And they protested Harry Potter?

The Gist:

Twilight Saga =

Cycle of Abuse

The Whole Deal:

I bought my younger sister Kirstie her copy of Breaking Dawn for her birthday. She was 15. It’s a hard life having an older brother as an English teacher – you’re pretty much guaranteed books as gifts for the rest of your life. She didn’t seem to mind. I would have bought my elder younger sister her copy too, but she was 18 when it came out and went with her friend to the midnight book release.

Today, I feel guilty.

I just got back from New Moon.

No other film in recent memory has reassured me of the necessity of my job teaching students to read texts critically.

I’ve stayed away from reading the Twilight series beyond the first chapter of the first book. It didn’t engage me (read – it was poorly written), and so I opted out.

I don’t remember seeing the first film. I remember leaving and thinking it was bad. I chalked it up to Melissa Rosenberg‘s writing or Catherine Hardwicke‘s directing.

Having seen New Moon, I realize I might have been wrong.

This series is dangerous.

If you’re in the dark, here’s the deal.

Girl falls for guy she can’t have. He can’t resist her. If he gets her, he’ll kill her. They decide to make a go of it. Things go badly, she sits in her room staring catatonically out the window for what the audience is told is three months. Somewhere after the three months, her father steps in and suggests that this behavior is possibly unhealthy. She takes his advice and decides to engage in risky behavior. Whilst beginning to engage in said behavior, she strikes up a relationship with a new guy. He promises to be different than Guy 1,  “I know what he did to you but Bella, I want you to know I will never hurt you.” Turns out she can’t have that guy either. Guy one breaks his promise:

I swore I wasn’t going to get mad, no matter what you said to me. But… I just got so upset that I was going to lose you… that you couldn’t deal with what I am…

Jacob Black, New Moon, Chapter 13, p.312

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Now, I don’t deny Twilight its right to exist. What I wish I could deny are early studio reports that New Moon has the third largest opening in Hollywood history.

Judging only by audience reactions as the movie unfolded, we’ve got cause for worry. Few, if any, of my fellow theatergoers were experiencing the same churning stomachs as I.

Twilight to Girls: By being who you are, you make it hard for boys to resist what they want to do to you.

Girls to Twilight: Awwwwww.

Twilight to Boys: Girls will tempt you to lose control just by being themselves. Make sure you let them know they are leading you to lose control and that losing control will result in them losing their beauty, their souls and / or their lives.

Boys to Twilight: Cool…vampires.

We need to be teaching this book – or at least teaching our students to read this book with questions in their minds.

As I understand it, Girl becomes a vampire at the end of it all. She gets married, of course. So, once she’s lost herself, she loses her soul.

According to author Stephenie Meyer:

Breaking Dawn‘s cover [a queen chess piece] is a metaphor for Bella’s progression throughout the entire saga. She began as the weakest (at least physically, when compared to vampires and werewolves) player on the board: the pawn. She ended as the strongest: the queen. In the end, it’s Bella that brings about the win for the Cullens.

And all it costs her is her soul, her life and individuality.

“You’re overestimating my self-control.” I know the feeling.