Why Twilight should be taught in schools.

Why every school should study Twilight
There’s no question the Twilight series of books from Stephanie Meyer has taken the world by storm. Teen and pre-teen girls as well as grown women are swooning over Edward and his hunky vampire brethren. The second movie in the series, New Moon opened last night to packed theaters. I’ve spoken with several educators who are big fans of the series. The problem is, Twilight is bad for kids (and adults.) The writing is horrible and the message the books send to young girls is all wrong, which is why the books should be studied in school.

Why study bad writing?
Getting teens to read is a good thing, and Twilight is accomplishing that goal. Since the kids are reading the books anyway, why not use it as an opportunity to show what not to do when writing fiction? The Twilight books are a case study in poor grammar and purple prose, have huge plot holes (although, really, there isn’t much of a plot at all,) fall back on lazy literary devices to get out of jams, lack any sort of character development, and break several other rules of fiction writing. At least one of these books should be required reading for every creative writing class in the country.

Sending the wrong message
In addition to the bad writing, Twilight sends the wrong message to young girls about relationships, romance, and independence (or, in Bella’s case, dependence.) Some have hailed Twilight as a shining example of abstinence, to be held up as an example to teen girls everywhere. The problem is, the main character (Bella) drops everything (school, other relationships) and allows her entire existence to be wrapped up in her adoration for Edward. The overarching message is that abusive relationships are cool and girls should allow themselves to be defined by the boys they obsess over.

How is that a good thing?
Michele Catalano, in her review of Twilight had this to say:
Bella, presented as a strong willed, independent girl, throws herself into a situation that she knows could endanger her life. Her absolute dependence on Edward to even breathe – she can barely exist when she’s out of his sight line – is both worrisome and disturbing. Her every thought is about him. Her every movement is dictated by her obsession with him. She throws herself at him to the extent that she is willing to be turned into a vampire just to spend eternity with him. Edward plays on all Bella’s emotions like a man who gets off on adoration. He follows her, he appears in her room at night, he listens in, telepathically, on her friends’ conversations. He is there in every dangerous situation brought on by Bella’s clumsiness to rescue her and make her feel like she just could not make it another day alive without his knighthood. I don’t know about you, but over here we call that stalking. Yet Bella seems unperturbed by Edward’s hovering and unflinchingly goes headlong into a dangerous, life threatening, almost one sided romance with him.

Time for some examples
Not convinced that Twilight is bad writing that should be studied in order to avoid the same mistakes? Hopefully these examples will help you see the light:

He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare.
-You’ll find similar examples of adjective abuse throughout the books. It would be difficult to find a sentence that doesn’t overuse adjectives.

Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.
-Please tell me you understand just how bad that passage is. Please?

Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars –points of light and reason….And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything.
-Just shoot me. Shoot me now.

After he left, I sat at the old square oak table in front of the three unmatching chairs and examined his kitchen, with its dark paneled walls, bright yellow cabinets, and the linoleum floor.
-Thank you, Ms. Meyer, for wasting our time with useless details. I realize it helps fulfill your word count, but c’mon.

The room was cut in half by a long counter, cluttered with wire baskets full of papers and brightly colored flyers taped to its front.
Perfect example of a dangling modifier.

-I could go on (and on, and on, and on,) but I’ll spare you.

Finally, the movies
The second of two movies opened last night to packed theaters. Both movies will sell a lot of tickets, but both have also been trashed by the critics. The first movie received 49% on the Tomatomenter (meaning, out of 193 reviews 98 were bad.) The second movie is faring even worse, currently at 30% (91 bad reviews out of 130.) Here are just a few examples of what people are saying about the Twilight movies:

No, it’s not as bad as you think. It’s actually worse.

The film adaptation of Twilight isn’t nearly as bad in its own medium as the source material was, though it’s still quite a chore to endure.

The narrative is choppy, the pace is slow, it’s way too long and, well, not a lot really happens.

A big bowl of adolescent romantic mush garnished with horror-lite action scenes and a rushed road trip, The Twilight Saga: New Moon is a mess.

The first sequel to Twilight has the feel of a placeholder … but Twi-fags*, like Bella, have mastered the art of willing themselves to see only what they want to see.

*edited especially for drakengard85

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  • SuDoku
  • December 7, 2010, 1:56 pm
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  • 4

    The correct terminolgy I believe is "Twi-fag". not Twi-Hard.
    The word fag implies a much more negative connection, which properly describes the morons who swoon over the steaming bag of refuse known as Twilight.

