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I've read Twilight series a while back, only knowing that it's a popular series about vampires. I didn't expose myself to the reviews or spoilers beforehand. I was blissfully unaware of all the controversy this book had generated, and even after reading it I still don't get it. It supposedly had some annoying, rabid fangirls once upon a time, but they seemed to have been hunted into extinction by the haters. And speaking of haters, I don't see how fangirls could have been any worse.
In the internet of today, if Twilight is mentioned it's only to bash it, compare it to something they think is lousy but “at least it's better than Twilight”. Even when people (reluctantly) compliment any aspect of it, they always feel the need to start with something like: “I hate Twilight, but...” Thinking Twilight is the worst thing ever is something of a pop cultural dogma. Hate it or you're not cool. Like it, and prepare to get flamed. Now, what is the object of this hate and what did it do to deserve it?
It supposedly ruined vampires and took the menace out of them. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Twilight's portrayal of vampires is the reason I like the series. Usually a franchise tends to make all of it's vampire characters way too similar. Either they are all angsty malcontents who complain how they'd like to be human again (Vampire Chronicles), Always Chaotic Evil beasts (Blade) overly sexualized SM lovers (pretty much all of them). But in Twilight, every single vampire is a unique individual with distinct characteristics. Cullens are different than the Volturi, nomads are different from both. Twi vamps are simply the predator of humanity. Drinking blood invariably means death of the victim (bold choice, given Meyer's aversion to writing violence), no blood bags or syntetic substitute.
Bella is just another bland, unoriginal Vanilla Protagonist, but according to hatedom she's extremely selfish, because apparently being ready to risk and sacrifice your life for your loved ones like your mother or unborn child is a very selfish thing to do. She's also constantly called a doormat by the people who seemed to have missed how she persuaded an entire coven to change her into a vampire against her boyfriend's wishes, how she stood up to him when he wanted her to have an abortion, or how she risked life and limb trying to save him from suicide by Volturi in the second book.
Edward is your usual cliché brooding hero with a dark secret, and apparently he's abusive because he watches her sleep and stole her car engine once. Besides that, he saves her life three times in the first book alone, but that's only ever brought up to point out what a useless damsel Bella is. Edward gets no points for that. The rest of the cast is more interesting but permanently Out of Focus.
Twilight has it's flaws but Hate Dumb blinds people to all else.
I won\'t say I disagree... but you\'re still probably gonna get run over.
Oh, no. I\'ll only get run over if the haters will feel uncharacteristically merciful. Otherwise they\'ll probably tear me apart, set the pieces on fire, dance on the ashes, and say something like: \"Still a better death than Twilight.\"
It is mostly the values. When a book series promotes giving up your independence to marry a guy, giving up your life to have a child, and grooming that child into marrying her mother\'s ex, it kind of rots all the other stuff.
If your username is any indication, this is probably the greatest piece of literature you\'ve ever come across.
Bella never gives up her independence. Her wish to be a vampire against Edward\'s will is the best example of that. She has something she understandably wants and she takes it, even when her boyfriend says no. She doesn\'t want to be a woman of kleenex to his man of steel, she wants to be empowered, and so she is.
As for Bella giving up her life for her child, I don\'t see how that\'s any different than any other female or male hero in literature or film sacrificing him/herself for a loved one. When Katniss volunteers as tribute to save her sister, nobody has a problem with that. When Lily Potter dies for her baby (even without knowing her death will actually stop Voldemort), yet again there is no scorn for the values it promotes. Yet when it\'s Bella, suddenly the whole thing is a punch in the face of feminism? Twilight isn\'t the first series promoting sacrifice. In fact, much more books/films promote sacrifice rather than choosing oneself when faced with a choice, sadly. Twilight getting all the flack for doing the same doesn\'t seem to make sense to me.
Are the implications of imprinting ceepy and immoral? Yes, no argument there. Does it mean the books have no redeeming qualities? In my opinion, no.
Also, your username is cool :)
My first troll! I\'m so proud.
See, this is the 2010s and what\'s more, the internet. So yes, many people are more very vocal, hateful and even irrational about things. That doesn\'t mean that\'s the only people who complain about this series. As Ymisdaughter pointed out, it has IMO bad values, glorifying abusive relationships, and rather bad writing, people are described as some negative adjetive for no reason, then barely heard from again.
Are the implications of imprinting ceepy and immoral? Yes, no argument there. Does it mean the books have no redeeming qualities? In my opinion, no
That\'s some False Dichotomy.
Background characters (like Jessica) get described in negative adjectives sometimes, yes, but that's because Bella is a just a regular human being who can have first impressions. She doesn't voice these things, she doesn't insult the people she doesn't have entirely positive opinions about. Besides those are background characters. That's why they are barely heard from again. They have no relevance to the plot, they're basically part of the filler.
As for "bad values", it's sad that searching for potentially offensive subtext in Twilight is almost universally regarded as the only correct way to read the text, and the Unfortunate Implications seem to be viewed as the only right interpretations of the books.
Even though False Dichotomy isn't a working trope, you had a point in that last one.
Only values Twilight promotes
The series presents abuse behavior and both excuses it and presents it as idealistic. Love is the most important thing ever, is not the only value presented in the series. Hell, it\'s almost impossible to just have one value in a full-fledged book, let alone a series of them.
It is preached relentlessly by many works, from Harry Potter to Romeo and Juliet,
You do know that Romeo and Juliet is actually a critique of unhealthy romance right?
\"Twilight has the old, traditional message of family and marriage\"
Actually, it doesn\'t. It presents a semi-cultist, only our family matters mentality. Bella is way too eager to several times, throw her whole life away, including her friends and father and every time someone in-universe points out the risks, issues, etc. with said boyfriend and family, they\'re regarded as in the wrong.
That\'s why they are barely heard from again. They have no relevance to the plot
Exactly. These characters barely do anything if at all, neither directly or indirectly, for the plot, character or reader, so why are they in again? just for the simple oppotinity of Bella talking negatively about them? fictional characters that we don\'t know anything more about.
The series presents abuse behavior and both excuses it and presents it as idealistic. Love is the most important thing ever, is not the only value presented in the series. Hell, it's almost impossible to just have one value in a full-fledged book, let alone a series of them.
I'm not saying that all relationships in Twilight are healthy or flawlessly presented (Sam and Emily for one). Still, Edward was neves supposed to be morally white. Stephenie Meyer even said somewhere that she added things like his vigilante period to make him less so. The creepier things like nighttime stalking were put there because he's a vampire. There is supposed to be some inhumanity in his characteristics. Still, his actions that get called abusive never struck me as anything more glaring than the things other characters do in other franchises. Example? In Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger sets a flock of birds on Ron for dating another girl, and they attack him. That's physical assault, Ron and Hermione weren't even in a romantic relationship at the time, and the reader is supposed to take her side anyway. In the last HP book she attacks him herself (she had her reasons, but still) and nobody cries abuse. Yet when Edward admits to watching Bella sleep in the first book, Moral Guardians sharpen their pitchforks. I don't approve of stalking, stealing car parts or trying to make decisions for your loved ones "for their own good", but the level of outrage makes me ask why is Twilight subjected to so much more scrutiny than other franchises?
