Vulnerable Minds of the Young Adults
Anna Silver analyzes the Twilight Saga according to the criticisms against the novels tendency to send strong messages to the young minds of the readers. Silver utilizes the already existing criticisms about the Saga’s conflicting ideas about gender roles, family life, and various controversial topics to support her central claim. Her organizational skills reveal a clear understanding of Stephanie Meyer’s, author of the Twilight Saga, beliefs of the contemporary world. The author presents a specific idea or topic in the novel and supports or argues the criticism with factual evidence from Meyer’s work. In doing so, the author allows herself to chime in with personal thoughts and ideas on the topic. Anna also uses anecdotes to show the reader personal and real life examples. Her particular structure of the essay allows the reader to comprehend the focal ideas that the Twilight Saga subliminally possesses. The main argument Silver intends on conveying relates back to early ideas of gender ideology. The author finds that commonly argued matters of the Twilight Saga are relevant to today’s society. For instance; romantic relationships, dominant male role, defenseless females, marriage, motherhood, nuclear families, and abortion. Silver believes young adult literature often aims to shape the adolescent and advise the reader how to make smooth transitions into adulthood. Adolescents seeking YA literature most likely look to the novel for life advice. Confusion is common for the age young adult literature targets; therefor the author really focuses on identity issues the book specifically targets. The topic addressed first, directly depicts a couple so madly in love that self sacrifice and irrational thinking seems acceptable. A group by the name of, Feminist Mormon Housewives, argue that Edward and Bella’s dramatic attraction and need for one another sets an impractical example for the audience. The feminists’ draw attention to the odd behavior of Edward in particular. They note Cullen’s reign over Bella and interpret that to reveal the dominance of the male in a heterosexual relationship. Anna Silver supports the critics claims and explains in brief the impression of the odd romance, “Edward, these critics claim, is frequently controlling and domineering, saving the hapless Bella time and again from danger; Bella suffers from low self-esteem and seemingly has no close friends except for Edward and his family” (125) She implies that Bella and Edward’s notable passionate endeavors are a mask for underlying alluring themes of the series.
Due to the fact that Bella comes from a broken family, observing Bella fill that gap in her life exposes more gender role issues. Bella’s erratic mother, Renee, is absent-minded and unable to provide a life for Bella. Charlie, Bella’s Father, takes his daughter in with open arms. Bella quickly learns how to play the domestic role in Charlie’s home although her idea of a mother figure is distorted. Carlisle and Esme, Edward’s parents, become Bella’s parental figures and display the ideal nurturing family in no time. Silver uses these examples of the broken family life to demonstrate Bella’s eagerness to become part of a household. A twilight admirer agrees "Bella is an old-fashioned heroine: bookish, smart, brave, considerate of others' emotions, and naturally competent in the domestic arts" (Flanagan 2008). Bella’s natural domestic ability leads into the concept of marriage and the beliefs the novels portray about matrimony. Anna applies examples of Edward’s belief in which sex before marriage is wrong to portray the religious and moral aspects Meyer subliminally transmits to the reader. The Christian references and ideas regarding sex and marriage, creates a model for teens to practice control. Silver compares Meyer’s idealistic morals to findings from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These findings pilot Bella to...
Cited: Silver, Anna. "Twilight is not good for maidens: gender, sexuality, and the family in Stephenie Meyer 's Twilight series." Studies in the Novel 42.1-2 (2010): 121+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
Meyer, Stephenie. Breaking Dawn. New York: Little, Brown, and Company. 2008.
--. Eclipse. New York: Little, Brown, and Company. 2007.
--. New Moon. New York: Little, Brown, and Company. 2006.
--. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown, and Company. 2005.
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