The TWILIGHT Days of Youth Fiction???

Until a year ago, I did not pay much attention to the hype Stephenie Meyer created with her ‘Twilight’ series of books or the film saga. I’ve always heard a section of my friends and acquaintances going gaga over this series. This prompted me to read up the entire series very recently. I’d also ended up watching two of the Twilight saga movies.

Twilight  -The damsel in distress

Twilight -The damsel in distress

I thought Twilight could be a compelling read, but after going through the series, I was left disillusioned in more ways than one. I was shocked to find out that the fantasy series that has become a worldwide rage is not only anti-feminist (as pointed out by many critics), but completely anti-humanistic in nature. It seemed as if we are regressing to an era where women are mere commodities who have no other interest but abandon their individualities and give up their entire lives for the attention of one man.

For those who are still unaware, the series explores the bizarre relationship between Bella Swan, a teenager and Edward Cullen, her vampire boyfriend who is 104-year-old. Along the way, Bella encounters nothing but danger and distress, befriended a werewolf, gets married to Cullen and gives birth to a human-vampire offspring. On the face of it, all of this is simple. But the Twilight series I felt is a dangerous signal for readers of English fiction and more so, youth fiction. There are a couple of things that needs to be addressed the primary fact being, Meyer herself is a woman writer, two, the book takes into consideration the woman protagonist’s perspective and finally, what is even more harmful is the series mainly targets adolescent girls.

Bella – the female protagonist is portrayed as docile, confused and dumb. She’s the typical damsel in distress who gave up her life and her friends to enter into a physically and emotionally abusive relationship. And yes, in only that aspect, she makes her “choice” by being battered and bruised and yet accepting all these with no qualms.

Instead of encouraging young girls and women to be independent and strong, Meyer successfully indoctrinates young readers into a life of abstinence and rationalised abuse, describing a traumatised teenager who should compromise her identity and devote attention to that one man no matter how abusive he is, or else she will be doomed to a life of despair.

And what disturbed me more was the comparison of Meyer’s books to that of J.K. Rowling’s work. I was one of the late readers of Harry Potter series, but I enjoyed reading the books on a literary standpoint. The message behind her books is also admirable. Stephen King puts it best when he writes, “Harry Potter is all about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity.”

After watching the Twilight film saga, I hated the director and Meyer even more. They tried to portray a chauvinistic, imperious and domineering man out of Edward Cullen who- all through the series – entirely kept making the rules of Bella’s and his relationship and a docile Bella had to obey. What kind of a message is this to be treated terribly by a boy, as long as he promises to “love” you forever though he turns out to be verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive?

Those who grew up reading and thoroughly enjoying the works of Enid Blyton, Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and very recently Rowling in youth fiction, know that these writers had the art of adding depth and complexity to a story – in their unique ways though.  As for the Twilight series, it pains me that people would even consider this one in the same league.

The entire Twilight series was unrealistic, disappointing and comes with awful message, leave aside Meyer’s poor literary style! Really not worth the hype it garnered. Don’t know how many of you would agree with me…


8 responses to this post.

  1. Yeah, that’s Twilight for you. The characters are boring, the morals are terrible, the plot has holes big enough to drive a Mack truck through, and the vampires sparkle.


  2. Posted by HS Eswara on August 12, 2012 at 8:15 am

    My dear Sohini,

    I am quite unaware of Stephenie Meyer or her ‘Twilight’ series. But the way you have reviewed her series is admirable; I appreciate your daring views and fine English writing. Where did you learn all this? It’s a matter of pride to me that you are shaping up well.

    With best wishes,

    HS Eswara


  3. Posted by Aditya on August 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

    hi sohini, i completely agree with you. boring series that questions mayer’s style of writing and the movies were also not worth the hype.


  4. Posted by Sona Singh on August 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I liked New Moon when I watched the film. The books are dumb. On the whole nothing great


  5. […] The TWILIGHT Days of Youth Fiction??? ( […]


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