That's only one possible interpretation, and here is another one. Romeo and Juliet are presented as victims of circumstance. It's their feuding families that are portrayed as the ones in the wrong, and they are two innocent, young lovers who could be happy together if it wasn't for that senseless conflict. And how does the whole thing end? Glorified suicide brings peace between Capulets and Montagues at long last.
It presents a semi-cultist, only our family matters mentality. Bella is way too eager to several times, throw her whole life away, including her friends and father and every time someone in-universe points out the risks, issues, etc. with said boyfriend and family, they're regarded as in the wrong.
Overinterpreting Twilight to see it in the worst possible light has become a norm, so I realize I'm unlikely to persuade you. Still, I don't see it that way. Bella doesn't just "throw her life away". She gains a much longer one as a vampire. Twilight is one of a very few works where the narrative doesn't try it's damnest to make being a vampire look like such a bad fate. For every one of them who misses being human like Edward or Rosalie, we have many more who appreciate what the supposed "curse" gives them. Later, the protagonist becomes one such vampire and isn't penalized for it by the author.
Back to your issue, the reason why Bella thinks she has to cut herself off from her past life and even her father after her transformation is because of the threat to their lives she herself or the breach of secrecy is going to pose. In every modern vampire works short of True Blood, vampires existing is kept a secret for the safety of both species. Yet in Twilight it's seen as some sort of elaborate cultist propaganda? Because everything has to be a metafor for some reason? I don't buy it.
These characters barely do anything if at all, neither directly or indirectly, for the plot, character or reader, so why are they in again?
They provide exposition about the Cullens at the start, they remind the reader that Bella has normal life outside of her vampire business. Sometimes they provide comic relief. That's their whole function, and they don't have to have any more of a role because they are just background characters and the book isn't about them. I do agree though that there is way too much of them and the other mundane aspects of Bella's life thrown into the books. That's filler, dull and boring, good for nothing but skipping, but it's for some reason never criticized as harshly as the supposed Unfortunate Implications and the "destruction" of vampire image.
By the way, I shortened my previous comment to leave the bare essence of my gripe with the Twilight hate.
Honestly, while I admit I did' occasionally mocked Twilight, more for the fun of it than anything else (what can I say, nobody's perfect^^), and I don't really care about the book series, mainly because I never read it nor watched the movie, basing my experience of it only on reviews. But I do admit you raise a few good points. I actually agree with you on the Cursed With Awesome part, for example. I also do feel some unhealthy aspects are exaggerated. In fact I could add more: I always found it irritating how people say Bella has to chose between "Necrophilia and Bestiality". Not only is that stupid (Vampires might be clinically dead, but they still have a mind, can move and look like real persons rather than decaying corpses, so really all the things making necrophilia disgusting are gone), it's actually really insulting in Jacob's case, because that suggests him turning into an animal automatically makes him more animal than human.
Honestly, the main thing that bothers me with Twilight is less the book itself and more the influence it had on the vampire genre. Not only did it cause many people to no longer take vampires seriously (I wouldn't go as far as saying it destroyed the genre, but you have to admit, it has become hard to not find people who keep comparing any vampire to Twilight in some form), but more importantly this nearly destroyed the Friendly Neightborhood Vampire tropes and convinved some people vampires should be Always Chaotic Evil to be real vampires (The Blockbuster Buster in particular is guilty of this). As someone who likes stories about proving there is no such things as a completely evil race, I dislike that evolution.
I agree completely on the whole "Necrophilia and Bestiality" thing. They are both sentient beings, so it's nothing more than a very shallow way to make the series look bad.
Yes, vampire genre in did take a heavy hit and it's annoying to keep hearing those constant comparisons, but the Friendly Neighbourhood Vampire tropes, they did live on in shows like True Blood and Vampire Diaries.
I'm also really not a fan of Always Chaotic Evil vampires, because they are usually nothing more than a bunch of generic mooks with fangs for the action hero to mow down. Not a very compelling plot. And if you'd like a vampire story where there is no unambiguously evil or good race, try the anime Shiki. It has a very slow start, but if you suffer through the first few episodes it gets better.
Twilight is one of a very few works where the narrative doesn\'t try it\'s damnest to make being a vampire look like such a bad fate.
There is a lot of forced conflict. To summarize: No one forces Bella to leave Phoenix, Edward hates her for smelling good, Edward is worried about what will hypothetically happen to her soul, Bella is never going to choose Jacob over her script-says-so vampire soul mate, The Volturi may or may not be cool with the fact that a human is in on the secret, tourists may or may not figure the glittering man must be a vampire, …the wolfpack is still going to insist that Bella stays human and aging for whatever reason, Bella wants to be with Edward forever but she doesn\'t want to marry him, Edward wants Bella to marry him even though he\'ll be with her forever, pregnancies are a mystery to a family of which half has gone to medical school, part-vampire fetuses are a mystery to a family of vampires, the wolfpack want to kill the baby because it might do or be something or other, Irina won\'t talk to people, and the Volturi feel similarly to the wolfpack when they find out about the baby-now-six-year-old.
There was some genuine conflict too, mainly the abortion thing. The story (never mind the author) asks: Is abortion okay in some cases? and answers emphatically: NO, it is NOT.
Then there are conflicts that are conspicuous by their abscence. Why doesn\'t Bella give a shit that Claire is two? Or that her ex figures he\'ll hit that someday the first time he lays eyes on her newborn daughter? That sort of thing used to be the way to show that a character is irredemably evil. No one thought Baron Harkonnen or Humbert Humbert were decent people deep down.
Most of those conflicts aren't forced.
Yes, no one forces Bella to leave Phoenix, she does it of her own free will, but there is no conflict about it. She's just somewhat discontent about living in Forks in the beginning, but she doesn't regret moving. Edward resents her for smelling good because it tests his self-control. He's afraid he won't be able to stop himself from killing her, which would not only be a tragedy in itself but it would create trouble for his entire family. He's worried about her soul because he's religious and is one of those angsty “I'm oh so damned” type of vampires. Yes, the love triangle is forced and pointless, I agree. Volturi guard the secret of vampires, so they obviously would have some problems with a human knowing and being left alive/not turned. Glittering man will be something out of the ordinary that attracts attention, and if Vloturi fail to react, he had alternate ideas that included hunting in the city. The wolfpack are prejudiced against vampires because they consider it their duty to fight them, and the Cullens were the whole reason they turned to begin with, which some of them are less than happy about. Bella's issues with marriage are irrational, but they don't come out of nowhere. Her parents married young and divorced, and it influenced her. Vampires don't have enough self-control to have sex with humans without crushing their bones and killing them in the process. Most of them wouldn't even try. That's why the possibility of inter species pregnancies isn't widely known. Irina didn't know a hybrid was possible to create, so she jumped to the next conclusion. Wolves want to kill the baby? Fear, prejudice.
