Monday, June 13, 2011

Twilight, Part 4: Manipulation and False Valor

I'm back working on my Twilight review!  If you missed the first three parts, click here, here, and here.

**spoiler alert**  (Some themes in this post may not be appropriate for younger readers)

One of the main reasons that so many Christians support the Twilight series is the notion that the story supports celibacy until marriage, and that the characters in the story, though troubled, have better morals than characters in other modern tales such as these.  And to an extent, it's true, because the two do wait until marriage.  However, one really can't give them much credit for it at all.  In fact, the book is almost racier than it would have been if they had not waited!

Let me explain how this works.  I credit the author, Stephenie Meyer, for being brilliant at the psychological manipulation of young girls and their parents.  Many parents look at the books and see two teens practicing good moral behavior, while teenage girls read this book and become emotionally invested in characters who are deeply in love.

One has to understand that boys and girls are different.  While a boy reading this book wouldn't get much of a thrill from the whirlwind love affair of the two main characters, a girl reads this and is deeply effected by this so-called perfect love.

Another impressive fact about Meyer's authorship is that she pushes boundaries of moral behavior in a way that can effect readers, but not so far as to really be accused of being too racy.  But I challenge this, and say that the Twilight series is, in fact, incredibly inappropriate!

When one removes the harrowing aspects of the story, you have a teenage girl who allows her boyfriend to sleep in her room, though they do not do anything other than talk and sleep.  Kisses are in every chapter, and the description of the emotions Bella feels is lofty and deep.

In my rhetoric class early in the year, we were all discussing Twilight, and I took some notes, as I had been planning on doing this review for a while.  One of my good friends, Santiago, said "It's like the line between holding hands and... having babies."  After we all had a good laugh, I realized what a true statement that really is.  The two characters in the book, though they abstain from actual sex, are so emotionally invested and are constantly kissing, etc.  It's not that I think kissing is a sin, necessarily, but you have to read the book to understand how often and how significant each kiss is... It pervades the entire story, and attempts to create an anticipation that, I think, is unhealthy.

Not to mention, they have to abstain.  Bella wants to become a vampire, but Edward doesn't want her to be one until after they get married.  He's afraid that if they were to do more than just share kisses, that he would be tempted to bite her, thus making her into a vampire prematurely, though Bella actually tries to initiate romance on more than one occasion.

Now, when you put it that way, doesn't it just sound like a ridiculous story?

The characters in Twilight are no more moral than any other characters out there.  They remain celibate solely out of necessity, and the anticipation built in the story is unhealthy for young people to read!  It gives no moral reason for waiting; it simply forces the heroes to do so.  Stephenie Meyer has cleverly tricked many through her manipulation of emotions and morality.


  1. I COMPLETELY agree with you! I always found it annoying that they were constantly kissing and all that. Not to mention that Edward knew how his kisses effected Bella and he used her feelings to manipulate her. That always drove me crazy. No guy should do that to a girl, especially if he loves her. This is SUCH a great review. I've agreed with practically everything you've said in these posts so far!! Keep 'em coming!

  2. Caroline, I'm so impressed with your wisdom and maturity in addressing these books! I want to recommend a blog to you that's written by a guy who's sort of the guy version of you! In both cases, your brilliance blows me away.

    It's The Ink Slinger

    I do hope you'll check it out.


    Cindy at Notes in the Key of Life


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