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All That Glitters Is Not Gold: Twilight and Its Negative Impact on Society

      Books are powerful.  The thoughts and ideas that mankind has chosen to craft into words and preserve upon paper have shaped the human race into what it is today, be they as widely influential as The Bible or The Origin of Species or as seemingly unimportant as Fahrenheit 451 or The Great Gatsby.  However, while literature has a remarkable capacity for good, certain works can also prove to be very detrimental to the society that we live in, especially those that target and corrupt our children and our future.  One such work of sin is Stephenie Meyer's fantasy novel Twilight, which details the love story of a sparkling vampire and a rather incompetent teenage girl.  It has become a bestseller in the United States and is making ground worldwide, presiding over an audience that canvases all ages and sexes.  While the negative aspects of its widespread popularity may seem limited to the rare instance of fangirls instigating a riot or rupturing the eardrums of passerby with squeals of "Edward!" and "Jacob!" Twilight's influence runs much deeper and, in fact, is a danger to American society.  Its terrible writing has perverted an entire generation of potential writers; it has implanted within the minds of readers everywhere an idea of unattainable perfection.  And, perhaps worst of all, Twilight's woefully weak and incompetent protagonist, Bella Swan, has dealt a heavy blow to the feminist movement and prepared young girls everywhere for a lifetime of abuse and suppression at the hands of men.  While Meyer's Book has been hailed as a positive influence on young women by media outlets and fans alike, a deeper look beyond the sparkles and supposed romance reveals a much darker and sinister impact.

              Twilight is undoubtedly one of the most popular books of the millennium.  Millions of copies of the book have been sold, and, according to USA Today, it has accounted for 29% of total book sales in 2009.   However, it is by no means a work of literary genius.  Stephenie Meyer is certainly not an amazing author or even a decent writer for that matter.  The gratuitous abuse of purple prose and abundant grammatical errors are enough to sicken any lover of literature; fellow best-selling author Stephen King even famously stated in an interview with USA Weekend that Meyer "couldn't write worth a darn."  Her terrible writing is not only frustrating, but also dangerous, scarring the English language and tainting an entire generation of would-be writers.

         One of the most important rules of creative writing is to always show and not tell.  As stated by Brad's Reader, this means that, "instead of simply describing attributes, characters, settings, etc., [a writer] should show these attributes through action."  For example, a good writer should never simply state: "My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down.  It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue.  I was wearing my favorite shirt – sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture.  My carry-on item was a parka" (Meyer 3).  Instead of telling the reader that the windows are rolled down, he or she should show the reader the feel of the hot Phoenix air rushing through the car windows; he or she should not tell the reader what the narrator is wearing, but rather show them how the gust of wind from the windows ruffles the eyelet lace on her favorite shirt.  As Anton Chekhov famously said, "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." With so many more creative and enthralling ways to describe people and places to the reader, simply rattling off a list of the attributes of a character or setting is nothing more than lazy writing: lazy writing that makes for lazy readers.

         The worst cases of Meyer's telling involve the characters themselves: "We walked to class together; [Mike] was a chatterer.  It turned out he was in my English class also.  He was the nicest person I'd met today" (Meyer 25).    Not once does she allow the reader to get to know Mike through his actions; instead, Meyer takes the easy way out and tells the reader everything about him.  Not only does this make her writing highly unappealing, but it also squelches any chance of character development.  In decent literature, a reader learns about a character by "Observ[ing] their actions. Listen[ing] closely to what they say and how they say it. Notic[ing] how they relate to other characters and how other characters respond to them" ("Creating Character").  Because Meyer never shows any aspect of Mike, the reader is never able to observe his actions, and Mike's character is never able to develop.  The fact that Mike is a minor character is not excuse for this style, as even the Cullens are not spared from Meyer's lackluster writing abilities: "[The Cullens] didn't look anything alike.  The last was lanky, less bulky, with untidy, bronze-colored hair" (Meyer 18).  The narrator never speculates about why they don't look alike or how they interact with each other; she simply lists their physical attributes, not once showing them through action.  Considering that a good portion of Twilight is dedicated to Edward's good looks, the fact that Meyer could not even muster up the talent to describe him well is nothing short of unsettling.