Volturi don't really care about the baby. She's a pretext to attack the Cullens and draft their more powerful members under the guise of law.
Bella chooses not to terminate the pregnancy, the key word being chooses. Everyone tries to convince her otherwise, but she keeps the baby. The book doesn't give an aesop that abortion is never acceptable (unless you squint to see it that way), but that it's a mother's choice.
Yes, imprinting is creepy.
@fanfictionlurker: you are welcome! And thanks for the advice regarding Shiki. I will make sure to check it.
I\'ll never know if she truly understood the risk. She didn\'t seem to think particularly hard about it. It is probably meant to imply that it was obvious to her that she should keep it. It occurs to no one but Jacob guesses that the fetus whose father is a vampire might want blood, even when the mother is anemic. That Carlisle didn\'t give her a blood transfusion at any point is at least odd, but I guess it\'s just like when Charlie doesn\'t know that he has no jurisdiction at the Quileute reservation: their fancy jobs are just there to be fancy, not useful in any way.
There is religious subtext, and it\'s hard to miss if you know anything about Mormonism that Bella is a Mormon Without A Church or what to call it, but it\'s not diegetic so it\'s probably not necessary to let it influence your interpretation.
Maybe Twilight is the Celine Dion of literature. Maybe the hate is more humour by now. People consider it just as politically incorrect to dislike Harry Potter as to love Twilight, so presumably it\'s just a fashion-related thing.
Still, Edward was neves supposed to be morally white.
Right, but the story instead focuses on the good intentions of said bad behabiors. Bella even gets mad at times, but no matter what maniplative, controlling, impossing, intrusive, stalkish, etc. thing he does, she always easily forgives him, spins it as her fault or overreaction, makes excuses for him, just sumisively accepts it or some combination of the mentioned. I mean, this are all things are regarded as signs of an abusive relationship (as in not just Edward, but Bella's behavior). And in the end they live happily ever after, when in reality, most women in this situations (bar the supernatural elements) end up heavily stressed and severely depressed.
"There is supposed to be some inhumanity in his characteristics'
Those are characteristic of an awful person, but not an inhumane one. Vampires are fictional, but there are real who display those things.
and they are two innocent
Again, no. The story does complain about the feud of the family, but it's even fiercer on it's critique on young and overdramatic love at first sight. It's even the last in a line of poems, each inspire by the former. William acentuated it's point, by reducing the protagonist's ages and the time frame of the story. Romeo is heartbroken and depressed over Rosaline, yet completely forgets about her and falls madly for Juliet (at her engagement banquet) the moment they meet and confess their neverending undying love for each other later that night. They quickly get married (I forget if it was that same day or the next). They resolve to suicide over someone they've known for less than a week.They are also hardly innocent, several things happen for their active involment in the matter and the way they choose to go about it.
Overinterpreting Twilight to see it in the worst possible light has become a norm
I'll argue against that. You're the one who keeps talking about some sort of correct way the book shall be taken, but then come on about different interpretations of things when it's convenient. I'm aware of Everyone Is Jesus In Purgatory and personally I dislike the practice of reaching too much. Twilight however, is rather simple, and as such these things stick out more. Search for any pamphlet on abusive relationships, or just google signs of an abusive relationship, completely unrelated to Twilight, yet one can easily point out the similarities. There are many teen romances that are constantly coming out. Many are the raid of their moment. Yet they were not received in the same light by the "general" public. Like I said in the begining, of course there's people who dislike the series for stupid reasons or to follow a croud, and I'll be among those to call out those people (a good example is this, well, thing since I can't in good concionece call it a review: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/review_comments.php?id=8574 ) but that doesn't mean there aren't a pletera of legitimate criticism and concern for the series.
Twilight is one of a very few works where the narrative doesn't try it's damnest to make being a vampire look like such a bad fate.
What? at the earliest, since Bram Stoker's Dracula, vampirism has often been used as an allegory for temptation, thus vampirism is regarded as awesome. It's ironic that you say that since, one joke brought at the expence of Twilight is that it ruined vampires and or that up until it, they were "cool".
the reason why Bella thinks she has to cut herself off from her past life
Actually, I wasn't talking about what Bella "thinks", on the contrary, Bella distances herself more and more from her (non-vampire) friends and father while she is human, even when they're talking to her with her best interest in mind. Bella is a rather crappy friend to ger human friends. Although I will admit, maybe calling it's display semi-cultist may be a little too harsh.
But that's the thing, they don't serve a purpose. I'm not talking about say,Bella's female friend or that guy who had a crush on her, I'm talking about the many character that appear, are insulted for little no reason in her mind and are never heard from again. It's never addressed so it's not used as some sort of exposition for Bella (since the series implies we should just take her word for it) or the scenerie, or even used as a tool for later character or plot development.
By the way, I shortened my previous comment
...We can we edit again!!!?
What? at the earliest, since Bram Stoker\'s Dracula, vampirism has often been used as an allegory for temptation, thus vampirism is regarded as awesome.
Uh, yeah, no. As someone who is currently reading Dracula (and has almost read the entirety of the book), I can assure you that no, it\'s NOT portrayed as awesome. Mainly because back then it actually was a horrible fate- the transformation is insanely long, painful and disturbing to see, you become an abomination causing more dread than charm, and your mind is warped beyond recognition to the point you are less yourself and more a demonic hellspawn. Mina was terrified the moment she realized she was starting to turn, and the only characters who do express intention to willingly become vampires are Renfield (a madman) and Jonathan (because he wants to stay with Mina no matter what). Unless you are talking about the John Carpenter movie, which I haven\'t seen; but if you mean the book? Yeah, being a vampire pretty much WAS a Fate Worse Than Death in it, and not presented as tempting.
The risk was impossible to miss. The baby was breaking her ribs and draining her, yet she was resolute in her decision to keep it. I can agree on points about Jacob and Carlisle, but Charlie was just throwing empty threats.
As for the religious subtext, it doesn't make the books objectively bad. As an atheist, I don't like having this sort of messages in the books I read, but I'm not so entitled as to think that the author of every novel has a duty to share my views or construct the plot in such a way that it creates an aesop I'll agree with.
Maybe Twilight is the Celine Dion of literature. Maybe the hate is more humour by now. People consider it just as politically incorrect to dislike Harry Potter as to love Twilight, so presumably it's just a fashion-related thing.
Yeah, I know, but it's kinda riddiculous IMHO.
Here is a link to an essay that argues against Edward and Bella's relationship being abusive http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/harry-potter-vs-twilight/articles/48663/title/edward-cullen-not-abusive-boyfriend-against-xdroseluvshp , and in my opinion it brings some valid points. It also touches upon some other points you've made.
Again, no. The story does complain about the feud of the family, but it's even fiercer on it's critique on young and overdramatic love at first sight.
It glorifies it. What does it have to say about Romeo and Juliet?
“Poor sacrifices of our enmity!”
What does it say about their love?
“From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove”
It hardly fiercer on overdramatic love than it is on senseless family feuds.
