Twilight series theory – Twilight as a tragedy rather than a romance.

upsettingshorts:

illustratedpig:

heecawroo:

mewtini:

from a post on reddit:

Let’s put problems with spelling, grammar, narrative flow, plot structure, etc. aside and just look at the story and, in particular, the character arc of Bella Swan.

At the beginning of the story, she is moving from Arizona to Washington on her own volition – she has decided to give her mother and her step-father some time and space and to spend some time with her father. At this point in the story, she is, admittedly, a bit of a Mary Sue, but an endearing one. She is sensitive to the needs of others (moves to Alaska for her Mom’s sake, helps her Dad around the house, is understanding and tries to give the benefit of the doubt even when the other students are somewhat cruel to her when she first arrives), clumsy, out-of-sorts, and a little insecure. She’s not a girly-girl or a cheerleader type, doesn’t get caught up in the typical sorts of high school behavior, and in general functions as an independent person.

It’s worth noting that if Tyler’s van had smashed her, she would have (at that point) died as a fairly well-rounded, empathetic individual. We certainly wouldn’t say she died in need of redemption, at any rate. Instead, Edward ‘saves’ her – and this supernatural ‘salvation’ marks the beginning of a journey that ultimately destroys her.

As she gets more entangled with Edward, she becomes less and less independent, more and more selfish. She is accepting of his abusive behavior (stalking her on trips with her friends, removing parts from her car so that she can’t go see Jacob, creeping into her window at night, emotional manipulation) to the point that when he completely abandons her (walking out on the trust and commitment they’ve built together, in spite of having vowed to remain with her no matter what), she is willing to take him back. Edward is clearly entirely morally bankrupt.

Her father, Charlie Swan, is sort of the Jimminy Cricket of the story. His intuition is a proxy for the reader’s intuition, and he’s generally right. He doesn’t like Edward, because he can sense the truth – not that Edward is a vampire, that doesn’t matter in particular – but that Edward is devoid of anything approximating a ‘soul’ (for those strict secularists, you could just say Charlie can see that Edward is a terrible person). Bella is warned by numerous people and events throughout the course of the story that she is actively pursuing her own destruction – but she’s so dependent on Edward and caught up in the idea of the romance that she refuses to see the situation for what it is. Charlie tells her Edward is bad news. Edward tells her that he believes he is damned, and devoid of a soul. He further tells her that making her like him is the most selfish thing he will ever do. Jacob warns her numerous times that Edward is a threat to her life and well-being. She even has examples of other women who have become involved with monsters – Emily Young bears severe and permanent facial disfigurement due to her entanglement with Sam Uley.

Her downward spiral continues when, in New Moon, she turns around and treats her father precisely as Edward has treated her – abandoning him after suffering an obvious and extended severe bout of depression, leaving him to worry that she is dead for several days. She had been emotionally absent for a period of months before that anyhow. Charlie Swan is traumatized by this event, and never quite recovers thereafter. (He is continuously suspicous of nearly everyone Bella interacts with from that point on, worries about her frequently, and seems generally less happy.)

Her refusal to break her codependence with Edward eventually leads them to selfishly endanger Carlisle’s entire clan when the Volturi threaten (and then attempt) to wipe them out for their interaction with her – so she is at this point in the story willing to put lives on both sides of the line (her family and the Cullens) at risk in favor of this abusive relationship. Just like in a real abusive relationship, she is isolated or isolates herself from nearly everyone in her life – for their safety, she believes.

Ultimately, she marries Edward, submitting to mundane domesticity and an abusive relationship – voluntarily giving up her independence in favor of fulfilling Edward’s idea of her appropriate role. Her pregnancy – which in the real world would bind her to the father of her children irrevocably (if only through the legal system or through having to answer the kid’s questions about their paternity) – completely destroys her body. The baby drains her of every resource in her body (she becomes sickly, skeletal, and unhealthy) and ultimately snaps her spine during labor. Her physical destruction tracks with and mirrors her moral and psychological destruction – both are the product of seeds that she allowed Edward to plant inside her through her failure to be independent.

Ultimately, to ‘save’ her (there’s that salvation again), Edward shoots venom directly into her heart. Let me repeat that for emphasis: The climax of the entire series is when Edward injects venom directly into Bella Swan’s heart.

Whatever wakes up in that room, it ain’t Bella.

I’ll refer to the vampire as Bella Cullen, the human as Bella Swan.

Bella Swan was clumsy.

Bella Cullen is the most graceful of all the vampires.

Bella Swan was physically weak and frequently needed protection.

Bella Cullen is among the strongest and most warlike of the vampires, standing essentially on her own against a clan that has ruled the world for centuries.

Bella Swan was empathetic to the needs of others before she met Edward.

Bella Cullen pursues two innocent human hikers through a forest, intent on ripping them to pieces to satisfy her bloodlust – and stops only because Edward calls out to her. Not because she perceives murder as wrong. (Breaking Dawn, p.417). She also attempts to kill Jacob and breaks Seth’s shoulder because she didn’t approve of what Jacob nicknamed her daughter (Breaking dawn, p.452). She no longer has morals .

