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  • Twilight Series - Real Life Themes and Topics

    I think with as many Twilight fans as we have on this board we deserve a second thread for more in detailed discussions of how the series and Meyer's writing reflects issues and the world, whether skewed or on target.

    Since Breaking Dawn has received the greatest amount of dissension from critics and fans alike, now is a good as time as any to bring out your concerns about themes in the book.

    Okay, here's a list of some topics in no order:
    1. Getting married and having a baby makes you an adult.
    2. Having a baby is easy. Everyone else will take care of it and it will be grown up before you know it.
    3. Getting married means you can't have the same relationship with your parents and belong to your husband's family. (She couldn't have contact with her parents and she physically took on the same attributes as the Cullens.)
    4. A happy ending can only be attained if you have a baby. (SMeyer says this is the only way she ever saw the Bella/Edward story ending).
    5. Women who cannot have children should be pitied rather than sympathized with. That being barren makes women bitchy and we should forgive them for their actions since they have been dealt such a cruel hand in life.
    6. Finding your OTL means losing everything else you ever cared about. (Jacob's POV on seeing Nessie)
    7. Our mortal lives are dark, faded, cloudy, and not important.
    8. If we love someone who is in a serious relationship, then that means our OTP is with their baby (or other blood relative).
    9. No such thing as just love based upon friendship. (Everyone has their own one true love).
    10. Men with scars are ugly, scary, and unloveable. (Booooo, hisssss). Okay real topic is, "Are looks so important to falling in love with a person?"
    11. It's okay to give your baby horrible psyche scarring names as long as it pays honor to family members. (Bella herself hated her full name but would not let her daughter have one?)

    Lydia made the punch!

  • #2
    I wanna suggest another topic for the list that's gotten major discussion and scrutiny in the VIP Lounge around the time that the book was released and, in my opinion, it is a major topic.

    Normal, ordinary girls can't be strong, independent women unless they're drop dead gorgeous. Instead, they should be with a man who will take care of them.

    ...or...

    You should change who you are just to be with the person you love. (there's another way to word this but I can't think of it right now...)

    I'm sure that there are a ton of people who'll leap all over that one...

    (and at your Jasper-inspired topic)
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    • #3
      Wow! Really? All those topics come from readers of Stephenie's books? Hmm... I REALLY must stop reading for pleasure...

      Well I don't agree with any of the topics listed - but I really didn't read the books with any of those thoughts running through my mind! I read it for a romantic story about vampires which turns out positively for a change instead of some Slayer driving a sword through his heart or burning alive in a Hellmouth to save the world.

      It's a typical Cinderella story where everyone "lived happily ever after".
      -TP<3
      "At that point I'd love a fight and a heart to heart and then of course naughtiness and happy ever after."
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      • #4
        Originally posted by ThePoet's<3 View Post
        Wow! Really? All those topics come from readers of Stephenie's books? Hmm... I REALLY must stop reading for pleasure...

        Well I don't agree with any of the topics listed - but I really didn't read the books with any of those thoughts running through my mind! I read it for a romantic story about vampires which turns out positively for a change instead of some Slayer driving a sword through his heart or burning alive in a Hellmouth to save the world.

        It's a typical Cinderella story where everyone "lived happily ever after".
        lol, i agree; i read things like this and watch outrageously unrealistic drama (ie, alias, charmed, buffy) to escape reality...

        but some interesting points raised;
        firstly, what's OTP?

        1. it implies responsibility, as another person's life is now in your hands, but honestly, Bella didn't have to do much mothering at all. the baby grew up so quickly and wasn't crying all the time and she never had to feed her; Rosalie and Jacob took care of it. it did seem they were too young to have a kid, but since the Cullens family is large, there was plenty of help.

        4. i'm surprised that that was how SMeyer always saw the ending. i seriously thought that Bella would just become a vampire and the two would live happily ever after; sure a kid definitely makes things happier in their situation, but Bella would've settled for the first option as well.

        6. ...and yeh, i was annoyed at Jacob's attitude after the imprint. it felt like if Bella had died, he wouldn't have even shed a tear or cared as long as he had Renesmee...

        11. just like in Desperate Housewives, how Susan decides to honour Mike's grandfather and name their son Maynard, even though it was her who hated the name originally. Renesmee is a horrible name that she will now have to live with for the rest of eternity...and Nessie isn't that much better.
        veronica mars: "i've got a kidney with your name on it, no questions asked."

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        • #5
          Do we just have to talk about real-life issues here, or can we pick apart other aspects of the books? Because, can we talk about the prose for a moment? It's one thing setting a bad role model for girls in terms of romantic relationships, but teaching them that it's acceptable to write like a Mills and Boon novel that was actually rejected by Mills and Boon because it was too ridiculous is just not on. I recently read a parody of Twilight, and it took a few paragraphs for me to realise it was not actually taken from the book.

          Ok, so, I haven't read anything past Twilight (and only finished that with gritted teeth, feeling that I needed to at least read one to feel I had the right to complain) so could someone explain this to me? Quickly, perhaps, before I throw up a little in my mouth? Does Bella organise some kind of child bride deal with Jacob? Because those never end well. Well, maybe once.