Love for Romeo makes Juliet more determined and ready to take action. Love for Juliet makes Romeo less willing to engage in violence (he tries to stop Mercutio). Their misfortune is brought by the conflict of their families, and their romance ends said conflict, at the price of their own lives. We're supposed to see them as poor, tragic victims, not strawmen against unhealthy romance.
Their ages aren't necessarily lowered. We're not talking about modern times here, but about a period when it wasn't unheard of for people to marry and start a family this young.
And thanks for the advice regarding Shiki. I will make sure to check it.
You're welcome, and I hope you'll like it!
Yeah, being a vampire pretty much WAS a Fate Worse Than Death in it
I wouldn't fully agree. The way I see it, the narrative tries to make being a vampire look like Fate Worse Than Death and it's seen as such in universe, but that argument seems subjective at best under scrutiny. Immortality and an assortment of superpowers are obvious, and as for their minds being warped, Count Dracula was himself enough to be capable of self-reflection and to complain about being a vampire (while enjoying his castle,“meals”, powers and riches). However, the vampires he created seemed to be entirely under his mind control, basically a bunch of slaves with little to no will of their own, other than instinct to feed and a dash of madness. For them I would agree about Fate Worse Than Death or at least not much different than death, but it's Your Mileage May Vary on Vlad himself, if we're trying to be objective.
But in Dracula, being a vampire comes with far more drawbacks than in, for example, Vampire Chronicles. These vamps are not killed by stakes or religious items, they keep their minds and identity after their transformation, there is super strength, speed, faster thought processes, sharper senses, and immortality. Yet the narrative goes well out of it's way to convince the reader that being a vampire is the most horrible thing in the world. ALL OF THEM (not just some) whine, mope, and complain all the time about how they wish they were never turned and want to be human again. Wangst, vampire is thy name. Most vampire novels contradict themselves by trying to present vampirism as a great misfortune and nothing else, and have those in universe not appreciate it's many perks at all, even though they are obviously there and the reader sees it.
That's one of the things I prefer about Twilight. There are still vampires who complain, like Edward, but the protagonist disagrees vehemently, chooses vampirism for herself, and the narrative doesn't punish her for it to try and show us that even though being a vampire comes with far more advantages than disadvantages in Twilight universe, it's still a bad, bad fate - just because.
In that regard, Twilight is almost unique. In most cases when we have a character who tries to become immortal, that character is a villain who will be treated with lots of Laser Guided Karma somewhere along the way. Bella, however, is not. She not only gets her wish and is happy about it, she actually makes Edward accept what he is. Narrative doesn't support the attitude of the brooding vampire, it supports the self-accepting one.
Well, I\'ll give you that, the book is rather ambiguous on weither or not you keep your mind after the transformation or not. I mean, yeah, you say Dracula isn\'t like the ones he transforms, but I\'d like to point out the book introduces him as a vampire and never shows us how he was as a human. For all we know, his mind might have been warped the same way Lucy\'s was. Still, you actually put the finger on the problem that caused your complain: vampires used to actually have a lot of drawbacks, but a lot of them got nerfed or removed entirely in later versions, to the point the condition doesn\'t seem so bad. The main three drawbacks that persist are: 1) You have to kill/hurt people to survive; 2) Who Wants to Live Forever?; and 3) You lose your soul and become evil (for cases like Buffy or Blade). Now let\'s examine them one by one:
Much like for superheroes, I can totally buy that being a vampire would be a difficult life and have a lot of drawback. But the worst life ever? Hell no! I think some people would enjoy it and other wouldn\'t. Much like, you know, a lot of things in real life.
I think some people would enjoy it and other wouldn\'t. Much like, you know, a lot of things in real life.
You nailed it! That\'s pretty much how it is in Twilight, and I find that realistic.
Well, I must say that after reading all of this, my opinion on Twilight has changed. While it still isn\'t my favorite series of books, I\'m not going to hate on it anymore. The writing could be a little better IMO, but there are still some diamonds in the rough.
Great! I'm glad I could change your mind about it :)
Temptation is not a perfect thing. Dracula also serves as an allegory for the devil (and trickster devil) and sexuality. Dracula himself is an impresive entity. Neither Nina, Lucy, Renfield, etc would actually be the type of entinty the count was. Lucy, a more liberal woman (between the lines seen as a slut) is the one persuaded (hynotised with sexual undertones) and ends up with the baby incident, while Mina the more quote on quote proper one against being transform (perverted). From this despiction of the count, youth, inmortality and powers at the cost of your soul or some equation (depravity) is often the asociation to vampirism.
The whole aspect of the characters is presented to as harsh, naive and extreme. The priest tries to use their marriage to unite their families (and later their deaths), but is of the mind that they\'re foolish and extremist. Romeo\'s friend complain to him over him being so emotional (that\'s why they take him to the banquet to prove he can get over Rosaline) and Mercution ridicules his love and the cocept of outcasting responsibility and blaming fate, even Juliet critiques his being harsh and his tendency to romanticize every little thing. The story structure itself also points it out. Romeo was oh so in love with Rosaline and equates her to the paragon of women and beauty, yet completely forgets about her once he meets Juliet hours later. However, instead of realizing that he\'s too young to be making such remarks, he instead for whom he falls madly in love right away and they end up secretly marrying, again, mere hours after meeting.
\" These violent delights have violent ends. And in their triumpth die like fire and powder. Which as they kiss consume. The sweetest honey is a loathesome in his own deliciousness, and in the taste confounds the appetite. Therefore love moderately. Love love doth so. Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. \"
Romeo is, several times, implied that he\'s acting as the men in the poems and love stories he read do, equating it more to Romeo being in love with \"falling in love\" than love itself. In contrast Juliet is shown as having a childish notion of love, saying she will \"see if she can love\" not Paris, but whoever her bethroded happens to be, who is alien to her new discovered feelings and as such just equates to Romeo\'s words and display (love to infinity and beyond), and isn\'t even mature enough to face chats aboout the topic of sex.
Love for Romeo makes Juliet more determined and ready to take action. Love for Juliet makes Romeo less willing to engage in violence (he tries to stop Mercutio.
Romeo risks death just to get a glimpse of Juliet by sneaking to his family\'s enemy\'s garden. His anger and passion makes him \"kill\" Mercutio after he felled Tybalt.His hastiness and dispair make him kill himself over Juliet (had he waited he would had realized she wasn\'t really death) and also kills Paris, who nowhere in the play is displayed as a bad person.
Their ages aren\'t necessarily lowered. We\'re not talking about modern times here, but about a period when it wasn\'t unheard of for people to marry and start a family this young.
Shakespear took \"inspiration\" from Arthur Brooke\'s The Tragicall History of Romeus and Iuliet were the story took months and the lovers were in their late teens (around 18, 19) while here, it took place in 4 days (from sunday to wednesday) and they were now (at least Juliet) 13. While it was common to be married at a young age, it was still not equated with maturity or adulthood. Just like many in the modern world would argue that you\'re still \"young, naive and inexperience\" in your 20s. The section about Romeo and Juliet seems to be getting out of hand.
