In the final chapter (and epilogue) of Twilight, we're left with a giant mess tidily cleaned up by The Cullens: the dance studio is torched, Carlisle is caring for Bella, and all of her friends and family magically believe that Bella broke her leg, smashed four ribs, tore open her scalp, and bruised her whole body by "falling down the stairs." Bella begs to be turned into a vampire, Edward refuses, takes her to prom (when did she heal???), where Jacob tries to warn her of her oncoming doom. Intrigued? You better be, because this is the last one. It's time for Mark to read Twilight.
You know I love you very much, Bella. You are my only daughter and there's nothing in the world that can describe the joy and happiness you've brought to my life. I love the time we've spent together as a family and I love the support you give me throughout my own life, which hasn't been terribly easy on you.
When your father and I separated, I can't begin to articulate how much your love kept me going. I know how hard that was on you and how awkward things became for the three of us. But your heart is so full of love and understanding that you made the transition so much easier for everyone.
I love you, Bella. It's very hard for me to do this. I want you to experience the same love you've given me. I want you to experience life with the same devotion and unconditional kindness you've shown me. But I am scared for you future, so that's what I've gathered these people here today to save you.
Bella, I do not believe you should see Edward Cullen anymore. I know that I may not have spent a large amount of time with him. I understand that you will probably be angry with me and resent me for a long time for doing this. I thought about this for weeks, but I knew that the only way I could show you that I love you was to save you from what you're doing.
Edward has changed you. You were once outgoing, bright, self-supportive, and always willing to help your friends and family. You've become...self-involved. You have turned into someone who's irritated by anyone willing to be your friend, your father, your mother. You've closed yourself off to the outside world. You are ready to devote your life to someone you've only known for a month.
I met him at the hospital and I don't like that he pretended to sleep the entire time I was talking to you. I don't like the way he stared at you as you slept. He stares at you like an object, like a piece of meat. And I saw through his lie about your accident in a heartbeat. Falling down the stairs, Bella? That's the oldest trick in the book by abusers. Does he think I'm that stupid?
My Bella, Cullenism is a disease. It can be treated. It can be cured. It doesn't mean your life is over. It doesn't mean you won't find love. But your obsession with this man...it's going to kill you. Quite literally.
Bella, I can't stand seeing you so involved that you refuse to leave the house. I can't stand calling you just to say hi and getting the cold shoulder. I am all for you moving on from your nest here in Phoenix. That's not the problem. I just fear that this....thing...he's going to kill you. Do you understand his physical power? Do you understand the emotional hold he has? He's controlling you, Bella. You aren't your own person anymore.
I just want my Bella, back. Will you give this to me? I love you, so, so much.
When I first learned you'd be coming back to Forks, I was ecstatic. You mean so much to me, more than you'll ever know. I know our life has been rough, with me living a thousand miles away and whatnot. But I love you, Bella. I love you so much.
Your presence in my house has given me hope every day. Coming home to your cooking and your wit has made me feel alive again. My days aren't routines anymore. My life isn't a rut. I love having you in my life anymore.
This is weird for me to do, as I'm sure you know I'm not the biggest fan of talking like this. It's too complicated for me. I didn't want to do this, but your mother and your friend convinced me that I need to be here, that I need to be honest with you and I need to support you.
Bella, I hate the person you've become. I hate what Edward Cullen has turned you into. The lying was bad enough. I can deal with that, though. I was a teenager once and Lord knows I've lied enough to last a lifetime. I can understand lying while in love. It's dangerous. It's infectious.
But Bella, you broke my heart. You lied about the reason you needed to leave to Phoenix and in the process, you took the most painful moment in my life and threw it back in my face. Your mother and I didn't work out. I'm truly sorry for that. But Edward Cullen has put this crazy disease in you that makes you act as irrational as possible and causes you to do whatever you possibly can to get what you want. That includes manipulating me and making me want to kill myself because I felt that I had ruined your life.
When you came back, I forgave you. I opened my arms to you. Sure, there were some restrictions. And even though I knew in my gut that Edward was the cause of all this, I still allowed him to take you to the prom. That's how much I love you, Bella. I knew I couldn't stand in the way of love. I know how it works.
It has to end today, Bella. Cullenism has seeped into your bloodstream. Quite literally. You have turned into a monster. You ignore your friends. You are rude to your family. You have given up everything it means to be human in order to be with him. Your boyfriend makes your heart stop when he kisses. This family...they burn down dance studios to suppress evidence. They have you believing that your relationship with a superhuman is equal. And now you're actually considering death? You're actually considering leaving me, your mother, all of your friends behind for just one dude who sparkles in the sun?