          If we love someone who is in a serious relationship, then that means our OTP is with their baby (or other blood relative).

          It's a typical Cinderella story where everyone "lived happily ever after".
          Maybe there's the problem right there... in terms of anti-feminism, stories based on Cinderella tend to be a little on the reactionary side, unless they're twisted in some way (Prince Cinders is AWESOME).


          -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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          • #6
            I've yet to read "Breaking Dawn" although I'm familiar with its general plot thanks to various online spoilers. Ie: any opinions I have about the 4th book would consequently be knee-jerk in nature.

            Note: I finally got a copy (I was waiting for a freebie) and plan to start reading it tonight.

            So given that, at the moment I'm more interested in discussing the Twilight series over-all, as opposed to focusing exclusively on the last book in the saga.

            Now, I appreciate that Stephanie Meyer's books are written for young readers and as such, you have to cut her some slack as she's not writing for seasoned academics but rather, teenagers. That said, as a writer you can approach your subject matter intelligently in a way that both entertains young readers while challenging them to examine and explore "what" their reading ( ie: the Joss Whedon approach alla BTVS ) and I don't think Meyer's does that.

            Instead, she gives every teenage girl what she wants to hear by creating a blank cipher in the guise of a two-dimentional heroine, thus enabling readers to project their fantasies on the main character Bella Swan; ie: live the dream of being special, popular, attractive, and loved by the hottest guy in school.

            And while that's a common fantasy and harmless enough, imo Meyer's takes it too far in her books by outright pandering to it. To the extent that Bella is akin to an innane version of Jane Austen's self-absorbed Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility - in that she too lives for the personification of an idealized love, bad boy John Willoughby - but in Bella's case, without ever questioning her love for Edward or what it's truely based on. It's simply enough that he's there, looking gorgeous and acting all Byronic. BANG. She's in love! And yet it's presented by Meyer as something profound and meaningful and worth dying for.

            And I found that disturbing.

            Bella literally lives for Edward Cullen. Everything and everyone else, comes second. It doesn't matter what he says or does or who gets hurt in the process; she'd rather DIE than be without him! He completes her, validates her very existence. So much so that after he takes off at the start of book two "New Moon", Bella has an emotional breakdown worthly of a Wagnerian Opera and jumps off a cliff simply to hear the sound of his voice again! For she can't breathe, life is meaningless, there's a hole in her chest, oh the unbearible AGONY! And quite frankly, how pathetic is that? For the underlying subtext is:

            "You are nothing without a man."

            Mind you in Bella's case, that's actually true given how badly she's written. For her actions reveal the character to be a silly, selfish, annoying brat. A demanding, superficial young woman with no outside interests. An otherwise unexceptional twit of a girl who can't walk out of the house without trouble finding her and thus constantly in need of being "saved" by her boyfriend. Her flaws are made all the more glaring because none of the other characters can see them. Consequently, Bella's never called on any her shite - not even by Jacob after she uses him simply to hear Edward's voice and then later, on as a distraction in the wake of her failed suicide attempt. Despite everything, she remains a constant object of undying fascination and adoration. And sorry, but that's B.S.

            Doesn't like being noticed by boys. Doesn't want to attend the dance. Doesn't want to go to her own birthday party, or wear a pretty dress. Doesn't want presents. Doesn't want this, that, oh the burden of being so damn special - why won't you people just leave me alone?! Excuse me, but in what world, fictional or otherwise, would such a creature inspire anything more than distain from others? You don't want to participate? Fine. Go home, shut yourself up inside your room, whine to Edward about how misunderstood you are and bug him to stick around to watch you sleep.

            In short, there's nothing to account for why Bella Swan is on the receiving end of so much love and attention. She doesn't have a deep connection to anyone other than Edward - and even that is based on nothing more than a weak pretext given his actual age and experience; as by rights he should have found her boring and insipid. Instead, he's "magically" drawn to her.

            And so it doesn't actually make any sense. None of it. And that's partly what I take issue with, in regards to Meyer's writing. She's constructed a house-of-cards. Examine one too closely, and the whole thing falls apart. You can't go down the rabbit hole the way you can with Whedon. You have ignore everything that doesn't add up, ignore all the dramatic superlatives and adjectives over-used by Meyer and everything that makes you want to smack Bella and toss her out a window. And it does a diservice imo, to all the young women reading these books - for they doesn't ask them to think. Instead, just react to your feelings no matter how self-indulgent they may be at the time, and lose yourself to the sensation of being in love with a perfect man. As nothing else matters or compares.

            And if that's not the timeless mantra of every post-adolescent girl destined to marry an asshat and live to regret it, I don't know what is. Love is work. It requires patience, compromise, understanding and self-sacrifice to keep it alive. For once the novelty wears off, and you start discovering all those little annoying things about one another, there has to be something more to the relationship or it'll die.

            Meyer's avoids such details and focuses solely upon the initial stages of infatuation and the heat of burgening sexuality and milks it for an entire series. It's all icing and no cake. The Paris Hilton of romance novels. And like Hilton, it sells to its targeted demographic.

