What do you think of Twilight Saga?

by Uchiha Sasuke
(Westmont)

Hi, I read the twilight saga (or at least the first three) a few months ago and absolutely despised it, for many reasons mostly having to do with the characters.


Just curious about if you feel the same way.
Sorry this isn't exactly a writing question, but I just wanted to know your opinion on it

Answer: It's been a long time since I have written a book review, and I hate to criticize books that have been extremely popular. Not only is it a great way to make enemies of an awful lot of people, but, as a lifelong Star Trek fan, I know what it's like to have something you love be ridiculed, and to have "serious" people look down their noses at you.

Besides, Twilight's primary fan base is teenage girls, a group I am definitely not part of. If I say anything negative about it, I could fairly be accused of "just not getting it."

Also, I confess I have only read the first book, as research for a creative writing class I was teaching to teenagers. I did see several of the films.

All that said, the book's popularity surprised me. In a culture where, thanks to feminism, young women are encouraged to be strong and empowered while men are allowed to show their feminine, sensitive side, Twilight seemed like a throwback to a bygone era.

Bella is the kind of insecure, clumsy, awkward girl that most monsters in the 1950s loved to kill. I was a little appalled at the way she gets carried around by the Cullens as if she were a baby. Edward, on the other hand, is the kind of superhero figure men of the past thought they were supposed to emulate -- confident, strong, aloof, and as dominant as he can be without becoming a villain. (Of course he behaves like a man out of history, he's over 100 years old.)

I confess, I found it a little creepy that this old man insinuates himself into a high school. Obviously, he doesn't need to take grade 10 biology for the 80th time, so is he just there to prey upon young and vulnerable girls? Couldn't he find a vampire lady his own age? Then there's the way he comes into Bella's room uninvited while she's sleeping.

It is no surprise that 50 Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction, carrying the dominant male/submissive female relationship to its logical end.

If we assume that being bitten by a vampire is a metaphor in Twilight for losing one's virginity, then I confess I also disliked the way Edward sees it as his responsibility to decide if and when Bella gets bitten. This is also a throwback to the patriarchal tradition of men feeling obliged to control and suppress the sexuality of their female relatives. Nothing enrages a male chauvinist more than the idea of a woman having sex on her own terms without being punished for it.

Of course, Edward must suppress his urges as well, but this too is a rather sexist stereotype. Twilight seems to express the ideology that good girls submit to male control, while men's sexuality turns them into monsters unless they learn to control it. In other words, sex is sinful and needs to be suppressed rather than a natural part of a healthy life. (Hence the climatic scene where Edward sucks venom from Bella is reminiscent of the withdrawal method of birth control.)

Now that I've offended all the Twilight fans, for which I apologize...

(Please don't send me hate comments. Real fans know that discussing the cons as well as the pros of a story is part of being a fan. I'm really on your side, and on the side of all genre fiction fans.)

... I suppose I wonder what makes this type of relationship popular in this supposedly liberated age?

In fact, over the past decade or so some aspects of Western society seem to have been moving away from equality and democracy into a state of ever greater polarization. True, there have been some victories in areas of gay and indigenous rights, but economic inequality hasn't been higher since the Great Depression. We also see more expressions of racism in the media and elsewhere (especially directed at Afro-Americans and Muslims) than we have in a long time. Political divisions have never been greater and corporate control of government has reached new heights. Extremism seems to be stronger amidst all major religions.

There's also the fact that rampant individualism has frustrated the natural human need to be part of a community. As an individual who is "on your own," the pressure to be "strong and empowered" all the time or else be called a loser is something many people find quite stressful. It's like everyone is living in Survivor, awaiting their turn to get voted off the island.

A fantasy where one can surrender control (to a worthy lover) may appeal to men and women alike. In a world that seems increasingly chaotic, a fantasy where all you have to do is submit, do what you're told, and you'll be looked after offers a feeling of security (rather like the one offered by religious cults, extremist groups, surveillance societies, and the military).

Okay, this is why I don't write reviews. I don't know enough to stop before I offend the wrong people.

Comments for What do you think of Twilight Saga?

