'Twilight' Reveals Vampire-Style Traditional Values

June 28, 2010
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to Newsmax.com

“Eclipse,” the latest installment in the phenomenal “Twilight” series, is generating Internet tweets and posts from fans who can’t wait to see the parade of new movie icons that appear in the franchise.

Stephenie Meyer, a Mormon, wrote the best-selling novels, which were transformed into screenplays that have captured the imagination of tweens, teens, and even adults.

A number of critics, however, have expressed discomfort with some of the values that are found in the “Twilight” stories.

Bella’s marriage to Edward has traditional romantic aspects, particularly when it comes to the notion of nuptials lasting forever. She stays away from alcohol and cigarettes and also chooses to avoid coffee and tea, just like the author who created her.

When abortion is suggested because Bella’s child is half vamp, she summarily rejects the idea.

She often engages in traditional domestic roles such as preparing meals and cleaning, which undoubtedly tweaks feminist extremists.

Perhaps the most vexing to the “Twilight” critics, though, is the fact that the main characters, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), have exercised a form of cinematic abstinence through three movies.

At the “Eclipse” premiere, Pattinson spoke to E! about Edward’s restraint. When asked whether his character’s self-control is relatable to guys his age, Pattinson answered, “I hope so.”

He said he wouldn’t know for sure because he didn't really attend a normal high school. “I went to a very romantic high school,” the actor said.

Underscoring the abstinence theme depicted in the “Twilight” films, Ashley Greene, who portrays Alice Cullen in the film said, “I think that's the positive impact and positive message our film has: to teach girls there are guys that will wait for you, and there are guys that will respect you.”

Kellan Lutz, who plays Emmett Cullen, thinks that self-control and a special kind of waiting are behaviors that are “coming back.”

“The world has gone kind of corrupt,” Lutz said. “I remember from my day, I had twin brothers in high school — all those drugs are around, what are kids doing these days, and other things, sexual experiences. In reading these books, my sisters really stay true to themselves and their feelings and don't just go off of lust, but love, and holding out.”

Lutz added, “It's really cool.”