Ranting about twilight is popular. And what are we here in this place if not followers of the popular trend? I’m all that, but I’m also not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed twilight (the book), twilight (the movie) not so much. And seriously, what’s not to love about a book that features a brooding (Steph missed to add tall & dark) teen vampire going on about how he has to fight to keep his urges under control whenever he’s close to his Bella, while she is practically begging him on her knees to ravish her…*
But then there’s the infamous Chapter 8 – Port Angeles. If there’s one problem that Stephenie has, then it has to be her love for romance novels which clearly shows in the way she set-up twilight, it’s like she’s got a list she’s been ticking off: Alpha male - check Damsel - check Threaten damsel with a faith worse than death - check.
That last point! That’s all Chapter 8 serves for. The gist of it is thus: Bella and her girls drive into town, she separates from the rest and promptly finds herself attracting some street rabble that conveniently herd her up a dark side street. Cue in Edward, storming to the rescue with, uhm, blazing headlights…
One of the problems with this constructed hero’s scene is that Edward’s „heroism“ is a shallow gesture, because as a immortal he’s never really putting himself in any danger whatsoever. He actually just gets his Bella and hightails it out of there. Some hero there, leaving the rabble to stake out another victim…
Vampire guy certainly pales in comparison to the shiny knights and bold adventurers that went over this ground before him. Well, yes, he claims that the vileness of their intentions was threatening to make him lose control of his human side, threatening what’s possibly left of his immortal soul. We get to hear that line a lot from him, he’s very fond of using it, see above. And the more I think about that scene and why it never worked for me, beyond as a annoyance, the more I can’t help to think that this is symptomatic for the whole Bella/Edward relation, there’s a lot of talk from Edward’s side, and he’s so quick at hand with assuring Bella that her mere presence alone is enough for him to have to fight the beast inside… so much so that I have to wonder whom is he really trying to convince? Bella or himself?
However, the actual reason why I gnashed my teeth when the scene came up and played out in all its tired predictability, and I’m usually not one to bemoan predictability, is not just that this scene is for the most part useless to the story at hand, it’s how it uses some of the worst tropes ever: Country girl, big town, alone on her own = rape, murder or worse…
It creates an unsavoury mix of “Girls should not be left to stray on their own” myths and the undying suspicion harboured by every small towner ever of the big cities and their invariably evil, tainting character.
Well, Stephenie’s a lot of things, being subtle is not among them. But twilight (the book) was her debut (that and she’s Mormon), so I’m willing to cut her some slack. Neither the script writers working on twilight (the movie) nor Hardwicke can claim either of that for themselves. Which makes finding the same stupid, useless scene playing out in the same useless, stupid way all the more infuriating… grrr.
On a side note: You know what else I find disturbing about twilight (the movie)? The only poster I can stand, shows the only people I cared for in the movie**: The bad guys and girl.
*Most guys you wouldn’t have to beg twice, but with Edward it takes four long books of begging! **With the exception of Alice, but who doesn’t care about her!
"When someone doesn't show up, the people who wait sometimes tell stories about what might have happened and come to half believe the desertion, the abduction, the accident. Worry is a way to pretend that you have knowledge or control over what you don't--and it surprises me, even in myself, how much we prefer ugly scenarios to the pure unknown. Perhaps fantasy is what you fill up maps with rather than saying that they too contain the unknown."— Rebecca Solnit