Bella Swan was fairly modest and earnest.

Bella Cullen uses her sex appeal to manipulate innocent people and extract information from them (pp.638 – 461) – she does so in order to get in touch with J. Jenks.

In short, her entire identity – everything that made her who she was – has been erased.

This is powerfully underscored on p. 506, when Charlie Swan (remember, the conscience of the story) sees his own daughter for the first time after her transformation:

“Charlie’s blank expression told me how off my voice was. His eyes zeroed in on me and widened.

Shock. Disbelief. Pain. Loss. Fear. Anger. Suspicion. More pain.”

He goes through the entire grieving process right there – because at that moment, he recognizes what so many readers don’t – Bella Swan is dead.

The most tragic part of the whole story is that this empty shell of a person – which at this point is nothing more than a frozen echo of Bella, twisted and destroyed as she is by her codependence with Edward, fails to see what has happened to her. She ends the story in denial – empty, annihilated, and having learned nothing.

holy shit

now who wants to write fanfiction emphasizing this point

Now that’s cool

Did I just read a Twilight literary analysis that I liked?  

What have I become?

harriet-spy:

thebiscuiteternal:

swimmingferret:

cumaeansibyl:

amazonqueendianaprince:

ceslatoil:

Back during the time when it was popular to bash Twilight for both legitimate reasons (Edward being borderline abusive to Bella, the whole child grooming plot point in Breaking Dawn, etc.) and not (REAL VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE THATS GAY), I saw this meme on Facebook where it was Louis and Lestat from Interview With The Vampire commenting on Edward’s sparkling and making fun of him for being gay. Like… Buddy My Guy. My Fair Dude. My Dear Sweet Homophobic Idiot. Not only are the Vampires in IWTV super duper gay, you’re lying to yourself if you think Lestat wouldn’t slam dunk his entire body into a tub of glitter on any given occasion. You Fool. You Imbecile.

@wicked-felina

Lestat: WHY DON’T WE GLITTER I WAS ROBBED

Louis: Does he ask our pity? He can walk in the sunlight, whereas we, foul creatures of darkness as we are, are forever barred from God’s kindly li –

Lestat, upending a pound of iridescent craft glitter on his head: SHUT UP LOUIS

Everyone on this post is gonna be sued by Anne Rice

Okay, but this is missing out on the glorious tags of the OP:
#what kind of SAVAGE AND AN IDIOT would ever imagine Lestat#a man who crawled out of the swamps of new orleans because his ex wrote a book and was /getting more attention than him/#and then proceeded to become a GLAM ROCK DIVA and Slut For Fame™️#just so people wouldn’t forget who was Doing Better after the breakup#wouldn’t just absolutely snort a tub of glitter like so much expensive cocaine#lestat de lioncourt – ultimate nightmare toreador#cowards#have you met him even once

honestly

I resisted doing this but I have no choice MUST ADD:

^Lestat by @garama & @merciful-death

Foxy grandpa = Marius????

[X]

“It doesn’t matter who your problematic favorite character is. Even if they’re literally Satan (looking at you, Supernatural fandom), you don’t deserve to be harassed or bullied simply for liking them. Always remember that you’re just as entitled to your opinion as anyone else.

…There are a lot of don’ts when it comes to problematic characters… Navigating the minefield of fandom is tricky, but having a problematic fave is hardly the end of the world. As long as you’re considerate and respectful towards others, you can’t go wrong. So go on, get out there, and make the most of the experience!” 

SO YOU THINK YOUR FAVE IS PROBLEMATIC; HERE’S WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT, thedailyfandom.com

crystalesbian:

the thing that pisses me off about 50 shades of grey isn’t that it’s twilight fanfiction, it’s that it’s bad ooc twilight fanfiction. the implication that edward would be into bdsm is so fucking dumb he’s a 100 year old virgin who cried and went into a week-long depression the first time he fucked bella he wouldn’t even consider the idea of fucking her until they were married because he didn’t want to compromise his virtue and you’re telling me he’s a dom? no, edward cullen has the most boring vanilla sex ever the only thing unconventional about the way bella and edward fuck is that bella tops and edward cries the whole time and bella gets fed up and goes to the other house to fuck rosalie and edward cries some more in his room alone

Do you know of any vampire clichès? (I know that you may not have read that much vampire fiction, but I need to know all the clichès to avoid, it’s for a book.)

Oh man, that is a lot to ask, and you’re correct in that I have not consumed a wide range of vampire media, especially in terms of historical/geographical/etc. 

@thebibliosphere, @annabellioncourt, @gothiccharmschool, @forthegothicheroine, @fyeahgothicromance might have a post with this or similar info.

TL;DR: I don’t think you need to worry about avoiding

clichés, tho. I think you should take Anne Rice’s advice and “write the book you want to read.” It worked well enough for her!


What exactly is a cliché? Wiki says: 

“A cliché or cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.”

