As a teenage male it should be my unwritten duty to show passionate disdain for anything Stephanie Mayer would dare submit

to her publisher but I write, in veiled bias, on her defense. In recent years, a multi-million dollar franchise has enveloped teenagers with a saga of vampires, werewolves, and romance (oh my!). It dragged with it five movie deals, three acting careers, spin-offs, knock-offs, parodies, a celibacy controversy, a division of character and fan allegiances, and gratuitous tv-spots. Something that seemed to slip the masses minds was that it was, at one point, a novel series. Somewhere in saga’s timeline the name changed from “The Twilight Saga” to “The Twilight Phenomenom”. We, as consumers and critics, have forgotten the “ink on paper” aspect of Twilight, as we do so often with popular media. It’s warped most recently into a debate on teenage sexuality. Its title stirs matured hatred in the company of Harry Potter fans (a culture guilty of the same degree). We associate so many elements that stray very far from the series with the series itself. Popular culture accomplished this earlier this decade with The Da Vinci Code, a fictional murder mystery which gained international attention by its reader’s actions and responses. What the series has become is an extraordinary popular delusion, similar to the “science” of Alchemy in the earlier centuries or “Beatlemania” in the 1960s. Consumers need to separate the impact of any media from the media itself. It was only after I was able to accomplish this with Twilight was I able to stop challenging Edwards sexuality. If we step away from the “Twilight Phenomenon” and examine the series as it should be we begin to understand the Twilight saga in context. What Stephanie Meyer has done is revive the classic Gothic romance. She writes through a young, impressionable female protagonist who encounters a mysterious, brooding male love interest. I just described the plot of Rebecca, Dracula, Jane Eyre, and

Wuthering Heights all masterpieces of Gothic literature. The setting, the archetypes, and the themes of Gothicism all reflect the Twilight series. While I posses no positive enthusiasm for the franchise, I respect Stephanie Meyer for bringing a classic style to mainstream 21st century pop-culture. -11/24/2010

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