         Telling instead of showing never allows the reader to become involved with the story; instead of having to draw his or her own conclusions from observations of action in the text, the reader is able to simply gloss over a list of details.  Young bookworms who grow used to this telling style become lazy readers, scoffing at decent literature because they are not accustomed to using their brains to think about a story.  This also creates lazy writers, teaching an entire generation of would-be authors to simply tell the reader every detail instead of working hard to make their writing deeper than straightforward details.  These lazy writers will in turn create even more lazy readers and lazy writers, who will eventually degrade the standards for English literature and leave a scar upon the language.  Unfortunately, Meyer's writing fallacies do not stop with showing and telling.

         Description is an essential part of any story; it allows the reader to catch a glimpse of the characters and settings, and skilled authors are able to manipulate words to paint a mental picture in the reader's mind.  However, it is very possible for a writer to make their descriptions too detailed, too flowery, and too ornate: this is called purple prose.  Purple prose is often cluttered and difficult to read, where sentences are filled with unnecessary adjectives and other describing words to the point where "it draws attention to itself rather than to the story" ("Purple Prose").  The problem with this is obvious, as the focus of the writing should be the story and not the phrases.  A general rule that authors need to follow to avoid purple prose is best stated by George Orwell: "if it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out."  Good writing demands a balance where the author shows details but does not inflate the writing to the point where the reader is more concerned with the language than the actual story.  Therefore, the work is concise enough to be easily read and understood by the reader and stick to the story, but descriptive enough so that the reader is able to form at least a general picture of the people and places mentioned.  The inability to achieve this balance is the biggest problem that plagues Meyer's writing.

              In the rare instances where Meyer manages to show the reader instead of telling him or her, she heavily abuses purple prose.   One of the most frequent uses is when she describes the appearance of Edward Cullen, the main vampire and love interest of Bella Swan in the Twilight series: "He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare. His glistening, pale lavender lids were shut, though of course he didn't sleep" (Meyer 260).  A good portion of the adjectives mentioned were not needed at all -- in fact, "incandescent," "scintillating," and "glistening" are all synonyms for "sparkling."  They serve absolutely no purpose other than to reinforce what has already been stated, therefore causing the reader to focus more on the wording than the actual story of Twilight.  Meyer's use of this tactic is nothing more than a failed attempt to pass as a decent author and to make her writing seem more intelligent than it actually is.  As with telling, Meyer is teaching young authors to fill sentences with as many describing words as possible, even if they have no idea what they mean, and to focus more on the phrasing in the writing than the actual story itself.

            Tying in with her use of purple prose is Meyer's abuse of the thesaurus.  Oftentimes she breaks another key rule of writing, to "never use a long word where a short one will do" (Orwell).  She frequently pulls complex words from a thesaurus to replace simpler ones.  The problem with this is that many of the words are not perfect synonyms, and therefore are used incorrectly.  Despite her attempts in doing this to make her writing seem smarter, Meyer gives many of her sentences nonsensical meanings: "But it was sure to be awkward with Charlie. Neither of us was what anyone would call verbose, and I didn't know what there was to say regardless" (Meyer 5).  In this sentence Meyer attempts to replace the word "talkative" with "verbose."  However, these words do not mean the same thing.  "Verbose," as defined by the Random House Dictionary, means "characterized by the use of many or too many words," while "talkative" is defined as "inclined to talk a great deal."  Therefore, the reader is being told that, because neither Bella nor Charlie is characterized by the use of too many words, neither of them would know how to begin or hold a conversation with one another.  This is completely different from the meaning that Meyer intended.  This, along with many other examples of incorrectly used words, teaches children two things; first, because most readers use context clues to figure out what unfamiliar words mean, they learn the incorrect definitions because the words are not used in the correct context.  The readers will therefore be more inclined to use the word incorrectly, both in speech and in writing, degrading the English language.  Second, Meyer teaches young authors to follow her bad example and use a thesaurus to include complex words in their writing to give it the illusion of being more intelligent than they actually are.  The perversion of the intelligence of America's youth is simply the tip of the iceberg, however; the dangers that Twilight poses extend to their love lives as well.

