Where Twilight Went Right

Twilight_Saga

If that title didn’t catch your eye, I don’t know what did. I know Twilight gets a lot of love and a lot of hate, and it depends on your personal preference. I happen to be one of those people that pokes good fun at Twilight – let’s face it, there are a lot of flaws with the series – but a thought snagged me.

“Why is Twilight so popular?”

We’ve dissected the Mary Sue and Gary Stew problems, the emotionally abusive relationships, the cliche love triangle – and yet we’re left with one remaining fact.

People love Twilight. Sometimes even people we love and respect love Twilight, and we’re left thinking either a.) What in the world is wrong with them!? b.) I choose bad friends, or c.) Maybe they’re not entirely wrong.

So I mulled this over and realized, in spite of the many (many many) flaws, Twilight got a few things right.

1. Love. 99% of humanity is a sucker for a good love story, and Twilight has more than one. It focuses on Edward and Bella, sure; but look at the rest of it – Jacob loves Bella, Rosalie and Emmet are married and love each other, Carlisle and Esme are married and love each other, Alice and Jasper are married and love each other, Bella’s father loves her and wants to keep her safe, the Cullens grow to love Bella and protect her, the LaPush werewolves care about each other…the saga is a series of love stories, and you know what? In the end, the basics are right: You sacrifice for the one you love, you protect them, you wait for them. No matter Bella’s stupid decisions or the strageness of it all, the moral there is one you can’t argue with.

2. Stephanie Meyer did something that’s fairly unprecedented in other novels – the main hero is basically AWOL for the entirety of book #2. This gave us the perfect opportunity to get to know Jacob, who – let’s face it – is a pretty likable guy, for the most part. Sure, he might flex his muscles at Edward and bare his teeth now and then, but he comforts and protects Bella even when he knows he can’t have her. I mean, let’s face it – sending the guy every girl is swooning over out of the picture for pretty much an entire book could have lost her a lot of fans, but it didn’t – instead, it drew them in, because they wanted Bella and Edward back together. The desire for a happy ending was enough to keep them turning pages and eagerly awaiting a reunion. She took risks most authors aren’t willing to take.

3. One thing I don’t understand is all the flack Edward gets. Sure, I poke fun at him (who wouldn’t), but take away the fangs and what is he? He’s Mr. Darcy on steroids. Can anyone spell p-e-r-s-p-e-c-t-i-v-e? Edward is caring, and kind, and protective of his family and friends. He’s a gentleman who will fight for the woman he loves in spite of the problems with his family, which he also loves. He’s devoted to his adopted family. And while he does a good bit of lurking before he and Bella are in a relationship, it’s not a reason to completely dismiss everything else about him. Edward is a gentleman – and gentlemen are sorely lacking in today’s YA literature. Girls want a guy like Edward, and Meyer gave them what they wanted – to the nth degree.

I’m not saying Twilight is the series all aspiring authors should look up to. I could make a much longer list detailing the plot holes, the bad writing, the no-no’s (New Moon could basically be called Never Mind, since that’s how 99% of the problems are fixed)…but so often, we get so caught up in thumbing our nose at what’s ‘popular’ that we don’t stop to see if there’s anything we could learn from it.

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14 thoughts on “Where Twilight Went Right

  1. I think books get popular for a reason. Maybe Twilight isn’t the best writing ever, but, honestly? A lot of books have suckish writing and they don’t get half the flack Twilight gets. But anyway, good points! There are a lot of good family morals in there, too, but you basically covered that with the love bit. 🙂

  2. Can I just say, thank you for saying this?! I am so sick of all the flack Twilight gets. I haven’t read it. So I would never say that it’s either “bad” or “good.” But I really like the thought that any book, no matter how dumb it is at times, has good things in it. Even the worst book in the world can teach you how *not* to write. Anyway. I really appreciate this post.

  3. I completely agree- I actually kind of liked twilight. I read the series two years ago after being anti-twilight for the previous three years, if there weren’t a few moral issues that are rather hard to ignore, I’d say that I loved them. (Actually, just “a few moral issues” is kind of an understatement… but you know:)

  4. One of my favorite memories is going to see the first movie with my sister that’s just older than me. We got sent with (literally) bags of candy and laughed the whole way through it! The thing that really bugs me about the series (besides the terrible writing, of course) is the sexuality. I don’t know how the average Christian world views that, but Mormons get really ticked off by that. And because I’m homeschooled, I don’t know enough people outside my church that can tell me how other Christians think of it. I’m really just curious: what do other Christians (besides Mormons in general, of course) believe concerning sex/homosexuality/drugs/alcohol consumption/abortion/and all other things that are pervasive in the news and our society today? I really don’t want to be offensive, I just genuinely want to understand all you truly wonderful people. Answers for Ana, whose mind is far too curious and whose mouth is way too large for her own good???

    • Well, we believe the same things; or at least I do. Sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, drug abuse, drunkenness, and abortion are all things that I and my family are against. 🙂

      • Okay, thank you! 😀 I like people a lot, so I like picking their brains and learning more about those I like. And I genuinely agree with what you wrote — I was quite the Twihard for a bit there. I like how you find the good things in whatever you come across. (We were just reading in our family scripture study about not judging and remembering that all souls are of the same worth in the eyes of God). It’s a great example, mio cor. 😉

  5. Well, the title definitely caught my eye. haha
    great points Mirriam, really great post!! *throws aside everything on the to-do list and meanders down all of this year’s posts…*

  6. I can’t really say anything about this since I’ve never read the books or seen the movies but I’ll just leave with “he chuckled blackly.” *poofs in a cloud of sparkles*

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