Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Textual Vamperism in the Twilight Saga Drawing Feminist Life from Jane Eyre and Teen Fantasy Fiction by Kristina Deffenbacher and Mikayla Zagoria-Moffet

So, I am still reading through the "Bringing Light to Twilight" Book, and there is a ton of seperate articles that I want to write about. So today I chose this one. Going through the book I marked a lot of places that I liked what the writers were saying, and this was the section in the book with the most marks!

The authors start by discussing the similarities between Jane Eyre and Bella Swan. Another thing that is discussed at length is the helplessness of a human female versus the strength of a vampire female.

Throughout the book horrible things seem to happen to the girls while they are human: Rosalie gets raped, Bella and Alice get attached and almost killed (by the same vampire no less), and obviously there are countless other times that Bella is nearly killed. However, all of this changed when they are changed into a vampire.

When I was reading this section I related it a lot to growing up.As a child (and even a teenager I suppose) girls are often in the position of being saved. Growing up, I had two older brothers and a father, and they were always there to save me. They were there when I needed them to protect me in many ways. However, as I grew up, I needed them less and less. I no longer needed them to do things like open jars or lift heavy things. I grew into a woman who was capable of doing those things myself.

That being said, that is how I look at Bella. Bella is always the helpless victim and always in need of a man to save her. However, when she becomes a vampire she grows up, as does Rosalie and Alice. When Bella became a vampire she grew out of the things that held her back when she was a young girl/human.

At the end of this section the authors say something that I really like, that I wish other people would realize about Bella:
"Bella's characterization is read by many fans of the saga as actualized from the beginning--she knows what she wants, pursues that goal in spite of obstacles, and does not have a crisis conscience along the way.Her ability in the end to maintain a loving, sexual relationship and act as a self-reliant, fearless agent, to be a devoted mother and community defender, endows Bella with a heroism desired by many young readers and feminists alike." (Page 40)
I love that the authors realized this angle of the story. Most times when I read about Twilight someone is always bashing Bella as a cowardly person who is love crazy. However, I think that she is a strong woman. She knows what she wants and she goes for it. Just because what she wants is not to become president or rule the world, that does not mean that she does not go for what she wants. She realizes she wants Edward, and she goes for it. What is more feminist than that?

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