pages of battle preparation. This gonna be a good battle, you think. But no. There wasn't one. Everything is happily ever after. What a huge let down. I remember once Dad said we're going to Lagoon on Thursday. We were so excited all week, got all ready, Mom even bought me a new pair of sun glasses. I was sooo pumped. We got in the car and drove from our home in Bennion, Ut to Lagoon in Farmington, Ut, which is about a 30 minute drive or so. We got there and it was closed. Oh, I was so disappointed. I was so let down. That's what Breaking Dawn did to me.
Twilight is not allowed in my house. I will encourage my children to never read it in their youth, because children are so impressionable and so are youth. Yeah, they can tell the difference between real and not real, but everything we take in is woven in our subconsciousness, and when you're so young, it's easy to melt that into what's real. And it's easy to think that somewhere in the back of your mind you remember a time when someone somewhere tried to kill herself because she was in love, and that was okay. And you remember that someone somewhere made out with another guy while engaged to someone else and it was okay. These don't come out as full thoughts, but as wordless impressions. And if my kids choose to read it, it won't be in my home, and it will be after a discussion of what is real and what is not, and that consequences do come with choices. And that Bella is the only person in all the world, even in the world of fiction, who doesn't have to pay for her sins in some way.
I can't even say "at least it's well written." It's not well written. It's not poorly written. Well, not very. It is filled with a bunch of meaningless adjectives and meaningless pages. But, for the most part, I wasn't distracted by poor writing. But I wasn't impressed either.
And with that I close mine epistle.