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Feb 22, 2015
my take on Twilight
by: Anonymous

What I found about the Twilight series was that the dialogue was authentic, although her running commentary of the emotions of the characters felt quite obvious at times. I got tired of seeing characters 'grimace.' My favorite part of the series was near the start of book 4 when we see a stream of consciousness inside the head of the werewolf.

Feb 23, 2015
I have a love hate relationship with Twilight.
by: Tammy

I used to love the Twilight saga. I read all the books (and brought them) I watched all the movies (and brought them to)
I never really supported the Edward/ Bella relationship. There were a lot of things that threw me off. Edward sneaking into her room while she slept, Edward parking behind her and forcing her to deal with a boy's unwelcome advances (Tyler asking her to the dance), Stalking her, driving recklessly while she's in the car, refusing to have sex with her, trying make her a
abandon Charlie when James attacked, talking about killing himself, throwing her into a glass table, dumping her in the woods, taking all her stuff, not letting her say goodbye to his family, leaving her in a crippling depression, trying to kill himself in a way that could have harm other people (the Voltori would have killed all the people who saw him sparkle), acting like Bella was stupid for believing him when he said he didn't want her, refusing to learn her hang out with Jacob, taking the engine out of her car, buying her a cellphone so he could keep track of her whereabouts, trying to force her to go to a college she doesn't want to, bargaining marriage for her becoming a vampire (and sex), lying to Bella about Victoria, telling Jacob that they were getting married, bruising Bella on there wedding night, and trying to force Bella to have an abortion.
I was actually Team Jacob for a while until I realized that Jacob had his faults to ; forcing a kiss on her, not accepting her relationship with Edward, threatening suicide if Bella doesn't kiss him, almost ruining when he found out she was going to have sex with Edward, planning to kill her husband, wanting Bella to have an abortion, and imprinting on a baby.

Both men were not a good choice for her.
But Bella wasn't so great herself. She made a lot of questionable decisions, was a horrible role model for young girls. Her becoming a vampire was a horrible decision because I honestly felt that she wasn't mature enough for that decision. She didn't seem to appreciate her human life enough to think of the consequences. And she should have been able to defend herself more not just wait for Edward and Jacob to save her.

Stephanie Myer should have added some real consequences for Being a vampire and forced Bella to deal with them.

So all in all:
Twilight- B for constant damsel in distress, Stalking, breaking and entering, and falling in love to fast
New moon- C for zombie depression and reckless suicidal behavior, and refusal to get over a break up.
Eclipse- B from abusive relationships, asshole guys, forced kiss, sudden realizations of love, and easily defeated army.

Breaking Dawn- D for breaking her own canon, pedophile werewolves, trying to force an abortion, Horrible baby names, and a build up to a battle that never happened.

It was a good saga that could have been great but was executed poorly. I liked it when I was younger but when I got older the flaws were overwhelming.


Feb 27, 2015
Not so fast...
by: Joseph

Glen,

To extend the vampire bite = sex metaphor...

In criticizing Edward for insisting Bella be 18 before he'll "bite her", aren't you inadvertently criticizing the decision of an adult male who is dating an underage girl to wait to sleep with her until she is of legal age?

Leaving aside the fact that dating an underage girl is a bad idea in the first place, this seems less like the patriarchy coming down on women's lib and more like common sense.

Feb 27, 2015
To Joseph
by: Glen

I think we agree that the idea of an adult male dating an underage girl is creepy, particularly when the difference in their ages is so vast.

However, the age of consent in Washington State is 16, and Bella is 17, so there would be no legal issue with Bella having a sexual relationship. (Hence, Edward's pretense that he's physically just 17, even though he's lived over a century, is an attempt to make the relationship palatable.)

The core issue, as I see it, is whether Bella has the right to determine her own destiny, or if that decision is deemed to belong to whichever man owns her. The overall plot of the book concerns whether the man to possess Bella will be Edward or James. Bella's relationships with both vampires feature an imbalance of power. While James wants to violate/consume/kill Bella, Edward is quite possessive, obsessive, and controlling. He treats Bella like a precious ornament that must be kept unsullied -- not as his equal who is entitled to make her own choices.

Again, it harkens back to the sexist attitude that unmarried women are either virgins or whores. The former are put on pedestals and guarded; the latter deserve to be abused. But an empowered, sexually active woman who is not punished for such activity, nor under the sanctioning control of a husband, cannot be permitted.

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