Here is a link to an essay that argues against Edward and Bella\'s relationship
Why would I reply to this? at that point it would be me discussing with that person not you. In fact, Not to mention that that\'s just a regular person on the internet, I could point out to links to professionals arguing in favor of my point(s), but like I said, at that point we\'re not having a discussion and instead is more lika a weird game of cards. You place an internet column and I raise you a research paper, then you place a youtube video and so on and so on. If you don\'t want to discuss this then don\'t, it\'s alright, but don\'t outsource the job. At that point is seems less like something were we\'re both willing to accept, conceed and or learn points/arguments/etc. from others (which we have both done before) and more like you\'re stuck up and googling \"points that favor my view and or refute theirs).
Yep, you are DEFINITELY describing something from the movie here. Lucy in the book was described as rather chaste and innocent, and actually died a virgin. Her being "written between the line as a slut" couldn't be further from the truth. The liberal attitude was an addition from the movie. And yeah, Dracula WAS an allegory of sexuality, but sexuality as something fascinating and repulsive at the same time. He was impressive because of his power, but at the same time, there was something in him that was revulsing and preventing anyone from wanting to become like him (Renfield aside). Also, his assault on Mina is played less like seduction and more like rape. Again, nobody save for a madman in that book would describe vampirism as a condition you would want.
The whole aspect of the characters is presented to as harsh, naive and extreme.
Yes, but Romeo and Juliet are presented as naive innocents, who are only pushed into extremes by the family feud and the attempts to push Juliet into arranged marriage.
Mercution ridicules his love and the cocept of outcasting responsibility and blaming fate
The same Mercutio who prattles nonsense near the start of the play and later senselessly provokes Tybalt and gets himself killed. He is clearly not the person who can be treated seriously when talking about responsibility. Romeo doesn't "kill" Mercutio, he tries to stop him and Tybalt from fighting. His attempts to stop the fight inadvertently lead to Mercutio's death. Romeo is clearly portrayed as the one who is in the right in that scene. He loves Juliet, therefore he not only refuses to be himself provoked into the fight with her kin, but also tries to stop Tybalt and Mercutio fighting. He is the only person who advocates peace, who can not stop the two fools blinded with violence, and is only provoked to retaliate when his friend is killed.
even Juliet critiques his being harsh and his tendency to romanticize every little thing While finding it endearing.
Romeo was oh so in love with Rosaline and equates her to the paragon of women and beauty, yet completely forgets about her once he meets Juliet hours later.
That can be interpreted as an illustration of how easily the "true" love overcomes the "false" one. Love at first sight may be rare and unpopular "cheesy" trope today, but it was in fashion in Shakespeare's days.
also kills Paris, who nowhere in the play is displayed as a bad person.
He kills Paris in self-defense, after giving him a warning. While Paris may have reasons to attack him, he still attacked first, with the intent to kill. Characters making mistakes that lead to disastrous consequences is one of the most basic ellements of tragedy, but Romeo and Juliet aren't written as the ones making the worst mistakes.
saying she will "see if she can love" not Paris, but whoever her bethroded happens to be
And then, ironically, she discovers that she can love, just not the person her family would approve of, thus creating the whole conflict of the story.
And here is what TV Tropes has to say on the play and interpreting it:
If you can buy into that premise, this is a story of true love struggling against impossible odds, and all those warnings about moderation are well-intentioned but ultimately meaningless. If you don't buy the premise, it's a story of two shallow, overdramatic young people who don't really understand what love is.
The way I see it, it's a story that tried to chastise unhealthy romance a little, but also wanted to have it both ways and intentionally glorified it, thus creating a play that is mostly treated as "a story of true love struggling against impossible odds".
I could point out to links to professionals arguing in favor of my point(s)
You included a link in your previous comment (as a negative example, but still) and this was what inspired me to do the same.
As for outsourcing the job, you haven't even once given any specific example of Edward's behavior being abusive, or Bella's behavior fitting the one of an abused person. You kept stating it as a fact, and calling upon pamphlets and professionals. If you want to discuss it, give your own examples so I could either argue or concede.
@marcellX and @Theokal 3
Dracula and vampires written in those days were also supposed to be an allegory for old nobility, "sucking the (figurative) blood" of the common people. I just thought I'd bring this up.
Yep, you are DEFINITELY describing something from the movie here
Ok, here\'s the thing. I\'ve never even seen the movie you\'re talking about. I don\'t think I\'ve ever seen any movie about the classical story of Dracula. Yes, she was a virgin, that was part of the whole operandi of Dracula. By \"between the lines as a slut\" I\'m not infering she was actually sexually promiscuous, but that she behaved in a way that at the time, was seem by some as improper for a lady (it was a different time, showing knee was like showing a boob, but mean while everyone knew about one quarter of the children our nobels were from their marriage).
Your confusing temptation with just simple desire. Temptation implies that there\'s some negative aspect to it, even if small. You don\'t just desire to have sex with that person, your tempted as you\'d be cheating on your partner or knowingly; You\'re tempted to eat that half a dozen, cream filled chocolate covered donuts because you know you\'ll OD on sugar. etc.etc.
is only provoked to retaliate when his friend is killed
See, you\'re giving too much leaway to Romeo and Juliet. It\'s true that their families were in a feud and that if you want, even that Romeo was made to crash the banquet, but from then on it was their descicions that dictated their outcome. Romeo tried to stop the fight, but it was his descition to give in to anger and kill Mercutio. It was his descition to kill Paris, who mind you say made a grave mistake, but he was went after someone who was trespasing, is from a rival family of the deceised, who recently killed another member of said family and is an outlaw with an order on his head. And it was his descition to off himself right away, as even if he would had spend a little more time grieving (again with the theme of harshnes and extremes) he could had reunited with Juliet.
I\'m gonna cut it short here. Is the Romeo and Juliet section so important? because we\'re talking more about it here than Twilight itself. It would be best to make a review or threat about it and continue there.
You included a link in your previous comment (as a negative example
Exactly, I linked to an example, you could had even completely and utterly ignore it and would still be able to continue the conversation without problem. You gave me a link to a full argument and said, read that. As I said, if I replied then I would be discussing with that author not you, hence, you outsourced the job. Speaking of which, you said \"As for outsourcing the job,\" then when on about the specific examples...that\'s not really adressing the issue, just subtituting it for another.
you haven\'t even once given any specific example of Edward\'s behavior being abusive
Because you never asked for one. You\'ve been going on the premise that there is abusise ( ), while we did on Romeo and Juliet, we\'ve both been dealing with broad concepts rather than specific examples, so don\'t try and throw me under the bus now. You were talking about how disliking twilight or viewing/interpreting something a certain way was \"the norm\". You didn\'t even have a problem before, even said and I quote \" It also touches upon some other points you\'ve made. \" I talked about relationship abuse pamphlets, sites, etc. as examples of how said behavior, unrelated to the series, is still accepted as abusive and not just specifically as something used against Twilight as you seem to lean towards with the whole the series gets treated unfairly.
