Monday, April 18, 2011

Extended Comments: Twilight Talking Points 10.

In Alexis's blog she has some very strong feelings on Twilight.  I also have some strong feelings about the movie and New Moon.  In coming into the Twilight movies, my vampire experiance was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I was a very big fan of that show and knew more than one independent female from that show.  When I first so Twilight that background influenced greatly into how I view Twilight.
   Bella starts off as a seemingly independent girl. She wears the jeans and drives a beat up truck. In the book she is described as accident prone.  Right away that is a weaknesses that seems to be a driving force in getting her mixed up in all kinds of situations.  Alexis points out that Edward is constantley swooping in to save her from dumb female decisions. For example she goes off by herself in downtown Seattle and is met with a group of thugs in an alley.  Here comes the knight in shining armor Edward in his fast car. 
   I also notice how he is always emphasizing his strength. He is dangerous and cannot possibly control himself.  I have seen New Moon too and the same thing happens with Jacob.  Edward leaves and Bella just can't handle things without him.  She is rebellious and jumps of cliffs and Jacob comes along to save the day.  In this one the focus is more on Jacob who is constantly saying how he can protect her and offer her what Edward can't.  Bella can't have her own life without a guy showing her how to live and being her guide.
  I have heard the argument that Edward represents and earlier time as well.  It seems though in New Moon Jacob is a modern teenage boy but still contains some of those antiquated characteristics.  He goes back to the Native tradition that may be a part of that.  Also Mike the normal jock is portrayed as being kind of clueless. 
   It always bothers me too to see that Twilight has become so much of an phenomenon.  How much of this has to do with the looks of the males?  The actors constantly have their shirts off and are revered off screen.  Also I am uncomfortable with the ideas of love that it is sending.  I am bothered that Bella is so quick to want to give up her family, and a future to become a vampire.  He is really controlling, always knowing her whereabouts, and watching her as she sleeps.   Love is not shown as an equal partnership.  The female gives up things while the male gains.  I too don't want girls believing in these antiquated ideas of romance.
 I too cannot think of a real positive role model.  The most dominant female is Victoria who is the villain.  Why does being dominant and in control make a female character the villain?  The character of Alice seems like she could be a more positive  role model.  Even her thought is under watch from the male vampires.  There really is not a true positive role model.  I love the video that Alexis posted as I posted it near the beginning of this class.  This shows a good comparison of Buffy and Twilight.  Now I am curious about Vampire Diaries.  I have not seen that but I wonder where that fits in as I know it is popular too.  Buffy had Angel but she could stand up to Angel and kill him when she needed to. I think you saw Angel's side and symphasized with him.  She does have Giles as her guide but she also relies on her instinct and actually fights.  Willow is shown as a bit weak in the beginning of the series but she grows into a strong female character as well, with the help of witchcraft.  What is the appeal of Vampire literature and movie to teenagers?  How does this compare with the popularity of Harry Potter and those movies?


  1. I agree with you that a lot of the popularity of these films is because of how attractive the males in it are and how often they are shirtless. People only want to look at that instead of digging deeper into the meaning of certain things portrayed in the film.

  2. I love Buffy, so much. Just had to get that out there.

    As far as strong females, I classify Alice as a manic pixie dream girl, personally. ( She's mostly there to assist Edward and Jasper with their own stories, I think. Even her ability is most often used by others to reach their goals.

  3. I loved your analysis of both Bella and Victoria, who is presented in opposition to Bella's character in the film. What would Tolman and Higgens say about the representation of these women?

  4. Seems like Twilight - and some other vampire texts - are an expression of the virtuous virgin girl.

    The blood hungry vampire is a metaphor that the ultimate girl is untouched - and to have sex with her is to defile her. A vampire caught up in the heat of the moment - desiring first to have sex but ultimately to eat and kill his partner - provides roles for both men and women: men must treat women carefully because if they don't they will harm by default, and women must try to stay away from men and be pure.

    The same story infuses Buffy - except that Buffy does actually express sexual desire. I always liked her relationship with Spike. There was something real and complicated about it.