Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Trouble with Twilight--Part I: Toxic Love

It's hard to know where to start. I just finished the first book in the Twilight series, and I have to admit, I didn't feel pulled along by the plot at all until almost the end, when the new crew of vampires show up and hunt Bella. Finally! Something more to read about than an in-depth, drawn-out, microscopic study of a co-dependent relationship. I just started New Moon, and I'm bothered about so many things in this series already.

First, and most obviously, is the above-mentioned codependent relationship. Millions of young girls (and, sadly, women who ought to know better) see in these novels a "perfect" relationship pattern (So romantic! He loves her so much!). Yet, it's almost a textbook depiction of a dysfunctional relationship.

Compare these descriptions of "Toxic Love" (compiled by psychologists and therapists) to Edward and Bella's relationship :

1. Obsession with relationship.

2. Security, comfort in sameness; intensity of need seen as proof of love (may really be fear, insecurity, loneliness)

3. Total involvement; limited social life; neglect old friends, interests.

4. Preoccupation with other's behavior; fear of other changing.

5. Jealousy; possessiveness; fear of competition; protects "supply."

6. Power plays for control; blaming; passive or aggressive manipulation.

7. Trying to change other to own image.

8. Relationship is based on delusion and avoidance of the unpleasant.

9. Expectation that one partner will fix and rescue the other.

10. Fusion (being obsessed with each other's problems and feelings.)

11. Pressure around sex due to insecurity, fear & need for immediate gratification.

12. Unable to endure separation; clinging.

13. Cycle of pain and despair.

It's almost a perfect fit. Now that's scary.

And it's hard not to notice that Edward begins the relationship by stalking Bella. He sneaks into her room at night to watch her sleep. He shows up unasked to take her to and from school before they've actually even started to have a relationship on any kind of level. He's even frustrated that he can't monitor her thoughts, so he does it through the minds of others.

Is this really "what a girl wants"?

(To be continued . . .)


lisa b said...

Yep. Just wait; it gets worse.

Courtney said...

It's not all girls (and women). I know a 31 year old man who read the series and is now obsessed with finding his own "Twilight love." Talk about creepy.

Becca said...

Even with how very against the practice I am, these books make me want to host a good ol' book burning.