But fine. Edward tries to control Bella and isolate her from others. He takes out Bella\'s engine, even under the pretext (which still wouldn\'t make it ok) he later admits it was mainly done out of jealosy for Jacob. He\'s forces her into doing things even if by force under the guise of protecting her or helping. How he draged her out, pushed her to his car and took her home when she both clearly didn\'t want to and actively thought and tried to ran away. Bella herself constantly talks about how in a given situation, there was no argument, she would scaredly go along with what Edward wanted which usually came after a \"comand\". The stalking. He breaks into her house and watches her sleep, without her knowledge. This seems to have gotten worse on Midnight Sun, where we see more of the stalking and discover that part of the reason he does this is because she talks in her sleep (since he can\'t read her mind). Speaking of which, notice how mad Edward over his inability to intrusively mind read Bella.
or Bella\'s behavior fitting the one of an abused person.
she always easily forgives him, spins it as her fault or overreaction, makes excuses for him, just sumisively accepts it or some combination of the mentioned.
By \"between the lines as a slut\" I\'m not infering she was actually sexually promiscuous, but that she behaved in a way that at the time, was seem by some as improper for a lady (it was a different time, showing knee was like showing a boob, but mean while everyone knew about one quarter of the children our nobels were from their marriage).
Yeah, I get that, and this would be a credible argument... if not for the fact the narration does everything it can to portray her as the most virgin, innocent, ingenue girl ever. I mean seriously, what made you feel like she was behaving like a slut, even for the time? Because she gets proposed by three men? She makes her choice on one very early and politely declines the other two\'s proposals. Because she goes outside at night? That was because she was a sleepwalker. Honestly, the book make it feel less like she was a slutty girl and more like she was a naive Ill Girl. You can\'t even make the argument this is because the narration is done by men in love with her, because Van Helsing praises her just as much as the others. Her innocence was accentuated so that Dracula\'s murder of her and her transformation into a vampire would be more shocking.
But it still implies you\'d want it, at least to some extent. The only temptation scenes I can think about are the ones with Dracula\'s brides. Dracula himself always is portrayed as an abject (if Affably Evil) monster who forces himself on his victims.
Edward tries to control Bella and isolate her from others.
Edward never tries to isolate Bella from her human friends or family. If anything, he tries to keep away from her and discourage her from pursuing a relationship with him. He even tries to convince her that a human (like Mike Newton) would be a better boyfriend for her. Even after he gives up on that and agrees to be with her, he's still very much okay with her seeing her human friends. He visits her mom with her in Eclipse, he and the other Cullen siblings sit with Bella and them (the human friends) at lunch, getting a little closer to them under Bella's influence.
As for Bella having to end or limit her contacts with them after her change, nobody forces this onto her. She knows it's the best way to avoid risking their lives - when she's a ravenous, newborn vampire - and avoid risking that they'll figure out something's off about her, which they would if she kept in contact with them long enough and didn't age.
The only people Edward isolates her from are werewolves, specifically Jacob, his romantic rival. Yes, he does steal her engine and otherwise tries to stop her from seeing him, but later he admits it was out of jealousy and gets over it. He literally doesn't hold any grudge when Bella kisses Jacob and admits to being in love with him. He makes it clear that if Bella wanted to leave him and be with another guy, be it Jacob or anybody else, Edward wouldn't stand in her way - which says a lot about how controlling he is or is not.
He's forces her into doing things even if by force under the guise of protecting her or helping. How he draged her out, pushed her to his car and took her home when she both clearly didn't want to and actively thought and tried to ran away.
When they were escaping from James you mean? Well, that wasn't under any guise of protecting her, he really was protecting her. Bella is a human in a setting where humans have literally no way of defending themselves from vampires (short of possibly nukes). Bella needed protection from Edward and his family if she was going to have any hopes of surviving. Yes, he was too forceful in that car, but he was scared for her life and was having problems controlling his own fear, not to mention at this point he had little experience with being gentle when handling what is to him very fragile and breakable, namely human body. And later he agreed to follow Bella's plan of how to deal with James, therefore he was not too controlling to listen to her.
Bella herself constantly talks about how in a given situation, there was no argument, she would scaredly go along with what Edward wanted which usually came after a "comand".
You're going to have to be more precise. I don't remember a situation like that. The closest thing that comes to mind is him buying her presents or throwing a party when she didn't want that, and there wasn't any fearful agreement on her part when that happened, it was just her complaining and him being stubborn.
The stalking. He breaks into her house and watches her sleep, without her knowledge.
Yes, but that was intentionally creepy because he is a vampire. Many vampire novels have scenes like that, only they end with the vampire killing the human in question. This does not portray or promote relationship abuse. This ties into traditional vampire behaviors, with the difference that Edward (who actually admits he's stalking her) doesn't kill her.
part of the reason he does this is because she talks in her sleep (since he can't read her mind). Speaking of which, notice how mad Edward over his inability to intrusively mind read Bella.
Yes, that part annoys me in Twilight and all other works that treat telepathy - which is violating a person's mind and intruding on their most basic privacy - as no big deal. The way I see it, reading a person's mind would in real life be far more intruisive and unacceptable than peeping on someone in the shower and such.
That being said, Edward has little control over this power. It's always on. He learned to rely on it as much as human relies on the regular five senses. Not being able to read someones mind is as disconcerting to him as being suddenly blind when another person is around would be to a human.
she always easily forgives him, spins it as her fault or overreaction, makes excuses for him, just sumisively accepts it or some combination of the mentioned.
Just as she does with almost any other person in nearly any situation. She never blames Rosalie for her hostility, she would blame herself if Cullens had to move out on her account when escaping James, she blames herself when Jasper attacks her on her birthday, to give a few examples. Bella is consistently portrayed as a person with low self-esteem.
I'm not saying that Edward doesn't try to control her in some situations, but growing out of it and learning to respect Bella's choices is a part of his Character Development, therefore it's not portrayed as a good thing, but as something he has to learn to stop doing, and in fact he does.
No one said including religious subtext was a crime. In fact, I think it\'s the most interesting thing about the whole series, how it\'s only true love because they literally worship each other (and the baby) and how you know Bella\'s special because she lives like a Latter Day Saint and not because she has anything special about her. She does have immunity to mindpowers, but that doesn\'t matter much and the only reason I can think of to include that is to make her seem mysterious to the mindpowered characters. And a secret-keeper.
She does have immunity to mindpowers, but that doesn't matter much and the only reason I can think of to include that is to make her seem mysterious to the mindpowered characters. And a secret-keeper.
Actually that immunity is very important to the plot at many points, especially after she becomes a vampire, and it's one of the reasons Edward becomes interested in her to begin with.
Personally I think Bella's saintly ways have less to do with religious subtext than with creating a typical main character. She is simply a traditional protagonist, an average Jane (a reader stand-in), who discovers the world of the supernatural, and who is noble and self-sacrificing whenever the plot creates an opportunity. It's supposed to cause the reader to like her, which works for some but not for the ones who prefer something more original, complex and less white.
