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Twilight: The Texts and The Fandom, Week 3 Re-Cap

September 20, 2010

The group work we did during week 3 of the semester (detailed here) produced very lively discussion. Here are some of the comments/ideas/questions students shared:

  • Bella, if she had a Facebook account, would regularly post the update “another rainy day”
  • Edward would often Tweet “what is Bella thinking?!?”
  • Why are Star Trek and Star Wars fans not criticized or maligned in the same way as Twilighters?
  • Edward makes sacrifices for Bella as she does for him  – in this regard, their relationship is reciprocal
  • From a psychological perspective, Bella fears abandonment and is co-dependent, Charlie seems borderline depressed, Edward has self-esteem issues
  • The saga functions as a modern fairy tale that teaches abstinence, that “true love” promises a happy ending, that males are the protectors, that beauty/body image are important, that wealth brings happiness
  • The dismissal of female fans perpetuates the message that anything women like can’t be good
  • Older fans likely are attracted to the chivalrous aspects of Edward’s character, dads might like the saga due to identifying with Charlie and wanting a virginal daughter like Bella, parents like it that their kids are reading, males often keep their fondness for the series a secret due to gender norms of society and notion men can’t like romance or “girly texts”
  • The message of the saga is “You can have a happily ever after as long as you transform, get married, are white, and marry into the upper class”
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43 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2010 4:54 am

    Excellent dialog!! I am so enjoying this class.

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 23, 2010 2:47 am

      Thanks Lin! Glad to hear it!

  2. September 20, 2010 2:41 pm

    I agree with the view if something is written for women it is dismissed as chick lit or not worth commenting on. It astounds me that it is often other girls that are desperate for you to see just how abusive Edward is. I am a fan of the book, I read it for escapism and enjoyment. It isn’t particularly difficult to get into, although the vocabulary is a little advanced for it. I feel this was so it might fit into the literary genre rather then just tossed into the chicklit group. I also agree that Edward has self esteem issues but so do many abusers. I believe he is possessive and incapable of human emotion, being a vampire. He seems to see Bella as a pet that he humours but her decisions all always within his choices. So even if she decides she doesn’t want to get married, she doesn’t have any other options. She doesn’t seem to want an education or to even consider this might just be puppy love. I did however like how virginity was prized in the book and the characters weren’t desperate to ‘lose it’ immediately. Edward might not want her chastity but he does wants her thoughts and is desperate to get into her mind. I really enjoyed the development of Jacob as a character and he was the main reason for me continuing to read. I would love to discuss all of this in class. I was wondering, are the students in the class, fans a mixture of just people who hate the book?

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 22, 2010 11:20 pm

      Kim,
      Thanks for commenting.
      I think your point about Edward treating Bella as a pet is very interesting!
      As per the students in the class, they are a mixture. I would say some are very big fans, some are moderate fans, some have only read one book or seen one of the films, and few are not “haters” but are more skeptical about the series and its popularity. I was talking with a student after class today and I shared that it seems like a very nice mixture representing the cotinnuum from hardcore fan to interested outsider. I also shared that I generally find fans ARE willing to consider the book critically and eager to more deeply analyze the saga -this is in contradistinction to the negative way fans are often characterized in the MSM — as silly, empty-headed “teams” of shrieking girls…

  3. Eva permalink
    September 21, 2010 8:00 pm

    The Twilight saga is making me depressed for many reason. Here is a few of many, I will never be so rich that I can just concentrate on love, not working or making a living. My husband will never be so good looking, and 17 years old, and madly in love with me(no matter what I do). I can never keep my girly figure like Bella. So I need some professional help after reading these books.

    • Anna permalink
      September 21, 2010 11:30 pm

      I feel the same way. I really like the books and the movies but I have to keep reminding myself that its all fiction otherwise it can make you very depressed. Matter of fact I felt myself sad while reading Breaking Dawn and crying several times throughout the week at just understanding the realization that the love protrayed here I will most likely never see. Although I have a great love already in my life. Several times I have had to check myself and the reality I live in!!

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 22, 2010 11:22 pm

      Eva,
      It is interesting how romance texts such as Twilight inspire some and allow them to escape into a fantasy world YET for others, such texts are depressing and far too distanced from reality. Thanks for sharing your reactions! And who needs a girly figure? A womanly brain is so much more important! 🙂

  4. Sophie permalink
    September 21, 2010 8:12 pm

    •Bella would post ‘Another rainy day’ in her Facebook page, but not in any way ‘regularly’. I don’t think she’d be able to bring herself to even get addicted enough to go there regularly
    •Edward is over 100 years old. He listens to classic music, keeps hundreds of diaries, plays the piano. He has literally stopped himself in time. He would never EVER tweet. He is still grieving for how he escaped death and left his love ones to die. He has no interrest in even trying to flee his pain. He has convinced himself he deserves it.
    •I absolutely agree with this question, but Twilight Fans are teenage girls mostly, Star Trek/Star Wars have their fan in another age group, wich in a certain way, inflicts a little more respect
    •-Nothing to say-
    •-Nothing to say-
    •True, but the message of the saga also says that you should follow what you think is right, take some risks and don’t try to change yourself, as the right opportunity for you will come. And when it comes, you should grab on to it.
    •-Nothing to say-
    •Very, very true. Other reason is popularity. It may translate as ‘I don’t like/care about anything’, which will make some girls or boys, forcely lose their interrest.
    •That’s definitely not the message of the saga. If you read the whole comment, I think I’ve mentioned it.