              The idea of unattainable perfection has long existed in various forms of media, such as television, advertising, and literature.  Rail-thin supermodels with impossibly large chests and faces perfectly sculpted by plastic surgeons are the most well-known examples of this, striking both envy and anger in the hearts of women all over America because of the absurdly high standards that they set in the minds of men.  Women are no strangers to this type of objectification, but the tables are beginning to turn.  Through romance novels, authors are beginning to implant within the minds of women very high standards for men; and, with such novels beginning to be written for younger audiences, such as Twilight, these standards often become all that girls have to base the opposite sex on.  

              In Twilight, Meyer spends a great deal of time making sure that the reader knows just how perfect Edward Cullen is; she gushes endlessly about his physical beauty, from his "perfect lips" (Meyer 20) to his "incandescent chest" (Meyer 260).  He is described as the perfect man: unrealistically beautiful, caring, and protective.  Even middle aged women find themselves dazzled by Cullen.  However, Edward Cullen introduces to young girls everywhere an unrealistically high standard for the opposite gender.  Through Cullen, Meyer "evokes dangerously false expectations in young women that no man could ever satisfy" (Ross).  Young readers everywhere expect to find an Edward Cullen of their own; girls have left boyfriends and women have left husbands at the altar because "[they] are idealizing Edward to the point where real men can't compete anymore" (Gorgan).  Because of Cullen, "…women pass over and ignore the great real men in [their] lives" (Juarez) simply because they do not have his looks, tact, or charm.  The detrimental effects of Cullen's influence are even stronger when a woman actually takes a chance with a man, because "like the tear-soaked tissues in our hands, [she is] let down again" (Juarez).  The bar that Edward Cullen sets in the minds of young girls and women only serves to deprive them of opportunity and dash their hopes again and again, simply because no man like Cullen exists in reality.  Even the realization of this fact can damage young women, as they crash back down to reality with the crushing realization that they will never find the perfect man.  It is comparable to a child learning that there is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy.  What makes the situation worse is the fact that Meyer is getting to girls while they are still young.  A very large chunk of Twilight readers is composed of girls in their early teens who are just starting to form their opinions of the opposite sex.  And, according to Juarez, sometimes fictional characters like Edward are all girls have to base their assumptions on.  Edward Cullen is not the only character in Twilight who is guilty of guilty unrealistic expectations, however; the book's protagonist, Bella Swan, is equally to blame.

              Although she describes herself as ordinary, the characters in Twilight view Bella as rather beautiful.  A vast majority of the boys in school are attracted to her, including the ever-evasive and ridiculously picky Edward Cullen, and a good number of the girls are jealous of her looks.  She has exactly one flaw – her unbelievable clumsiness – but even that can hardly be considered as such, since the only time it seems to show itself is when it gives Edward a chance to come running to her rescue.  But the real danger with Bella lies in her description – or lack thereof.  Meyer intentionally did not describe Swan in detail in the book "so that the reader could more easily step into her shoes" ("Twilight FAQ").  This makes it all too easy for young female readers to raise their expectations for themselves to Bella's high standards; and in a society where the unrealistic expectations women are expected to fulfill already flood the media, this is the last thing that girls need.  Furthermore, Bella is an unbelievably shallow character.  No matter how nice the many men who fall for her are, she completely writes off the more unattractive ones before even getting to know them – and, after meeting the gorgeous Edward Cullen, pays no mind to any of the boys who don't ignore her as Cullen does. Take for example Eric Yorkie, the first boy who Bella meets at her new high school.  Although he is extremely courteous and kind to her, because Bella views him as "the overly-helpful, geeky, chess club type" (Meyer 16), she pays absolutely no mind to him for the entirety of the series.  According to Bella, it does not matter how nice someone may be; if they are "geeky" and "unattractive," they are not worth associating oneself with.

         Through her actions as the protagonist, Bella teachers little girls everywhere to be shallow and vain, as well as to strive to be so beautiful that every single boy in school falls head over heels for them.  Since these horrible lessons are veiled by the book's apparent theme of "true love" and the media's hailing of Bella as a good role model simply because she abstains from sex, girls are actually encouraged to follow her terrible example.  Bella Swan's harshest blow, however, has been dealt to the Feminist movement.

