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Twilight


Some notes on the distinction between family & city

This is the story of a young girl who moves to the Pacific Northwest. She is coming back to her father, who is the sheriff there. Her mother does not live anywhere, but moves around, apparently not a one-man woman. The girl comes from Arizona.

Bella is her name. She mingles with the other high-school kids when she learns to make fun of herself, that is to say, to take herself lightly. To begin with, she was afraid of these strangers. It seems she thought they were self-sufficient in their hometown, whereas she is homeless.

She falls in love with a young vampire called Edward. His family is called the Cullens. They are not blood relatives, except in the sense that the clan leader made the others vampires. Presumably, the horrible thing about vampires is that their immortality requires eating blood, that is to say, life. Forbidding cannibalism is necessary for human beings to trust each other, that is to say, to become human.

If they were a real family, it would be incestuous, as the children pair up. The Cullens are very old, older than anyone else. This suggests that the original families were incestuous, presumably, by necessity. The inhumanity of cannibalism we can leave for later; for now, let us note that the Cullens hunt animals, again suggesting that man originally had a harsh life. Mere survival was a question, not a foregone conclusion.

The clan leader only made vampires of the dying. Family is in a sense immortal. Family is in a sense self-sufficient: the Cullens move in & out of cities, able to survive in the wild. They live without the help or company of other human beings.

The predicament of Bella’s love story requires understanding how strong family ties really are. The other people in town know this instinctively: the Cullens keep to themselves; they are outsiders, apparently by choice, really by necessity.

City life is comparatively sheltered and easy-going. Folks are rather trusting and peaceful. For her part, Bella is also quite soft, something of a daydreamer. She fits well in the city, but she is not particularly attached to it. This is also why she is attracted to the strange Cullens, though they are not nearly as strange as she. Paradoxically, she is supposed to bring them somehow into the city, to stop what may indelicately be dubbed their in-breeding. This is the truth behind the apparently accidental fact that Bella is the sheriff’s daughter.

The family depends on the city for two things: protection & marriage. In both ways, the Cullens must be weakened. When Edward falls in love with Bella, he becomes more attached to her than to his family.

If you’ve seen any of the others, you should see how it all began

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 One.
Go Here to Read the Review of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part Two.