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Commentary: ‘Twilight’ saga fails to sparkle

Amanda Nieto, LV Life Editor

With next Friday’s release of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part One,” many fans are rereading books and polishing lines from the movies.

However, for those who have managed to evade the disease that is “Twilight,” I commend your dedication to entertainment and literary standards.

I am obviously far from being a Twihard, and in all honesty I cannot understand how it has gained so much success over the years.

So here are a few things to suck on while you wait in line next week for a popular mistake.

Being a believer that a good story depends on the characters among the pages let me begin with the protagonist of the series, Bella Swan. Bella is by no means a heroine; she is weak, whiny and dependent on those around her. She relies on the clichéd role of damsel in distress where only a hunky male character can save her from the damnation that is her story.

Bella is always in need of protection from a male counterpart because she is not capable of handling her own conflicts.

It is embarrassing that Stephenie Meyer, a modern female writer, could not develop a stronger character for the teenage girls who would later be revering the series. Bella has less backbone than heroines written during eras when women were expected to be helpless and controlled by the whims of men.

Furthermore, Bella’s monster fetish crosses the boundary of absurdity. She is only in need of a Frankenstein creature to complete her checklist of monster hook-ups.

The novels focus on Bella’s heartstrings that are forever being pulled by the lifeless vampire, Edward Cullen, and the werewolf Jacob Black, who proves that dogs really are just best friends.

Edward is a vampire that lacks sex-appeal and ferocity, two things that are indicative in having a blood sucking character. Far from being a Dracula figure that is devil-like and sensual, Edward abstains from human blood and abstains from sex until marriage.

I understand that Meyer was appealing to a particular age group, but even with that in mind she made some critical missteps. Edward is mentally and emotionally abusive to the character he is meant to love and protect. He stalks Bella and watches her sleep with his crazy sunken eyes – if I awoke to the sight of an ancient pale monster, crouched in the corner of my room while I slept, I would be yelling for my dad to get his gun.

Meyer is painting an imaginary and damaging idea of what a relationship should be. A healthy relationship does not involve stalking, and does not involve emotionally needy people who have withdrawals from their partner to the point of riding on a motorcycle for an adrenaline fix. Essentially, Meyer is saying that premarital sex is bad, but stalking your partner is completely acceptable because it shows how much you care.

Even more baffling than the relationships created in the series are the 40-year-old women who swoon over the fantasy. These women are some of the biggest cheerleaders who support the insanity that is team Edward and team Jacob.

Meyer may have also thought that making a vampire sparkle in the sunlight would be a unique twist on a classic creature; however, she only managed to botch up an alluring and frightening figure to a point beyond redemption.

The famished characters and failing plot line all boldly point to Meyer being an inadequate writer. She could not get any more creative than otherworldly creatures falling for a teenage girl that leads to a love triangle, a fight, a baby, more fighting and the end.

The “Twilight” series serves as a cotton-candied dose of fantasy for those too afraid or too young to venture into the real world of dark, gothic romance. For those interested in deep characters, twisted plot and exquisite writing I recommend “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë. Meyer even attributes inspiration to Brontë, who succeeds where Meyer fails so miserably.

Amanda Nieto, a sophomore journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by email at amanda.nieto@laverne.edu.

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