On the Twilight Saga

Self-Regulation: The Secret to Success in Twilight

By Jeremy Clyman

At the center of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire romance novels lay the intertwined hearts of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Bella, a delicately pretty outsider, comes to town in search of a life more meaningful then what Forks, Washington, seems prepared to offer. But she soon finds what she is looking for in the form of Edward, a vampire whose wise and tortured soul is trapped in a handsome, seventeen-year-old’s body.

Edward’s more unusual attributes–immortality, limited diet, and multiple supernatural powers (i.e., the ability to read minds and skillfully track prey)–only intensify Bella’s attraction to Edward, as the two teens become enveloped in the pure, epic love that only fictional soul mates seem to experience.

The fact that their love conquers all comes in handy, because in Meyer’s world there are plenty of imposing obstacles that require surmounting. To be together, Edward and Bella must manage multiple threatening and coalescing forces:

  • a. A pack of “bad” vampires headed by Victoria who suffer from serious impulse-control problems
  • b. The Volturi, a ruthless high court of omnipotent vampires who play judge and jury to vampires perceived as defiant
  • c. A band of vampire-hating werewolves kept at bay by an age-old peace treaty
  • d. The increasingly jealous Jacob Black, werewolf and friend of Bella’s
  • e. A father who prefers that Bella date Jacob instead of Edward
  • f. A society that does not believe vampires exist, but if it did, would perceive them as vicious outcasts

We can imagine most couples succumbing to such pressures. For instance, the story of Romeo and Juliet, which  …

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