Breaking Dawn

February 24, 2012

So, I watched the first part of Breaking Dawn today. I teach vampire literature; I feel obligated. Anyway, it wasn’t as horrific as I expected–at least as far as movies go–but I had forgotten, or maybe repressed, some of the book’s message, and so I got up from the couch annoyed all over again.

So, Bella and Edward get married and finally have sex–and the next morning she’s all black and blue. He’s incredibly guilty and ashamed, but she’s all OK with it and wants more. Yes, it is because he is a superhuman being and she is a fragile mortal, but no woman should be blissfully happy when her husband gives her bruises–and then casually brush it off because she loves him and vice versa. Yes, this is fiction; yes, it is a fantasy and vampires aren’t real. But, and there is a big but here, that doesn’t mean that people, young people in particular, don’t model themselves on what they see. I’ve seen the discussion boards where fans of all ages want this life. It was bad enough when Edward was just a stalker–now he’s a wife beater? Not cool.

Then she get’s pregnant, and the dissolving of her self continues. I appreciate her desire to have this child, and I admire women who are willing to face health risks for their children, but this goes to a creepy and unhealthy, for lack of a better word, extreme. That we watch her waste away to nothing on the screen–the CGI or however they did that was impressive. I would have respected her decision more if she had actually put some thought into it–weighed her options or something. But as soon as she finds out she’s pregnant, Bella is willing to die to give this child life–when she has barely lived herself. I don’t know–it’s a bit too absolute–a bit too “this child is worth more than me.” Decisions like this, I imagine, take vast amounts of time and consideration.

But at the end, she wakes up perfectly beautiful and healthy–Extreme Makeover: Vampire Edition.

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