Table of contents

Breaking Dawn Part 1

Some notes on the distinction between lover & beloved

There is little story in this fourth part of a five-movie series; or maybe it is the first part of the fourth part of a four-movie series. Two events are brought to our attention. The marriage of the human being who is our heroine, Bella, to the vampire with whom she has fallen in love, & his name is Edward. & the pregnancy the sequel to the consummation of that marriage.

But pregnancy borders on the impossible in this case. The human being is made male & female naturally. Procreation – the survival of the species – is the natural purpose of male & female coming together.

We are confronted with something else here, for the object of love in this case is emphatically immortal, although as beloved he bears the shape of a human being. The lover – she is mortal. Their child would be half-immortal, I suggest. The fact that child seems to consume mother from within shows her weakness. Paradoxically, the fruit of her weakness is incredibly strong. In contrast, the man himself is young, strong, handsome. He is imperishable, astounding like a statue. But he is powerless to save her.

If he is himself in love, as his audience must believe, why should he insist on his chastity? – He is old-fashioned, hailing from the chaster, stronger America that fought WWI. But marriage does not weaken his self-possession. He contemplates his young bride smiling quietly.

I believe his inclination for aristocratic pleasures – poetry, an old kind of music – tells us he rejects implicitly democratic music. Sex, however, is the most democratic pleasure, the most frequent object of democratic comedy. He is unable to separate pleasure from pain in action: he fears sex would turn him into a beast.

But his bride insists on what all lovers take as their right, to be one with their beloveds. The marriage that would protect, by the laws, the union, also requires the union. Marriage is supposed to make jealousy unnecessary by fulfilling its demands.

An eager bridegroom he is not. He understands continence means self-restraint. – But the woman’s consuming love might convince him he is perfect by himself. He says he lacks soul; he insists she has soul. Becoming his beloved would steal her soul. As a lover, she has soul, but it is permanently threatening to leave her in order to take him as its home.

This fourth, last story again mixes light & darkness, being & non-being. For the first time, the title is optimistic. Dawn recalls twilight. It confirms that sun is the cause of both night & day. I suspect the man believes the sun is the eternal cause of the good.

If you’re young & you like romance, go see it.

Go Here to Read the Review of Twilight.
Go Here to Read the Review of Twilight: New Moon.
Go Here to Read the Review of Twilight: Eclipse.
Go Here to Read the Review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part Two.