I want you to love and I want you to be happy. But you are destroying me in the process. Please, Bella, please heed our advice and go to the intervention. We all love you and this is for the best.
We don't know each other well. But I know you enough. You are one of the sweetest girls I have ever met. You are so beautiful that I ever time I see you, my heart skips. I am glad we have become friends, despite the possibility for everything to be so awkward, what with my father and all.
I'm sorry I confronted you at the prom. I knew it was weird, but my concern was genuine. I know love is strange and you can't help who you love, but Edward is a vampire. It's in his biological make-up to actually be as physically and emotionally attractive as possible. So while you think you're in love, Cullenism is a real disease. He is merely controlling you with that weird...sparkling thing. And his pale looks. Which...look, I don't know if you know this, but I'm awesome. I am respectful of you and I want you to be your own person with your own life and I'm always kind to you. Yeah. I've never removed your battery cables or blamed my weird condition on you either. Also, just to hone it in, I don't sparkle. I never will. At all.
I'm here because I like you and I want things to be great for you. Being with Edward Cullen isn't just dangerous. It's demeaning. It's insulting. And it's ruining any sense of individuality you once had.
Please don't do it. We've got three books left to go. I don't want to see you throwing your life away.
You have no idea what I have in store for you.
I didn't add any numerical notes because I think the first two letters speak for themselves: Never have I read fiction that so clearly glorifies the subjugation of women to the powerful male. Emisforily gave me the idea yesterday to stage a fake intervention for Bella while we were planning the Twilight liveblog. (More on that in a second). In many ways, it seems like that's precisely what Bella needs. She is so out of touch with reality. I understand that this story strives to be exactly the opposite; it's fantastical in every way. However, what makes the process so painful to me is that Meyer seems to think a fantastical story requires fantastical character interactions. They are not mutually exclusive and hundreds of writers throughout time have proven this so.
The ending to Twilight is every bit as anti-climactic as each plot twist. Not only is Meyer unable to keep secrets about her own fucking book, but the "twists" pack no emotional weight. Why? Because she's left us with nothing to care about her characters. Bella is...well, I think this review sums up pretty succinctly what Bella's flaws are as a character. The disturbing element to it all is not that the author intended for it to be this way. Bella, for her, is the glorification of the "every-woman," the ordinary, plain, not-perfect girls out there in the world.
Either Meyer specifically wrote her character so that psychotic women could insert themselves into the book, page by page, or we're dealing with a female who believes that every woman is selfish, egotistical, demented, sexist, and neurotic. Simply put: this is, quite literally, one of the most sexist/misogynistic/dangerous books I have ever read. The entire section in which Bella begs to be turned into a vampire and then insists that she'll get Alice to do it is simply frightening.
But even beyond that, this is a book in which, for 498 pages, virtually nothing happens.
Edward himself has his fair share of terrible qualities, which I've spent all the journals pointing out. I've heard it only gets worse from here on out, but the whole "falling down the stairs" lie really hit me hard. Clearly, Meyer is not so socially retarded that she has never heard the term. In fact, her characters in the book even seem to acknowledge the absurdity of getting people to believe such a bogus theory.
I have a lot of thoughts about this book and its effect on popular culture, especially the worship it gets from fans. I am not a female. I have never really experienced a whirlwind, sweep-me-off-my-feet type of romance. (My love for my current boyfriend grew slowly and (I hate to use this word) naturally.) I don't believe in any sort of god or destiny or anything greater than the collective sum of humanity. I realize that, at base, I am the absolute worst person to read Twilight. But I gave it a try and believe me, I tried hard to find something, anything, of redeeming value.
Bella's parents are good characters. Bella's mom is particularly sweet in Chapter 24. Jasper and Alice seem like balanced, rational vampires with interesting character arcs. AND WE ALL KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT JACOB, AMIRITE? But these fleeting examples don't provide balance for the rest of the muck found in between the covers. It's too little, too late.
I'll make an announcement about the Buzznet Liveblog of Twilight once the date is set in stone. It will be next week for sure; we'd planned on watching it Wednesday night, but I realized this morning that it will be SUPER LATE on the East Coast at that time, so I want to start watching it earlier. EMILY/EMILY, PLEASE IM/TEXT ME SO WE CAN WORK THIS OUT. If you own the movie, dust it off and get ready to watch it simultaneously with hundreds of people and comment your pain away. I'll post my chapter notes on Monday, even though it's a holiday here in the states. Once I liveblog the movie, I'll begin reading New Moon. Ugh.
But to close this off, I really feel that I need to make this statement. I've finally read the entire book and no person can ever counter me with, "But you haven't even read it!" Here goes:
As of right now, Twilight is the absolute worst piece of fiction I have ever had the displeasure of reading.
Until next time, happy reading.