As for the mutual worship of her and Edward's relationship, what I see here is Stephenie Meyer following the old romance patterns that were present in literature for centuries and probably won't die out any time soon. The main couple fall in love from (almost) the first sight, their love defeats all obstacles and is the most important thing in the world to the both of them, they consider it worth fighting and dying for, and everything ends with happily ever after. It's an ultimate cliche, and Twilight serves it without apology or even a hint of cynicism, which is both one of the strengths of the series (it appeals to the romantics) and it's biggest weaknesses (it's a laughing stock to most others, provokes mockery and Tastes Like Diabetes).
I even mentioned before that I'm talking about before the change, when "I'm a vampire now" wasn't a reason. I've been seeing a lot of you arguing with points I've never maked, not a good look.
Again, this is not ok. Edward does something wrong, says sorry, goes on to to more stuff. aka, how abusive partners do.
See, what I mean, I specified the car incident, so you're adding arguments in for no reason. You even went on to talk about the car scene, so it's not like you didn't read it. Then again, went on with excuse about not knowing how to handle gentle create, etc. etc. Edward was human, he's over a century old, he's not a complete alien being. If he can go about his normal day without breaking and bending everything he touches constantly, he should be able to handle it. If Edward treated another vampire like this or if he was also human and treated Bella like this, it would be the same. Not to mention, what about the non-physical forcefulness.
We again fall into False Dichotomy he's not completely and utterly controlling so it's ok?
Let's use this scene as an example.
The series has an idealistic take on vampirism, you said yourself how it's not treated as such a bad thing (quite the contrary actually). Edward counciously took the descicion to break into Bella's home and watch her sleep and as we later find out, part of the reason was to hear her talking in her sleep since he can't read her mind. He didn't do it because he wanted to kill her, so it's not "typical vampire" behavior, he did it as a boyfriend for very human intrusive reasons.
Sight is a sense, spying on or seeing something someone doesn't want you to is still not ok. Hearing is a sense, eavesdroping on conversations and again, spying, is still not ok. Touch is a sense, you get the idea. Even if we count reading minds as a sort of 6th sense it's still intrusive to go out of your way to violate someone's privacy like that.
I don't agree he does but for the sake of argument let's go along with it. Edward does these things, and is, as we apparently agree on, easily forgiven, then does it again or does something else, and is again, easily forgiven and in the end he just sort of stops. So the message is: Girls, if your partner does something bad, just let him, he'll eventually fix himself. That's not even the "I can change him" aproach, that's "things will just get better on their own somehow". I won't do it again, I'm sorry, I'll change from now on, etc. etc. are the typical excuses abusive partners give.
That's not all I've said on the subject of Edward supposedly isolating Bella from others, and I think it's telling how that's the only part you answered to. To quote you, "not a good look".
I'll get to it in the end.
I specified the car incident, so you're adding arguments in for no reason.
The only car incident I could think of was the one when they were running from James. I don't remember every little scene from Twilight, series and even after you gave me this fragment, it still doesn't exactly ring a bell, so I'm guessing it was in Eclipse (the one that bored the living daylight out of me, so I remembered much less than I did from the other books).
if Edward treated another vampire like this or if he was also human and treated Bella like this, it would be the same.
I agree. That car scene seems to try to play it for humor. Dude Not Funny! territory much.
'''He spoke before I could. "Go stop Jessica and Angela before I have to track them down, too. I don't think I could restrain myself if I ran into your other friends again."
I shivered at the threat in his voice.'''
One thing. He's not threatening her, but the people who just tried to rape her. She's not afraid for herself, but I don't disagree about the other fragments. Still, we're talking about a situation when Bella was just attacked. Edward thinks she's in shock and wants to get her to a safe, calming place like that restaurant before the more emotional reaction kicks in.
Sight is a sense, spying on or seeing something someone doesn't want you to is still not ok. Hearing is a sense, eavesdroping on conversations and again, spying, is still not ok.
Not okay, but not entirely under his control. He can't turn it off. He can't turn his telepathy off no matter if he wants to or not. Intruisive or not, he will hear someone's thoughts and he can't choose not to. He seems only able to pick who to focus on, or to just catch the thoughts of everyone around him, but never to shut it down completely and not listen to anybody's thoughts.
The series has an idealistic take on vampirism, you said yourself how it's not treated as such a bad thing (quite the contrary actually).
Yes, being a vampire isn't portrayed as a bad thing, but there are still many dangerous vampires without those moral inhibitions that Cullens have. Bella was terrified when she heard the Volturi slaughter the tourists and she couldn't imagine wanting to be "that" kind of vampire.
Being a vampire isn't shown as ideal, but as better than being human though not without drawbacks. Even with the many perks that come with being one, Edward still struggles with his thirst and aggressive instincts (like when he fights the temptation to kill the would-be-rapists). Also, when he started to observe Bella in her sleep, he wasn't her boyfriend yet, which arguably makes it worse.
Still, it's not portrayed as a good and healthy thing. Notice how he fights his feelings for Bella, how he considers himself no better than a stalker (in Midnight Sun).
Edward does these things, and is, as we apparently agree on, easily forgiven, then does it again or does something else, and is again, easily forgiven and in the end he just sort of stops.
He doesn't sort of stop. He learns slowly and painfully that no matter how well intentioned he might be, he shouldn't try to make Bella's decisions for her. New Moon and Eclipse show his path to that realization. His attempts to control her end badly, and he's clearly shown to be the one in the wrong. He leaves her in New Moon "for her own good", causing them both nothing but trouble and almost getting them both killed. He tries to stand between her and Jacob in Eclipse, and she continues their relationship whether he wants it or not. Which brings us to:
things will just get better on their own somehow
They don't get better on their own. They get better because Bella asserts herself many times, standing up to Edward. She insists on becoming a vampire and when Edward is stubborn, she doesn't give up on it. She keeps in contact with Jacob despite Edward's jealousy and even kisses him. It gets better because, again, Edward's attempts to make decisions for Bella end badly and he learns from it. The ending of Eclipse is a turning point of sorts, when Edward ultimately gives up on controlling Bella, admits he was wrong to do so, and agrees to turn her himself and have sex with her without marrying her first like she wanted all along. After that he doesn't "apologize and goes to do more stuff."
If you want to read into it in search for a message, it would be one that trying to control people you love doesn't lead to good results, and that respecting their decisions is a way to go.
Bella\'s shield could easily have been the most interesting part of her. Too bad she barely thinks about it. She just takes it for granted and at some point Carmen (I think) tells her to try to be aware of it and she just becomes aware of it. And then Kate (I suppose) asks her to wrap it around someone else, which she does with ease within a few pages. Finally, in a burst of vampiric adrenaline, she wraps it around twenty people and stretches it across a field. And that\'s it. She could operate it all along, she just had to leave it to her instincts or something, there is no way she can do anything consciously for some reason. At least when Charles trains a mutant we get a montage, but with Bella we get some whining and some inexplicable results, kinda like those top grades Bella gets with ease even though she hates all the subjects that aren\'t English.