            Despite all that, I enjoyed reading her novels the way I enjoy eating chocolate. Hollow calories but I like a bit of coco now and again and while I'm eating it, it's enough to satisfy - but I never mistake the chocolate for a solid meal. And I wish more of her young readers were as discerning or encouraged by what they read to be so; enjoying such books for what they really are, instead of celebrating what they've in truth "projected onto them" without realizing it.

            I mean, at what point are today's young women planning to embrace genuine self-empowerment? After someone else has defined it for them and sold it as a hyped-up pre-packaged version of "you go girl!" in a shopping Mall - like all those kids who buy Emily Strange at kiosks?

            side note: I can say good things about her books as well, and plan to, but I wanted to start with this point of view first and then go from there etc.

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            • #7
              Now, I appreciate that Stephanie Meyer's books are written for young readers and as such, you have to cut her some slack as she's not writing for seasoned academics but rather, teenagers. That said, as a writer you can approach your subject matter intelligently in a way that both entertains young readers while challenging them to examine and explore "what" their reading ( ie: the Joss Whedon approach alla BTVS ) and I don't think Meyer's does that.
              I think part of what makes me angry about Meyer is that there are so many very well-written books for teenagers out there, and it seems so...well, unfair that Twilight etc gets so much attention. Now, part of this is the fault of the readers... the media can't help but comment once a lot of people are reading something. I'm just cross that Melvin Burgess and other excellent writers doesn't get as many readers. Team Burgess! I felt something slightly similiar re Harry Potter, which I felt was nowhere near as good as Philip Pullman, but I'm open to argument on that one, and it's more a question of Pullman = incredibly good, while Potter = just very good.

              But with Meyer, the style is awful in places, plus there's the whole reactionary message. As someone who takes a lot of interest in what children/teenagers read - both professionally, and as a feminist pinko commie liberal bleeding heart peacenik - I find it very frustrating when young people today don't do what they're supposed to do, and seek out naughty subversive stuff. Though, perhaps wanting to be "his Mrs" is what counts as subversive nowadays? Damn, we should've pretended we were being surrendered wives so that teenagers would rebel by being feminists.

              I've nothing against portrayals of young girls in obsessive love, but I think you need to show that it IS a dangerous thing, and giving up yourself is a big bad no no when you're trying to form your identity and learn about yourself and the world. I thought BtVS did that pretty well. Buffy was in that stupid kind of love with Angel, where you feel you can't live without someone...but that you have to anyway, and you do it, because you're not wholly defined by your need for someone else... even the most lovestruck of teenagers has other stuff going on. Like...get a hobby, Bella. At least write a blog?


              -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                Do we just have to talk about real-life issues here, or can we pick apart other aspects of the books? Because, can we talk about the prose for a moment? It's one thing setting a bad role model for girls in terms of romantic relationships, but teaching them that it's acceptable to write like a Mills and Boon novel that was actually rejected by Mills and Boon because it was too ridiculous is just not on. I recently read a parody of Twilight, and it took a few paragraphs for me to realise it was not actually taken from the book.

                Ok, so, I haven't read anything past Twilight (and only finished that with gritted teeth, feeling that I needed to at least read one to feel I had the right to complain) so could someone explain this to me? Quickly, perhaps, before I throw up a little in my mouth? Does Bella organise some kind of child bride deal with Jacob? Because those never end well. Well, maybe once.

                Maybe there's the problem right there... in terms of anti-feminism, stories based on Cinderella tend to be a little on the reactionary side, unless they're twisted in some way (Prince Cinders is AWESOME).
                there's no deal. perhaps it was on the back of SMeyer's mind, seeing she'd always seen the baby as the ending of the story.

                i saw it more as an easy way out. firstly, the baby solved the whole breaking the treaty deal. the imprinting on Renesmee solved so many other problems;
                ie; Jacob's mutiny on the pack, pack vs Jacob's pack+Cullens/Bella and love triangle.

                anyway, my thoughts on the story are that they are completely fiction...there's supposed to be things that don't make sense.
                Originally posted by Marie View Post
                Doesn't like being noticed by boys. Doesn't want to attend the dance. Doesn't want to go to her own birthday party, or wear a pretty dress. Doesn't want presents. Doesn't want this, that, oh the burden of being so damn special - why won't you people just leave me alone?! Excuse me, but in what world, fictional or otherwise, would such a creature inspire anything more than disdain from others? You don't want to participate? Fine. Go home, shut yourself up inside your room, whine to Edward about how misunderstood you are and bug him to stick around to watch you sleep.
                wow, i definitely don't dwell on any of the points you raised while reading a book, but you do make good points that i can understand where you are coming from, not that it would change my opinion on the books, as i still love reading them. because to me, they are like the typical teen movie with some cool action thrown into Eclipse...and i enjoy a good teen movie, especially if i like the characters, which in this case, i do. plus, i like vampire stories.

                sure it's all unbelievable, but i do see some realism in Bella's character; someone who is self-conscious, but not so caring about it...like, she doesn't think much of herself and doesn't take too much care in her looks, but she's not bad looking. she's also a bit tom-boyish, in a sense that she doesn't like getting dressed up and going to the dance. she also doesn't like the attention of guys that are interested in her, mostly because she doesn't feel the same way towards them. they may be friends at first, but seriously, it would be awkward if someone you didn't like, or someone who was just a friend, asks you to the dance. the only problem to this was, she really liked Jacob as a friend, and he loved her enough to not care that she didn't feel the same way. he held onto hope that one day she may change her mind.
                - this part did bother me though; how Jacob loved her so much, that when she was dying, he just stopped and left...he gave up, also probably because he knew if he saved her, she'd be a vamp and with Edward anyway...but still, it annoyed me. supposed to be bff.