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 22, 2010 11:26 pm

      Sophie,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think you may be right that Edward would be unlikely to Tweet. Perhaps Rosalie might tweet though in the style of Rosie O’Donnell or Kathy Griffin where “tweeting wars” start between people who criticize one another. Are there any characters you envision as tweeters?

      Also, I would say that there is no one message to the saga – this is true of all literature as I see it because interpretation is very dependent on individual readers and her/his socio-historical context. I will again use the clay metaphor — texts are a bit like a piece of clay that readers can “shape” certain readings from but they cannot take a text of clay and turn it into marble or stone (ie they can take the parameters of the text and interpret it in different ways but only so far as those are in keeping with the textual content…). This is why, in large part, authorial intent is a moot point.

  5. September 21, 2010 8:51 pm

    Just like mentioned before, what a great dialog. I wish I could take this class. Unfortunately I am located in Florida.

    However I have a comment/questions that my friends an I have been disputing over and over.

    Situation – What if Edward never came back from South America and Jacob and Bella would have “fallen” for each other.

    1st – Would Jacob leave Bella if he imprints on another woman? Or would the relation ship to the imprinted woman be more brotherly and how would Bella deal with it?

    2nd – What if Jacob and Bella had a baby, and Jacob till this time has not imprinted on anyone yet, is there a chance he could imprint on his own child?

    I wish i could say that I have more normal questions keeping me up at night, but it would be a lie to say that these questions down sneak themselves is my thoughts now and then.

    • September 21, 2010 9:28 pm

      1- Jacob and Bella would had probably dated and broke up before she went to college. Jacob was not going to ask her to marry him after high school neither she will think of that. So they probably would have had a normal relationship that would had take them apart with time. Bella and Jacob had little in common aside from the bikes and the fact that she likes to cook and he likes to eat, and the bikes was something that Bella liked just to hear Edward’s voice so not even that. They never discussed classics because Jacob its not passionate about books, or music like Bella and Edward were. No to mention that once the danger would had passed Jacob would probably would like to spent more time with the guys and Bella was already used to all the attention Edward provided to her so I’m pretty sure that without the competition and saving Bella from the monster factor Jacob would had gotten bored of her in due time. Not sure if Bella would ever totally be over Edward so she probably would had concentrated on her studies and become a teacher like her mom. She had little interest on dating so she probably would had remain dateless for some years or forever. I don’t see her trying to find a man as a life goal. Maybe if some other man attracted her interest the way Edward did.
      Jacob would totally keep on dating and had several girlfriends eventually marrying one of the girls from the reservation. Not Leah because she probably wouldn’t want to date anyone that could leave her for their imprint at any given time.

      2- If they would had lasted enough to have a baby I think he wouldn’t had imprinted on their own daughter. People seem to forget that Reneesme is also half Edward’s so whatever soul Reneesme had was because of both parents merging their genes. Without half whatever kid they had wouldn’t be imprinted by Jacob. No to mention there is no history of imprinting on family members on the myth because it make no sense. Bella would had been passed the wolf gene already she might had gotten a recessive girl or another werewolf girl like Leah. Not his imprint.

      Of course this is my opinion, YMMV.

    • Whitney permalink
      September 21, 2010 11:18 pm

      I also wish I was able to take this class…

      Sarah, I’ve often thought about whether or not Bella and Jacob would have ended up together if Edward didn’t come back. And, I have to say, I think they would have. It would DEFINITELY have taken time for her to even get over Edward enough for her to be with Jake but i think she would’ve gotten there slowly. Now I don’t think they would be together forever. I think they would have realized it was more of a brother/sister type of relationship in the end and would end up the way they did at the end of the saga.

      As far as Jacob leaving Bella if he imprinted: he wouldn’t have a choice. The way they imprint is just nature taking its course and they can’t stop it. I think it would be exactly the way Jacob describes how Quil imprinted on Claire. Whoever the girl he imprints on is, he would be whatever she needed, and if she needs a lover then thats what he would become. Not just because he’s sort of bound to but also because he has that overwhelming desire to. Now I definitely think Bella would be devastated but they both would know, from the begining, that there’s a chance for it to happen so she’d get over it with some time I think. And as far as Jacob goes: I believe he would definitely understand better how Sam feels!

