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What if Twilight ends racism and saves the environment?

March 11, 2010

In listening to Twilight papers at conferences and recently reviewing a proposed anthology on the series, I have come across many stellar arguments proving Twilight is worthy of academic study. However, some arguments veer towards claiming Twilight will save the world. Two that stand out are as follows:

1. Twilight (not Obama’s election!) has brought about a post-racial society. Apparently the “racism” between vampires and wolves teaches us that racism is bad and Bella gives us a model for being truly post-racist. Hmmm, while I think Twilight does denounce prejudice, I would point out the hypocrisy of denouncing prejudice in a narrative that furthers cultural exploitation and appropriation of Native American people generally and the Quileute specifically…

2. Twilight is an environmentalist call to arms, teaching us to love and respect nature and inspiring a readership of environmental stewards. Hmmm, while that forest sure is pretty, I question how driving gas-guzzling cars at vampire speed, munching down wildlife, owning entire islands, and being mega-consumers serves as a model for eco-activism. Call me crazy, but seems to me the book is more of an ode to the sparkly wonders of consumer capitalism than a Thoreau-esque treaty on natural wonders…

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