Bella doesn\'t take her shield for granted. If anything, she underestimates it\'s power. It becomes stronger when she\'s turned into a vampire, and others like Kate, Carmen or Eleazar know it because that\'s how it works with vampires. It is stated that a skill or a gift – supernatural or otherwise – that a human has will strengthen when said human is changed into a vampire. This is what happened to the Cullens like Alice, Jasper and Edward and all other gifted vampires.
As for Bella\'s training, I honestly don\'t see what\'s supposed to be so sub par about it. More experienced vampires like Kate help her practice, she makes slow progress, she learns to visualize and, to an extent, control her shield. It\'s not rushed in any way, her progress isn\'t instantaneous, but she does make progress. Characters using their powers instinctively in stressful situations as a defense mechanism (like when her daughter is about to get zapped by Kate, or when her family, friends and allies are facing an entire army) is very common in fantasy and sci-fi. That\'s how it usually starts in X-Men, for example. Confrontation with the Volturi provided her a strong enough motivation to let go of her doubts, trust in her power, and yes, listen to her instincts.
And she most certainly learns to use the shield consciously. She has enough control over it to let Edward read her mind in the end.
I read this on a dare, and yeah, I hated it. But I mostly hated it because it had a main character who the books tried to paint as this intelligent, independent modern girl, yet whose every waking moment was dominated by thoughts of her Love Interest, and abandoning any other plans for a future besides being with him. In other words that all those claims about Bella were a loud of baloney and she was just a typical Love Interest herself who has no real existence, interests or people in her life besides her boyfriend. And believe me, I'm tired enough of seeing generic Love Interests, let alone ones where the author's in denial and wants to pretend they're a real person in their own right. Every single time any aspect of Edward's brought up, it also had to be brought up how incredibly attractive it was. Frigging Forgetting Sarah Marshall did better at giving the girl her own goals and identity than Twilight.
As for saving her daughter or mother from danger, I don't know. Like I said above, Edward was the only thing dominating Bella's thoughts, and convincing him that she should be turned into a vampire her only real goal for most of the series. Since she never acted like a human being by once thinking about her danger and if she should change her mind about associating with the Cullens (when Edward himself constantly brought that up), being self-sacrificing started to seem kind of like she thought if she acted that way then it would impress Edward and help to convince him to give her what she wanted and make her a vampire. Or later on, to keep from risking her position with the wealthy, glamorous Cullens. If the story had ever devoted much effort to Bella having significant relationships with someone who wasn't a prospective Love Interest, it would've seemed a lot more genuine. I can't remember a single time Bella actually has a conversation with her daughter or does anything with Nessie besides hold her and smile together (going out and catching 8-pointed snowflakes doesn't really seem to count). Instead I couldn't help feeling she mainly wanted to look good and get to her desired spot in life, being the beautiful superhuman Mrs. Cullen. You can say a character really cares about and loves their mother or daughter in your narrative. You can also try to actually write a compelling story, take time away from mooning over Edward and show your heroine having real interactions with these people she cares so much about to show what you're saying. Show Don't Tell is one of the basic frigging things they try to teach you as a writer. :/ I just laughed at the beginning of the second book when Bella assures the summer break between the two was the happiest and romantic anyone anywhere had ever had, and I still had no idea what those two ninnies did together besides sit next to each other and talk about little random things. Has Smeyer been ever on a date in her whole life? THAT's her idea of the ultimate romance?
Might as well bring up my feelings on the whole "vampires don't sparkle" thing, and I think it's stupid, but I don't think it's stupid just because vampires don't sparkle anywhere else. Hell, if any supernatural creature differs with each telling it's sure as hell vampires. I think it's stupid because she wanted it to impart a majesty she couldn't convey without her readers just taking her word for it, so anyone who doesn't probably imagines it looking how it does in the movies: like a dorky teenager wearing body glitter trying to look "edgy" or something. That does nothing but work against the idea Meyer wants to give of her vampires, that they're incredibly beautiful angel-like beings who are nonetheless unstoppable deadly predators. Sparkly ones. So vampires sparkling is stupid, but I at least try to think that because it's an addition that shoots the author in the foot.
Also the author said the Cullens were a lot like superheroes, but they only do anything about something dangerous when they know they're the targets. That's not how superheroes behave. You can say a hundred times that a character acts and believes one way. But if whenever it counts they never act that way or even do the opposite, it doesn't matter.
And on the nature of superpowers, Meyer comes up with a lot, but a lot of them seem to be easy magical justifications that handily get the author out of having to expend any effort or spend precious time away from drooling over Eddie. Let's just ignore Alice and her omnipotent clairvoyance because that's been talked about to death. Renesmee doesn't NEED to talk to Bella, because she has a power to mystically impart her thoughts and feelings with a touch, and we know from that she loves Bella wholly and unconditionally. Boy, that's handy and saves the author a lot of time. Bella and Edward don't NEED to prove their sincerity to the Volturi in the second book, because one of them just happens to have a power to see the strength of relationships, and if this guy we've never heard of says it, it MUST be true! In the last book there's even a vampire named Charles (who I think is the third or fourth character in the backstory to have that name) who just happens to have the power to detect lies, which he uses to prove to the Volturi that everything they've heard is the truth and remove any messy questioning or suchlike that would be hard for an amateur author like Smeyer.
Oh, and saving Edward from suicide in front of the Volturi? That only happened because the author didn't know about modern technology and didn't think to have her genius dream guy bother to verify his belief that Bella was dead. The very definition of Idiot Plot. Come on...
As for why nobody praises Edward for risking his family's cover to come to Bella's rescue, I don't know for sure, but I think that's because for the rest of the series the Cullens pointedly ignore anyone else or put themselves out for anyone they don't have a personal vested interested in. At the beginning of the third book for instance Edward notes on the news that a serial killer operating in the nearest big city must be a vampire, but by being so blatant the Volturi are bound to step in and wipe them out soon. Bella herself says around that point the Cullens "protect human life," but after that Edward and his family wave it off and leave it to someone else to deal with (that and, you know, the repulsive thing about using his vampire agility to watch Bella sleep without her knowledge for weeks/months). At least when I read that, it sounded kind of like the author was hoping that if she said something, we'd believe it even if what she actually showed actively contradicted that. Same thing with how Bella and Edward have the most loving relationship ever; we hardly ever see them actually do things together, or acting in love besides for the crazy, stupid risks they take for each other sometimes. I can hardly think of any times Smeyer wrote them seeming like they enjoyed each other's company, most of the time one seemed annoyed with the other for one reason or another. Yet time and again, we hear they have the most loving relationship in the history of the world. The author said it, so they must be in love.
So I dislike Twilight? Yeah. Do I think it set the women's rights movement back a hundred years or anything as ridiculous or extreme as that? No. Heavens no. Am I glad the author learned a harsh lesson about thinking she was invincible, though? Yeah, I am. Screw these books.
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