I don’t like lazy arguments. To read articles that mention how Twilight is a terrible influence ‘just because’ really annoys me; how do these authors expect to be taken seriously if they don’t try to ask the questions, however difficult they might be?
Twilight and Harry Potter have been compared numerous times. One of the things they both have in common is the attacks they have come under. Harry Potter was said to encourage children to turn to magic, and Twilight is being said to turn girls towards an unreasonable view of love.
I personally think that an innocent curiosity about magic is something most children have. I personally had it, and every friend that I had was just as curious about it than I was (some more so than others). Since we were all carefully monitored by our ever-present parents, we knew that magic wasn’t real, and, after a summer of pretending to be magicians, we got over it.
The effect of Twilight on one’s opinion about love and relationships is a lot harder to handle. First of all, the population targeted, female tweens and teens, aren’t exactly the easiest to talk to; they are dealing with intense changes in their bodies and their lives which make it very difficult for them to express what is going on.
Second of all, love isn’t something easy to talk about with your parents. The idea that you were born out of something else than a cabbage patch can be a little gross (for lack of a better word) for girls that age. And, let’s be honest, even if you have the greatest parents in the world, they are not the first one you are going to turn to when, at 14, you have a huge crush on a boy that will barely give you the time of day.
So what does this mean? Is Twilight a work of the devil or, perhaps, of Harlequin, intent on building a long term audience of heartbroken females who will search forevermore for their Edward Cullen? Although the idea does evoke an amusing image of Satan himself running away from millions of copies of the Twilight book, I don’t think that’s quite the case.
Fact of the matter is that there are very few (if any) books that only bring about bad things. Any book can bring about positive or negative effects. Just think about it. The Holy Bible, which preaches some of the most beautiful lessons on peace and love, had brought so much war and death because of the way people chose to interpret it.
However blasphemous this might sound, it’s the same with Twilight (not that it’s anything like the Holy Bible!). So while some people are arguing that it’s creating the false ideas of what a man should be like – i.e. ‘perfect’ Edward – it could also inspire girls to be strong without losing their femininity and inspire boys to become that ‘perfect’ person.
Again, it depends on the way it’s used. We tend to dumb down teenagers, expecting them to do nothing more but hang out in malls and obsess about stuff. But the teenagers I have taken the time to talk to have shown incredible insight, if only we give them the chance to do so.