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Food for the Poor Godspy.com: Faith at the Edge



Anna | 0 posts | Member since 12.18.08


RE: Blood Lust
Although I agree when you note that it seems Bella could more deeply appreciate Edward’s resolution to deny himself for her, I think it’s important to stress how much Twilight’s female adolescent fans seem to appreciate it. It’s not wildly popular because it’s a vampire movie; it’s wildly popular because the emphasis on self-sacrifice has restored an element of true romance to what would otherwise be a highly forgettable, trite story, and it does so in a desert of entertainment options for young girls. I remember being a Titanic-obsessed fifteen-year-old not because the romantic couple had premarital sex, but because he died for her (although my pride won’t allow me to say anything good about Titanic without also disclaiming any enduring attachment to it, or conviction of its ultimate value.) While it leaves much to be desired as a really good book or really good film, I’m convinced that what makes it more popular than others things in its genre is something that is just that: really good. You call it a “vampire story as teen romance/melodrama.” But perhaps it’s more accurate to think of it the other way around. In a cultural context of amorality, the realm of the imagination often seems to offer the only sneak-in door for concepts like chastity. This point is well-expressed, if not entirely intentionally, by an article published in The Atlantic: If a novel of today were to sound these chords so explicitly but in a nonsupernatural context, it would be seen (rightly) as a book about “abstinence,” and it would be handed out with the tracts and bumper stickers at the kind of evangelical churches that advocate the practice as a reasonable solution to the age-old problem of horny young people… In the course of the four books, Bella will be repeatedly tempted—to have sex outside of marriage, to have an abortion as a young married woman, to abandon the responsibilities of a good and faithful mother—and each time, she makes the “right” decision. The series does not deploy these themes didactically or even moralistically…What is interesting is how deeply fascinated young girls, some of them extremely bright and ambitious, are by the questions the book poses, and by the solutions their heroine chooses. (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200812/twilight-vampires)

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