Friday, November 25, 2011

In Defense of The Twilight Series

There's this quote going around:

‎"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.” -Stephen King

This quote shows up everywhere and no one questions it. They just post it on their blogs, facebook status, etc. 

First, I have a deep dislike for scorn. 

Second, I have an even deeper dislike of folks swallowing every glib funny dismissive comment that pops up. I'm not a mormon or a lover of vampires. Nor do i care one way or another about Stepheney Meyer's success. I just think the belittling of a work that explores teenage sexuality or anything the world deems "small" is incredibly rude. Especially when Christians join in on the general sneering. Incidentally, I'm a huge fan of Stephen King. But surely, he should know better not to diss another successful author who tacked the same subject his book Carrie did.

So what is this Stephen King's problem with this book? (I might be reading into this quote but he seems to have a problem with the main issue which is about having a boyfriend.)

Well, ya is very important to have a boyfriend when one is a newbie to a high school. 

Moving on. From what I have heard, having only seen one movie and listened and read countless reviews, the book seems to be (to me, anyway) an exploration of sexuality and carnal concupiscence. 

Now, what a grown up male writer says about a book exploring teenage sexuality should be taken with a heavy dose of feminine salt. Everyone writes about different things. Christians write about what things that Christians consider important. And sometimes we write about things that even atheists consider important. And vice versa. So, as writers, we shouldn't be so easily dismissive of what another writer considers important. Who are we to judge what another person has been called to do? We don't want others to easily dismiss our souls in our own writrings, do we? We don't want them to challenge the importance of the mission we are called to write about.

Now from what I've heard in movie reviews there are some interesting issues in the last book:

Passionate sex that breaks the bed.


Fear of sex, fear of passion

Fear of pregnancy

Pro-life issues. A fetus being allowed to live in spite of presenting danger to the mother.

Pedophilia because Jacob the werewolf bonds with Bella's unborn baby girl.

This is heady stuff.

A lot of folks are saying the pedophilia subtext has to do with Meier's Mormonism. Maybe yes, maybe no. 

True, there is a lot of pedophilia in the history of polygamy...especially the polygamy of Mormonism. But there really is a simpler answer. Trust me as a writer I know this one.

Quite simply, When a book has consisted of three main characters -- two of whom are in love with the third-- there is always a way found to make everyone one big happy family. 

Star Wars -- Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker
Harry Potter -- Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron Weasley,  (In this case, Ginny Weasley helps to bound the family group together)

In the case of stories like my WIP Constant Tower where one is allowed two husbands, then a brother-sister relationship or a fourth person is not necessary to create the bond. But in Twilight, the bond between the female character has to be maintained through her daughter. It's an old pattern. Even better, the daughter will bring all warring groups together (one suspects.)

Anyway, I don't think dissing love and teenage sexuality is a good idea.


The Sight said...

This is a wonderful post, sister. I chuckled outloud when I read it.

I have less scorn for, you know, scorn, than you do, but the point is well taken.

I have read one of the Twilight books and saw one of the movies. It's not my thing, Twilight, but it's clearly a favorite for many people. Who's to sat the series is trite because it is not in my canon of acceptable literature?

Thank you for giving me a laugh.

Carole McDonnell said...

Thanks, Sight! I generally have a nice personality but something majorly mean and nasty springs out of me whenever I see scorn of any sort.


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