The Obsession of Twilight

January 9, 2010
By , Houston, TX
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer features a normal human girl, Bella Swan, falling in love with Edward Cullen, a vampire, who lives with the rest of his vampire family in Forks, Washington. Although they have a craving for human blood, which is almost like a craving for oxygen, the Cullens restrain their thirst and become “vegetarian” vampires who only drink the blood of the animals they hunt. Twilight has had a positive influence on the world because of its overwhelming sense of right and wrong. To Edward, Bella’s blood is toxic, overwhelming; it’s the thing he wants most in the world, but he soon develops a stronger emotion, love. He does everything in his power to resist killing her and protects her against all dangers; fighting against his instincts to do the right thing.

Still, many people, protective mothers, and literary critics believe Twilight has a negative influence on society. In one article about teen obsession with Edward, a mother complains “the character in Twilight is dark, mysterious, controlling and takes Bella out of her life and away from her friends, forcing her to cut of contact with even her father”(Simmons 1). Some believe that Edward is taking Bella away from a normal human life, and causes her to drift away from her family. Parents today fear that the relationship shown in Twilight is telling young girls to “seek out relationships based on the character they are obsessed about. If he’s abusive they may seek out abusive mates” (Simmons 2). Parents worry that as their teens read Twilight they will drift away from them, and the book will have an overall negative impact on their child’s life. These people believe that Twilight has “definite tones of obsession, abuse and submission”(Simmons 1), and it is introducing a negative impact of the society of young teens and their lives.

Although there has been much debate over the impact of Twilight, many readers believe “the Cullens have definite beliefs about right and wrong, and they strive hard against their instincts to pursue right”(Smith 1). Carlisle Cullen, the leader and father figure of the “Cullens” is a main example of his fight against the dangerous side of him, as in the book he is a doctor facing human blood and open wounds daily as he saves human lives. To many Twilight critics young teen girls fall in love with Edward because of his awesome body, and beautiful looks but Edward Cullen has more than attractive physical features he has an overbearing “sense of honor, chivalry, composure, and self-control”(Mann 1) that separates him from any other actual human. Twilight should be considered a positive influence on society for showing girls that a man shouldn’t just have great looks but a caring disposition. For the people who believe Edward is abusive, he is the opposite in New Moon, in the book Edward explains to Bella why he left:
I only left you in the first place because I wanted you to have a chance at a normal, happy, human life. I could see what I was doing to you - keeping you constantly on the edge of danger, taking you away from the world you belonged in, risking your life every moment I was with you…. I had to do something, and it seemed like leaving was the only way (Meyer 513).
Edward leaves Bella on page seventy-two because he feels that while he’s around her he’s taking her away from her human life, her friends and family, and placing her into a world of danger. He fights against the love he feels for Bella, the need to be near her, and leaves hoping that once he’s gone she will be normal and not in the way of harm. Many readers of Twilight or news articles and blogs, depict Edward as “controlling” and “abusive” when really Edward does everything he’s capable of doing to give Bella a life he believes she should have.

Twilight is a fiction story, with fiction characters, and as parents grow to believe it is affecting their teen in an inadequate way those parents should reflect and see that even if their child is obsessed with Edward Cullen, that child cannot marry a boy whose life is only in ink. Twilight shows young girls that a relationship should be one where you love each other not physically but emotionally. Leaders today of the teen world, parents, writers, and TV shows, should understand the true meaning of Twilight’s text and acknowledge that it teaches teens something that some parents can’t. If a teen continues to drift away from family and hunt for abusive partners are likely to be influence by an example beyond a book. Parents who believe the book is setting a bad relationship example should back up and see what their own marriage looks like to their teens. If the mother or father can see that their relationship may not be the best example they need to change and stop blaming the book. Although Twilight is a fiction book, it gives the readers an understanding of right and wrong, and how fighting against a desire to fall into a temptation is sometimes what is best for others, which is the most important aspect of love.

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