Applying Freud To Stephenie Meyer's Twilight

Submitted By kdoggkirsty
Words: 1641
Pages: 7

Applying Freud to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight

Disclaimer: this essay has been written as satire. The beliefs expressed hereafter are not my own personal beliefs, rather a critical analysis of the text and an application of theory. I am not a supporter of Freud’s Oedipus and Electra theories due to their perpetuation of a patriarchal system of power and basis in domesticity. Equally, I do not support Twilight in any way, shape, or form, for the same reasons. Since its conception and release in recent years, the Twilight saga has divided an audience: embracing some and alienating, often repulsing others. This division in opinion stems mostly from the poor writing style of Stephenie Meyer, and otherwise from the content. Many argue that Twilight orchestrates highly unhealthy behaviour from a psychoanalytical perspective. Whilst on the surface, Twilight seems like a harmless, albeit extremely unrealistic love story, its characters language and events give a picture of a highly dysfunctional and harmful text in terms of mental wellbeing. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis, although in many ways flawed, can be applied to the Twilight saga in order to reveal the truth behind the motives for the characters, and therefore the text, and perhaps even Stephenie Meyer herself. Before we begin we must first take a liberal humanist approach to Twilight: that is we must look at the text in complete isolation. The saga, which spans four books, tells the story of a young girl who meets and falls in love with a vampire, who thirsts uncontrollably for her blood. His inability to control himself around her results in his leaving their hometown, Forks, and moving away with his family. Depressed and alone, our heroine, Bella, retreats into herself until she finds solace and companionship in Jacob, who later turns out to be a werewolf. Bella then jumps off a cliff subsequently causing vampire Edward to attempt, which Bella stops, and thus Edward returns to Forks. However, Edward’s return sparks a rivalry between himself and werewolf Jacob, more stuff happens, and eventually Bella and Edward get married, conceive a hybrid human-vampire baby, which attempts to eat itself out of Bella’s womb, and in order to be saved Bella herself must become a vampire - which she does. Finally, werewolf Jacob “imprints” on (falls in irrevocable love with) the vampire baby, Renesmee, and everyone seems to be okay with this. Despite being morally and ethically unsound, Meyer’s story also manages to rip off Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, and pervert beyond recognition the work of Bram Stoker and Anne Rice. Our first point of analysis is the character of Edward Cullen, the dashing and statuesque hero-vampire, and the object of Bella’s affections. Obviously, we must first address Bella’s ability to repeatedly and systematically attempt to endanger her own life. Her relationship with Edward is the most prime example. Whilst Bella is repeatedly told be most of the other characters, including Edward himself, that he is an extremely dangerous predator with the capability to kill her and drain her blood from her body within seconds, she somehow finds comfort in him, to the point where she lets him watch her as she sleeps at night. Edward himself has underlying flaws to his character, or rather, developmental faults. Edward is an over-100-year-old vampire, stuck in the body of a 17-year-old as this was the time of his “changing”. As a result, we can deduce that whilst Edward’s body is preserved in adolescent form, his mind has gone either one of two ways: first, that his mind has aged normally with his existence span, or second, that when Edward’s body froze in adolescent form, so did his mind. This second take is particularly important because adolescence is a very important time for sexual, moral and ethical development, as well as a time where humans begin to establish independence from their parents. Little information is given about Edward’s father, but we know that