November 12, 2012

Twilight: Warm-up Moping

Twilight, pp. 147-151.

Before I start this week's analysis, I just wanted to point out that Twilight never gives us any clear idea of exactly when it's supposed to be taking place. The year we've already established is circa 1992 2005. But what time of year is it? We know school's in, but is it fall? Heading into winter? Heading out of winter? Springtime? No idea. It's probably not spring since nobody went swimming when Mike and the gang went to La Push beach, but that's all I've got for you. Meyer knows what her readers need, though, so a quarter of the way through the book, we find out (well, sorta) what season we're in! As near as I can figure, it's around the end of winter and the beginning of spring, meaning Bella probably arrived in Forks in February and it's now mid-March.

Note to aspiring writers: Don't force your reader to piece together when your story takes place by assembling a dozen teeny bits of information scattered throughout the story. Oh, and don't make your main characters sociopathic narcissists and superpowered control-freaks. And before you fankids start throwing out the names of authors X, Y, and Z who write good stories involving such things, pay attention to what I said: aspiring writers. Make sure you've managed the basics before you try to move on to the hard stuff.

Anywho, Bella whips out her battered Jane Austen compilation and sits down to do some serious English literature-major pleasure reading!

My favourites were Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I'd read the first most recently, so I started into Sense and Sensibility, only to remember after I began chapter three that the hero of the story happened to be named Edward. Angrily, I turned to Mansfield Park, but the hero of that story was named Edmund, and that was just too close....I snapped the book shut, annoyed, and rolled over on my back.

We're supposed to believe Bella is so super-special that a vampire who has eaten human beings in the course of more than a century on this Earth is smitten with her, yet her two favourite Jane Austen novels are the two that everybody knows. And remember, it's been exactly three days since Bella last saw Edward, yet she can't read a novel containing a character whose name even resembles his. Mark Kermode thinks this girl is an independent young woman. Mark Kermode is also a gigantic twat.

Yes, Edward's absence (which so far consists of one day of school) means our Bella is, in her own words, depressed, no doubt as Edward intended since he's a manipulative, emotionally abusive arsehole. With Edward away, Bella is forced to talk to her father for the first time since Chapter Three. Mustache Dad earns my gratitude by finally, seven chapters in, giving Jessica a last name. Bella deigns to get his permission to go dress-shopping with Jessica in Port Angeles the next night, even though she's not getting a dress herself. Mustache Dad, despite being in his forties, is confused by the strange, unfamiliar notion that a female would accompany another female shopping. Between this and the creepy pictures-of-the-ex-wife-all-over-the-house thing, Mustache Dad really needs to get out more.

Cut to the next day:

It was sunny again in the morning. I awakened with renewed hope that I grimly tried to suppress. I dressed for the warmer weather in a deep blue V-neck blouse--something I'd worn in the dead of winter in Phoenix.

I had planned my arrival at school so that I barely had time to make it to class. With a sinking heart, I circled the full lot looking for a space, while also searching for the silver Volvo that was clearly not there. I parked in the last row and hurried to English, arriving breathless, but subdued, before the final bell.

It was the same as yesterday--I just couldn't keep little sprouts of hope from budding in my mind, only to have them squashed painfully as I searched the lunchroom in vain and sat at my empty Biology table.
I was anxious to get out of town so I could stop glancing over my shoulder, hoping to see him appearing out of the blue like he always did.

No doubt because if he did, you'd drop your 'friends' like so many used tampons and get into another boring, pointless conversation in which he's alternately hostile and patronising and you vacillate between impotent anger and blank indifference.

Is this what you normal people do? Purposefully arrive somewhere late so you have a plausible cover story as you drive around the car park looking for somebody's car? Are you constantly on edge, glancing around furtively in the hope of seeing someone you've had two or three conversations with after an absence of a few days? Were you ever like this?

I just want to know how typical this sort of behaviour is, because I find it frankly appalling.

And with that, Chapter Seven comes to...well, a close would be giving it a little too much credit. A stop. Right, that's better: With that, Chapter Seven comes to a full and complete stop, allowing me to release the safety arm, exit, and collect my belongings. So, my little droogies, you'll have to wait until next week to find out what happens during Bella's thrilling dress-shopping trip to a town slightly larger than Forks. Sadly, I'm serious. One hundred and fifty pages into this novel, and something finally, finally is going to happen on this trip. It doesn't have any connection to the main plot (which, if you can believe it, won't start for another two hundred and fifty pages) and doesn't in any way build toward any sort of climax, but it is a thing that does, in fact, happen.

But not today. It's going to take a bit longer. And you know, I can't think of a more fitting way to impart to you, my droogs, what a chore it is to read Twilight.


  1. No power in the verse can compel me to read it. But I'm enjoying your summary.

    Your sacrifice is not in vain. We are entertained by your suffering, and await your next installment with bated breath. :)

  2. Well, as a girl, I would NEVER wear a V neck in the dead of winter. Hello, it's cold then. And she really needs to see a dr. for a young girl just running to class shouldn't arrive breathless. Maybe she's sickly and that's why Edward isn't there. Oh man, he says, I chose a sick one, don't want to drink her blood. it's also weird that Dad wants to know the girl's last name, but didn't care about the boy she went to the beach with. yes, there's more of a chance there will be "trouble" down the road with going with another girl to get a dress. Dad maybe be sorry 9 months down the road.hehehe If Bella is so worried about Edward, why not use her car, lay out of class and go by his house. Most teens would do that. Since she doesn't care, why would missing school bother her?

  3. I lived a good love story once.