Twilight: Final thoughts and links

apple of tempation; cover art; Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Remember those two questions I posed at the beginning of my reading the Twilight books? With this final Twilight post, I’d like to answer both of those questions:

What does the Twilight series teach young people about sex and purity?

Bella calls Edward “old fashioned” because he resists her advances. Bella’s father, Charlie, tells her “times have changed” and to “be careful” when he suspects the teens have become intimate. I was so disappointed in this exchange between father and daughter. I hoped Charlie would be the one voice of reason for a girl lost in so many ways.

Moms (and any dads reading this), there is nothing wrong with telling your daughters (and sons) to wait for sexual intimacy. Purity is not old fashioned, out-of-style, or only for the eternally 17 year old vampires concerned for their eternal soul.

Purity is for today’s teen too.

And if you don’t want to play the No-Sex-Because-the-Bible-Says-So card, think about this:

AIDS. STDs. Unwanted pregnancy. All real issues any sexually active teen needs to think about. Purity for the teen just makes sense.

I’ve read articles in which the books are praised for being pro-marriage. Unfortunately, that’s a bit misleading. Bella isn’t enthusiastic about marrying Edward. Marriage for Bella is just a way for her to get what she wants: transformation into an immortal, and forever-beautiful vampire, protection for the wolf-pack, her friends and family in Forks, Washington.

Sounds more like Bella is looking to escape her problems. That’s no way to enter a marriage.

Do the books promote godly behavior?

The books have snippets of things that I like, but it’s not enough for me to say the series truly encourages how I want my sons and daughters to behave in relation to the opposite sex, especially when dating.

Like I said, I wish Charlie gave Bella different advice regarding her boyfriend vampire.

Edward refuses Bella because he wants to protect his eternal soul. Throughout the first three books,  he’s committed to his decision, but at the end of Eclipse, Edward agrees to do whatever Bella wants – including sex – before she becomes a Cullen vampire.

Hmmm. That’s not exactly biblical virtue. Poor, Edward! He almost had it right.

Lust, obsession, low self-worth – these are the attributes taught to our girls when they read Twilight.

Methinks we can do better by our daughters.

Twilight elsewhere

For more commentary on the Twilight series:

Christ and Pop Culture, “Twilight: a positive or negative influence for teens?”

Her.meneutics, “Consider the vampire.”

Visionary Daughters: How Twilight is re-vamping romance

5 Minutes for Books: Touched by a Vampire (book review)

That’s it.  .  . for now

I shall put Twilight to rest for now. Yet one never knows when the opportunity will present for another post. I hope you found this series helpful in your understanding of Twilight and it’s message to our young readers.

7 thoughts on “Twilight: Final thoughts and links

  1. I think kids are exposed to a lot of different values and perspectives in their lives and to expect one fictional book to be responsible for teaching girls virtuous behavior is a stretch. Parents who model virtuous behavior and have healthy relationships with their daughters, where communication & honesty reign, won’t likely find their daughters imitating the character’s bad decisions. More likely, they will learn that one bad decision can snowball into a situation that sucks.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..An open letter to my 13 and 16 yr old daughters =-.

  2. Twitter: monicabrand
    Sucks? Lisa, I love your vampire pun.

    No, I don’t expect reading four fiction books to undue years of good parenting. What of the young ladies with NO good influence who read of Bella? My concern is for them.

  3. I also can take a hint :)

    I do agree with you. There is much in the books that we wouldn’t want our daughters to emulate… not least of which is sneaking out at night or having boys sneak in, lying, and of course, seeking to have sex. Most of that can be discussed with our daughters.

    Actually, my daughter didn’t care for the series and she enjoys making fun of it. But I believe one of the greatest dangers of the series is in it’s obsessive nature. Many teens and adult women have become very obsessed with it. Are women comparing their husbands with Edward and now stirring up discontent? Are teens ignoring real life to obsess over Twilight and what Team they are on? I suppose it’s not uncommon for teen girls to obsess over celebrities, but adults should know better!

    Personally, I enjoyed the series. I read them before they became very popular, and I started the first one to decide if it was appropriate for my then-13 year-old daughter. Maybe it was because I liked Twilight that she didn’t :) Now I’m almost embarrassed to admit I read them! I feel like a “teeny-bopper” (how’s that for an old-school word?).

    I’m with you on 10-12 being too young. And I agree that we can do better with our daughters!

  4. Very true about the girls who don’t have guidance. I never think about them, I admit. And the pun was really just coincidence, I’m not clever enough to come up with that on my own :) I’ve seen the movies but I haven’t read the books because I have a tendency to get “into” fiction. I don’t like feeling sucked in by it (or consumed, to avoid another cheesy pun) I think teens’ tendency to get consumed by things can be an asset, delving fully into a subject is a sign of passion, however temporarily misplaced. The craze won’t last forever and they will move on, looking back to see how silly it was that they were so “into it.” Live & learn. The teens (and the grown-ups) will grow out of it eventually, I don’t think it’s much to be concerned about.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..An open letter to my 13 and 16 yr old daughters =-.

  5. Twitter: monicabrand
    Teens and exploring subjects until they loose interest – ah, Lisa! You ARE an unschooler, aren’t you?

    You should read the books (I know what you mean about consumed by the story). I haven’t seen the movies. I suspect the movie versions leave out a lot of the obsessiveness of Bella and Edwards’ relationship.

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