Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Part II of Prolegomena to Further Critique of Sadomasochistic Teenage Erotica

New Moon (Twilight, #2) New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

See Twilight Post Part I for context explanation.

New Moon’s thematic trope has to do with abandonment and control. Bella is made promises by numerous males in her life that they will protect her at all costs and that she will never come to harm. Those promises are repeatedly broken, leaving Bella abandoned by those who made sweeping, possessive claims regarding their roles as protector. Thus, we have the repeating theme of men being both the self-proclaimed protectors and the ones who leave you unprotected. The men who swear to protect you are also the men who will leave you. Bella is not only abandoned by men, but bears the guilt of believing its her fault they left. In most cases, the men give no reason for their silence or absence, and she is left to find the cause in herself. When they return and cite their initial promises that they promised they’d always protect her, she feels even more guilt for how hard it is to trust their word. This crazy-making cycle always comes back to men who say, “Why did you doubt that I would protect you?” and then say, “I’m leaving and it’s for your own good.” Women are expected to trust men even when they break their word. If you doubt a man’s word, you hurt his feelings. Then he might leave you. The cycle continues.

Women, keep your fears and doubts to yourself. Men will make promises, break them, then reestablish trust by saying you were crazy for ever doubting them. Possesion/Abdandonement/Guilt/Possession/Abandonement/Guilt as pattern for relationship.

That’s Book Two.

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