My entrance into the world of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight began simply enough, prompted by my 13-year-old daughter’s request for a birthday party with a vampire theme. I was totally engaged by Meyer’s love story about a 100 year-old vampire named Edward who looked like a teenager and 17 year-old Bella who recently moved to a small town in Washington to live with her dad.
Over the next few weeks, I read all four books and saw all the movies, including Bella’s wedding and pregnancy graphically depicted in Breaking Dawn. While the stories were lots of fun, I’ve now come to an uncomfortable conclusion: I don’t want either of my two daughters to marry a vampire.
I can certainly understand the appeal of falling in love with a vampire. They never age, live hundreds of years, and have amazing powers. However, as I read over 2,000 pages of narrative of Edward and Bella’s romance, I couldn’t find any discussion of what they wanted to do with their lives other than be together forever.
I realize this is a love story, and I shouldn’t try to judge adolescent romance through my adult perspective. Even so, wouldn’t it have been a great example to our daughters if there was at least some discussion about what these two young people were going to do for the next several hundred years? Instead, all I read about was Bella’s incessant ramblings about a guy she knows very little about whose life consists of endlessly repeating his high school years and drinking animal blood.
Vampires apparently have extraordinary powers. Maybe Bella and Edward wouldn’t be able to end world hunger or cure cancer, but couldn’t they use their powers to do something meaningful? I realize I’m not Stephanie Meyer, but how about this?
“Edward and Bella walked together in a field filled with beautiful flowers, wondering what their lives would be like once they married and Bella changed into a vampire. Bella reflected upon the residents of her community, and thought about how she might use her new powers to help these people. Edward talked about his travels over the years and how Bella could join him in using the many medical skills he learned from his father who was a physician.”
I’m not asking for much, only that a few paragraphs out of over 2,000 pages of narrative be devoted to a discussion of the meaning of life. I’m sure the author, Stephanie Meyer, could make even that type of dialogue sound very romantic.
I’ll continue to urge my daughters not to marry vampires. Instead, I’ll advise them to look for a partner based upon the psychology of love—find someone who shares your values, treats you nicely, and has common interests. Once you’ve found that person, live a life that has meaning to you and others and please avoid blood-thirsty guys who repeat high school dozens of times.