         For the most part, human society has always been patriarchal; many of our leaders, past and present, have been and are men.  In this male-dominated world, women have been objectified, persecuted, and discriminated against simply because of their gender.  They have been denied the natural rights supposedly guaranteed to all humans again and again, even when it is widely believed that all people are created equal.  The feminist movement has fought long and hard to rectify this injustice.  For hundreds of years women have picketed and protested to be viewed as equal, and it seems as though the movement has accomplished much in the past century.  Women are now allowed to vote, work, and own property, and are beginning to break traditional gender roles.  However, a stubborn few still insist that women are inferior to men and should have every aspect of their lives dominated by the opposite gender. Twilight has certainly incubated and spread the idea of female inferiority, threatening to set the Feminist movement back 100 years to a time when men had complete control over every aspect of women's lives.  Even when kept to oneself, such a narrow-minded and outdated opinion can have a negative effect on the feminist movement because, sadly, such ideas tend to be commonplace.  Once further spread through the use of media, such an idea can become a cancer upon the Feminist movement, slowly infecting and destroying everything that women have worked so hard for.  Regardless of how hard women fight or how many rights world governments grant them, as long as women are still viewed as inferior in the minds of men and even women themselves, they will never achieve equality.   
     In order for women to gain rights equal to men, they must be viewed and treated as equal beings.  No one gender must have authority over the other; they must be able to act independently of each other and fend for themselves, even when the two intertwine in romantic relationships.  However, Twilight puts forth the idea that a woman is completely worthless without her man.   With the help of her single character flaw, Bella succeeds in proving completely defenseless and, time and time again, must be saved by Edward: "She is weak, clumsy, and seems to depend wholly on her boyfriend just to survive" (Anti-Feminism…).  Take, for example, one of the first encounters that Edward and Bella share: "…the dark blue van was skidding wildly across the ice of the parking lot.  It was going to hit the back corner of my truck, and I was standing between them.  …Two long, white hands shot out protectively in front of me, and the van shuddered to a stop a foot from my face" (Meyer 56).  While the threat of being crushed by a van does not seem like an anti-feminist act, it is not the occurrence itself but rather the reason for its placement in Twilight.  The only reason Bella is nearly killed is simply so Edward can interact with her by coming to her rescue.  From halfway across the parking lot he stops the van in its tracks so that he can protect a person he's shown absolutely no interest at all in – because, even though they have never spoken, Edward views Bella as his property.  He is heavily attracted to her blood and wishes nothing more than to make her his and only his, hence his overly protective attitude towards her.  Another example of this takes place during Bella's trip to Port Angeles: "The thickest man shrugged away from the wall as I warily came to a stop, and walked slowly into the street….  'Done be like that, sugar,' he called, and the raucous laughter started again behind me" (Meyer 161).  In this instance, Bella has wandered alone through the dark backstreets of Port Angeles and ends up being accosted by a group of rowdy men.  Bella considers trying to defend herself with "what little self-defense [she] knew.  ...That same pessimistic voice spoke up in my mind again, reminding me that I probably wouldn't have a chance against one of them, and there were four" (Meyer 161).  She does not even attempt to defend herself, reasoning that a woman would have no chance even struggling against male attackers.  Had Edward not been stalking her during her trip in order to supposedly protect her, Bella would have certainly been sexually assaulted by the gang of men.  Hidden under the ruse of the knight in shining armor coming to the helpless princess's rescue is the fact that he was trailing her on an outing with her friends without her knowledge.  They are not dating, nor have they even had much interaction.  Edward is essentially stalking a girl who he barely knows because he feels extremely possessive of her.  Of course, this also paints Bella, the falsely dubbed good role model, as a weak, incompetent and defenseless woman who is completely incapable of keeping herself out of trouble.  No woman with an ounce of common sense would dare wander away from her friends, alone and unprotected, through a completely unknown city at night.  Bella portrays all women as vapid creatures who always find some way to get into trouble and must be constantly watched and protected by the men who possess them.  Twilight is littered with instances of Bella getting herself into trouble, only to be saved by the dashing Edward; in fact, it seems to form the basis of their relationship.  Bella's dependence on the man in her life is simply one of the many instances of anti-Feminism in Twilight.