      About question 2: I agree with Ana. If Bella and Jacob had a baby, I don’t think he would imprint on their own kid. Like Ana said, Nessie was half Bella but also half Edward. He didn’t imprint on her because she was Bella’s daughter. It just happened to end up that way. Imprinting on your own kid would be kind of weird, especially since they do become EVERYTHING the object of their imprinting needs them to be!

      Like I said, I think about some of this stuff too, and these are just my thoughts to your questions…

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 22, 2010 11:31 pm

      Great questions Sarah. I am going to pose these to the class and see what students have to say!

  6. Crystal permalink
    September 21, 2010 10:41 pm

    “Why are Star Trek and Star Wars fans not criticized or maligned in the same way as Twilighters?”

    I’d say sometimes Trekkies are worse off than Twilight fans. The majority of society thinks of them as the fan boy stereotype: pasty, overweight/underweight boys who have never been on a date and still live in their parents’ basement, playing World of Warcraft and Dungeons and Dragons. Of course, as with the stereotype of Twilight fans, this is mostly untrue.

    As for Star Wars fans, the same could be said, but they’re less maligned because of characters like Han Solo and the fact that it’s a bildungsroman story of the wild west in space. It combines everything that any good epic story needs: character development, twists, plot reveals, epic battles, death, good vs. evil, the supernatural, the unexplained, love etc.

    All three are cultural phenomenoms, but each comes with something different. Star Trek did many a thing for pop cultural–to my knowledge, there was no serious sci fi TV show before it, there were main characters who were minorities and there was an intelligence to it that many shows lack now. It also brought new ideas for technology to light; I’m sure no one who watched the original series that people would one day be able to have web chats with each other in real time.

    Star Wars was beyond anything I can remember. My father likes telling me how my brothers, despite their young ages, waited forever to watch the new movies without any complaints. He says he remembers the chills he got when Vader makes his big reveal. It’s such a commodity that the franchise continues (even though there is an obvious decline in quality).

    The point is that anyone can identify with these franchises. There’s much to explore and discuss, never a dull moment where there is one over-arching plot issue that becomes contrived by the end, as you already know how it’s going to end, no matter what. The difference with Twilight is that the main idea seems to be: the most important thing in life is to find yourself a steady boyfriend/girlfriend and damn the consequences and feelings of those around you. The plot focuses on a small group of people that the world seems to revolve around. The minor characters have little say and are pushed aside with little ceremony. Reading the series is a good way to pass the time or escape, but it lacks the same style, quality and seriousness that the other two both have and subvert in many ways (a la the Don Juan-esque personality of Captain Kirk or the fact that Han Solo did indeed shoot first).

    • September 21, 2010 11:35 pm

      Disagree with this.
      There is as much to be explored about human nature on Twilight than there is on Star Wars and Star Trek. The problem is that Bella is a girl, so is easy to over simply her story as not deep enough. Do you think there would be any of this discussions, essays and books about Twilight if there is nothing deep to dig further and the metaphors about love, consequences and growing up? I think there is a part of the segment that thinks that just because the main theme is a romance and the girl is the one doing the choosing there is nothing beyond that and that adds to the part of people that diminish its fans as brainless teenager girls or bored housewives.

      Also the fanboys refuse to read Twilight while we all have been exposed to Star Trek and Star Wars as legitimate pop culture phenomenons because again the leads are male.

      If Leia would had been the chosen Jedi to bring balance to the force, or if Uhura would had been the captain of the Enterprise or if Hermione Granger would had been the girl that lived. I would dare and say they probably would had been maligned on the same way that SW and ST are or maybe even worse. Because obviously female character (specially ones written by females) get all the nitpick and psychoanalysis and the “does she represents girl on a positive manner and if she doesn’t women’s are stupid for liking it”. while Kirk is just a kick ass captain and Han Solo gets the girl at the end and Harry Potter lives.

      • natalie wilson permalink*
        September 23, 2010 5:34 pm

        Ana,
        I think the points you make about gender in the texts as well as the fandom are very pertinent.
        And, Leia should have so been a Jhedi! As for Leah in Meyer’s saga, where is her chance at alpha-dom?
        I do think Twi is, as you point out, more female focused. Sad that boys/men won’t give female focused texts a chance for the most part while girls/women are willing (or have to be!) to give boy focused texts their attention and appreciation.

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 23, 2010 5:31 pm

      I agree that each offers something different and that Trekkies also catch flak. However, I don’t know about anyone identifying — I particular was never drawn to any of the Star Wars films. As a child, I fell asleep during the first one in the movie theatre.

      • September 23, 2010 5:59 pm

        Heh it always bothered me that Luke and Leia were Twins and she was not a Jedi…how that works? If anything both of them should had been the ones briging balance and redeeming their father.
        I can’t see Leah being a leader at least not for the moment she was on a bad place, I think she got better after separating from Sam’s pack but its not like she had any need or desire to be an alpha. I don’t find that problematic because the only reason Jacob became the alpha was because of the conflict with Bella and no because there is an active desire to make leaders out of all the potential alphas. After all Seth also could be an Alpha and he never intended to.

