JSYK: In pop culture today, everyone has heard of the seemingly amazing series, Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. First being published in 2005, her vampire series has revived the era of vampires and given fresh blood (no pun intended) to the world of fantasy literature. Or has it?
Though Twilight has captured the hearts of even the most unromantic teenage girls, this piece of supposed literature is underdeveloped and hypocritical at best. Though Meyer’s Mormon beliefs can be felt subtly in all four of the books, most teenagers and their parents have not stopped to consider that though it can send great messages, Twilight also promotes finding a “perfect” and deadly man, as well as teenage marriage.
Many people today have called Stephenie Meyer the new J.K. Rowling, paving the way for a new generation of fantasy readers. But, is this acclaim for Meyer fair? Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series for seventeen years, winning numerous awards for her creativity and innovation. She wove together a new world that has enchanted children and adults alike to read more, while showing them life lessons and morals. Meyer, on the other hand, has only been innovative in the location of her vampires. Her world exists in the real world, and her conflict of vampires versus vampires, vampires versus werewolves, and vampires loving humans is not new. Even Robert Pattinson, the beloved Edward in the Twilight movies, was borrowed from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the movie that escalated his acting career and without which he would not be in Twilight today. In fact, many of the “creative” things Meyer has expressed in her books resonate almost exactly in The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith, written about fifteen years before Twilight.
Critics today speak of the new television show, The Vampire Diaries, as if it has stolen the thunder from the popular Twilight. But has it really? The Vampire Diaries is based off of a series by the same name, which tells the story of vampire Stefan Salvatore, his “evil” brother, and the love of Stefan’s life, Elena. While many argue that the fact that the conflict is between two brother vampires, not a vampire and werewolf, the same ideas appear in both Twilight and Vampire Diaries. The human girl fascinated by the mysterious vampire. The vampire who’s lust for her love and lust for her blood causes more complications than at first glance. The other man who tries everything in his power to win the girl’s heart. The similarities between the series are above coincidence.
Some religious groups today banish Harry Potter for its witchcraft and The Vampire Diaries for its evilness. Many teenagers even flock to Twilight for solace. However, this belief that both series are evil is not just wrong, it is hypocritical. Harry Potter tells of the battle between good and evil, in which good triumphs in the end. This same struggle is apparent in The Chronicles of Narnia, which even includes magic, but Narnia is still found in Christian bookstores. If those who ban Harry Potter were to read the series, they may be surprised at its good morals and messages, as well as its indirect link between the struggles in the Bible between Jesus and the Romans and the struggles in the series between Harry and Lord Voldemort. As for The Vampire Diaries, the same struggle of good versus evil leads to the triumph of good. Other questionable content in both series is nonexistent. Not so in Twilight.
In New Moon, Bella tries her hand at extreme sports, risking suicide just to hear Edward’s voice. In later chapters, Edward attempts suicide several times in a special, vampire way, all because he believes Bella died. In Eclipse, Bella tries everything in her power to convince Edward to have sex with her, the only thing her mind focuses on. Edward only refuses to do so because he could hurt her. Instead, his bargain is for her to marry him, something Bella refuses to do or even consider. She only agrees when her becoming a vampire becomes part of the wager. In Breaking Dawn, Bella marries Edward at nineteen, and then becomes pregnant weeks later. This promotes not only teenage marriage, but teenage pregnancy. So much for Twilight being Christian and well-written.