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Taking fantasy fiction to heart in the Twilight series


Still holding its ground in several American book lists are the young adult novels by Stephanie Myer that make up the Twilight Series.

The books’ success can be attributed to the success of the movie adaptations that tell the story of vampire Edward Cullen and his romantic relationship with the human Bella.

The Twilight novels
are of course all written in good fun, but there is a danger because some teens do not know the difference between fiction and reality. This can create an image of the perfect guy that girls may be searching for not knowing that he is an archetype that does not exist.

Unlike mythical vampires (like Dracula who is a slave to his predatory instincts and his hunger for blood) Edward can hold those back because of the power of his love for Bella. He reasons he must love her if he can resist the temptation to drain her of her life.

For young girls this power of love that can overcome Edward’s predatory nature is intoxicating. An immortal man also becomes more attractive than a mortal one because he can promise an eternity of love and devotion to a woman.

Readers then want to experience the same powerful love in their own lives and their mothers who swoon over Edward right along with them reinforce their wishes. Although not as sophisticated as adult romance novels, Twilight reminds them of their younger days and the love they either lost or never found.

“The Vampire Diaries” is another popular vampire-human love story that tells of a girl who falls in love and the story is primarily told from her point of view. This is also the case with Bella, who tells of her meeting with Edward as if it was the most important event of her life (and as if the subject of the novel would be her first day of high school).

The first person narration serves the purpose of allowing the reader to step in the familiar shoes of someone their own age. This creates a strong bond with the character because both reader and character experience the same desires in meeting the perfect guy who will provide her with everything she needs and concentrate all of his love and affection on her.

Bella is only a teenager and the absence of her mother and slack parenting of her father leaves her confused and emotionally vulnerable. If this is the state of the reader, then they might think love is the answer to their problems and begin a search for the perfect boyfriend.

One of the reasons relationships fail is both parties have unrealistic expectations of what the other person should be like. If children are not satisfied with real people they will turn to fictitious ones certain never disappoint them, lie to them or hurl obscenities at them.

The same goes with the opposite sex because if girls think all males should be perfect like Edward then they will be disappointed when their real life boyfriend pales in comparison to their imaginary one.

The Twilight phenomenon is no danger in itself, but like violent video games it can be harmful if young consumers take the fantasy to heart.


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