Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Twilight: Breaking Dawn as self help—how to get rich via virginity, roofies, and unprotected sex

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 4:00 AM

To understand why Twilight is the quintessential love story for millions of women, you must understand what women want: financial security. In this modern version of “Beauty and the Beast,” Bella is able to see beyond Edward's age to his inner beauty—i.e the wealth he has acquired from a century of preying on others.

Stephenie Meyer uses “vampires” as a metaphor for wealthy people who have sold their souls for money. They become morally dead inside by sucking the life, and money, out of the less fortunate. These vampires are ageless and beautiful, not only for their wealth, but because of all the things money affords them: clothes, mansions, education, personal trainers, plastic surgery...

The “werewolves” are a gang of drunken Native Americans who live in shacks. Like poor people around the world, they play soccer, wear little more than ripped jeans, and spend their days getting violently drunk in the woods. These outsiders represent all the poor people the vampires have gotten rich exploiting. They are a threat because they have nothing to lose in rebelling against the wealthy.

Jacob is one of the few werewolves who is actually attractive, mainly because he has not "imprinted," or impregnated, a woman. He suffers from the Peter Pan syndrome and spends all his free time hanging out in the woods with prepubescent boys.

Bella is a college reject with no future. The only tools she has to improve her social status are her fading looks and her virginity. While she is sexually drawn to Jacob, she does not want to spend her life in a housing project with alcoholic Indians. Luckily for her, she finds a wealthy old man who values virginity over beauty.

Edward’s money can only do so much to keep him looking young and healthy. He suffers from several medical conditions, including impotence. He feels so physically ugly that he refuses to let Bella see him in direct light. This only makes Edward more alluring to Bella, as it means he will die soon, leaving her his fortune after only minimal sexual encounters. His medical problems are alluded to when Edward’s brother gives a toast at the wedding, warning Bella, “You won’t be getting a lot of sleep for awhile.” She will be up nights changing Edward’s diaper and tending to his needs.

As a wedding gift, Edward presents Jacob to Bella during the reception. Jacob has done some stripping at gay bars and gives Bella a private dance. Edward hopes that Jacob will ignite Bella’s sexual lust, and make it easier for her to sleep with him that night. Jacob becomes irate when he discovers Bella plans to have unprotected sex with Edward, as this will forever taint her body with the diseases Edward has accumulated over a century of preying on impoverished prostitutes.

No man can romance a woman like a dying millionaire. Edward takes Bella to Brazil where he used to score hookers. He hopes the exotic setting will help alleviate his impotence. As a wedding present, Edward gives Bella an entire island. This is the perfect example of how money can buy happiness. There are also no guys lurking on the island for Bella to have sex with after Edward deflowers her.

Bella suddenly becomes anxious about the reality of having sex with an old man. She hides in the bathroom to freshen up and prepare herself mentally with a few roofies.

There is no foreplay. Edward does not want to lose his erection. Bella blacks out. She wakes in the morning to find the room destroyed. In a rage over his impotence, Edward trashed the house. However, Edward eventually got hard when he realized Bella was unconscious and that he could treat her body like one of his common prostitutes. When Edward proudly points out her bruises, Bella claims she likes it. This completely destroys Edward’s desire for her. He realizes how psychotic and obsessed with his money Bella must be to claim she enjoyed having sex with him.

Bella has completely lost all sense of time due to the perpetual drug haze she has kept herself in since the wedding. When she vomits in the morning, she assumes this is due to her drug abuse as opposed to a pregnancy. Having flunked sex ed, she is unable to make the cognitive connection between unprotected sex and pregnancy. Edward thought he was too old, and that Bella was on way too many drugs, for her to get pregnant. Also, he cannot wear condoms because of his problems with impotence.

Edward rushes Bella home for an abortion. He knows the vampire fetus will suck away his wealth and what desirability Bella still possesses: her physical beauty, her vagina, and her ability to satisfy his sexual needs on command.

Bella refuses to get an abortion. The pregnancy is her only hope of keeping Edward and access to his money. This carries a harsh consequence. As is often the case, the pregnancy instantly transforms Bella into an old hag.

As a college reject, Bella is unable to see how selfish she is being by choosing to have the child. Edward’s extended family will have to share their inheritance with this child. Undoubtedly Bella's offspring will also become a pregnant teen, further splintering the family's wealth. Also, if Bella dies in the risky childbirth, the family will be stuck raising a defective, drug-addicted kid.

The child's birth also destroys Jacob's plan to marry Bella after Edward dies. No amount of money can make a single mother attractive to a man. Just as he is about to kill Bella’s baby, a strange thing happens. In the child, he sees the infant of Bella that he first lusted after as a boy. In that moment of imprinting, he realizes that he likes children, sexually. This explains so much about him, like why he plays in the woods all day with prepubescent boys and why the only woman he was attracted to looked like a 12-year-old. Beyond that, he is imprinted with the idea that Bella’s daughter will soon be a high school dropout, and that if he gets her pregnant, he will get some of Edward’s wealth—thus affording him the ability to fly to Brazil to score underage prostitutes.

Giving birth, Bella’s former self dies. Lying on the operating table, Bella looks like so many hookers Edward has left for dead. With the baby in his arms, Edward realizes he is stuck with Bella. While she is unconscious, he calls in a team of plastic surgeons. Not only does she wake up with a new body, but with the beauty that financial security provides. Having swindled her wealth at the mercy of others, Bella has transformed into a lifeless, blood-sucking vampire.

Breaking Dawn—a metaphor for the breaking of the hymen as well as the destruction of a woman’s beauty in childbirth—is intended as a series of self-help books. Stephenie Meyer's goal is to encourage uneducated teens to use their fading beauty, virginity, and ability to get pregnant to improve their social status. In the process, these young women may become dead inside, but they will also be rich, which is the point, I think.

Follow Alfie on Twitter, Facebook, or at shawnalff.com

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