                all of Bella's school friends didn't seem to be part of her life enough, which did make me think, she won't ever see any of them again, so i was really surprised with Jessica's behaviour at graduation, telling Bella that they would catch up and stuff... and Bella didn't seem to ever like Jessica, yet she always considered her 'the best friend' (at school anyway)...while Angela was the nicest and closest school friend to Bella.
                ...and i wonder if Mike ever really liked Bella as a friend at all? Bella always considered them as friends, saying she'd like to catch up with Mike and Angela after graduation... but a part of me thinks that Mike was only ever her friend because he liked her more than that, because they didn't really share much or have anything in common.


                ...my thoughts on the whole role model thing:
                fictional books aren't about morals and right vs wrong these days...if people wanted to learn about this stuff, wouldn't they be in a religion or something along those lines...or just reading the news for the hard cold facts of life.
                what i get from the books are an enjoyable fictional story. tv/film these days are all about immoral things...but people still enjoy it.
                doesn't mean they'll think this is the right behaviour...and the way it's supposed to be, or the way they're supposed to act.
                that part of life still comes down to family, parenting and friends.
                doppelganger47
                Hellmouth Tourist
                Last edited by doppelganger47; 11-08-08, 01:52 PM.
                veronica mars: "i've got a kidney with your name on it, no questions asked."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by doppelganger47 View Post
                  there's no deal. perhaps it was on the back of SMeyer's mind, seeing she'd always seen the baby as the ending of the story.
                  Sorry, I'm a bit behind... I know there's something to do with a baby and something called "imprinting" (which makes me think of Buffy and the aspect of the demon in Earshot..."Infect!! Giles, INFECT??"). But what happens exactly? How does it work?

                  ...my thoughts on the whole role model thing:
                  fictional books aren't about morals and right vs wrong these days...if people wanted to learn about this stuff, wouldn't they be in a religion or something along those lines...
                  If you were looking for feminist role models, religion could offer you some...but probably not the bestest source! Though Kali is badass


                  doesn't mean they'll think this is the right behaviour...and the way it's supposed to be, or the way they're supposed to act.
                  that part of life still comes down to family, parenting and friends.
                  I find it hard to dismiss the ethical component of stories when it strikes me as really appalling. Say someone wrote a story about two murderers in love, and didn't in any way portray their murders as bad. I'd find it hard to get wrapped up in the love story just as a love story. Now, if it was a novel about our understanding of bad people, that'd be different - L'Etranger, for example, all about a murderer who feels no guilt, but it's also about the way society views killers, and "proper" moral feelings.

                  So, being an anti feminist is slightly better than being a murderer (), but that's just an example of how, when you see something as baddy bad bad, it's hard to think it's "just" a story, because it's so viscerally unsettling. If that was the purpose of Twilight, it'd be much more interesting...if it was supposed to explore dangerous, self-destructive love, or if it was supposed to explore our feelings as readers about that kind of love. But, unless SM is pulling a truly ginormous stunt - provoking readers into reacting negatively on purpose for some reason, perhaps just for fun - I can't help but think that the unexamined antifeminism of the relationship between Edward and Bella is just a bit...icky and off putting.


                  -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                    Sorry, I'm a bit behind... I know there's something to do with a baby and something called "imprinting" (which makes me think of Buffy and the aspect of the demon in Earshot..."Infect!! Giles, INFECT??"). But what happens exactly? How does it work?

                    I find it hard to dismiss the ethical component of stories when it strikes me as really appalling. Say someone wrote a story about two murderers in love, and didn't in any way portray their murders as bad. I'd find it hard to get wrapped up in the love story just as a love story. Now, if it was a novel about our understanding of bad people, that'd be different - L'Etranger, for example, all about a murderer who feels no guilt, but it's also about the way society views killers, and "proper" moral feelings.

                    So, being an anti feminist is slightly better than being a murderer (), but that's just an example of how, when you see something as baddy bad bad, it's hard to think it's "just" a story, because it's so viscerally unsettling. If that was the purpose of Twilight, it'd be much more interesting...if it was supposed to explore dangerous, self-destructive love, or if it was supposed to explore our feelings as readers about that kind of love. But, unless SM is pulling a truly ginormous stunt - provoking readers into reacting negatively on purpose for some reason, perhaps just for fun - I can't help but think that the unexamined antifeminism of the relationship between Edward and Bella is just a bit...icky and off putting.
                    imprinting is a thing that the Quileute pack wolves experience. once you have the ability to become a wolf, you have the ability to imprint (something that was written in their folklore or stories). imprinting is like discovering your soul mate; seeing them for the first time (after having the ability to transform - they imprint as humans). once you see your soul mate, you experience something that binds you to that person...apparently it's stronger than Edward and Bella's love or Edward's desire for Bella's blood. a Quileute pack wolf can imprint on anyone...Quil imprinted on Claire (a 2 year old girl)...apparently, at that stage, Quil only wants to protect her and make her happy...be whatever she wants him to be, ie, a friend or an older brother...but when the time comes, he'd want more...and apparently, the girl still has a choice, ie to reject them, but Jacob said, why would they, when the other is their perfect other half that completes them. they say, imprinting is something you can't fight or control. also, if you never see/meet your soulmate, then you won't ever imprint. Jacob even drove out of town to see if he would imprint on anyone; anything to get over Bella, because he knew imprinting would end his agony and make him not care about Bellain that way anymore.
                    which i and Bella still thought was very weird, but when it came down to Breaking Dawn and a baby, i knew anything was possible and most likely predictable.


