Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Twilight Series

Okay so a friend of mine made a post a little while ago on his blog about the Twilight Series (Breaking Dawn - Why?) in which he "critiques" the series even though he's only read the first book. While I agree with some of his sentiments, I feel like I should rebut a couple of things and express my own opinions. (Yes, I am the female friend he Though, he candied the crack himself...the candy part wasn't me.)

If you have not read Breaking Dawn, please don't read this post, unless you don't plan on reading them, in which case, read if you want. I do have to say that it surprises me when people haven't read it yet, considering that I have not only finished it...but also read 5 other books (and have started a 6th) since finishing it. But I read a lot and's just me.

In his post, my friend says (I hope you don't mind if I quote you, Friend!)
"The problem is Edmund–in the first book he’s always playing the tease: no, I don’t like you, though I’m going to willingly sit next to you, desire your blood and/or virginity, save you from certain death, etc. No, I don’t like you, Bella (Stupid). I’m going to somehow deny all of the instincts that are most basic to my nature as a vampire, and it’s no big deal. I will also tell you all about me and my family, despite the fact that we’re all hiding up here to get away from people knowing about us. Edmund, you see, is the first internally inconsistant character we see."

The first thing is that Edward is already living a lifestyle that is in direct conflict with his basic vampire instinct: he does not feed off humans. He goes to high school to maintain the pretense of a "normal" existence. If he and his family truly wanted to hide as you suggest, they wouldn't interact with anyone in the city at all. But they do. Carlisle is a doctor in the hospital. Edward, Alice, Jasper and Rosalie all go to the high school.

Secondly, Edward doesn't actually tell Bella he's a vampire. Jacob (the werewolf) does. She confronts Edward with it, and he tries to deny it until he can't anymore.

So why does he want to be with Bella? Well, that's the obvious part. He does leave for a week to get away from her but comes back...why? Because she is the only person he has come across whose mind he cannot read. He is curious and intrigued by the mystery of her. Plus she's fairly pretty. History is rife with men doing stupid things simply because of a beautiful mysterious woman. And he ends up falling in love with her. It happens all the time in real life.

No, Edward's not the one who bothers me. The one who bothers me is Bella. As I have told numerous people, her feelings for Edward are more like an addict toward heroin than a girl towards a love interest.

First off, she doesn't really love Edward. Her interest in him is completely self-serving.
"He's gorgeous and I like to look at him. OMG he likes to talk to me. I think he LIKES me! He makes me feel so good when I'm with him. That must mean I love him." It's incredibly juvenile. She's supposed to be 17/18, but her emotional range is that of a 12 year old. It really extremely bothers me. She had very little concern for Edward's wellbeing. Whereas Edward is willing to give up his feelings for Bella, and his want to be with her, for her own good, Bella is willing to do anything as long as she always gets her fix. She doesn't care how much it hurts Edward that she wants to become a vampire, she'd going to do it regardless. She's completely selfish in their relationship.

Which brings me to Breaking Dawn. I wanted to scream when, on their honeymoon, she tells Edward "we belong together" and they both "just knew it was true." No you don't. She has no concern for Edwards wellbeing. I almost put the book down. But I didn't, for the same reason that I had started reading it in the first place: I had to finish the story.

So then we learn about Immortal Children, which is supposed to be the "greatest taboo" in vampire society. Why, then, have we not heard about them yet?? Why didn't we get this string of Carlisle telling Bella about them in an earlier book, in a tone that said he didn't want to talk about it. It didn't have the impact it should have, because we had no prior exposure.

And I have issues with the whole idea of the "danger" of Immortal Children anyway. THERE'S an inconsistency for you. They claim that if you vampirize a small child (say, Erin's age), then they will be completely a slave to their bloodlusts, and cannot be controlled because they cannot learn, because they cannot progress past the age that they have been vamped. Therefore it's harder to keep them a secret from the humans.

My question is this: If an adult who is vamped can continue to grow cognitively, and can continue to learn things ad infinatum, they WHY can't a 14-month-old? Toddlers are incredibly more capable of learning than an adult. Why would a stop in physical growth impare a toddler's ability to learn? In reality, Erin will only be losing neural cells and elasticity from here on out, so an immortal child should be able to learn and grow and HUGELY faster rates than an adult who was vamped. But the immortal children give this book it's conflict, so they HAVE to be a bad thing.

So Bella, who is still human on her honeymoon, gets pregnant. It was then that she FINALLY had a real emotional response. The baby is killing her, but she refuses to let them abort the pregnancy to save her life. Edward makes Jacob offer to father a human child if she wants a baby so much, and she says "I don't want another baby, I want this baby." That is exactly what I said after I lost Cora, and everyone told me to just have another baby. Finally Bella has become a real person. ((But the thing that bothered me was that instead of her uterus growing 1cm a week like normal, she was growing 2cm a day. How come her uterus didn't rupture? At very least her skin would be tearing. There's no way it can stretch that fast!!))

And then she nearly dies during delivery, so Edward is forced to vamp her to save her life. That is my second issue. Not that she was vamped in the first place, but that she is suddenly the perfect vampire. Unlike everyone else, who had to go on a killing spree and rampage because the bloodlust controlled them for the first year or so, Bella is in complete control. She can already do everything perfectly.

You have got to be kidding me.

It might have been slightly easier for me to handle had Carlisle been able to say "Well, I have come across rare instances where newborns have had complete control right away."

No, Bella is completely special. She has it all handed to her. That irritated me.

Okay, I feel like I'm babbling now, so I'm going to end it here. I don't think I'm going to buy these books. I read them because I had to finish the story. It's done now. I don't think I need to spend money on it (I checked them all out of the library).

edited to add something I forgot:
My friend asks WHY the series is so popular. The answer is simple. Girls love bad boys. Vampires are the ultimate bad boys. Even good girls secretly like tattooed leather-wearing boys on motorcycles. So even more do they like vampires.

In the end, I liked Stephenie Meyer's book "The Host" a million times more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know me, the ever-present Twilight Champion.. I want everyone to love the books, I'm the hugest fan... blah blah blah. For once dearest friend, I'm 100% on your side. Breaking Dawn was trash. Still on the fence about it. Every point you made, I have said also. Yes. Amen.

This is why we get along so well :-)