    I didn't write this ;)
    Would you like me to make some alterations especially for you? :)

    *Edit- Done :D
    - SuDoku December 7, 2010, 2:14 pm
    Wow, as soon as I had read that I was thinking what kind of a movie critic says Twi-fag in an interview, and then I saw this comment and laughed. (+ 2 btw)
    - Darkhour December 7, 2010, 2:51 pm
    - drakengard85 December 7, 2010, 3:17 pm
    Actually, It's Twitard. But all 3 are acceptable.
    - CrazyJay December 7, 2010, 4:57 pm
  • 3

    By this logic Mein Kampf would be required reading in politics classes in the hope that the students would all emerge as committed human rights activists and Justin Bieber piped into school music rooms in order to churn out a plethora of young Mozarts.

    • Ruleb
    • December 8, 2010, 3:52 am
  • 1

    awesome lol

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  • 1

    "Incandescent"? Is he a vampire or a light fixture? Easy jokes aside, I've actually endured the whole book series. Don't ask me how. Let's just say substance abuse was mandatory to get through them without hanging myself.

    I disagree about these being taught in schools. Not just because of my experience. I think it's a lousy idea because it gives even more attention to a poorly written series and it's author, when a lot of people have already read these books anyway or at least know what they're about. (When we should be doing the opposite, promoting lesser known yet skilled writers.)

    Yes, it's a good example of writing done wrong, but if you expose kids to better literature, they'll be able to make the distinction themselves. I read a lot when I was a kid. At age 16 when I first picked up twilight, I didn't need my teacher to tell me it was crap.

    On a side note, Twilight might be kind of epic if Christopher Walken read it out loud. Or if he read anything for that matter.

  • 1

    I refuse to even pick up these books, from what I've heard about them, they seem to be the generic romance story with vampires...If we want kids to read, try authors such as; Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson(ish), David Eddings, and Terry Goodkind

  • 1

    you want a good book about vampires? well its them and other monsters

    monster hunter int

  • 1

    Whilst I agree that the films are terrible, being quite well read, I don't think that the books are actually that badly written. Your examples aren't even that bad in my opinion. The first sentence is dense with adjectives because Bella is enamoured by him, hence, she is quietly analysing him in great detail. The next sentence is, in my opinion, actually quite effective. The unnatural illogical breaks in the sentence help to convey the passage of time and Bella's painful wait and chaotic thoughts. The next part is pretty gay, but who are her target audience? Teenage girls, so what did you expect? And yes, the fourth and fifth are utterly pointless, but I've found parts like those in every book I've ever read, so don't try and attribute that to this series alone. I don't like the books, but i do think they are well written. I wish people would stop ignorantly thinking that because they think something is bad, everybody thinks so, or at least that anyone who doesn't is wrong. Let's face it, Stephanie Meyer didn't write the books for teenage boys or men, so, is it really hurting you that some girls, somewhere enjoy it? And how can you possibly have an opinion unless you've read the books?

    I gotta say that is what annoys me the most about certain genres of books. They have a target audience and they shamelessly persue it with any sort of cliche that happened to work well for another author. Self help books, romance "novels", and many others.

    Give me Robert Ludlum or Eoin Colfer any day.
    - BobTheJanitor December 8, 2010, 7:49 am
    I am a girl, dude XD
    And I didn't write this, I sourced it at the bottom , I just found it quite a funny read ;)
    - SuDoku December 8, 2010, 8:04 am
    Sudoku is a girl? Holy crap, I did not expect that....
    - Ertrov December 8, 2010, 12:01 pm
    Haha yes I am! Why is everyone surprised by this fact?! XD
    - SuDoku December 8, 2010, 12:03 pm
    Lol I don't know I just never pictured that haha
    - Ertrov December 8, 2010, 12:04 pm
    Haha it's okay :) I've got used to it by now, I get all sorts when I play games online :P
    - SuDoku December 8, 2010, 12:05 pm
  • 1

    Someone please find the nearest hardback copy of Lord of the Rings, and beat Stephanie Meyer to death with it. I'm pretty sure there's irony there, but I'm too lazy to care.

    • Ertrov
    • December 8, 2010, 12:03 pm
    I quite like the Lord of the Rings books, sadly I only have them in soft back :(
    - SuDoku December 8, 2010, 12:05 pm
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