Vampire fiction is so varied and has so many different rules compared to its first inception that I think it’s pretty free of ideas/elements that have “become overused to the point of losing their original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating.”

One cliché is the “I vaaant to suck your blooood!” line that a vampire might say to a victim, originating in vampire movies from decades ago, but it’s more of a comical thing now. It can also be modified slightly to increase the comedy:

image

[^X piece of a comic by @heckifiknowcomics]

I will say that some of my fave vampire media takes existing clichés and/or rules/conventions about vampires, and interprets it in a different way or ignores it completely.


I think it’s more important to consider existing conventions/rules, and how your vampires will operate within them, if at all. I have some stuff mixed into my #vampire physiology tag, but not a complete list.

A few conventions/rules are already widely varied in different vampire media:

  • Vampires can’t walk around in sunlight –

    In most vampire media, vampires exposing themselves to sunlight will get them severely burned or killed immediately.

    In Byzantium, I think they can walk around in sunlight with no problems at all.

    In Twilight, the vampires are physically able to do so, but they’re dazzling in the sunlight, so they stand out as non-human when they do (and that’s bad bc revealing themselves as non-human could risk harm from mortals). 

  • Vampires require blood to survive, but they are immortal, so “survive” is more like, “a healthy vampire is one that is feeding on a regular basis, but it’s not a requirement.” – I can’t think of an example of vampires that die from not drinking blood regularly… but I think the What We Do in the Shadows and Only Lovers Left Alive vampires will rapidly weaken if they don’t feed often.
  • Vampires don’t have reflections in mirrors – the Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), What We Do in the Shadows, and

    Only Lovers Left Alive

    vampires

    don’t have reflections, but the Interview with the Vampire ones definitely do.

  • Vampires have to be invited into their victim’s home – Only seen this being an issue in the two adaptations of Let the Right One In.
  • Vampires are harmed by crosses/crucifixes – Saw this as an issue in the What We Do in the Shadows vampires, that it frightens Deacon that he might be in close proximity to a cross, but it’s unclear what would happen if he touched it. In Fright Night, a vampire touching a cross ignites it in flames but it doesn’t seem to stop him from continuing to attack.
image

[^X by @horroredits]

So what I’m saying is that you can explore different conventions/rules of vampires and then pick and choose which you’ll incorporate into your vampires, or invent whole new rules! 

thebiscuiteternal:

swimmingferret:

cumaeansibyl:

amazonqueendianaprince:

ceslatoil:

Back during the time when it was popular to bash Twilight for both legitimate reasons (Edward being borderline abusive to Bella, the whole child grooming plot point in Breaking Dawn, etc.) and not (REAL VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE THATS GAY), I saw this meme on Facebook where it was Louis and Lestat from Interview With The Vampire commenting on Edward’s sparkling and making fun of him for being gay. Like… Buddy My Guy. My Fair Dude. My Dear Sweet Homophobic Idiot. Not only are the Vampires in IWTV super duper gay, you’re lying to yourself if you think Lestat wouldn’t slam dunk his entire body into a tub of glitter on any given occasion. You Fool. You Imbecile.

@wicked-felina

Lestat: WHY DON’T WE GLITTER I WAS ROBBED

Louis: Does he ask our pity? He can walk in the sunlight, whereas we, foul creatures of darkness as we are, are forever barred from God’s kindly li –

Lestat, upending a pound of iridescent craft glitter on his head: SHUT UP LOUIS

Everyone on this post is gonna be sued by Anne Rice

Okay, but this is missing out on the glorious tags of the OP:
#what kind of SAVAGE AND AN IDIOT would ever imagine Lestat#a man who crawled out of the swamps of new orleans because his ex wrote a book and was /getting more attention than him/#and then proceeded to become a GLAM ROCK DIVA and Slut For Fame™️#just so people wouldn’t forget who was Doing Better after the breakup#wouldn’t just absolutely snort a tub of glitter like so much expensive cocaine#lestat de lioncourt – ultimate nightmare toreador#cowards#have you met him even once

cumaeansibyl:

amazonqueendianaprince:

ceslatoil:

Back during the time when it was popular to bash Twilight for both legitimate reasons (Edward being borderline abusive to Bella, the whole child grooming plot point in Breaking Dawn, etc.) and not (REAL VAMPIRES DON’T SPARKLE THATS GAY), I saw this meme on Facebook where it was Louis and Lestat from Interview With The Vampire commenting on Edward’s sparkling and making fun of him for being gay. Like… Buddy My Guy. My Fair Dude. My Dear Sweet Homophobic Idiot. Not only are the Vampires in IWTV super duper gay, you’re lying to yourself if you think Lestat wouldn’t slam dunk his entire body into a tub of glitter on any given occasion. You Fool. You Imbecile.

@wicked-felina

Lestat: WHY DON’T WE GLITTER I WAS ROBBED

Louis: Does he ask our pity? He can walk in the sunlight, whereas we, foul creatures of darkness as we are, are forever barred from God’s kindly li –

Lestat, upending a pound of iridescent craft glitter on his head: SHUT UP LOUIS