              One important element in feminism is the independence of women from the men in their lives.  Even in a relationship, it is important for a woman to have a social life outside of her partner.  However, in Twilight, Edward is the center of Bella's world.  Once they begin dating, there is never any mention of the friends that Bella had once had, nor any signs that show a social life whatsoever outside of Edward and the Cullens.  Part of the reason for this is that Edward refuses to let Bella out of his sight to see other people, claiming that it is because he wants to protect her.  However, this is merely an instance of a man claiming complete control over his female partner's life; because it is to be assumed that men are far superior to women to the point where women don't have any idea what is good for themselves, it is the man's duty to run his woman's life and make sure that she stays out of trouble.  Furthermore, Edward stalked Bella, sneaking into her room every night to watch her sleep from the day she arrived in Forks.  In addition to this, he would also eavesdrop on her conversations by reading the minds of the friends with whom she was conversing.  Outside of fantasy novels, such blatant disregard for personal boundaries would certainly result in a call to the police and a restraining order.  However, "it appears that Bella enjoys surrendering control of her life over to Edward….  She consistently tells herself that he is only doing these things because he loves and wants to protect her" ("Anti-Feminism…").    In fact, what this disallowing of a social life and stalking indicate is the complete opposite of love and protection: abuse.  According Dr. Segal and Dr. Smith, isolation and controlling behavior are signs of emotional abuse.  While it may not seem as serious as other forms of abuse, "emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so" (Segal & Smith).  Because this abuse is masked so well as love, however, Twilight does nothing more than set up young girls for a lifetime of abuse and discrimination at the hands of men.  This abuse and discrimination in turn greatly hinders the feminist movement, slowly handing over control of women's lives to men once more.

              For a book hailed as a good influence, Twilight has certainly dealt society a fair amount of damage.  Stephenie Meyer's terrible writing has perverted the minds of many a young author and bookworm, setting a new low standard for literature and permanently scarring the English language.  The dazzling visage of Edward Cullen has set unrealistically high standards in countless young girls, damaging any future chance that they may have had at a functional relationship with the opposite gender.  And, perhaps worst of all, the feeble and incompetent Bella Swan has singlehandedly set the Feminist movement back one hundred years.  Due to its immense popularity, these effects have spread quickly throughout the population, and as copies continue to fly off of the shelves and into the hands of fragile young minds, the damage will only continue to multiply.  Truly, because of its deeply sinister impact on society, the only place that Twilight belongs is within the cleansing licks of fire.
Guess what I just got back today. I told you guys that I'd post it. ;)

Also I know that book titles should be italicized, but there is no way I'm going through this entire thing and putting in tags.

This essay clocked in at just over 11 pages and ate up two months of my life. It is my child. It was incredibly hard to research, too, because there was virtually nothing really about the topic that I chose. So by posting it online, I'm hopefully providing resources for those who choose to do such research papers in the future.

Wrote this for my AP English Language and Composition class and I got a 93%, which was pretty much the highest grade that you could get. I'm rather proud of it. :'| I still need to work on my academic tone, though, because those contractions up there... should not be there OTL.

Writing belongs to me~
Here's the Works Cited so I don't get punched in the face by copyright issues:

“Anti-Feminism Affects Vampires Too!” Mibba, 19 Aug. 2008. Web. 19 Mar. 2010.

“Anton Chekhov Quotes.” Thinkexist, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2010.

Carroll, L. (2009, Feb. 3). Stephen King Blasts ‘Twilight’ Author Stephenie Meyer. MTV. Retrieved from [link]

“Creating Character.” Annenberg Media, n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2010.

“Frequently Asked Questions: Twilight.” Stephenie Meyer, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2010.

Gorgan, Elena. “Robert Pattinson Gives Women Unrealistic Expectations of Men.”[link] So[link] 13 Aug. 2009. Web. 6 Mar. 2010.

