Sealed with a Mirror? (A guest post by Veronica Rotta)
Many times love can be sealed with a kiss. In the Twilight Saga, however, love seems to be sealed — much like the Mormon religion — with a mirror. In Twilight, Bella is almost devoured by James in a mirrored ballet studio where Edward comes in with his family just in time to save her life. In the Mormon religion, weddings that take place in the Temple are performed in a “sealing room” which usually consists of mirrors on two facing walls, so when the “…couple kneels together, they can see themselves and the members of their family reflected back and forth upon each other over and over…” demonstrating “…a visual metaphor indicating that they are joined for all eternity” (Big Vampire Love: What’s So Mormon about Twilight?). According to Mormons, sealing an entire family for eternity can happen when all enter the sealing chamber together. Meyer’s references to her religion don’t stop there. In the Saga, three books before Edward and Bella’s wedding, they have a meeting in this mirrored room with Edward’s vampire family thus bounding these two eternally long before their actual vows. Did Meyer choose this mirrored location as a hint to the imminent uniting of Bella and Edward throughout eternity — was this their “sealing room” if you will?
Not only were Edward and Bella’s destiny quite possibly sealed at either of these events, but Bella’s new vampire family as well. Authors Petro and Mehta note that “Here we see how the text links marriage to immortality. Bella becomes immortal — and the couple becomes permanent — though the act of marriage, just as the family becomes immortal through the sealing of the Mormon marriage rite” (Big Vampire Love: What’s so Mormon About Twilight?). With the majority of the Cullen coven present at the mirrored room in Arizona including Bella’s
forthcoming father-in-law Carlisle, along with future brothers and sister Jasper, Emmet, and Alice, this event was not a marriage per se, but could still be construed as a “sealing of the deal” for the happy family. Edward was not the only vampire to fall in love with Bella — his family did to some degree as well. Alice knew that one day she would “love” Bella as she states to Edward “I love her, Edward!” (Midnight Sun, 242). After Bella survives James’ attack she muses how Alice and Carlisle stayed with her even though there was blood everywhere. Edward replies “They love you, too, you know (Twilight, 461).
Even before Bella became a vampire, she was accepted with open arms into the Cullen family with one exception: Rosalie. Bella is ecstatic to become almost adopted by the Cullen’s in the beginning of the Saga. Her own erratic family life has been anything but unstable and quite honestly, the Cullen’s treat Bella well. Bella’s catatonic state in New Moon can be attributed not only to mourning the loss of the greatest love the world will ever know (according to the Twilight fans, of course) but also the loss of her vampire family. Jacob’s family is an inadequate substitute with their lack of stability with his dad in a wheelchair and his sisters nowhere to be found. Bella loves the thought of becoming eternal through her metamorphosis into a vampire, probably as much as she loves the thought of the Cullen’s becoming her new eternal family. The Mormon “marriage sealing” and the “family sealing,” as well as the vampire “sealing,” however conscious on Meyer’s part, certainly have their roots firmly planted in the Mormon religion. Petro and Mehta state that …”just as in the familial connections created by Mormon sealing, when Bella becomes a vampire, she is as much part of the Cullen eternal family as she is Edward’s eternal wife” (Vampire Love: What’s So Mormon about Twilight?).
The thought of being eternally young and happy with your loved ones is appealing. However, Meyer’s own beliefs might have misguided some of her female fans into thinking that becoming
a mythical entity and being adopted into a rich family are the only ways to find happiness and peace for eternity.