Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity… Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend .
The above quote has been mis-attributed to many, including Stephen King and Andrew Futral (who re-blogged it) but was actually written by someone named Robin Browne. Whoever she is, she hit the nail on the head.
(A note about spoilers: I will keep Harry Potter spoilers to a minimum, only letting go the kind of information that you could pick up from your standard movie trailer and have probably picked up on already, unless you live in a world without other people. Twilight spoilers, on the other hand, abound, because I can’t “spoil” Twilight any more than I can “spoil” a compost heap.)
Harry Potter is an epic tale of good vs evil.
One of the things I most appreciate about the Harry Potter series is its rich exploration of right and wrong, good and evil.
In Harry Potter, good guys and bad guys are not clearly defined. Good people sometimes do bad things, and bad people sometimes do good things. The person you percieve as a villain in the beginning of a book is rarely still a villain by the end, and some of the people you thought were good turn out to be pretty damn evil.
What if your intentions are good, but your actions are bad? Does that make you good, or bad? What if you do something bad “for the greater good”? What if you do bad things by accident?
Harry Potter addresses all of these questions, and answers them as well. Rowling’s answer?
No one is all good or all bad. You can even be on the side of “good” and still be deeply evil.
We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.
Twilight is… not.
One of the things that intrigues me most about Stephenie Meyer is the divide between what she thinks Twilight is, and what it actually is.
On Meyer’s website, she talks about the apple on the cover of Twilight and the quote that opens the novel.
I used the scripture from Genesis (located just after the table of contents) because I loved the phrase “the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.” Isn’t this exactly what Bella ends up with? A working knowledge of what good is, and what evil is.
Really? She does? Because I am not convinced that Bella would recognize evil if it tried to kill her.
On top of that, Bella herself is a right bitch.
Quick – what’s the first thing you think of when you think of “good”?
If your answer is “Bella Swan”, congratulations! First, you fully agree with what Stephenie Meyer thinks, and second, your medication dosage needs to be reviewed immediately.
Meyer certainly seems to percieve her own work as a thrilling tale about the nature of good and evil, choice and fate.
I see it as a story about a whiny brat with absolutely no morals, who never learns that she is not a good person.
So I can only form the following conclusion: Stephenie Meyer is seriously confused about what constitutes “good” and what constitutes “evil”.
The funny thing about good and evil in Meyer’s books is that they don’t seem to be largely correlated to right and wrong, being nice or being cruel.
As far as I can gather, having read the Twilight Saga…
“Good” means: Friends with Bella.
“Evil” means: Not friends with Bella and/or has red eyes.
Therefore, I am evil, and so are albino bunny rabbits.
We had a heat wave this week, and the West Coast does not know how to deal with it (but remember, kids, there’s no such thing as climate change!). Even most restaurants are not air conditioned, and our apartment certainly isn’t. The 35 degree weather was humid and stifling, and everyone has been cranky because of it. In our household, it led to exchanges like this:
Me: I’m going to take a cold bath.
Perfect Husband: Fine! You do that!
Me: Although I strongly recommend that you give yourself at least a quick cold shower.
Perfect Husband: MAYBE I WILL.
Perfect Husband: Are you coming with me?
Me: No. I don’t like cold showers. They’re too cold.
Perfect Husband: I don’t understand.
Me: You don’t have to!
Perfect Husband: I had goosebumps getting out of the shower, but NOW I’M HOT AGAIN.
Me: Go. Lie. In Front of. The Fan.
Perfect Husband: FINE! I’m not going to dry off at all. I’m going to lie soaking wet on the bed. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
Me: Just don’t soak my feather pillows.
Perfect Husband: FINE! Maybe I’ll just be hot! I’m drying myself off, OKAY?
Me: You don’t have to DRY yourself. Just blot to get the worst of the wet off!
Perfect Husband: FINE!
*He makes a big production of dabbing his face daintily with his towel while standing naked in front of the fan, rivulets of water running down his body onto the floor. I start to laugh and leave the room.*
Perfect Husband: …you don’t love me anymore, do you?
In an anniversary card from my Father-In-Law (which, by the way, was actually a birthday card that had been altered in the salient places with white-out and a ballpoint pen):
“…I don’t get excited about anniversaries until they hit the ten year mark…. but I am cautiously optimistic that you two will continue to work hard to be caring to each other, and kind to the world.”
My own parents, by contrast, sent us a touchingly sweet card and two hundred and fifty dollars in cheque form (“since the first anniversary is usually paper…”)
Perfect Husband, to me:
“…Want to trade parents?”