                    ***omg, i just had a thought. all this time, i'd been thinking that Jacob and Leah had this connection, because of their belief of being genetic dead ends (ie, imprinting is something that makes the gene-line stronger and you wouldn't imprint on another wolf (sam and leah))...and i felt sorry for them, esp Leah and hoped they'd end up together... but omg, aren't they like cousins???

                    and yes, i still do believe a fictional story is still just a story, and in this case, serving the purpose to entertain.
                    but i also do believe that some people are easily influenced (in a bad way) by their surroundings or tv/film/magazine/books...
                    doppelganger47
                    Hellmouth Tourist
                    Last edited by doppelganger47; 11-08-08, 02:33 PM.
                    veronica mars: "i've got a kidney with your name on it, no questions asked."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by doppelganger47 View Post
                      imprinting is like discovering your soul mate; seeing them for the first time (after having the ability to transform - they imprint as humans).
                      Interesting...this is very like a concept in a comic I read as a kid, called Elfquest... which was about elves who were part-wolf. I'd never made that connection before, fascinating stuff.

                      ...the girl still has a choice, ie to reject them, but Jacob said, why would they, when the other is their perfect other half that completes them.
                      So, it's basically Jerry Maguire?

                      and yes, i still do believe a fictional story is still just a story, and in this case, serving the purpose to entertain.
                      but i also do believe that some people are easily influenced (in a bad way) by their surroundings or tv/film/magazine/books...
                      I think many people are, yup. I'm sure I spent various periods in my teenage years pretty much acting out stories I read. Interview with a Vampire...I'm slightly blushing now about how much I identified with Louis. Though, I didn't go so far as eating rats. But I was pretty convinced I had vampire senses for a bit. Everyone did, right...?

                      I like to think if I'd read Twilight as a much-more-feminist-than-I-am now teenager I would've thrown it away in disgust early on (rather than read on with the morbid curiosity I've aquired over the years for disturbing reactionary texts...I just can't stop reading the Daily Mail either...something about the righteous anger it gives me is so delicious. There should be a Mastercard advert...Daily Mail, 50p...having your liberal prejudices confirmed and justified...priceless ).

                      Actually, maybe I always liked reactiory stuff. Read a lot of Waugh when I was a teenager too. But maybe that was just for the slash


                      -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                        Interesting...this is very like a concept in a comic I read as a kid, called Elfquest... which was about elves who were part-wolf. I'd never made that connection before, fascinating stuff.

                        So, it's basically Jerry Maguire?

                        I think many people are, yup. I'm sure I spent various periods in my teenage years pretty much acting out stories I read. Interview with a Vampire...I'm slightly blushing now about how much I identified with Louis. Though, I didn't go so far as eating rats. But I was pretty convinced I had vampire senses for a bit. Everyone did, right...?

                        I like to think if I'd read Twilight as a much-more-feminist-than-I-am now teenager I would've thrown it away in disgust early on (rather than read on with the morbid curiosity I've aquired over the years for disturbing reactionary texts...I just can't stop reading the Daily Mail either...something about the righteous anger it gives me is so delicious. There should be a Mastercard advert...Daily Mail, 50p...having your liberal prejudices confirmed and justified...priceless ).

                        Actually, maybe I always liked reactiory stuff. Read a lot of Waugh when I was a teenager too. But maybe that was just for the slash
                        rofl.
                        maybe i'm just the weird one; i was never influenced by tv/film/books when i was younger and in that teenage phase, though i enjoyed them all.
                        - as a kid, i pretty much read the whole R.L.Stine Goosebumps series, read a lot of Roald Dahl, Margaret Clarke, watched a lot of action and gore movies and loved my cartoons and anime.
                        - as a young teen, i loved the Buffy series...and thought young Angel was hot. now i look back on that, the age difference irks me out, esp that between Spike and Buffy.
                        - as a teen, i was utterly obsessed with Alias. my first real obsession, but still, it didn't change the way i saw the world.
                        ...i admire the strong female lead characters like Sydney Bristow, Veronica Mars and Buffy to a degree (because i think they're cool and kick badguy-a**), but they're fictional. i look up to the real actors in life, if they have qualities worth taking on board.
                        i read and watch fictional, for the fictional entertainment; though i do watch and read gory real-life stuff as well...probably to reinforce the fact that life can create such horribly evil people.
                        veronica mars: "i've got a kidney with your name on it, no questions asked."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by doppelganger47 View Post
                          ***omg, i just had a thought. all this time, i'd been thinking that Jacob and Leah had this connection, because of their belief of being genetic dead ends (ie, imprinting is something that makes the gene-line stronger and you wouldn't imprint on another wolf (sam and leah))...and i felt sorry for them, esp Leah and hoped they'd end up together... but omg, aren't they like cousins???
                          *sighs* *readies cousin!couple 101 spiel* First of all, if they are cousins, it probably isn't that close--it never mentioned Sue or Harry being siblings or cousins of Billy as far as I can recall, which would mean they are not first cousins--which means there's REALLY no issue.

