Well, I wasn’t going to post any thoughts about the last three books I’ve read–Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse–but I changed my mind after I found myself talking about the books so frequently with others.
First of all, the books are young adult novels about a teenage girl who falls in love with a vampire and is also best friends with (and eventually a little in love with) a werewolf.
Okay. Not really my type of plot. But my visiting teacher lent me Twilight and after reading that one I had to keep going.
Everyone upon everyone who likes to read has been talking about these books. You’ve probably heard them. But even after reading the books myself I kept wondering why: Why are these books such a hit?
I should point out that the books are probably most popular among the female readers because, in spite of the genuinely cool parts dealing with vampires and werewolves, the books are still fundamentally a love story. And a really intense love story at that.
So here’s my theory about why these books are so popular (in spite of the fact that the teenage girl, Bella, gets more and more annoying as the books go on): Stephanie Meyer has created another Mr. Darcy in Edward Cullen.
Unlike Mr. Darcy, Edward is seventeen, a vampire, and immortal. But other than that he and Mr. Darcy are one and the same: Extremely attractive. Sexy. Impeccably polite. Gentlemanly. And, more than anything, would do anything for the woman he loves.
This is the type of man women love to read about, love to dream about, love to think of themselves with. (Some of us, of course, are fortunate enough to already be married to someone with exactly these qualities. Minus the seventeen, vampire, and immortal bits.) I mean, how many women out there have watched BBC’s Pride and Prejudice a zillion times just for that part where Mr. Darcy dives into the pond and walks back in his wet shirt? What woman doesn’t wilt at the intense expression in Mr. Darcy’s eyes when he stares at Elizabeth Bennett? What woman doesn’t equate Mr. Darcy with the quintessential romantic hero and secretly wish they were Miss Bennett so they could be the object of Mr. Darcy’s attentions?
Don’t deny it, girls. You know it’s true.
Edward is the same way. Irresistible.
I think that’s a large part why we keep reading. We want to see Bella and Edward end up happily together, even though it possibly involves Bella becoming a vampire herself and breaking her best friend Jacob’s heart. And I know some people are really on Team Jacob and are rooting that he and Bella will end up together, but sorry, I think you’re in the vast minority. I’m all for Edward, and hope that Bella will get over her whininess and make us think that somehow she deserves such a man as Edward.