Wednesday, January 07, 2009

More on "Twilight"

OK.  I finished the book.

For those who have not read it, let me say that there are some positive aspects of this book, particularly considering what else is out there to read.

The vampire who Bella loves is part of a group of vampires who "abstain" from drinking the blood or killing humans, although they instinctively desire to do so.  They abstain for moral reasons.  Instead they go on regular hunting trips and kill animals.  The concept is kind of gruesome but I like the metaphor that can be applied to human sexuality.  Control, limitation, etc.  The notion of resisting temptation for the greater good is quite positive.

Still, Edward makes it clear to Bella that he does not know how well he can control himself.  Fair enough.  But Bella continues to put herself in situations of isolation with him that are risky for both of them.  He grows in his confidence to control himself but still indicates that there is a danger.  (Another good parallel to the struggle to remain chaste.)

But in Bella's case we're talking about a life-threatening risk and she justifies her decisions on the basis of love.  As a mother I am therefore concerned about the model of Bella's judgement.  Also, what is described as love, at least at first, really seems to be nothing more than  physical attraction.  OK.  Many love relationships begin with physical attraction.  

It was this risk that Bella takes that led me to tell my daughter that risky men are not good guys to date (when she starts dating.)  Good common sense should override physical attraction.  "Bad boys" are not good!

Because of the curious story line though the lesson is a little confusing.  Edward tries quite successfully to be good.  He is very committed to Bella's safety.  Still, they take risks.

He often sleeps with her in her bed!!! Chastely, mind you.  While the book is VERY sensual there really is no sexual content.  They kiss occasionally.  

My message to Mary:  It is a very bad idea to lie in the same bed with a guy you really, really like.  It's a very bad idea.  It is almost always an occasion of sin.  Men are not vampires and he is not going to stay awake all night just enjoying looking at your face.  NOT going to happen.

I guess the concern as a mom is that young people might think they can withstand temptation and do this kind of thing.

More tomorrow....


Suzanne said...

Yes, without giving into detail, I am telling you that this series has already had a bad impact on someone I know very well. Speaking of the contrast between the learning a lesson between the movies Bella and Juno is also quite different. One takes everything very much more sincerely and the other takes things much more light fare and Juno has also impacted someone I know in a negative way. The problem is we simply do not know the minds and hearts of the individual and how they "take" something. Some, esp. females, "get into" these stories much too personally and deeply and all but put themselves into the story. Does that make sense? Even when one tries to talk with them and explain. Sometimes that doesn't even wake them up from the "romancing" part of the story.
Anyway, still very good how you are working this with your daughter and hopefully she will remain very level headed about it all and use good graced logic.
God bless all the youth! Amen

Barb, sfo said...

It's not just kids who are way too "into" these books. I've seen way too many women my age who make remarks about wanting's scary.

Lynz said...

Very good review. I haven’t read the books myself yet, but was going to so I could discuss them with my 17 year old neice. I have seen the movie and personally thought it kind of creepy the way Edward enjoys watching her sleep at night. And how they “flirt” with danger, like Edward watching her sleep or how aggressively Edward drives, etc.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Suzanne, yeah, it really depends where you're coming from. I would be very cautious about the Twilight books. If I were home schooling I probably wouldn't let my girls read them. (less peer pressure).

Barb, wow, that makes me wonder. What's appealing about a potentially lethal guy with skin that's white, hard, and cold with dark circles under his eyes? Maybe it's his dedication to Belle's protection. Woman love protectors.

Lynz, I thought that was creepy too.