                          But even with first cousins, it really isn't that big of a deal--there is only a 2% greater risk of genetic defect than in the kid of two random people--not much! All laws in the US against marrying your first cousin predate modern genetics, and the US is the only Western power to have any such laws--and more than half of the US states (like Maryland, New York, California, etc) don't have such laws. People have been marrying their cousins for ages (it's very likely YOU are descended from a cousin!couple), and in plenty of cultures its still quite common. It's really not that incestuous/wrong. [/rant]

                          Buuuut....back to real world issues, here's one that irked me (besides all the ones already mentioned). The fact that Bella automatically assumed, without a doubt, that her name would change to Bella Cullen after marriage. Maybe it's just my personal beliefs that it is not necessary for a woman to change her name at marriage (I think that's quite an outdated custom, from when women were supposed to be men's property), but considering that they're all supposed to pretend to be a family it also bothered me from a logistical standpoint. Alice and Rosalie don't share the same last names as their menfolk, as part of their whole charade--so why wouldn't Bella keep the last name Swan, for the same reasons? Are they just going to pretend to be married always, or never pretend to be in HS again? (I guess they can't with their BABY and all! ).

                          But also the whole, "no need to go to college or remain human any longer except to have SEX!" was possibly the most degrading part of the book for Bella....cna you say UTTERLY pathetic?!

                          College is important in this day and age--SM's message is a pretty poor one in this respect.....
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sherrilina View Post
                            *sighs* *readies cousin!couple 101 spiel* First of all, if they are cousins, it probably isn't that close--it never mentioned Sue or Harry being siblings or cousins of Billy as far as I can recall, which would mean they are not first cousins--which means there's REALLY no issue.
                            Yeah. The only people we know for sure are related are Leah and Seth (who are brother and sister, quite obviously so.) and THEIR cousin, Emily Young (Team Leah. TYVM.) - she's their second cousin. Then there's the mystery of Embry's paternity, which means he's probably related to either Jacob, Sam, or Quil.

                            It has never been implied that Leah and Jacob were closely related.

                            But also the whole, "no need to go to college or remain human any longer except to have SEX!" was possibly the most degrading part of the book for Bella....cna you say UTTERLY pathetic?!
                            HA. At least we can agree on some points On the sex issue, I've complained about SMeyer's portrayal of sex before (not the fade-to-black furniture-breaking sex, but the conspiracy theory of her taking every measure to make it plausible that there'd be no pre-marital sex), mostly out of humor. But once they do have sex, that's all their relationship is portrayed as in the book. It's all sex and Nessie and nothing else. (That sounds like a really gross sentence.) The relationship, why I like the relationship, is not...as present once she realizes she loves sex so much.

                            Anyway, one of my main issues is the lack of consequences, or the fact that there is no "down side" at all. Just because you achieve your happy ending (whatever it may be to you), that doesn't necessarily mean the path is easy and you don't have to work or sacrifice along the way.

                            Everything came ALL too easily. Like Ehlwyen brought up, they have this baby (which is already an issue, in and of itself) and it's automatically taken care of and growing up. No parents have it that easy, especially not TEEN parents. The baby doesn't cry, can apparently hunt for its own food, and is perfectly well-behaved and extremely intelligent. None of the drawbacks to Bella's choices are portrayed. She literally has EVERYTHING, and stays young and beautiful forever.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by little albatross View Post
                              Everything came ALL too easily. Like Ehlwyen brought up, they have this baby (which is already an issue, in and of itself) and it's automatically taken care of and growing up. No parents have it that easy, especially not TEEN parents. The baby doesn't cry, can apparently hunt for its own food, and is perfectly well-behaved and extremely intelligent. None of the drawbacks to Bella's choices are portrayed. She literally has EVERYTHING, and stays young and beautiful forever.
                              Yep, one of my biggest problems as well....(We agree on more than one point! )

                              You know, in an essay in that "New Dawn" essays book from Borders one author pointed out that the reason we were so invested in these books and felt for Bella was partly because we were scared for her about what she would lose in the end, no matter what she chose--and there was a great fanvid I watched that also talked about how whatever she chooses, Bella is going to suffer a loss. But then she doesn't have to suffer ANY loss--and instead the series suffers for it....

                              I also think it's annoying how in Eclipse J/B is presented as the path of a normal life, in which she stays human and ages and stays near her family and has kids--but one which by choosing Edward she is rejecting. She says she didn't want kids and all that enough. Fine, she has made her bed, let her lie in it....But no, then she STILL gets kids and hanging with Charlie going down the Edward path--what was the choice then really about anyway?

