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Come chat to me about Twilight

(12 Posts)
AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 11:45:32

So I find myself drawn to the Twilight saga. I've read all the books several times and watched all of the films except the most recent one.

From a feminist point of view it know it's shit. Bella is pretty powerless until the last book, and then that's only because she's turned into a supernatural creature (not an option open to most women!). Edward is controlling, she's always tiptoeing around him coz she's scared of making him angry etc. Even Jacob, who I thought in the first three books was by far the superior suitor, doesn't really respect her (he's supposed to be in love with her but in that first half of the fourth book, in the bit told from his point of view, he expresses some quite disparaging views about her. For example, at one point, I forget where exactly, he sneers about how she's always martyring herself).

But I keep going back to it. I think it's the way they want her so badly, it would nice to be desired like that (without all the dodgy controlling stalker-y stuff obviously) and in that sense we as readers get to live vicariously through Bella. Jacob in particular goes back again and again, no matter how much she hurts him, in a way I don't think any man would in real life. I know, I know, this is supposedly explained in the fourth book by his imprinting on Renesmee i.e. he was attracted to Bella because she was going to be the mother of his soulmate (except in the third book Stephenie Meyer makes out that Bella and Jacob would have been soulmates and gotten together if Edward had never existed). (The imprinting thing really annoys me as a way of tying up loose ends. In reality we'd think there was something very unhealthy about a man falling in love with even the grown-up daughter of a woman he'd once been madly in love with, imprinting is a very clunky way of trying to get round this. I wih she'd just had the courage to kill Jacob off, intead of trying to force a happy ending for everybody).

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 11:46:10

Sorry, I know it's shit.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 11:47:42

Argh! I wish she'd just had the courage, sorry again.

Lottapianos Fri 23-Nov-12 11:49:55

I haven't seen or read any of it but I do keep meaning to rent one of the films, just to see how bad it is!

From a feminist point of view, it does sound pretty awful with the controlling behaviour of the male character and virginity being held up as a virtue. However the lovely Dr Mark Kermode, film reviewer extraordinaire and proud feminist, said he liked how the film shows the female gaze which is something that you almost never see in film or TV. You practically always see desire from a male point of view with the woman being the 'object' and Twilight balances this out a bit more. Interesting.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 11:56:50

I think Bella comes across as a stronger character in the films because you don't hear her internal monologue which is all along the lines of "I'm so rubbish. Why would Edward like me? I'd better never upset him coz if I do he'll leave. He's gorgeous, whereas I'm a real clutz" etc. etc.

BlameItOnTheCuervHoHoHo Fri 23-Nov-12 12:12:06

I'm with you op. I sneer at it and rant about the misogyny. But I do enjoy reading the books when I've taken painkillers and I enjoy the films.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 13:46:37

I wandered into Claires Accessories (not a shop I generally frequent) a few weeks ago and was astonished to find you can buy exact replicas of Bella and Edward's wedding rings (the props used in the films). I think that gives out the message to young girls that Bella and Edward's marriage is something to aspire to and it made me uneasy. Leaving aside the unequal nature of their relationship, it's implied at the end of book 4 that they are going to live happily and passionately ever after and that's just not realistic. Those of us in long-term relationships all know that passion eventually burns out. N.B. the stories of intense love affairs Twilight is evidently inspired by, Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights, both feature couples that don't actually stay together.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 18:22:55

No Twihards around?

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 23-Nov-12 18:53:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 19:54:06

Yes, there is that, I'd be interested to read that blog. But then it's not like she's short on suitors (or beaus or however you want to put it!) because she's also pursued by the Mike character. It's not clear to me why she has such low self-esteem: she has a good relationship with her parents, she's able to make friends, she's able to attract guys (both normal and supernatural).

Strawhatpirate Fri 23-Nov-12 20:29:51

I think that the Bella character is such a bland Mary Sue that people find it very easy to "self insert" into the franchise IFYSWIM. I think teenage girls are drawn to it because the world seems to revolve around Bella and they find the notion of that appealing. Personaly I don't like the way when they finaly have (within wedlock ffs) sex Bella ends up black and blue it really creeps me out.

AlexanderS Fri 23-Nov-12 23:48:44

Hmm, you can see why it led on to sado-masochistic fantasies like Fifty Shades of Grey (now that's something I've not read and have no intention of reading, though I did see a really detailed blog about it so I feel I'm up to speed. It sounds frigging awful).

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