        I think is actually a cultural thing in my fan club we got at least 10% of members being male that actually like the saga, and I know plenty of men that even if they didn’t liked it they at least read the books or/and watched the movies and on the movie theater there was at least 40% of males on the attendance. Of course of them half were gay, but still Latin males are usually more willing to see what women like and give it a chance than American ones.

        In my country I can explain it because we usually only could afford one TV per house so the family had to watch female and male orientated programs together so they grow up watching soap operas and romantic movies as well as violent ones. So now they don’t have this “girl things have cooties” ideas ingrained on their brains like I had seen on some of my male American acquaintances. Of course this is my generation not sure how the newer ones would react given that now most people have various TV and computers and video games so everyone can segregate themselves more easily, YMMV.

      • natalie wilson permalink*
        September 23, 2010 9:20 pm

        Ana,
        On Leah, it’s true we don’t see her desiring to be an alpha. Instead, we see her referring to herself as “a genetic dead end.” She is the wolf counterpart to the bitterly barren Rosalie. I wish we had a female in the series who was happily not a mother and/or not partnered off with a male.
        I so wish Leah was a more developed (and more positive) character. Would that Meyer had written “The Secret Life of Leah Clearwater”!

  7. Spanky permalink
    September 22, 2010 2:17 am

    “The message of the saga is ‘You can have a happily ever after as long as you transform, get married, are white, and marry into the upper class'”

    This is the dumbest thing a skeptic could say. Any person who has lived a day in this world instead of the La La Land that this person is dreaming in knows that there is no happily ever after to begin with. So why would you play the pity card with “Im not white, I’m not upper class, I’m not married, and I won’t change myself to find love”. There is NO NEED to play the pity card in this situation, because there is no happily ever after, and no one is having their HEA taken away from them.

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 23, 2010 9:28 pm

      Hey Spanky, I don’t really want this comment thread to be full of hits against others (even if your name inclines you towards this).
      Please aim for dialogue rather than attacking comments about pity cards and condescending references to HEA.

  8. Sally :D permalink
    September 22, 2010 4:17 am

    Just my reactions/responses to the thoughts mentioned.

    1. Funny. :p I’m not sure that Bella would often update her facebook status. If she did, she would try to post something really deep.

    2. To be quite honest, I agree with that thought but he would never name names, even if they were dating. It would be more along the lines of “I need to know… What are you thinking?” He would probably speak of Bella’s beauty, and I’d like to believe that he would make up lunches/ dinners. “Just got White Castle with the gang. Going to Applebees tonight for half price appetizers!”

    3. There are definitely different levels of thought
    for Twilight and Star Wars. Star Wars has been around for such a long time. Star Wars is geared towards so many different people. Twilight is geared towards teenage girls. People from all walks of life will read Twilight, but more people WONT because they’re so sexist/ageist in their ideals. “I’m a man, I can’t possibly read Twilight.” “Twilight is for teenagers, I’m too old for that.”

    4. I’m not a Twilight fan, so I can’t see/appreciate any sacrifices they have made.

    5. Bella definitely has a lot of psychological issues. When reading New Moon, I just classified Bella as bipolar because anyone who curls up in a ball for months, and then lives a normal, functioning life the rest of the time probably has some bipolar issues. Both Bella and Edward are too co-dependent. Charlie does seem borderline depressed, but he is fully functional.
    6. “The saga functions as a modern fairy tale that teaches abstinence, that ‘true love’ promises a happy ending, that males are the protectors, that beauty/body image are important, that wealth brings happiness.”
    I disagree with most of this. Stephenie Meyers is a Mormon, and it seems as though her religious ideals affected her writing in this case. When she was writing this “modern day fairytale,” I don’t think she intended to push her belief of abstinence upon others. This story is definitely based on a “true love conquers all” belief, and as much as the two want to go further in their relationship, they’re not sure of the consequences.
    “True love” doesn’t promise a happy ending in real life, so if you get that feeling from a book, you should realize the difference between truth and fiction. In Harry Potter, avenging your parents death by the Dark Lord, by finally finishing off the Dark Lord is a happy ending. Every book has a different happy ending, unless every person is killed in the end, and even then, the author could still make it happy.

    7. This I agree with and it really dissappoints me. My favorite vampire series is constantly dissed by people who haven’t read the books, because any vampire series that is geared towards females is “bound to be just like Twilight.” Why would a book series be published after Twilight if it’s exactly the same? Give other books a chance before diminishing an entire series of books because of it’s genre.

    8. I have touched base on gender norms, so I’d just be repeating myself with this.

    9. I definitely don’t agree with this. I mentioned before that some things are too obviously a reality vs. fiction issue. Clearly there is no happily ever after. That only happens in books and movies, so I don’t see the problem with having your own perception of a happily ever after being in your novel.

