Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why I don't like Twilight anymore

I read this series because my girls were reading them, wanted to know what they were getting into, and I'm telling you, this stuff is addictive. An interesting story though not very well written in my opinion, flaws in the story line all over the place, but still highly emotionally addictive. Kind of like food with lots of MSG; tastes good, leaves you hungry for more, but doesn't satisfy in a healthy way.

I don't by any means condemn the Edwards and Bellas of this world for being in love, not by a long shot. A well portrayed romance gets me every time, I love them. This one had me for a while, but in the end just didn't cut it for various reasons; reasons which are personal and my way of thinking about what is right and wrong for me. I am not and will not judge anyone who still loves the books, this is an individual journey, and I'm attempting to describe part of my journey here.

LDS girls of all ages are getting into this by the droves, and I can see why: these books are promoted as "clean", "no bad stuff at all in them". So girls who are taught that sex before marriage is wrong, can get a hormonal fix as their baser emotions are aroused through reading about one couple's desires in surprisingly evocative detail. To me this goes against the spirit of a very serious and wise principle.

A theme that runs through all four books has a teenage couple unable to function without thinking about or being with one another all the time, not a healthy thing in my opinion.

In the first book there is a scene where the boy spends the night in the girl's bedroom, just to watch her and protect her. Nothing excommunicable happens, other than the fact that he is IN HER BEDROOM - a no-no in no uncertain terms from an LDS perspective, and there is a very passionate kiss that is broken off, eventually, by the boy - in spite of the girl urging him repeatedly to go all the way.

Here's an interesting point: in this scene I have referred to above the girl is described in the book as wearing a baggy old sweatshirt top, and old daggy sweatshirt bottoms, while in the movie the apparel is changed (very deliberately in my view) to a tight tshirt that reveals her tummy, and a pair of briefs/undies. Why the change, I asked myself? Answer: the movie makers are trying to elicit the maximum response from the audience, the maximum arousal of sexual feeling. I'm shaking my head here, thinking of the very young people who are being exposed to this and what effect it must be having upon them. Because no matter what the rating of the movie, no matter who it is aimed at, the truth is that many children of 10 and younger are being exposed to this story.

It is so easy to justify this sort of thing. The whole series isn't solely as described above, there is also a storyline which is exciting and makes you want to find out what is going to happen. I viewed the books very differently at first, so yes I suppose I was taken in along with the crowd. Now I find myself preferring to seek for the highest literature rather than the mediocre. There's so little time for reading, for any recreation really, I want to make sure I'm spending my time well.

Now as an aside...I finally finished Middlemarch! It's been a year I think, since I began. The relationship between Will Ladislaw and Dorothea Casaubon is one of the most beautiful I have ever read about, so honorable, sweet, pure, delightful, hopeless then hopeful, and so superbly described from both points of view by George Eliot.