Juarez, Vanessa. “Mr. Right Doesn’t Exist – But We’re Still Looking.” The Prospector, 9 Feb. 2010. Web. 6 Mar. 2010.

Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown and Co, 2005. Print

Minzesheimer, B. & DeBarros, A. (2010, Jan. 14). Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ series sweeps top four spots. USA Today. Retrieved from [link]

Orwell, George. Politics and the English Language. Retrieved from [link]

“Purple Prose.” Fiction Writers’ Mentor, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2010.

Ross, Stephen. “The Twilight Saga: A Classic Romance Too Mature for Teens.” Christian Research Institute, n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2010.

Segal, Jeanne, and Melinda Smith. “Domestic Violence and Abuse.” Help Guide, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2010.

“Stephen King Offers a ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ Lesson in New Novel.” Brad’s Reader, 13 Nov. 2009. Web. 24 Feb. 2010.

“Talkative.” Unabridged. Random House, Inc., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2010.

"Verbose." Unabridged. Random House, Inc.,n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2010
Add a Comment:
AmplifiedSavagery Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Another bad thing I'll point out is when they had their honey moon and on the first night there. They had sex, obviously, but she wakes up with hickies and bruises everywhere and all he can say is (in a nutshell) "I'm sorry Bella, I couldn't control my strength." When I reread the twilight series this was a huge red flag. I saw this as him exerting that he is stronger than her and can easily abuse her and mark her with bruises out of jealousy; further pushing the notion that she is HIS and his ONLY. Whenever they would do something "romantic" he would show his "superiority" in strength against her and therefor saying that if she woke up to reality like a normal woman would do in an abusive relationship she wouldn't be able to to win the fight in gaining her freedom. I used to LOVE the Twilight series but slowly figured out the nasty demons lurking beneath the sugar coated scum. I'll admit, I LOVE Paranormal Romance, as they are fun reads due to my love of the paranormal and oddness. But, Twilight was the worst paranormal romance I have ever read in the sense that it shows this weak flat character who doesn't develop and change, like you mentioned with Mike, who was never given a chance to. As an aspiring writer, I myself love characters who evolve and grow, but Bella never did. Instead she was a shallow weak extremely insecure girl who chose a guy over her friends and family. I'm sorry for the long comment and I hope it makes sense as I am half asleep at the moment, haha. One last note, I always rooted for Jacob since he wasn't such an asshole like Edward was and actually gave a damn instead of holding her down in theoretical chains.
anrili Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

This is great! The oerall tone, the topic and the amount of Research put in this are really worth a read :)

BTW, I'm printing this out and putting it in my binder with Stuff to read during rainy days >8-D

LittlePigArt Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is absolutely amazing. Having been in an emotionally abusive relationship (with a friend, not even dating), the moment I started reading Twilight at said friend's insistence, I found it appalling. I couldn't even understand how someone could like such a terrible read, from the writing style to the characters to the themes it supports! I couldn't read past the first book. I didn't even fully read the book, skimming through it instead. Having grown up on Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings, I couldn't believe such bile had managed to make it to the shelf, let alone become a best-seller. I will have my friends read this for sure and hopefully more and more people will realize how bad this series is for our generation. Oh, and I don't know if you know this, but Bella and Edward's relationship apparently meets all fifteen criteria set by the National Domestic Violence hotline for being in an abusive relationship. I just thought you'd find that even more supportive of your argument. Thank you for writing this and even posting references. This is an incredible read. :D
merlfoxFell Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
Brilliant and eyeopening. I'd thought similar things but hadn't either put in the effort or bothered enough to try and put it into any clear order. Thank you so much for this. I won't be reading twilight again. I found many of your points very interesting, particularly the criticism of her prose. I'm sure my own writing has many of the same flaws and I didn't even realize it. I do see Orwell's point 'never use a long word when a short one will do' however I love the sound of some words, English can be so melodious. I like to think of pieces of fictional writing as pieces of music, as long as every word paints the picture and adds another layer I see no reason not to include it. I guess that sort of goes along with Orwell in that each new word should add a NEW layer, not say the same thing. But then, repetition is a powerful tool and can emphasize a point, so I have no problem with using synonyms, other than that though, I think this is spot on!
ErinPrimette Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I read the first book, and it sucks!
Aquasakura Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Student General Artist
I decided to read your essay even though I never finish reading the first books of Twilight. It was really awesome. I like what you said. ^_^