    • September 25, 2010 5:18 pm

      I’m thinking if Bella would had have a Facebook acount she will probably write on her wall a quote from a book according to what she was facing. During her first meet with Edward maybe a quote from Pride and Prejudice, then later a quote from Sense and Sensibility about Mr. Ferrars, then Romeo and Juliet and so on. I think that would be her only way to tell to the world what she is going through without letting anyone now at the same time. Of course people of Forks would be totally bored by it and probably wouldn’t check her all, unless they need help with literary class.

  9. September 22, 2010 5:40 pm

    * Bella, is not a person who updates anything on facebook, if she had one, I doubt she’d regularly use it, much less post a status where people would know anything about her life. she’s a pretty private person.
    * Edward tweet? I don’t see someone trying so hard to not be noticed tweeting, isn’t that what people who want attention do?
    * I criticize the star wars and star trek fans the way people criticize twilighters. I’d rather be a twihard than a trekie any day. Just different interests I guess. One is looked upon as a nerd, the other emo.
    * I agree – like their own assessment of their relationship compared to Wuthering Heights, I see the comparison, in a way, both selfish in their pursuits for happiness.
    * I don’t agree with this at all, Bella didn’t initially suffer from the fear of abandonment, she had low self esteem, felt undeserving of Edward. After he left, she still had these issues, then add in a slight fear of abandonment when he came back. But mostly what I have seen is simple low self esteem. Charlie doesn’t seem depressed, just simple, content, and like a lot of men, find change difficult. I see no self esteem issues from Edward at all. Even after reading it from his perspective in Midnight Sun, he seems more to have a difficult time with self control, addictive personality, easily distracted, but I’ve never seen him self deprecating as Bella does.
    * agreed, that it does teach, so what, nothing wrong with a positive fantasy. Better than what my generation grew up with.
    * This is true with anything loved by mostly a female population, always has been. How many men like RomCom’s, and yet they are still made, and made fun of by men.
    * Totally agree, as I’m “older” and I love the message of the books. Mormon underlying messages or not, it’s a great fairytale.
    * This is absolutely NOT the message of this book, anyone who thinks so, probably has a pretty jaded, glass half empty, view on life. I think this book, and others like it, the messages is that Love conquers all. Period. Simple message delivered in a beautiful way.

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 23, 2010 5:39 pm

      Vendetta,
      Your point about Bella not being the face book type made me think that Bella is much more the blogging type — she would probably keep the blog anonymous but I can see her writing regularly — after all, she is the pseudo writer of the texts as they are in her narrative voice. Don’t know how she would deal with critical comments thought!
      As per your psychological reads, I find it fascinating that readers can forge so many different (and valid!) interpretations using this angle!
      As per your last point about the message of the book I have to disagree – I don’t think there is any ONE message — this, is true of all books and especially so of Twilight – this is why I think it is so appealing as the “blankness” of the text, as well as its many characters and narrative arcs, allow all kinds of readers to participate in constructing a textual experience that is meaningful to them…

      • September 24, 2010 2:40 pm

        I could possibly see her blogging anonymously, or writing in a journal. In the books, her computer is quite ancient and “groans” a lot, so blogging might prove difficult for her, but if she had a nice macbook like the movies… Movie Bella is quite different from book Bella. But, if I remember correctly, she is even hesitant to have a scrap book of photos. She doesn’t have a need to express herself through words and finds difficulty finding the right words to express herself verbally, she likes silence, she reads a lot, so based on just the book character, not taking on what we know of the movie character, I’m not sure she has a lot to say. She internalizes so much that I’m not sure she would know how to externalize it like a writer would.

        I think although people can interpret the message different ways, there are certain messages that are clear. Some people, okay a lot of people, have very poor reading and comprehension skills as it’s not something highly focused on in education these days, therefore they completely miss the point of so many books. There are several messages, yes, but some people can’t seem to see them through their own poor comprehension skills, and clouded self interests.

      • natalie wilson permalink*
        September 24, 2010 3:02 pm

        Vendetta,
        Yup, to blog Bella would need the nice Mac she had in the movies! Interesting analysis of her as very internally focused. I could see her having a diary type blog.
        Why do you think they made the movie Bella so different? In ways, she is a stronger more 21st century girl power type of character (as when she says to Angela “your’e a strong, confident woman”) but in other ways she is more passive/old-fashioned (as when she has no qualms about the prom and loses the “”Guinea Pig Barbie” prom line).
        Do you think it is necessarily bad to interpret literature through what you term “self interests”? Isn’t this partly what makes books “speak” to us?
        Thanks for your comments!

  10. ashley permalink
    September 23, 2010 3:39 am

    i think this sounds like a very fun an interesting class to be apart of. i would have to agree with another post about edward not having low self-esteem because after reading the midnight sun, i think most would just expect him to be high and mighty like rose just because hes supposed to be pefect, but hes not he just has doubts every once in a while as you or me and i dont believe it should be taken as bella doing whatever edward wants, because bella made it clear thats what she wanted. otherwise she would have had the abortion

    • Sally :D permalink
      September 24, 2010 2:03 am

      Just wondering, are you a Vampire Academy fan as well? Because I thinkyou mentioned the name Rose in place of Bella, and described her as high and mighty, which is a lot like Rose from VA.