                              To get to a "real world" message, I think it's eye-roll worthy that of COURSE she would still have kids and be a mother, even when she chooses a childless life with Edward over children with Jacob in Eclipse--I mean, god FORBID a woman end up with no kids, even if she chose a life without them!
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by sherrilina View Post
                                *sighs* *readies cousin!couple 101 spiel* First of all, if they are cousins, it probably isn't that close--it never mentioned Sue or Harry being siblings or cousins of Billy as far as I can recall, which would mean they are not first cousins--which means there's REALLY no issue.

                                But even with first cousins, it really isn't that big of a deal--there is only a 2% greater risk of genetic defect than in the kid of two random people--not much! All laws in the US against marrying your first cousin predate modern genetics, and the US is the only Western power to have any such laws--and more than half of the US states (like Maryland, New York, California, etc) don't have such laws. People have been marrying their cousins for ages (it's very likely YOU are descended from a cousin!couple), and in plenty of cultures its still quite common. It's really not that incestuous/wrong. [/rant]
                                I'm sorry, I can't NOT respond to this! But the idea of marrying somebody who shares the same grandparents as you is...I can't even begin to process that. Yes, there may not be genetic defects, but it's still pretty damn freaky to be marrying, let alone getting down and dirty with, someone who is your first cousin, who possibly shares your last name to begin with, who shares your grandparents, whose parent is your parent's sibling. In my opinion at least.

                                But that could just be me. I could be the weirdo in this conversation (which is perfectly normal for me, actually... ) but I don't know anybody who could seriously get into a relationship with their first cousin. That's just...I can't find a word suitable for what I think of that.



                                Originally posted by sherrilina
                                Buuuut....back to real world issues, here's one that irked me (besides all the ones already mentioned). The fact that Bella automatically assumed, without a doubt, that her name would change to Bella Cullen after marriage. Maybe it's just my personal beliefs that it is not necessary for a woman to change her name at marriage (I think that's quite an outdated custom, from when women were supposed to be men's property), but considering that they're all supposed to pretend to be a family it also bothered me from a logistical standpoint. Alice and Rosalie don't share the same last names as their menfolk, as part of their whole charade--so why wouldn't Bella keep the last name Swan, for the same reasons? Are they just going to pretend to be married always, or never pretend to be in HS again? (I guess they can't with their BABY and all! ).
                                I, personally, have no problem with her wanting to change her last name to Cullen. It's really just up to the woman, honestly. When I get married, I'll change my last name probably. It just makes it more...real, for the lack of a better term. It solidifies the "we're a family" idea that's SUPPOSED to come with marriage. But that's just me. I can see how some women would want to keep their last names and that's cool. But I don't think Bella was ASSUMING that it would automatically change from Swan to Cullen - I think she WANTED it to change. It just goes with the theme of Bella wanting to be a part of the Cullen family. To me, it makes perfect sense.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Heather View Post
                                  I'm sorry, I can't NOT respond to this! But the idea of marrying somebody who shares the same grandparents as you is...I can't even begin to process that. Yes, there may not be genetic defects, but it's still pretty damn freaky to be marrying, let alone getting down and dirty with, someone who is your first cousin, who possibly shares your last name to begin with, who shares your grandparents, whose parent is your parent's sibling. In my opinion at least.

                                  But that could just be me. I could be the weirdo in this conversation (which is perfectly normal for me, actually... ) but I don't know anybody who could seriously get into a relationship with their first cousin. That's just...I can't find a word suitable for what I think of that.

                                  Well I think it all depends on the relationship, I can see some people in certain situations wanting to be with their cousins, but definitely not in others....*shrug*

                                  Sorry, I learned all about this stuff when I began shipping Albus Severus/Rose.... (Though one of my favorite ships in another series, Imriel/Sidonie, are also first cousins a few times removed...)

                                  I, personally, have no problem with her wanting to change her last name to Cullen. It's really just up to the woman, honestly. When I get married, I'll change my last name probably. It just makes it more...real, for the lack of a better term. It solidifies the "we're a family" idea that's SUPPOSED to come with marriage. But that's just me. I can see how some women would want to keep their last names and that's cool. But I don't think Bella was ASSUMING that it would automatically change from Swan to Cullen - I think she WANTED it to change. It just goes with the theme of Bella wanting to be a part of the Cullen family. To me, it makes perfect sense.
                                  Perhaps. But Rosalie and Jasper are also part of the Cullen family without having had to change their names. I'm just saying....

                                  As for the "solidifying the 'we're a family' idea that's supposed to come with marriage" thing you're talking about, why is the girl supposed to be joining the guy's family? I mean, by that logic Harry should have changed his last name to Weasley when he married Ginny in HP, since it was really him becoming part of Ginny's family rather than the other way around!
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Heather View Post
                                    I'm sorry, I can't NOT respond to this! But the idea of marrying somebody who shares the same grandparents as you is...I can't even begin to process that. Yes, there may not be genetic defects, but it's still pretty damn freaky to be marrying, let alone getting down and dirty with, someone who is your first cousin, who possibly shares your last name to begin with, who shares your grandparents, whose parent is your parent's sibling. In my opinion at least.

