Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Power of Passion

Going back through my Goodreads book list, I was surprised to discover that the first book I marked as "read" was none other than Twilight. I immediately thought, "I liked Twilight, but I'm not a fanatic! I'm not one of THOSE people!" As proof, I pointed out to myself that I only gave it 4/5 stars.

But why should I be ashamed of liking Twilight? People have justly criticized using Bella and Edward as role models, because of how obsessive they are. They have few interests outside of each other. But in spite of that--which, by the way, is common in romantic stories--I found Twilight's ultimate message to be inspiring.

The main message of Twilight is about the nature of passion. Unbridled passion makes us into monsters, but so many people fear that they are monsters even as they bridle their passions. Bella and Edward balance each other--she's a little too unbridled, and he's a little too controlled. He fears being a monster, and she fears losing what she values most.

This is the reason for one of the major plot points of the series: Edward's refusal to turn Bella into a vampire. He doesn't want her to have to share in his curse, which makes life more vivid and comes with stronger emotions and a passion for blood. (The non-monsters bridle this passion and drink animal blood.)

His control over his passion for her is another way this message is taught, particularly in the first book. Her smell, her personality--everything has a powerful effect on him, but he controls himself.

I believe that, consciously or unconsciously, Stephanie Meyer took this concept from our religion's scripture:

And also see that ye bridle all your passions, that you may be filled with love.
Alma 38:12

And that is why I'm proud to have enjoyed Twilight.

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