When I read her first book I was getting the impression Stephanie was writing it like someone was writing a dairy entry of themselves. In this case she was writing it how Bella would write about her life. However, I do know what you mean. I read a short story for an assignment that seems to fit with this “purple prose” you mention. The arthur of that story spent way too much time describing the environment and such. It was such a pain to read and because the Arthur spent way too much time doing that I could hardly make out the story. I think I was telling myself “Can we just get on with the story all ready!!!” I can tell you it was worse than how Stephanie wrote Twilight. I don’t remember the name of the story but I think the person who wrote it had “Ford” as a surname I think.

I heard of cases of the media giving females high expectation of themselves but I didn’t know it was happening with males now. Well, personally I don’t find Edward to be that attractive. I am basing how I saw him in the movie previews and the movie base book cover version of Twilight but from how the book describes him it seems that whoever was in charge of the movie got his looks down perfectly. Even if I was a girl I might not find him attractive. Since I find girls with a cute, young look more attractive then the overly sexy girls I think the same might imply with boys if I was a girl. Edward look is too masculine and not really cute (I would say he is more like the overly sexy male). As for Bella, I was puzzle as to why all the boys thought Bella was attractive. There was nothing attractive about her. Looks are one thing. I personally didn’t think she looked attractive even if the books said she was beautiful, but everyone has a different preference when it comes to that. What really bug me was who she was on the inside. Bella is so far one of the most boring characters I have ever come across in literature and this is what made me wonder why the boys liked her so much. She hardly liked to do anything that was fun. To me she came across as a person who was trying too hard to be a grown up. Plus I never remember Bella being that much a jerk to Eric but again it has been a while since I read Twilight and I never finish it. I have loss eve more respect to her now. As a side note since when the media claim Bella was a good role model (as well as even the entire Twilight series in general)? The media definition of a role model must be either shallow, because there is more to being a role model then just doing something smart like waiting to mate, or its focus on a certain agenda. From what I have read it could have hail her as a role model for not having sex until the right time.
Kataclysme Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I would fav this 10 times if I could! Insightful, extremely well written and dead on!! :D
Srsface Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011
Thank-you very much! :3
Alicia-x-Itachi Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Excellent essay! My dream has always been to be a writer, and seeing things like Twilight (and the countless "paranormal romances" that have followed in its wake) make me sad. There are many things that can be said about Twilight, many that have been said already, but you mention both my major gripes with the series: the fact that it makes a mockery of literature, and the depiction of women. All the arts are sacred to me, and it sickens me when people make a mockery of them. Being a writer isn't about being famous, being popular, or making money--it's supposed to be about telling stories and creating worlds and characters. And longevity and quality are important with any work of art. When I have my own children, no one will remember Twilight, and said children of mine won't think it is anything but a time of day.

The treatment of women in the books is really scary, as well as the whole beauty-equals-goodness shtick. I'm so tired of those tropes and the negative effect they have on people that I want to do the exact opposite of them in my stories. I want to write about brave heroines rescuing young men in distress, and about female creatures of the night seducing human men. I also wish to depict both manly men and soft-hearted naive ones (particularly since I have met many such men)--and I want to have extremely beautiful villains who use their beauty to further their evil plans. That's the whole appeal of Monster x Human love, vampires in particular--the silly human walks right into the vampire's arms because he can't resist her beauty, and keeps thinking she'll grow to love him when she merely wants to keep him as a pet/sex slave.

As for Edward Cullen, I wouldn't go near him if he could wave a magic wand and make Pokemon real. I'm much more attracted to the sort of man I can talk to, trust and confide in, enjoy spending time with, and who would be a good father. I want my children to be as proud of their father as I am of mine. While I do currently have someone in mind, who happens to be very handsome, that's hardly the first thing that attracts me to him. I don't know why so many girls (and guys for that matter) don't care about what's truly important.
ReverieSound Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011
Well done!
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