                                    But that could just be me. I could be the weirdo in this conversation (which is perfectly normal for me, actually... ) but I don't know anybody who could seriously get into a relationship with their first cousin. That's just...I can't find a word suitable for what I think of that.

                                    Well, it's a good thing for Jake/Leah shippers that they aren't actually cousin. Not that I'd ever get down and dirty with any of my relatives, but I'll admit that Sher's cousins rant cracked me up. If you really want to be scientific about it and all...

                                    ANYWAY, I agree that taking the Cullen name didn't really bother me. that she was more willing to give up her family was sad. But those were the consequences of her choices that she consciously accepted. Which would bring me back to the original rant of her getting EVERYTHING. Plus, there have been more arguments elsewhere about what name she would take - Swan, Cullen. Some people were going as far as saying she would TECHNICALLY be Bella Masen. And that Alice is a Whitlock. And Rosalie is a McCarthy (or whatever Emmett's human last name was.) NOW that is even more annoying to me than Bella choosing to be a Cullen, as it seems to imply (in my mind) that the women automatically belong to their husbands, rather than solidifying their new family...if that makes sense.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sherrilina View Post
                                      Well I think it all depends on the relationship, I can see some people in certain situations wanting to be with their cousins, but definitely not in others....*shrug*

                                      Sorry, I learned all about this stuff when I began shipping Albus Severus/Rose.... (Though one of my favorite ships in another series, Imriel/Sidonie, are also first cousins a few times removed...)
                                      Oh, I see (concerning why you researched this stuff and whatnot). And it amazes me that you went into shipping that pairing with so much research and preparation. WOO!

                                      But, again, I just find that so...icky. And weird. And socially abnormal ( ). And kinda embarassing for the kids of that couple. "Oh, my parents met at a family reunion. Their eyes met over their grandma's famous potato salad as they both reached for the spoon...They then continued to play tug-o-war all afternoon and were inseparable ever since."

                                      Originally posted by sherrilina
                                      Perhaps. But Rosalie and Jasper are also part of the Cullen family without having had to change their names. I'm just saying....

                                      As for the "solidifying the 'we're a family' idea that's supposed to come with marriage" thing you're talking about, why is the girl supposed to be joining the guy's family? I mean, by that logic Harry should have changed his last name to Weasley when he married Ginny in HP, since it was really him becoming part of Ginny's family rather than the other way around!
                                      But they're not Bella. Jasper and Rosalie aren't Bella. Bella's the insecure girl who's so enthralled by the Cullens and has repeatedly said that she can't wait to be a part of the family and to be with Edward. Her taking his last name isn't really that shocking. If she had kept Swan as her last name, it would've solidified her standing as an individual person - and we all know that Bella is nothing without Edward, apparently, so that just wouldn't appropriate.

                                      I never said that the girl should have to change her last name but that's just how the tradition is. But if you marry someone and you both have different last names, that, to me, doesn't really...I don't know...make it much of a complete union between two people. It makes it less obvious that you're married to each other. If you show up at a party and introduce yourselves, no one would know that you're married unless they spot the rings on your fingers.

                                      It's really just an age old tradition. I, personally, don't believe that giving up your last name when you marry the guy of your dreams is diminishing your individuality as a person who making it so that you're only associated to the guy. It's not an anti-feminist type ordeal. Technically, when you're going by your maiden name, you're still associated with your father because of his last name. You're not less independent with your maiden name than you are with your husband's name.

                                      I just don't see the problem with taking your husband's last name. *Shrugs* But, again, I don't think it's stupid to keep your maiden name. I really don't. It's just that I, personally, wouldn't do it when I get married.

                                      /ramble that probably made no sense

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Heather View Post
                                        But, again, I just find that so...icky. And weird. And socially abnormal ( ). And kinda embarassing for the kids of that couple. "Oh, my parents met at a family reunion. Their eyes met over their grandma's famous potato salad as they both reached for the spoon...They then continued to play tug-o-war all afternoon and were inseparable ever since."
                                        ROFl, but it'd make family reunions more interesting/bearable at least, no? And they'd TOTALLY get your family....

                                        But they're not Bella. Jasper and Rosalie aren't Bella. Bella's the insecure girl who's so enthralled by the Cullens and has repeatedly said that she can't wait to be a part of the family and to be with Edward. Her taking his last name isn't really that shocking. If she had kept Swan as her last name, it would've solidified her standing as an individual person - and we all know that Bella is nothing without Edward, apparently, so that just wouldn't appropriate.
                                        True--I suppose it's not really a surprise at all, I'm just noting yet another aspect of Bella that irks me--like she doesn't look forward to getting married except for changing her name, liking the sound of Bella Cullen.

                                        Sorry Bella, but I think "Bella Swan" has a nicer ring to it..... (Though we all know Bella's taste in names cannot be trusted after what she named here baby! ).

                                        It's really just an age old tradition.
                                        Oy speaking of those, did anyone else roll their eyes big time when Bella describes Charlie handing her off to Edward as a gesture "as old as the world" or something like that?

                                        Sorry sweetie, but even thinking in terms of humankind (who were not there at the beginning of the world), I doubt the cavemen were doing that gesture. Hell, you didn't even need any third party present at your wedding (to do such a handing off) in canon law until the 16th century! [/nitpicks]
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