We have all experienced the craze of Twilight around us whether we have read and taken part, or whether we have been curious and baffled onlookers of the spreading sensation. There is no doubt that Stephenie Meyer rocked the world of millions of teens with her unforgettable saga of vampires, werewolves, love, and one human girl at the center of it all. However, as one who has taken part in the excitement, and then changed my stance to that of an onlooker, I must ask - is the Twilight Saga and example of good literature?
Some may define good literature as what grabs the most attention, or simply what people like the most, but I must say that after the haze wore off, I found myself quite unimpressed with the series.
I will begin by praising Stephenie Meyer's story-telling abilities. Her originality and her ability to weave a pretty tale are both impressive. She takes an otherwise unknown town and turns it into almost a magical kingdom of fantastical creatures, and I applaud her for her creativity. What truly kills my fascination with the books, though, is the way she presents the epic love between the main character, Bella Swan, and Edward Cullen. Bella is quite ordinary, and not extremely remarkable. This is standard - Meyer takes someone ordinary, and sends the character through a vortex of a journey that transforms her to something extraordinary. The skewed idea of love is why Bella falls for the notoriously beautiful and brilliant Edward Cullen. She knows he is a vampire, but she is still attracted to him for his beauty and charm. As human and as ordinary as she is, she is lucky that he even gives her a second thought. However, the only reason Edward gives Bella a second thought is that he wants to drink her blood. Charming? No. A turn on? Absolutely not. The way Bella reacts to this knowledge is unhealthy she remains attracted to Edward even though their love is dangerous. He could kill her in a snap if his more animal-like vampire instincts start taking over. He claims that he has practiced a century of self-control and abstinence, but the fact remains that he was only attracted to Bella in the first place because of her blood. Bella seems not to care, as long as he is attracted to her.
Secondly, though the way Meyer exemplifies the importance of true love is admirable, there is far too much focus on glorifying the idea of immortality. Bella wishes to be made a vampire, and therefore immortal, because she wants to stay with Edward forever. She is willing to give up all the beautiful human experiences, her family, and friends, to live forever. Immortality is something that we, as humans, can never have in this world outside the pages of books. The fact that we can't have it makes it all the more appealing. Now, writing about immortality in fictional scenarios isn't necessarily wrong, but the way one writes about it can be potentially poisonous. Bella longs for immortality and a possibly damned soul over her friends and family which demonstrates unbelievable selfishness.
In conclusion, while Twilight is well-written and a literary sensation, it's glorification of disturbing love and immortality makes for an almost unhealthy read.