The Tragedy of the Twilight Debate

Debating Twilight is like brushing your teeth with Coca Cola, pointless.
The more people say that it is a love story, the more I hate the ‘saga’ myself. Honestly I have recently re-read Eclipse, and still enjoy it to a degree. There are certain things, however, that now grate on my nerves because of what I have learnt or unlearnt. I have given up. Twilight debates tends to go a little like this….

“The novels are about romance, it’s about love against all odds. It’s about a love that is eternal and will last forever.”

Edward is emotionally abusive and Bella lacks the self esteem to become independent. Far from being a love story it features a cycle of abuse in which a character sinks into a depression, lasting for three months, because she is missing her first love. Even when she finally manages to pick herself up, it is only with the help of another male, who she uses again for her self esteem.

“Yeah, well, it’s a fantasy novel. Werewolves and vampires don’t exist in real life and you don’t debate whether this is harmful to the audience reading it.”

I’ll accept it is a fantasy, but Twilight is hardly a love story. In fact it regularly mentions ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ Both of these were tragedies. Wuthering Heights was about two selfish brats who ruined the lives of all those around them, just because they were ‘in love with each other.* Doesn’t that sound familiar? Catherine even tries to make Heathcliff jealous by marrying Edgar. Catherine cries ‘I am Heathcliff.’  This shows that the two of them are the same person and being apart from him will kill him. Yet if this was to be a reference to Twilight, it would mean that Jacob was based on Heathcliff, the one that Bella had grown up with. Edward then becomes the poor sap like Edgar who married a women more wild then the moors. After all he could never tame her so she dies. (Well becomes ill, whatever) Yet somehow Meyer denies her characters a proper storyline in desperation of giving her characters an unsatisfactory ‘happy’ ending. Imprinting, are you kidding me?

“Romeo and Juliet are an example of love conquering all though.”

No it isn’t. Have you read the play? Yet again, this is about two other brats who kill themselves at the end because of a slight confusion.

“I have to disagree with what you said about Edward. He isn’t abusive, he is looking out for Bella who has a habit of getting into dangerous situations. He is doing it all for her own good. You also have to remember that he is from a different century, and they had different values back then, and that is why he wants to marry her.”

Fine, he’s from a different time but do you forget that a) he is a seventeen year old boy and b) he should have managed to catch up with what we value in this society by now. Why can’t Bella take care of herself? She seems quite capable of learning to drive before she met Edward. Now she can’t even cope with him being in the next room. Also why is it more dangerous to be in a room of werewolves then a room of vampires? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that these books are about a teenage romance and then flip to saying this is a  fantasy to excuse character behaviour. Taking the engine out of your girlfriend’s car, watching her sleep and stalking her shows an obsessive character. I’ve actually heard teenagers say ‘I wish someone would care about me that much.” No you don’t. That is what the Block option on Facebook is for. Besides Edward acts like he is Bella’s dad. What teen wants that?

“I did.”

What?

“Nothing.”

*Long pause*

“Bella is a strong character who knows what she wants, and isn’t afraid to go for it. She doesn’t give up on her goals, being a vampire and….and..

Stuck are we? For you see, Bella’s only goal is to be with Edward. She gives up on her education, her family, a potential career in fact she doesn’t have any goals. She doesn’t want to be a old fashioned housewife with children, but she also doesn’t want to be a typical teenager mooning over her male peers. (She is too mature for all that.) Her only goal is to be with Edward, and even when he breaks up with her, she is happy to settle for his hallucination. How strong. She uses everyone she comes across and manipulates Jacob who has admitted he is in love with her.

“It’s a saga about true love.”

What, didn’t you hear anything that I just said?

“I heard the jist…blah blah blah abusive…blah blah blah…I’m so jealous of an author who wrote a book which is popular.”

But

“Now I’m off to decide what I’m wearing to the first screening of Breaking Dawn.”

I give up. Honestly there was a Twilight debate. There were some good points made, some I hadn’t thought of. At the end the blogger who had started it all pretty much just added a conclusion which just ignored everything said. I will say this though.

Twilight is aimed at teenagers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t handle the material. Think about the literature we were taught at school that feature, abuse, violence and death. Think about the times as a child you found a bad book in a loft or old pile of books. What’s more important is that we learn as girls how to handle ourselves, if we are in an abusive relationship. You can shelter as many children as you want from Big Bad Literature, but for some they are actually going through these things. Bella is just a character but what’s worries me is the thought pattern I had while reading it. If you begin to think ‘this is romance’ as I did, you probably need to think “why do I think this was romance?”

Twilight has taught me to question my own relationships and how far I’m willing to put up with behaviour that is unacceptable. Anyway I will leave you with this.

1) I will try not to debate Twilight again, so…..

I will redirect you to Alex Reads Twilight
He says it all.

2) This comment on Amazon.com made me laugh….. 

What a cold hearted, self centered, cock tease of bitch– please read some reviews for Breaking Dawn

3) Also check out what Leah said on Seduced by Twilight  about the following quote from Eclipse;

“He kissed me angrily, roughly, his other hand gripping around the back of my neck, making escape impossible.” Then next paragraph… “I grabbed at his face, trying to push it away, failing again. He seemed to notice this time, though, and it aggravated him. His lips forced mine open p.293

There are pages and pages about how beautiful Edward is, but this incident gets a paragraph and afterwards there is no apology.

Who am I kidding? Will I ever stop talking about Twilight?

Anyway Meera Syal is going to be at DMU, Friday 4th March. I have booked a ticket and am really hoping I can go. I won’t make the same mistake of missing Ken Loach. So unfair!!!

I bid you a good evening.

*These are my opinions on the Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet, you may disagree. True Love or Idiocy- you decide.

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