Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Twilight: The Saga Edition

Since last Tuesday, September 2, I have read four 500+ page books. I have not slept, I have missed appointments, and I have slacked on my lesson plan preparation all because of a family of good vampires. What a relief to be finished! What a lack there is in my schedule now.

My PT asked me yesterday how it could possibly be true that I finished so many books in a week. He doubted there was time in the world. I reminded him of the six extra hours I was getting every evening in lieu of sleeping and that, also, the books were immensely suspenseful. Such that I used every moment of free time to read them, sweating, standing in line for food or walking to the bus stop or during ice and stim in the center for rehab services.

So what do I think of them? My general impression is that the books are anti-feminist. Problematic. Troubling. Corey has even heard of them and, based on what he's read and what I've told him, he has problems with the precedent they set for relationships, too. Edward, handsome and chivalrous though he is, is controlling and secretive, domineering and arrogant. Compelling, though!

Bella is not a strong female character. It's hard to write without spoilers, but not even the end battle of the final book makes me think she is redeemed as an image of strength. She makes some strong moves, but nearly everything she does requires a man to be the proactive agent of change or safety. And the way she just deals with it when Edward keeps secrets from her or bosses her around! It makes me CRAZY. At least in Harry Potter, Harry respects and is open with Hermione (though she does tend to frequently lose her cool during moments of danger). Also, Bella is a total bitch to her female friend Jessica, who is presented as vapid and empty. I hope my children don't think of their talkative female friends that way!

I loved the experience of reading those books, the fast heart beat, the way they called to me in the night, the way I couldn't stand not knowing how they would end. But I just don't think I can get past the unsubtle messages of female weakness and dependence enough to say that I approve of the stories.


PeaceLoveMath said...

Worth reading for me and/or Hannah, both already established in our strong female identities?

Katy said...

yeah, you better read them. then we can talk about them at thanksgiving.

pghrugbyangel said...

katy - we need to continue our discussion. i knew i should read them a second time before i gave them to you!!

and then, we will start our rugby book club starting with that waiter book you told me about.