February 4, 2011
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Within the past few years, a book renowned for its love story has escalated in popularity amongst teenagers. The story is of a young girl named Isabella Swan that moves to a dreary city in Washington and proceeds to fall in love with a man that goes to her school by the name of Edward Cullen, a person with a hidden past as well as the occasional baffling eccentricities. Twilight, both the name of the book and the saga, skyrocketed in popularity and became a worldwide famous story. The cause for the popularity in the book could be due to the ability for readers, mostly females, to relate themselves to protagonist: Bella. Another reason could be that teenagers with their own hopes and dreams of love that the readers hold dear can identify with the love story. Either way, when brought into the light the shadowy gauze that brings the “stunning brilliance” to Twilight melts away to reveal a poorly written book that is lacking in character development and abundant in misleading lessons and confusing plot lines.

Throughout the book Twilight, we are told the story through the eyes of the Bella Swan. She is a relatively normal teenager with her only faults seeming to be clumsiness and masochism. A Mary Sue, by the basic definition of writers everywhere, is a one-dimensional character. A person that has been created for a book that has little development in what the character does or thinks is widely considered as a writer’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, this has become the case with one renowned character. Bella Swan, the protagonist in Twilight, is a character that has become notorious with many readers as a Mary Sue. Her reasoning is the same throughout the book, and her mindset remains the same about how the world works around her. The only difference now is, instead of adjusting her logic to where the idea of vampires makes sense to her, she merely expands her world and accepts the new information as it is. There is no change in her throughout the book, no epiphany that leads her to bettering herself or the world. Likewise, there is no attempting at become a horrible person in exchange for personal gain. In short, there is nothing to show that she has changed as a person, whether it is for better or worse. From beginning to end, Bella is a character that seems to do nothing but complain about her life and swoon over an undead man. These traits will not launch this character into everlasting memory, where books just as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Oliver Twist, and other classics rest.

Another point to be brought up is the lessons Twilight shows. Although the author may have had no intention of there being a lesson in the book, there will always be something for people to learn from stories. Murder-mysteries could be interpreted as ‘you can never get away with murder,’ while romances can tell how you never know what could happen in your life. Even though the idea and lessons about love are in Twilight, there are other, more menacing, lessons under the surface. These lessons, going through the entire four books in the Twilight Saga, include necrophilia, bestiality, pedophilia, and marrying young. Necrophilia is shown through the love that Bella and Edward hold for each other and their rather raunchy honeymoon together. Even if Edward has the capability of walking and talking, he is still dead and procreating with him is still immoral in most religions. To continue on, bestiality is shown with Jacob Black and his relationship with Bella during the time that she was pregnant with Edward’s demonic spawn. Edward, in a weak and not carefully thought out plan, pleaded with Jacob to impregnate his wife with Jacob’s child. This would, in turn, give her the child she wanted and keep her save from harm. As before with the necrophilia, Jacob was a normal human being before but with his change, this would now bring up complications. In addition to the second moral sin is pedophilia, which is illegal. The people in Jacob’s circle of friends and family imprint on the person they are destined to be with for the rest of their life. Whether this strange occurrence happens on children or grown women seem not to bother the people in this group all too much. Lastly, Bella and Edward get married almost immediately after they finish high school. Although the allure of everlasting love appeals to young girls, in real life this is not realistic at all. There are very few cases where a marriage carried out at that young of an age actually lasts. A person might ask how this is teaching children these things. A bit of evidence I would like to bring up is the incident where Robert Patterson attended a movie premiere and a young seven-year-old girl approached him and asked him if he would bite her so that she could become a vampire. Though these lessons are direct, they are affecting the minds of people that read this story.
Finally, there is one last point that must be brought up. To explain this point, a little fact must be brought up about Twilight. This book was created from a dream that the author had. Now, this is not strange, as it is common to get inspirations from dreams. What is strange is that Stephenie Meyer started writing the story in the middle of the book, during the scene where Edward reveals his ‘attractive’ vampire qualities, then continued onward from there. Once she reached this end, she went to the very beginning and wrote to get up to that point in the book. This would seem disorganized to many people, and it would most likely explain the many perplexing ideas present in Twilight. One example of the famous puzzling plotlines is shown before the readers have even gotten halfway through the book. There is no transition between the points of Bella and Edward being classmates to the next point where he is sneaking into her room at night at watching her sleep. While some fans of Twilight may argue otherwise, I find it extremely difficult to find any transitioning point, which is something that any author should avoid happening. It seems that at one point Bella is just staring at him, fantasizing about him just as any normal girl does. Then a few chapters later, she is looking up everything she can about vampires on the internet before coming to her three-point conclusion: “First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him -- and I didn’t know how potent that part might be -- that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocable in love with him” (Twilight 195). There is nothing wrong with young love, and the possibility of finding true love at a young age as well, but to have such strong emotions for a person who has an equally strong urge to rip out your jugular and paint the inside of his body with your blood is a bit extreme. Adding onto the fact that Bella has only known Edward a few months at the most, not even on a friendship level instead only from afar, makes the whole scenario have little to no development. This is just one example, but other storylines such as this happen throughout the entire book. Plots are left dangling like a fish out of water and at times, we as readers have to content ourselves with never understanding why that plotline was thrown out onto land for all of us to read.

There is no repudiating that Twilight, even with its popularity, is a book with certain issues. Both the character development and story itself are confusing and with the elaboration being almost nonexistent. Not to mention young children who read this story, as well as impressionable teenagers, could get the wrong message and believe that occurrences such as falling in love with a mythical being then marrying him out of high school is normal in life. While it is expected that some controversy will occur with Twilight having a strong collection of fans, I only wrote this to express not only my opinions but other people as well. As the famous Greek philosopher once said, “an educated man is as superior to an uneducated man as the living are to the dead.” Unfortunately, with the shocking popularity of Twilight and the increased amount of book beings published under the same genre in hopes that the authors of those books might catch some of the faded glory, the dead have become superior to the living.

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