TWILIGHT vampires resemble predators of the less mystical sexual variety
TWILIGHT- For those parents who have unwittingly encouraged their daughters to delve into Twilight, where our episodic fascination with Dracula lore is adapted for the young adult romance genre, be forewarned that author Stephenie Meyer may have fogged her rose-colored glasses with romantic nostalgia from her Mormon upbringing: old older men, arranged marriages, and, if you’ll pardon the dropped pretense, date rape.
Better you than your child?
Old fashioned matchmaking
First, Meyer’s teenage vampires are generations-old men, stuck reliving their teens, repeating high school to prey on each successive year of students. Matthew McConnaughey played it, minus fangs, in Dazed and Confused: “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”
Off campus, some of the undead “imprint” on newborns. Want that explained? Meyer’s succubus babies are born fully-conscious, if that’s any excuse, but elders are able to perceive them as soul-partners, and claim dibs to pair with them later. When they are of consumable age, I presume.
Perhaps you find these details to be inconsequential “vampire” technicalities protected by Meyer’s un-poetic license. There’s a zinger in the fourth book which you may find less palatable.
Because your tween-ager should know to make the distinction?
In book four, Bella marries the 117-year-old high school hold-back Edward Cullen, and finally he consents to consummate their marriage. He’s been withholding his afflictions for fear that vampire sex would kill her. By the way, that’s the romantic dynamic of the first three books, in case you wonder what’s titillating your acts-beyond-her-age young reader.
Typical of respectable novels, and the romance genre too perhaps, the sex scene is glossed over. Bella disrobes and joins Edward for a midnight swim, where he “leads her to deeper waters.” The narrative returns as the sun rises the next morning.
Classy enough for this lowbrow storytelling, except that Meyer earns no credit for obscuring the steamy bits, because the exact details are lost on her post-coital heroine as well. A fog of amnesia covers Bella as she spends the morning trying to reconstruct what exactly happened to her. With only her bruises for clues.
Meyer describes Bella waking feeling as if her skeletal-structure has been crushed like a wishbone, “but in a good way.” Bella discovers that she’s covered in bruises which grow still darker in severity, obscured by a dusting of feathers. Nevermind the injuries apparently, why the feathers? Her ravisher reveals he had to bite “one or two pillows” to keep himself from eviscerating her. For this act of consideration, Bella, and the readers, find Edward all the more endearing. Since vampires kill humans, how sweet that Edward merely vampire-man-handled her.
Bella survived the Twilight climax, and although she doesn’t remember the act, she’s feeling sexually satisfied. I’m open to the possibility that a gender gap might be confusing me. About what is Bella all aglow, if she doesn’t recollect what happened? Conquest? Having hosted a smashing party? I’ll tell you what I think has quenched Bella’s desire, if the Mormon motif is any indication. She’s fulfilled her biological drive. Not to possess Edward, but to become pregnant. In Meyer’s grandiose predestined sense, Bella is triumphant in having attained motherhood.
Do these themes fly over the heads of her impressionable readers? Why put them there.
The scene reads to me like waking from a date-rape drug, although the experience might more likely describe a young Mormon girl coming out of the state of shock induced by the violence of her older experienced polygamist husband rapist. At the least, how she might cope with having endured the brutality of a sexual drive unmatched by her own, and beyond her comprehension.
Men are not to blame, they are but slaves to their monstrous sexual urges. Obviously this is where Meyer looks for humanity in her vampires. Your daughter’s assignment? Assure her presumptive taker that she’s up for the worst he can unleash. She can favor the monster who feigns leniency.
Four books versus two
You may not have to worry about your child reaching the S&M sex, pregnancy, and monstrous-birth scene of Book Four. There’s a good hope that your young sophisticate will tire of Meyer’s underwhelming literary skill before the end of the first tome. There’s an even more likely chance that books three and four will bore her into maturity. Even Meyer’s fans hate the vacuity of those stretches.
Apparently the fourth volume was written as the original sequel, but was rewritten later to make room for the two filler episodes. They upped the Twilight movie take by fifty percent. Every fan is saying you appreciate the movie the most if you’ve read all the material.
What a great publishing scheme! The movie tickets are eight dollars, but the requisite quartet box set, sets you back $100. Ravaging the innocence of America’s tweens? Priceless.
Twilight the Movie
The biggest anxiety I heard expressed about the movie, was not if it could do the books justice, but whether the character of Edward could possibly live up to his physical perfection in the novel. Judging from audience reviews, film Edward was an exact match, which means Meyer left no room for a reader’s imagination. Is that what young-adult fiction is about?
Stephenie Meyer’s dream crush, as cast in Twilight the Movie, resembles the fittingly abusive Stanley of A Streetcar Named Desire, literally Marlon Brando’s brooding stage turn as the violent husband, wearing an Elvis wig, on lithium, as viewed through a camera lens smeared with Vaseline, probably also a polygamist staple.
How about just a bite?
You might be thinking, what’s wrong with just the first book? Can’t a girl luxuriate in the hyper-romantic swoon over the opening story?
I don’t know. I’ve often been perplexed about the teen Goth living death fixation, nihilism and teen suicide. I suspect they get fuel from mall rat romantics like Stephenie Meyer.
You be the judge. I was able to wrestle a few minutes with our household copy, to see that Meyer opens with this quote:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Does that equate vampirism with the forbidden fruit of knowledge? Meyer followed Dan Brown’s example to find a biblical passage to provide coded authority. More proof that insipid writing multiplies with inbred fiction authors.
In the spirit of taking guidance from a quotation, I entreat you to sample the preface of Twilight, because the Amazon Look Inside sample astutely skips it. If you’ve already read Twilight, please slap yourself on the cheek and try to extricate yourself enough to look at these paragraphs one by one.
Here it is, adulteration entirely courtesy of Meyer. Even if she was twelve when she wrote this, I hope your daughter can show more acuity than she.
I’d never given much thought to how I would die — though I’d had reason enough in the last few months — but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.
I stared without breathing across the long room, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and he looked pleasantly back at me.
Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of someone else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.
I knew that if I’d never gone to Forks, I wouldn’t be facing death now. But, terrified as I was, I couldn’t bring myself to regret the decision. When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end.
The hunter smiled in a friendly way as he sauntered forward to kill me.
I bet Stephenie Meyer cannot even gag herself with a spoon.