      If I’m wrong, sorry if that sounded weird. But if I’m right, I’ll be happy because I love VA.

  11. ashley permalink
    September 24, 2010 2:29 pm

    no it wasnt but i will definatly find out about vampire acadamy but i was actually refering to roseali edwards vampire sister her role is the vampire that loves herself more than anyone else in the books lol

  12. ashley permalink
    September 24, 2010 2:34 pm

    also i couldnt see bella facebooking but maybe alice would post something like going to the mall thursday and im going to buy some really cute shoes…or maybe mad that im not going to be invited to bellas shoping spree next month….haha its hard not to love a charactor thats pertraded as alice

    • natalie wilson permalink*
      September 24, 2010 2:57 pm

      Ashley,
      I think you are right about Alice being a likely facebooker. She might also tweet about good fashion finds… I watch Nurse Jackie and Peter Facinelli’s character on that show Tweets. That made me wonder what Carlisle might Tweet about…

    • September 24, 2010 6:05 pm

      Bella is not really a computer geek, she mostly uses the computer for utilitarian reasons like writing her mom, or looking for a bookstore. Not everybody likes social networks so maybe she wouldn’t even open one and what would she need one for? She didn’t had any friends on Arizona and the few ones she had usually spent real time with her, the same with the Cullens. So she surely didn’t had a lot of reasons to get a facebook account or what to write about given the secret she had to bear. I think the more likely to have facebook accounts are Carlisle, Esme and Jasper. Given that they do have friends like Peter and Charlotte and the Denali’s they could keep in touch with them.
      But again this vampires make a point of not drawing attention to themselves so maybe they just call each other over the phone or sent emails to keep in touch instead of saying stuff that could link them to strange happenings.

  13. ashley permalink
    September 24, 2010 5:57 pm

    hmm…. yes i enjoy nurse jackie, but carlisle would probally be a fan of pages like “stop the violence”….or something in that nature maybe he would tweet how not to be a target of a vampire army since hes always trying to save lives

    • September 25, 2010 3:32 pm

      It’s funny seeing “Coop” as “Carlisle”. When I first watched the movies I kept waiting for him to grab a boob. I kept yelling “COOP” at my TV during Twilight because that is who I first saw him portraying.

      It’s strange to me to read the books, then watch the movies, in some ways they characters are dead on, in others, they changed them, for hollywood sake, to make more money and get more viewers. Will be interesting to see how things evolve further with yet another director for Breaking Dawn 1 & 2.

  14. September 25, 2010 4:06 pm

    Natalie, I use the “self interest” thing as an example of poor reading comprehension skills. It’s not that we don’t all have self interests in interpretation of a book or story, it does make it very personal. The problem lies in complete misunderstanding of whole sentences and conversations.

    More people are prone to putting self interest into their reading than taking an objective approach of trying to really see what is being said. Remember in New Moon when Carlisle is stitching up Bella’s arm and he explains to her about Edward not wanting to take her soul? She first jumps to a self interest conclusion, defensively, when he then asks her to look at it in reverse, would she take his soul? She has that “ah hah” moment of realizing there is another point of view to consider. I wonder if some people are missing that when they read things. It’s not that I don’t see or consider others self interests and interpretations that I’ve heard, I fully consider every point of view I hear. But some… I wonder what planet the person is on, or if they even read the same book as me, especially when they can’t explain or back up what they are saying with anything logical. Objective reading is difficult, but for me, it’s more fun to see things from every point of view and consider the psychological aspect of how each person views things.

    • September 25, 2010 7:11 pm

      You know I’m kind of agree with this idea.

      The reading that haters that I had dared to question has are very different and more about what do they experience than what the author is saying. Its the same issue I had seen with other books/movies/tv and their respective haters and how they read them as insulting without taking the context, the conclusion and even skipping parts of what the actual text is saying, and just read what they want to read.
      The most recent examples is that on TVtropes there was someone saying that Smeyer wrote that Isle Esme was on the west coast of Brazil, to make a point of how little research she did, but in the actual text she just says the coast of Brazil. How someone can make up an entire sentence just out of thin air?

      No to mention I often seen that many of the haters are incapable to admit that they MIGHT be wrong about the books or are reading them subjectively no matter how many quotes you show to them disproving whatever they were trying to convey or even showing that you are not a brainless person that never read a book before and still love twilight. The best I had gotten is “well you are an exception”. Its interesting to see if those same haters are indeed capable of reading a book objectively or if all the readings are colored by personal bias and/or if they deliberately are looking for things that bothers them.

