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On Modern Day Vampirism And Feminism

1038 words - 5 pages

On Modern Day Vampirism and Feminism

Modern day vampirism in media has taken the subtle thoughts and ideas of feminism portrayed by classic vampire literature and transformed it into a blatant disrespect and degradation of women. Perhaps the clearest example of this can be found in the Twilight novels and movies. The thing that interests me most about this is that TONS of females ranging from teenagers to the elderly flock to these movies and pre order their tickets. Do these people just not understand what is being so obviously portrayed in these movies and novels or is it that they understand and have just been so absorbed into the way society views women and their roles that they just ...view middle of the document...

With the introduction of Edward Cullen into the story, nothing changes in terms of the way Bella views herself. She is extremely insecure to the point where she wants to sacrifice her life and soul to become an immortal vampire. This displays that is she is perfectly content with serving her role as a woman for eternity; a frightening prospect. If women ever wish to have true equality then people like Bella Swan must want it and fight for it. On the other hand, Edward is portrayed as ultra-powerful and extremely manly. His clan of vampires has made the decision not to drink human blood, and yet he still finds himself craving human blood. This could be interpreted as man’s rebellion against rules and establishments and yet another testament to the strength of men. The men are powerful yet the women in Twilight are seen as “empty conduits of masculine desire and valued for their propensity to self sacrifice” They can’t exist spiritually without the existence of a man to support them. When Edward leaves Bella, she describes the sensation as “empty space left behind” and essentially becomes worthless. “Men make history, fight the wars, and produce the great works of art.” (135). Women are supposed to be weak, docile and subservient. An interesting idea brought up in the essay is that there is a significant contrast between the ideas of women and the expectations of strength and independence associated with becoming a full functioning adult. One may bring up the fact that Bella is a main character in the novel and thus she innately has some power or importance associated with her. Upon examining this further we see that the only reason Bella is viewed as important is because the “masculine gaze confers meaning on her otherwise empty existence” (136) She is infantile in comparison to the men in her life. In fact Edward continuously tells her how “breakable” she is. Also she constantly strives to become a vampire in order to...

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