Edward and his siblings are described by Bella as exceedingly attractive, both physically and personally. She is mesmerized by them, even though initially she feels very uncomfortable around them. Jacob and his pack members, when they do not shift their shapes, also fascinate her: this is nothing new to young adult fiction which thrives on the familiar scenario featuring a protagonist who embodies a potentially dangerous, but always seductive presence.
From the start, her bonding with the supernatural misfits is explored by Meyer who as a writer is fascinated by the complex emotions derived from adolescent relationships, filling page after page of her four volumes with depictions of complex bonding processes. Doubtlessly, this story-sharing process involves the teen pursuit of romantic and familial happiness, but the innovative twist and the likely reason for its cross-cultural success is the insertion of supernatural misfits.
Vulnerable vampires and werewolves, in terms of human feelings, go beyond the average marginalized types portrayed in fiction, which adds a new dimension to an old argument. As an emotion, when achieved by the Twilight protagonists, happiness is always borne out of a cooperation that must be freed of antagonism. Love and happiness are, in fact, the bright threads in the gloomy tapestry of rain-drenched Forks. In Breaking Dawn, the teenagers, who shape-shift into a wolf pack because of the heavy concentration of vampires in Forks, must learn to control their instinctive hate for these ancestral enemies.
Obliged to join the Cullen coven to fight off a greater enemy, the evil Volturi coven, their fear and distrust still continues.
Once again, the message here is that antagonism must be avoided at all cost, and his view of the Cullens as people is what alleviates an otherwise tense situation. These two concepts are translated, when discussing fiction, into the well-known terms of affection and aggression. Keith Oatley and Jennifer Jenkins describe the emotional interplay at work in real life human social dynamics by using the two coordinates of affection and aggression as if they were geographical coordinates on an emotional map going North-South or East-West Such coordinates allow us to locate ourselves at any moment in our own interpersonal geography, which is basically a metaphor for social interaction with those around us.
- The Twilight mystique : critical essays on the novels and films - Hamilton-Wenham Public Library.
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In the universal romance paradigm, help and antagonism amongst the characters are what makes for situations that are recognizable to a reader who could likely live out or may have already lived out similar situations with their peers in real life. The emotions felt when affection, love, and support help are given or received amount to happiness.
Asserting power occurs via the emotions of anger and contempt, and when a person feels threatened, fear and anxiety occur. Such emotions are continuously encountered by the reader: the emotional upheavals experienced as a result of circumstances thrust upon the protagonists, are in fact of the kind most teenagers and young adults go through every day: the only variant is the supernatural context. Edward, in turn, represses his feelings for Bella, puts her life in danger and, as a result, hates himself for it.
Jacob, typecast by Meyer as a classic rebel, struggles to accept the violent physical changes associated with his new, shape-shifting condition. Needless to say, we as readers witness their shifting interpersonal geographies and the subsequent progressive stages of emotional growth. Bella, however, becomes a major catalyst in the reconciliation of all parties concerned, especially Edward and Jacob.
The reader witnesses how the contempt once felt for each other develops into mutual respect through a common cause: saving the human population of Forks. Just a child. This is one step in the process of emotional maturation that Jacob has just taken and that Bella took long before. Her interpersonal skills help elicit the good in people, as she manages to reconcile her divorced parents as well as the warring factions who are her friends.
Early in Twilight there is a scene which best defines Bella as a character. She directly confronts Edward in their school cafeteria asking for explanations about how he had saved her life. It is a tense scene where all she asks for is honesty, but he can only insist that he is not the superhero she is imagining and that, in fact, he is very dangerous for her. The first was to take his advice: to be smart, to avoid him as much as possible. To cancel our plans, to go back to ignoring him as far as I was able [. My mind rejected the pain, quickly skipping on to the next option.
So quickly, I argued with myself, that it might have been sheer reflexes. But if it was a reflex to save lives, how bad could he be? What Bella, Edward or Jacob all decide to do cannot be understood without their sense of commitment to family. The fact that the father figures in Twilight are presented as positively involved in what is happening to their children precludes a youth-culture story of the kind favored by authors of Young Adult pop fiction.
Patrick Hogan confirms this belief in Affective Narratology and argues that the reader actively seeks to read about the enduring emotional commitments of mutual bonding or attachment, as is the case with friendship, kinship and romantic love. In stories for a general, cross-cultural audience, such as Twilight , happiness is a universal pursuit It also alleviates her depression. These all somehow become minor details in the reading process conveniently eclipsed by an exaltation of feelings: it is teen age love at its best, just as Hogan observes in Affective Narratology when discussing how our emotional lives are tied to group identification which facilitates empathy.
They both have to put up with silly classmates who only aggravate their feelings of frustration.
September Book & Film Club: Twilight
The adolescent and young adult buyers and readers of fantasy romances react to the sense of life conveyed in the text and share it through an empathic process. Indeed, apathy is an unknown emotional state in Twilight —except when Edward leaves at one point in the series and Bella plunges into a deep depression and becomes totally apathetic.
Yet even then, family and friends bring her back from a listless state because personal involvement in Twilight is equivalent to commitment and action. In the new world order where good overcomes evil, the commitment to preserve human life by repressing the thirst for human blood ultimately gives meaning to their lives.
Despite their death and condemnation, human willpower makes the blood-sucking creatures good.
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English Only. Sullivan , Donald E. Add to Cart Add to Cart. Add to Wishlist Add to Wishlist. View More. Palumbo , C. Sullivan III. Sleeping Beauty and the Idealized Undead. Forks Washington. The Pleasures of Adapting.
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About the Contributors. Is Twilight Mormon? Bella and the Choice Made in Eden.
She teaches courses in science fiction and fantasy, including seminars on both the Harry Potter and Twilight series, and has recently published a study of Ursula Le Guin.