The only references to Christianity are negative. … Otherwise, religion is largely absent in the book.
Much has been made of the alleged message of Twilight, that it is one of abstinence and shows control over desire. In truth, Edward is controlling himself because he does not want to kill Bella; her life is truly in danger from a ferocious vampire attack from the one who loves her. Aside from that, a vibrant sensuality of attraction lies just beneath the surface. […]
Aside from the constant deception in the book, the book reveals the often vicious nature of the vampire. […]
Defenders of the book will say it’s just a fantasy and that Edward and Bella control their urges, and that Edward is a “good” vampire (an argument can be made that this is an oxymoron). However, is this superficial morality all it takes to make a book wholesome? And what is the morality based on? It is based on Edward’s struggle to overcome his natural desire to attack and drink Bella’s blood. Edward, by virtue of being a vampire, is a predator.
I fear that the popularity of Twilight is a prime example of a trend in society toward a love of malevolence as well as attraction to dangerous sexuality.
I might have to read the rest of the books in the series, so I can discuss them with my dear children with informed opinions, but my hope is they will realize the dullness of the writing and instead long for well-written classics. However, if they don’t realize it, then I will have to keep reading and groaning. Hopefully, they will think, “He sounds just like Mr. Rochester’s first wife, going insane in the attic.” If you don’t understand that reference, then you better read Jane Eyre and inoculate yourself from the effluvium from adjectival thickets falsely praised as award winning writing titled Twilight.
In a nutshell, Bella is Eve and Edward is the Adam-God of Mormon theology. Their “Fall”—when Bella/Eve/Man chooses the apple from the tray of Edward/Adam/God, although rife with dangers and difficulties, is the beginning of a spiritual transformation culminated by an alchemical wedding with the God-Man. The story is a romantic allegory depicting the roles and responsibilities of the divine and human lovers, but it has the specifically Mormon hermetic twist that sex within marriage is the endgame and the only means to personal salvation and immortal life. […]
Mothers not wanting their daughters to grow up to be Mormons (or, worse, licentious individualists) might need to be concerned more for the weight and content of Mrs. Meyer’s Pelagian symbolism and meaning than about the bad example of Edward chastely watching over Bella every night.
If we pause and look away from the glorious Edward for a few minutes, we see that what is happening is that Bella, at age 18, is willing to give up everything she knows and loves including her humanity and her soul (according to the book), for a vampire who hunts animals and drinks their blood.
The question that must be asked is: Is this a good thing? Is a love that causes a young woman (just turned 18) to deceive, to turn her back on her best friend (Jacob), and to give up her humanity and her soul, — is this a love to be admired, sought after, glamorized, and fed into the minds of young readers?
Twilight takes occult darkness, introduced in Potter, to deeper, decadent fathoms: overt vampirism, acceptable blood-sucking (in this movie its only animal blood – later? Wait and see!) and sexual lust for the possessed soul (made appealing in its fictionalized form!). The books, akin to the Potter’s series, promote and familiarize their audience with magick, Wicca, supernatural powers and demon possession.
But what is beyond alarming is that Christians are seduced by satanic deception and have succumbed to Twilight’s fascination of dark wisdom, a power Scripture warns against – loving evil more than good (Psalm 52:3), and placing what the world admires before what God requires.
This series is unique in its lack of emphasis on the occult, which leads me to wonder about the author’s beliefs–she graduated from Brigham Young University. However, it is still based upon what has historically been an evil, soulless creature, and Meyer does not explain what makes her vampires any different in this regard. In fact, Edward, the main character, talks occasionally about not having a soul and uses this as an argument to persuade Bella (the other main character) not to become a vampire. What Meyer never addresses is how her vampires can be kind and compassionate–valuing human life–and yet have no souls. The teenage Bella also dismisses eternal damnation like she would dismiss a visit to the dentist (not a good precedent).
But this is not Harry Potter. As Entertainment Weekly reported last week, the seven Potter books have sold 400 million copies; Twilight’s four books have sold 17 million. And the most crucial difference: The Potter books—and movies—seem to draw all ages and both genders. Twilight captures young girls. So, can Twilight satisfy the teen girl devotees of the books and reach a bigger audience too?
Well, I think most Twilight fans will eat this up like vampires at a blood bank. The movie, directed by Catherine Hardwicke (The Nativity Story, Thirteen), is very true to the book in telling Meyer’s soap opera of forbidden love and angst with passion. I saw the film at a public screening with many young girls sporting Twilight shirts and even vampire regalia. I overheard them saying things like, “That was amazing,” “I wish it would have gone on forever,” and “It was everything I hoped for.”
But on the flip side, the adults nearby were saying things like “That was horrible” and “I thought it wouldn’t end.” I’m somewhere in the middle. While I think the adaptation has some great touches, I don’t think the film does much for the uninitiated or adults. Boys will really only like the big fight at the end—if they’re still awake.
There are two kinds of people who will watch Twilight: Those who have read the books … and those who haven’t. The two groups will see a very different movie. The latter will casually make its way through a romance-obsessed vampire yarn involving a human high school girl and a 17-year-old vampire who’s actually over 100. The former will observe the very same romance, but layer onto it the entire story arc that unfolds through the four Stephenie Meyer novels that have birthed this movie franchise.
That makes it difficult to write just a movie review about a movie that isn’t just a movie, but rather part of tall tale that doesn’t end at twilight, or even the dark of night. It goes beyond into the realm of the eternal—something not really hinted at onscreen … yet.