Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > The End (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 1-498)

The End (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 1-498)

And we’re done.

It’s hard to recap this entire book given that I’ve so thoroughly looked at it, but rendering a final judgment is something that seems compulsory at this point. I just can’t leave it at that last post. So what is left to say? I offer my opinions on the story, the writing, and the characters now that we have seen everything that they have to offer in this book.

Story: honestly, there isn’t much of a story here. Especially when you consider the sheer size of the book. Almost five hundred pages and most of it is about a girl who comes to a strange new town and tries to find her place. Rather, tries to achieve the place that she thinks she deserves–but more about that later. The actual conflict is not about James and the three new vampires, it’s about a the relationship between two people who are different. That’s not much, but since most stories are about either a person coming into town or someone leaving town we have seen many variations done well. Concerning strictly the plot, we are left with something that is mediocre. If we further consider the target audience for the story, we are left with something that is a bit above average. Although that may be inaccurate as this is one of the few stories that I have read with this particular demographic in mind (the other was the Alchemist, although that concerned boys as well).

Writing: Stephanie Meyer has written a book. She’s a first time novelist and now a hugely successful one at that. Is her praise deserved? Well, she struck a chord and for that she is to be commended. How many laptops in the world have someone’s first draft of a novel that will never see the light of day? Probably too many, or too few depending on your point of view on such things. Although the story is rather trite, Meyer can write. She takes the time to do settings, and she does them really well. Her descriptions of places is easily the best writing in the book. From the tidal pools at the beach in the beginning to the forests I could see in my mind’s eye where I was supposed to be. What she seems to lack is the ability to make likable characters, or fit in characters with particular problems and situations.

The vampire mythology developed here is an oddity, but it’s not abhorrent. We can ignore what the nerds complain about because vampires aren’t real, and even if they were this is still a story. The sparkling is lame, but worse than that it’s unnecessary. It only serves to add a level of inconvenience which is pretty much ignored throughout the whole story anyway. The saliva though is problematic for the story because Bella has ingested enough of it that she should already be a vampire, unless Edward has perfected some method of dry kissing, which would be a whole other metaphor that I don’t want to explore here. 

Characters: She has high school all wrong, missing the caste system and making everyone a bit too nice with the exception of some people who are mean to the new girl but their attitude as well as their persons are vanished from existence as soon as they are introduced. The cause of this is more of a mystery to me than anything else. I treated this subject ad nauseum a couple of times in the beginning of the project but it bears a light repeating here. She wants to treat Bella as the introverted ugly duckling, but then quickly makes every guy in the school want her (according to Edward’s ESP). This contradiction isn’t helping identification with the main character, either she is or she isn’t attractive. Initially I thought I understood her personality type with her “too-cool-for-school” demeanor but it just never fit with her actions.

One of the biggest problems is just that: motivations don’t fit actions. And not in the accidental fashion where a person intends the right thing and ends up doing the wrong thing. I mean that the actions any person takes in the book doesn’t seem to follow from what they wish to accomplish. Bella agrees to do many things that she plainly tells us she doesn’t want to do, like the trip to Port Angeles. She doesn’t want to go to the dance but then she goes dress shopping? Sure one might reply that she went to be with Jessica and Angela but after a stop in one store she ditches them to find a book store. It just doesn’t make sense. Although given that Bella is practically a sociopath it probably does.

The internet is abound with cries of how creepy Edward is, and he is given that he’s over a hundred years old and likes to hang out with high school girls, but the relative lack of attacks on Bella is strange to me.* She forms no attachment to any person that she can’t use for her own gain. No one that she interacts with is important, but only a step toward the goal of having that boyfriend Edward. The girl has no friends and it’s not because of the traits that she thinks it to be, it’s because she doesn’t see other people as being important. Toward the end of the book, Alice, is probably the closest thing she has remaining to a friend and Bella never confides in her or talks to her about anything other than how she could be closer to Edward, or become a vampire.

The only person she regularly talks to, instead of at, is Edward. Yet all they talk about is how much they like each other, which is funny given his superiority complex and her willingness to be completely subservient to him. They are bad people who have a bad relationship and this is truly the worst feature of the book. Now, there are other bad people and other bad relationships in fiction. But the worst ones are supposed to be bad, it’s done on purpose. Iago and Emilia are a bad couple and immoral people but they are villains held up for contempt. You aren’t supposed to sit through the play Othello and think, wow I would love to date Iago. Yet in this movie no matter how controlling and creepy Edward gets, or how desperate and subservient Bella becomes you are supposed to like them together. Ladies, your worth isn’t measured by whom you marry, in fact, you don’t have to get married if you don’t want to. This book teaches otherwise, the final message is that everything is disposable and transitory until you get that man that you want. After that, he’s in charge so don’t even worry about making decisions or having friends.

The only likable characters in this story are the ones we see so little of: Mike, Jacob, and Alice. Mike because I want to see how long he will pine after Bella before realizing that she’s simply not worth it, Jacob for much the same reason, and Alice because she can see the future but somehow isn’t bored by the present. The trouble is that the more we see of any one character the less we will like them so I guess this is the best we are going to do.

Finally, hating this book just isn’t worth it. It’s a bad book, but it’s not that bad. I don’t commend Meyer but I also don’t condemn her either she’s written a rather long novel here and for that she ought to be at least envied. Perhaps it gets better in the future. She just really needs to work on making Bella stronger and more compassionate, Edward less controlling and creepy, and not ruin those few side people.

Thanks for reading, it’s been…something. 

*Google search for “Bella Swan Bad Role Model” yields about 33,000 hits. “Edward Cullen Bad Role Model” yields 580,000

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