Two years ago I was surfing through late night movie channels looking for a movie that wouldnâ€™t evoke terror and came upon Twilight. For the four people on the planet unaware, the movies are adaptedÂ from the young adult novels by Stephenie Meyer. After watching theÂ movie, my curiosity was on overload and I was hooked! I had ignoredÂ the novels and movies thinking they would be too girly for a middle-agedÂ professional business owner, wife, mother of three grown sons, andÂ grandmother of three beautifulÂ granddaughters. But oh my, I do love a good story! IÂ drove immediately to Wal-Mart — the only bookstore open at 2:00 AM — andÂ bought the entire series as well as all the available movies. At the point that my obsession started, Eclipse had justÂ been released on DVD.
The books are a fast read and I quicklyÂ discovered that Meyer left clues all throughout the books as to whatÂ would happen in the next book.Â I will not re-tell the story at this time as most reading this have already read the stories over and over as I have.
Here’s what you should know. It was importantÂ to me that the heroine of the story be a strong female influence. Someone who I would want my threeÂ granddaughtersÂ to admire and look up to as they grow up.Â Bella Swan’s contemplative goal-oriented path to what she desires most isÂ truly inspiring.
She appears weak, but is actually stronger and more goal-driven than most of the other characters. She proves over and over again that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves. Edward CullenÂ isÂ going through his existence trying to redeem the â€śsinsâ€ť of following hisÂ instinct for survival as a young vampire, and in my mind hopes toÂ redeem his soul. He believes that God created humans and vampires atÂ the same time as other creatures. I noticed that Edward could not clearlyÂ read Charlieâ€™s thoughts and that Bellaâ€™s shield was at least partiallyÂ inherited from her father.
But as Edward made a mental list of Bellaâ€™sÂ strengths, he failed to recognize that she had been gifted with an innateÂ intelligence to read other people and shield those she cares for. Ultimately in Breaking DawnÂ that comes down toÂ her family, the wolves and other membersÂ of the Quileute Tribe as well as the vampires who will stand behind the CullenÂ coven to stop the Volturi from completing their evil scheme.
When I think of Bella and innate intelligence, I am reminded of theÂ writings of B.J. Palmer, D.C., Ph.C. and others: â€śThe life of a frail plantÂ cannot be seen, but it can crack a rock.â€ť However, as Bella has manyÂ good qualities, she sometimes makes poor decisions that result in her needing to beÂ rescued time and time again by Edward and/or Jacob. This is nothing moreÂ than a learning curve in young girls and I believe it allows the reader to see one ofÂ Bellaâ€™s weaknesses.
As much as I love Bella, there are also other strong women in the series who end up being positive female role models as well. There’s Alice who sees Bellaâ€™sÂ future with Edward and their family and is therefore instrumental in helping BellaÂ save Edward from destroying himself at the hands of the Volturi in NewÂ Moon.Â Â Although jealous of Bellaâ€™s humanity, Rosalie protects and helpsÂ Bella throughout her pregnancy as the unborn childâ€™s strength ravagesÂ her human body. Also Esme, Edward’s vampire mother, is extremely lovingÂ and accepting, and she too helps protect Bella in her weakened condition duringÂ pregnancy.
In Breaking DawnÂ EdwardÂ must learn to let go and have trust in Bella as well as learn to live with the joyÂ of having an equal partner after her transformation. However it is before that inÂ Eclipse that Bella really asserts the liberated woman deep inside her. SheÂ will not be told that she cannot see Jacob or go on the reservation. SheÂ succeeds in standing her ground and protecting her friendship.
Bella’s also determined to succeed in givingÂ birth, against her husband and father-in-lawâ€™s pleas to abort the babyÂ and save her life. Not only will she make the ultimate sacrifice in order to see that their baby might survive, but she has thought of a way that EdwardÂ can change her without sacrificing his soul. In her mind, if he changes herÂ in order to save her life — as Carlisle has done with Edward, Esme, Rosalie,Â and Emmett — his salvation will not be in jeopardy.
Embracing eternity within a strong family, delaying gratification, settingÂ and striving toward a goal, staying loyal, keeping hopeful, finding oneâ€™s soulmate, surrounding yourself with theÂ love of good friends, constantly trying to be a better person, believing inÂ the overall good of mankind and knowing that good will conquer evilÂ in the end. This is what the Twilight Saga books and movies have meantÂ to me and these are the kinds of lessons that I will pass down to my 3 granddaughters.
AndÂ yes, I will probably see Breaking Dawn — Part 2Â at least nine times in theÂ theater, just as I did Part 2.
Olivia White lives in the mid-south, where she is President/ Co-Owner of a contract environmental laboratory. She and her staff provideÂ wastewater/drinking water analysis to 65 public utilities, and groundwater analysis to 44 landfills, along with industries, private wells, andÂ environmental consulting. She’s married, the mother of 3 sons and loving grandmothers of 3 adorable granddaughters – all too young for the Saga. She’s spent the last 30Â years reading environmental regulations, laboratory SOPâ€™s, horticulture,and historical books until being bitten by the Twilight Saga.