What do you think of Twilight Saga?
by Uchiha Sasuke
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 itAnswer:
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.
'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.