  15. ReiRei permalink
    December 18, 2010 1:07 am

    I’m a former fan, but I’ve analyzed the book enough to where I just simply shake my head at it these days. I do find a class like this interesting, as it allows students to more critically analyze a book. Now, I’m going to share my two cents on the things mentioned above as well as other aspects about this series:

    * Bella, if she had a Facebook account, would regularly post the update “another rainy day”

    I disagree with this. Bella wouldn’t. She’s too busy obsessing over Edward to do that. If she did regularly post on her facebook account, it would be her repeatedly telling us how “perfectly perfect” he looks, just as in the books.

    * Edward would often Tweet “what is Bella thinking?!?”

    No. I see him as a technophobe. If he wants to know, he’ll just go probe Bella some more.

    * Why are Star Trek and Star Wars fans not criticized or maligned in the same way as Twilighters?

    I don’t know. Both are pretty criticized, though the reason Twilighters are more well-known is because the media is focusing on them more. That’s just my two-cents though, could be wrong.

    * Edward makes sacrifices for Bella as she does for him – in this regard, their relationship is reciprocal

    Sure they do. However, neither Bella or Edward sacrifice anything to be together. Bella still gets to see her family, retains a friendship with Jacob, has a kid (which breaks canon considerably), is a perfect newborn, and lives happily ever after. If there were any sacrifices I didn’t see, please let me know.

    * From a psychological perspective, Bella fears abandonment and is co-dependent, Charlie seems borderline depressed, Edward has self-esteem issues

    Agreed on the Bella part. She fears abandonment, is co-dependent. But she is also borderline obsessive and shallow. Her “relationship” with Edward is based on appearance and obsession alone, and Edward is only interested in her because he can’t read her mind and because she smells good. After only being “together” for a couple of months, her life is “torn apart” because he leaves her. If Bella had been mentally well, she would have gotten over it like girls do in real life. Due to her co-dependency and obsession, the breakup makes her feel like it’s worse than it actually is. It’s like the aftereffects of quitting a drug, she’s just going through withdrawal without her dependency, being Edward.

    Psychologically, Edward isn’t well either. He’s a control freak who criticizes her constantly, and Bella’s choices are based solely on him.

    * The saga functions as a modern fairy tale that teaches abstinence, that “true love” promises a happy ending, that males are the protectors, that beauty/body image are important, that wealth brings happiness

    This may not have been Meyer’s intention when writing this series, but she inadvertently put these kinds of messages into it. Every female in the books, with the exception of Leah, is paired off by the end. Meyer writes it as though women needed a guy in order to survive, which is shown when Edward acts like Bella will hurt herself if he’s not around to watch her, or stalk her. Yes, she does write like appearance is important. Edward’s “hot”, Jacob’s “hot”, every guy and every girl, unless they are evil (cause apparently bad guys are ugly and only good people are good-looking), are “hot”. Meyer’s book is full of shallowness. As I’ve said, Bella’s “love” for Edward is based solely on his looks. She spends pages, at least several times a book, talking about how “Perfect” he is, but there is almost no mention of anything else, like personality, hobbies, likes or dislikes. Even in the first book, where Edward is asking her such questions, she shows no interest in knowing anything about him beyond his looks.

    * The dismissal of female fans perpetuates the message that anything women like can’t be good

    I don’t think the dismissal of female fans is based on the idea that anything women like cannot be good. I think that a major reason female fans are dismissed is because they obsess with a book, obsessing over fictional characters, and some get so riled up over someone disliking the books, criticizing it, or the characters, that they verbally, and even physically, attack them. Some are even delusional enough to believe these fictional characters are real and they they have “twu wuv” with them. Meyer does not do anything to discourage this belief, and has said in an interview that if Jacob or Edward showed up at her door, she’d leave her husband in a heart beat for them. Meyer obsesses over her books just like any “Twihard”, and can’t take any constructive criticism of it.

    * Older fans likely are attracted to the chivalrous aspects of Edward’s character, dads might like the saga due to identifying with Charlie and wanting a virginal daughter like Bella, parents like it that their kids are reading, males often keep their fondness for the series a secret due to gender norms of society and notion men can’t like romance or “girly texts”

    That may be true, I suppose. The abstinence aspect of it shows, and even though Bella often depicts her father as a lonesome man who can’t live without her, (and she does the same thing regarding her mother), Charlie is just like any father who wants to be in his daughter’s life. He cares about her and worries about her, though she dismisses it.

    * The message of the saga is “You can have a happily ever after as long as you transform, get married, are white, and marry into the upper class”

    I find this to be more sarcastic than serious. It is ironic that the book does make it seem as though it’s teaching these exact messages, though Meyer was probably not trying to. But the fact remains, only the vampires, Bella included, have a happy ending. The Cullens are rich and therefore the “upper class”. Bella had no interest in average mortals. The Shape-shifters did not have much in the way of a happy ending.

    Mostly, the “message” I get is that you can only live happily ever after if you have a husband and/or children.

    The thing is, girls look at this book for wish-fulfillment and see Bella and Edward’s as an “ideal relationship,” and they try to find this in reality, which is dangerous. What they have is not romantic by any means. Again. it’s based on appearance, smell, and obsession on both parts. Edward stalks Bella with or without her permission, isolates her from her friends, pretty much screens her life, as in everything she does is his business, which according to the health class I just finished, are all signs of a bad relationship. If a girl finds herself in a similar relationship, she best get herself out of it, the guy is a psycho if he’s like Edward.

