Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 7
I can’t believe just how dull this chapter is. I honestly cannot believe it. See, I always assumed that Twilight wasn’t particularly great reading, and that it must be filled with disgusting romance tripe, but there’s just so much going on in certain places that doesn’t even require the its given. Let me give you one early paragraph in this chapter as an example.
Once in my room, I locked the door. I dug through my desk until I found my old headphones, and I plugged them into my little CD player. I picked up a CD that Phil had given to me for Christmas. It was one of his favorite bands, but they used a little too much bass and shrieking for my tastes. I popped it into place and lay down on my bed. I put on the headphones, hit Play, and turned up the volume until it hurt my ears. I closed my eyes, but the light still intruded, so I added a pillow over the top half of my face.
I sat down at my computer desk. It was covered in tons of knick-knacks, figurines, recent papers, and a little garbage. To the side of my computer sat the novel Twilight. I picked up the book in my right hand, and with my left hand I peeled back the cover and began flipping through pages. I turned to page 129 and proceeded reading chapter 7. It was a very boring read, and one that I would describe later in great detail on my blog, which resides on the Internet.
The pages upon pages of paragraphs upon paragraphs go on and on like this. It’s awful. Very little story progression actually occurs in this chapter, and frankly, it’s embarrassing. It should be embarrassing to anyone who fancies themselves a writer, just as it should be embarrassing to anyone who fancies themselves a reader. Come to think of it, I guess in a way, I’m embarrassed.
Bella falls asleep after listening to this CD no less than three times in a row. That’s, what, like two and a half hours of listening to this one CD and doing nothing else? Doesn’t this girl ever DO anything? Anyway, she describes this dream in which she sees both Jacob and Edward, and hears Mark’s voice somewhere in the background, too. Mmm, men. Lots and lots of men.
And then Edward stepped out from the trees, his skin faintly glowing, his eyes black and dangerous
You know, this is the second time Bella’s had a dream that’s involved Edward and his shiny skin. Okay, let’s say that Bella now both knows and believes Edward to be a vampire. She STILL doesn’t know that his skin is shiny. Where is she getting this mental image from?
My modem was sadly outdated, my free service substandard; just dialing up took so long that I decided to go get myself a bowl of cereal while I waited.
I ate slowly, chewing each bite with care. When I was done, I washed the bowl and spoon, dried them, and put them away.
I’m so glad I read about the mundane act of eating cereal and then washing the bowl and silverware used to feed her, aren’t you!?
With another sigh, I turned to my computer. Naturally, the screen was covered in pop-up ads.
Naturally? You sure don’t take very good care of your computer, do you? And just what web sites have you been browsing to get you that many?
I shot down a few more pop-ups and then typed in one word.
You SHOULD be typing in the word antivirus.
I waited impatiently for it to load, quickly clicking closed each ad that flashed across the screen.
IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL FOR YOU TO ATTEMPT TO USE TECHNOLOGY! DONATE YOUR COMPUTER TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO SAFELY USE IT!
Alright, let’s see what Bella finds out about vampires… something about some Filipino vampire known as the Danag. Huh… Danag… Let me Google that for you. Nope, this thing isn’t real. Now, that isn’t to say that there aren’t some kind of Filipino vampires, or something like vampires, but nothing by the name of Danag. Even native Filipinos seem to have never heard of this thing.
As she describes her vampire research, it almost sounds as if I were listening to an actual account of what Stephenie Meyer did when pretending to do actual research on vampires.
I read carefully through the descriptions, looking for anything that sounded familiar, let alone plausible. …There wasn’t much that sounded like the movies I’d seen, and only a very few, like the Hebrew Estrie and the Polish Upier, who were even preoccupied with drinking blood.
Only three entries really caught my attention:
And that’s all I need to hear. It’s like Meyer was looking for entries on vampires and was hoping to find something she was already familiar with, and by familiar with I mean something that looked like the pop-culture children’s Halloween costume located down the seasonal aisle at Wal-Mart, and she only paid attention to the three entries that kind of matched up with that.
The three kinds of potential vampires Bella finds are… somewhat vague. There’s Varacolaci, which, when I personally search for it, I find a completely different spelling, with little true folklore information, though it does exist. Then there’s the Nelapsi, also found with very little folklore behind it. And then there’s the third one, completely and utterly made up for the sake of this book.
Stregoni benefici: An Italian vampire, said to be on the side of goodness, and a mortal enemy of all evil vampires.
PFFT! HAHAHA! What silly wording! A good vampire! Battling on the side of goodness against the big bad evil vampires! BWAHAHA! Sure, there have been vampire characters who fight other vampires before in the past. But the phrasing in this book is so shallow and immature. Like, “No, my boyfriend isn’t one of those BAD vampires, he’s the good kind!” You keep telling yourself that, honey.
And then another problem, one that I’d remembered from the small number of scary movies that I’d seen and was backed up by today’s reading – vampires couldn’t come out in the daytime, the sun would burn them to cinder. They slept in coffins all day and came out only at night.
Oh. So you DO have a vague idea as to how this whole thing works. Okay. So, then, why did you need to do this research? I don’t get it. What was the point of this again?
The next couple of pages involve Bella walking outside and talking to herself in her head about how much she’s dwelling on the fact that Edward is something other than a human. Trust me, it’s all quite boring.
Now that I knew – if I knew – I could do nothing about my frightening secret. Because when I thought of him, of his voice, his hypnotic eyes, the magnetic force of his personality, I wanted nothing more than to be with him right now. Even if… but I couldn’t think it. Not here, alone in the darkening forest. Not while the rain made it dim as twilight under the canopy and pattered like footsteps across the matted earthen floor.
AH! TWILIGHT! SHE SAID IT!
She talks about walking home. She talks about doing homework. She talks about eating breakfast the next morning. She talks about how she gets Mike to realize that Jessica really likes him. She talks about how the girls happily invite her to go dress shopping in Port Angeles in a couple days. She talks about how she’s disappointed that Edward isn’t at school. She talks about cooking dinner for her dad. She talks about E-mailing her mom to keep her calm… Good lord, this is so boring! NOTHING IS HAPPENING!
I decided to kill an hour with non-school-related reading. I had a small collection of books that came with me to Forks, the shabbiest volume being a compilation of the works of Jane Austen. I selected that one and headed to the backyard, grabbing a ragged old quilt from the linen cupboard at the top of the stairs on my way down.
I lay on my stomach, crossing my ankles in the air, flipping through the different novels in the book, trying to decide which would occupy my mind the most thoroughly. My favorites were Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.
MOST BLAND HEROINE EVER! Oh, and should I be surprised that Stephenie Meyer took personal inspiration from Pride and Prejudice?
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.
Oh, is THAT where you lifted your literary work from?
Bella falls asleep in the backyard. Bella wakes up. Bella watches TV with her dad. Bella prepares lunch meat for her dad. Bella goes to sleep. Bella wakes up. Bella goes to school. Bella doesn’t see Edward. Bella meets up with the other girls to go to Port Angeles.
And… that’s it. Nothing happened in this chapter. NOTHING HAPPENED! This also makes two chapters in a row in which Edward doesn’t show up at all. And yet Bella is completely obsessed with his existence, despite her never seeing him. This is ridiculous. I’m pretty positive we could have cut out this chapter entirely. We could have just been told in the next chapter that Bella was concerned that Edward was a vampire, and then skip straight to her getting together with her friends on an escape to Port Angeles. Why was any of the rest of this necessary?
Short answer: It wasn’t.
Next chapter, chapter 8, Port Angeles.