Something About Bella Swan

I’ve said a lot of things about Twilight (the book, not the movie). I’ve bashed it openly, criticized Stephenie Meyer’s writing, tore the characterization apart, joined an anti-Twilight Facebook group, and ranked it among the type of books that my friend Alet would burn over the coffee table.

Out of boredom, I read my copy of Twilight again last summer and realized that there was something that wasn’t too awful about it: Edward Cullen. I then changed my opinion of Twilight from “kindling” to “so-so”. After watching the movie, I and every female who has seen the film had Robert Pattinson imprinted on our brains. So I got more curious and bought New Moon and Eclipse, books #2 and 3 of the 5-book series.

In terms of quality, both New Moon and Eclipse are much better than their predecessor. Bella and Edward’s relationship matures. And Jacob changes from a cardboard character to a more interesting one–a werewolf; he even becomes more fascinating than Edward at some parts. Their challenges become harder and Bella has to face a possible future as a vampire and as Mrs. Cullen.

Jessica Zafra once said that for a vampire series, Twilight is unusually chaste. There is no sex, except for a promise of a future one. Bella and Edward satisfy themselves with chaste kisses and the closest to a sex scene is Bella’s passionate snog with Jacob.

One other point that some feminists dislike about the books is Bella’s unfailing and undying devotion to Edward. Her vampire boyfriend left her without an explanation for months, turned her into a heartbroken zombie, and she still saved his life and let him back into her life without question. She doesn’t care what he does, where he wants to live, or what the future holds. As long as she has Edward’s happiness as her top priority, she leads her life towards him. All her plans are designed so that she could be with him forever. Or until someone manages to kill them. I was one of Bella’s most critical readers at first. How can she be such a tool? So what if Edward is the most perfect man on the planet? And so what if Edward loves her as much and is very devoted as well? It is difficult to accept the idea of an eighteen year old girl being so completely consumed by love that she values another more than her own life. I judged Bella Swan too quickly and considered her to be an intelligent twit.

But today I think I understood Bella Swan. She is in every one of us, we just hide her beneath modern independence and liberal ideas. 🙂

And please don’t tell my friends I’m reading Twilight. It’s terribly uncool. Yes, I postponed my reading Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan just for that, but I will continue once I finish Breaking Dawn (book #4). And I CANNOT BELIEVE I just mentioned Robert Jordan and Stephenie Meyer in the same post.

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