    There is nothing romantic about the lines “You’re like my very own personal brand of heroin,” or “You’re like a drug to me,” or even “I like to watch you sleep, it’s very interesting.” First, comparing a girl to drug addiction and substance abuse is not appealing or flattering in any way. Telling her that you like to stalk her at night, or at any time, is also not romantic. A sane girl wouldn’t have been worried about what he heard while she was sleeping. A sane girl would have been worried about him breaking into her house to watch her sleep without her knowledge. That’s not healthy or romantic. Neither is dragging her across the school parking lot and threatening to drag her back of she walks away from your car. Neither is disabling her truck engine so she can’t go see a friend. Neither is coercing her into marriage just to turn her into something, and it was used as blackmail. Neither is her doing stupid reckless things just to have hallucinations, which are unhealthy to begin with. Neither is kissing someone just so they don’t leave you, or kill themselves over you.

    Oh, and the fact that Jacob imprints on a newborn baby who hits puberty by the age of 7. Way to support pedophilia, Meyer. There’s no healthy or sane relationships in this series. Emily and Sam are only together because of imprinting. I can’t help but think Emily is only with Sam out of fear of being scarred again. I don’t care how much self-pity Sam feels about it.

    Lastly, the whole “saga” title is ridiculous. It’s not a saga. A saga consists of a series that follows a hero as they journey to solve a conflict. Harry Potter is a saga. Twilight isn’t. Bella’s no hero, and she doesn’t save anything or anyone. She stands up while innocent people are marched to their deaths without even trying to do something about it. An hour later, she doesn’t even think about it. I bet you Bella would have done something if her father or mother, or one of the Cullens were being marched to their deaths, but regular people mean nothing to her.

    Definition of Saga:
    Any narrative or legend of heroic exploits.

    There are no heroic exploits in Twilight, just a girl whining about life, obsessing over how two guys look, acting like she’s smart and pretentious by reading some books that are taught in English class yet making no real intelligent decisions, is in need of saving every couple of chapters, at least twice a book, and sacrifices nothing at the end to be a perfect vampire with a perfect child and a perfect life due to being a 1 or 2-dimensional (A character that doesn’t change throughout the story and stays exactly the same) mary-sue (Special snowflakes) self-insert of Meyer (Bella’s described as having brown hair, brown eyes, heart-shaped face, and average looking).

    I have more, but I think that’s enough for a comment. Even though I’m not in this class, I’m leaving a part of my own interpretation. If anyone has anything to add that I’ve missed, feel free. If I’m wrong, please leave evidence of it from the actual books.

  16. cat permalink
    September 10, 2011 4:30 pm

    …One –

    I personally see Bella getting addicted to Facebook. I think she would post regularly for the most part. I am torn between her going into such a deep depression at times where she doesn’t post anything, or her being emo during those times.

    …Two –

    I just… don’t see him tweeting.

    …Three –

    Actually, it isn’t the Twilighters who are critisized, but the Twihards. Certain people in fandom like to make the distinction between the two groups of fans simply because they know all to well that the rabid group can give the unvoiced non-rabid a bad reputation.

    I think the reason that the Star Trek and Star Wars fans aren’t criticized as much as Twihards are, or so much… in the same way, is because Star Trek and Star Wars fans are older fans and are also more open to debate about subjects then a Twihard is.

    Twilighters are open to debate too, but unlike the other three groups, they aren’t what fandom would concider rabid. Maybe it has to do with the stigma some of the Twihards have left?

    …Four –

    I personally don’t think that their sacrifices are necisarily good ones. For example, Bella gives up not being able to see her family. I mean, she might give up seeing her family to protect them from the vampire stuff, but that isn’t a sacrifice for Edward. And if it is a sacrifice for Edward, it is one that isn’t fair to her family.

    …Five –

    Somewhere, there is a review for an Anime called “Princess Tutu”, where a mother complains that the girl in the Anime doesn’t get her prince charming, which she felt was wrong. In the modern fairy tale, everyone gets their happy ending without really working for it.

    However, in Brother Grim, we have a different senario. The girls were pretty because they were pious and pure, and the girls were ugly because they were cruel. They got rewarded for the deeds they performed likewise as well.

    …Six –

    I am female. There was a time that men thought women silly headed, so women had to publish under a male name. That isn’t the way things are now and I think it is the females who perpetuate the myth. There is an actual Anime/Manga series that is geared towards females, but equally liked by males, Inuyasha. There is also a series that isn’t liked by the males, but concidered well done, Fruit Basket. The men are also picking up the romantic classics, which are liked by women and thinking them well written for their time period.

    …Seven –

    yes, huh?, yes, yes

    … Eigtht –

    yes… unfortunatly

Trackbacks

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