I'm about 3/4ths through the 3rd book in the Twilight series. I only really started to hate Bella in the 2nd book after way, way, way too many pages of her angsty, self-centered, masturbatory whining. I'm enjoying the 3rd book much more with Edward back in the picture, but last night I read a sentence that really made me cringe, and my inner feminist just about jumped out of my head and burned the book on the spot.
The scene is Bella wanting to go visit someone, and she knows that Edward wouldn't want her to go because he would consider it unsafe. No spoilers, I promise.
"I just stared at him, trying to understand what he wanted, and trying to put out of my mind the yearning I felt to go to La Push so that I wouldn't be swayed by my own wishes."
The thing that infuriates me is that she is mad at herself for not being able to completely push aside her own desires in order to completely understand what Edward wants so that she can do what he wants despite the fact that it is the opposite of what she wants. Not only that, but she feels it's necessary to not even tell Edward how she feels, because it's not OK to discuss her desires with him, she feels that she should just think about it until she convinces herself that he is right to begin with, and her desires were wrong and don't matter at all.
Now, in the reality of the book, she does get what she wants, but the way it plays out casts Edward in the role of benevolent patriarch who is giving Bella what she wants in order to prove to her (and himself) that he can be "reasonable." Bella is still worried that he is hiding his disapproval of the plan, and seems like she is STILL considering not going just to give him what she thinks he wants. It's ridiculous!! Gah. I hate Bella so much.
Also, I hate that Edward keeps taking Bella's face in his hands and making her look at him. I think it happened 3 or 4 times just in the few chapters I read last night. It's so condescending, or patronizing, or something. I hate it.
That said, I am enjoying the books on the whole. The story is fun. The writing is definitely mediocre, or worse, but the plot is good. The relationship between Bella and Edward is definitely the most compelling part of the entire series, but I'm even getting a little weary of that - how many different iterations of proving to themselves that the other really does love them unconditionally can they go through?? Seriously.
OK I'm done now.
The patronizing aspects were something that I noticed throughout the series, but I don't think I ever mentioned them. There are so many times that Bella is more like Edward's child rather than a partner. I think it is one of the things that is both most infuriating and that bothered me the most.ReplyDelete
yeah, steph was saying stuff like this too ... i haven't read the books but i have to review the movie tomorrow for the paper (which isn't really advisable, i don't think, but whatever, i don't time). i really want to read them at some point though, because i keep hearing such contrasting reactions, like "it's the next harry potter!" versus "it's pitiful, misogynistic CRAP"ReplyDelete
so, as soon as i can bum a free copy from one of my friends, i fully intend to join the madness!
(this is carolyn, by the way. i tried to comment from my livejournal, but my computer decided to have issues with that. poo.)