Breaking Dawn: Edward Loves Me, Edward Loves Me Not: Fans Responses To Love And Romance Within The Twilight Saga

3 Dec

As we have seen over the past four years, the Twilight Saga connects to females in a way that has never been seen before.  Teens and adult women alike are devoted to the franchise.  This article examines the essay written by Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Melissa Click and Jennifer Aubrey as they take a closer look at how some fans may use the romantic models within Twilight to shape their expectations and image of a romantic partner within their reality.  A study was conducted to see what the differences were between teens and adults.

According to the study, those that had a feminist identity reported lower levels of immersion within the text and did not desire the Edward/Bella relationship that their non-feminist counterparts did.  Fans that preferred the Edward/Bella relationship were looking for a relationship in which their partner would be protective, chivalrous and intensely attracted to them.  Additionally, these same fans were more likely to report less satisfaction in their current relationship than any of the others reported.

Fans that preferred the relationships between Alice and Jasper as well as Carlisle and Esme had a preference for relationships that are supportive, mutually reliant and less possessive.  They also were happy with their current relationships.

The findings of the study also suggested that Twilight offered readers an escape to fulfill their need for nurturing which was absent in their lives.  They also found that the fans may use the relationships in the series to build expectations for future relationships as well as current ones.

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Source: Click, Melissa, Aubrey, Jennifer and Morawitz-Behm Elizabeth (2010) Bitten By Twilight: Youth Culture, Media and the Vampire Franchise.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

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67 Responses to “Breaking Dawn: Edward Loves Me, Edward Loves Me Not: Fans Responses To Love And Romance Within The Twilight Saga”

  1. Comic Relief December 3, 2012 at 1:34 PM #

    Paris,

    Great article. Yet would you clear something up for me? First I should admit I have not seen the new movie yet. The new movie may clear up most of my confusion.

    Bella and Edward (with Jacob) were the only romantic characters that appeared grow and change as the series progressed.

    I do remember the book being a little more explicit, yet how can anyone make assumptions about any of the other committed relationships in Twilight when the previous movies were so shallow in this regard. Letting anyone understand the Carlyle/Esme, Alice/Jasper, or Rosalie/Emmett.

    Other than the obvious pairings, honestly I think we hear a lot more about Leah Clearwater, Sam Uley, and Emily Young. Though we see them more often we rarely ever hear about anything about the relationship stability of the Cullen’s?

    • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 3:43 PM #

      CR,

      I’m sorry if I didn’t make it clear in the article but the essay was talking strictly about the book not the films. SM did give alot of background on how each pairing met each other.

      • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM #

        Oh, I guess that changes things a lot.

  2. Comic Relief December 3, 2012 at 1:39 PM #

    I meant to say letting anyone understand the Carlyle/Esme, Alice/Jasper, or Rosalie/Emmett relationship(s) did not seem to be a priority for Meyer.

    • Comic Relief December 3, 2012 at 10:21 PM #

      Wow, did I find just how wrong I was about relationships in Twilight! Sorry, I’ll try to correct myself lower on the page.

    • Comic Relief December 3, 2012 at 10:23 PM #

      Paris,

      Tell me if I’m wrong? One of the reasons Bella and Edward seem so resilient is because of all of the carnage occurring with all of the relationships of all of the characters who surround them.

      TWILIGHT:
      • Eric, Mike and Tyler are rejected by Bella
      • Edward and Bella begin a Romance
      • Victoria loses James when he is killed
      • (Confirmed) Charlie is replaced by Phil
      • Angela dates Eric
      • Jessica dates Mike
      • Ignoring Tanya, Edward shows romantic interest in Bella
      • Jessica loses Edward to Bella (Jessica’s perspective)

      TWILIGHT/NEW MOON:
      • Edward is chosen over Jacob
      • Mike is rejected for Jacob
      • Sam shows affection for Emily
      • Eric calls Angela his “girl-friend”
      • Jessica and Mike stop dating
      • Irina loses Laurent when he is killed
      • Sue loses Harry
      • Jacob expresses jealous rage for Bella

      TWILIGHT/ECLIPSE:
      • Riley is chosen in the absence of James
      • Replaced by Alice, Jasper dumps Maria
      • Replaced by Emmett, Rosalie murders Royce
      • Taha Aki loses his third wife, after suicide
      • Victoria and Riley lose their romance when both are murdered
      • “Cold woman” loses her husband
      • (Confirmed) Emily Clearwater was dumped by Sam

      TWILIGHT/BREAKING DAWN (Part 1):
      • Jacob “chooses” Renesmee
      • Irina can’t get over Laurent’s death
      • Charlie begin’s a relationship with Sue
      • Tanya loses Edward to Bella

      • Comic Relief December 3, 2012 at 10:28 PM #

        Paris,

        Would Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Melissa Click and Jennifer Aubrey, say Meyer’s literary strategy for making Bella and Edward appear so exceptional was brilliant or manipulative?

        • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 6:56 PM #

          From what I’ve read. They would say its manipulative. They didn’t understand why the craze was taking hold so strongly and decided to get together with others and write academic articles about different things in Twilight.

          • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:06 PM #

            ITA it’s very manipulative. It’s done in a very subtle way because it’s presented as a romance. Yet, the subtext is very unhealthy. That’s the problem the majority of the fans stop at the romance/surface. They fail to look at the subtext or bigger picture.

            • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 7:08 PM #

              That’s because the majority of people don’t look at the subtext. They were taught to take whatever they can get whether or not what they get is healthy for them.

              • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:12 PM #

                Do you think its a lack of education or denial?

                • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 7:14 PM #

                  I think its both. 50/50

                • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:17 PM #

                  I was also going to say media influence. Meaning women are reacting this way out of habit given what they see in the media.

                  • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 7:19 PM #

                    That too. Plus they were able to buy merchandise like bumper stickers that say “I like guys who sparkle and drive volvos.”

                    • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:23 PM #

                      Its strange this behavior I expect from a teenage girl but not adult women. There’s an emotional immaturity that seems to accompany this fanbase. Why is that?

                    • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

                      I don’t think they truly have matured.

      • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM #

        CR,

        You are correct. I think SM was also trying to show “normal” teenage dating life through Mike, Angela, Eric and Jessica.

        • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 6:12 PM #

          Paris,

          Though described as being honor students, class office holders, and letter men, I believe Mike, Angela, Eric and Jessica also help Bella and Edward seem all the more exceptional. With their average teen wealth, non-supernatural abilities, and average teen school routines it’s no wonder Jacob and Edward command all of Bella’s attention.

          • ozzie20 December 6, 2012 at 7:44 PM #

            I totally agree, CR!

  3. Open Book December 3, 2012 at 4:38 PM #

    Paris-

    Excellent job!! U said: “They also found that the fans may use the relationships in the series to build expectations for future relationships as well as current ones.”

    How sad. In other words instead of healing themselves spiritually they’re looking at some poor guy to come in and fulfill thier sparkling vampire fetish. Oooooo…How attractive! I wonder what signs men should look out for to know they got a vampire stalker?

  4. ozzie20 December 3, 2012 at 5:02 PM #

    I decided to drop by early as I’m super tired and may have fallen asleep by discussion time, lol!

    Great article, Paris! 🙂 To be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to the other couples in the books. I was mostly thinking about why had Meyer taken something we look for in a partner and pushed it to extremely creepy levels! No Stephanie, just no! So thinking back, I was more interested in the other Cullens even though I wasn’t 100% aware of it.

    • Open Book December 3, 2012 at 5:15 PM #

      Hi Ozzie!

      Perhaps Meyers thought stalkers and pedophiles were getting a bad rep and wanted to show their softer side to kids.

      • Open Book December 3, 2012 at 5:17 PM #

        Sorry Paris,

        I will behave now.

        • ozzie20 December 3, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

          LMAO! If I were Bella, I’d go all Buffy on them! I’d find some way to keep the perverts away form me! 🙂

          • Open Book December 5, 2012 at 5:50 AM #

            Hey Ozzie!

            U want to know the real secret behind Twilight? I think Meyers was really hired to be a spin-doctor. Everyone needs a great spin-doctor even stalkers and pedophiles.

      • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 3:47 PM #

        LOL. They’re not all bad. What are you talking about?

        Don’t apologize you just gave me a great laugh. 🙂

        • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 6:49 PM #

          Ozzie & Paris-Don’t encourage me. I have lot’s more stored up.

  5. Open Book December 3, 2012 at 5:07 PM #

    U Said: “Fans that preferred the Edward/Bella relationship were looking for a relationship in which their partner would be protective, chivalrous and intensely attracted to them.”

    What kind of women would this guy be attracted too is really the question. If they knew it might shut down all discussions. LOL!!!

    • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 3:46 PM #

      ITA.

      • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM #

        Looking back at the all of the book’s discussion about the boys having crushes or being obsessed with Bella, it appears they were purely obsessed with what she looked like.

        I really appreciated the way Jessica underscored (in this bootleg) how unacceptional Bell was in some of the ways that really count in the long run.

        • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 5:57 PM #

          Oops, I guess bootlegs get more protection than the standard videos.

          • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 6:43 PM #

            Hmm! It happens.

          • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 6:50 PM #

            CR,

            I know which scene you are talking about. The wedding speeches where Jessica says something about Bella not being captain of the volleyball team or the student body president.

        • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 6:52 PM #

          Its not that Bella is a dumb person. She didn’t feel happy with her life and she found what she wanted in Edward. Had Edward not been a vampire or had anything he could give her she wouldn’t take a second look at him.

          • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 6:56 PM #

            Hi Paris,

            So in other words if u don’t like yourself find a man to give you a purpose for living or in Bella’s case suicide.

            • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 6:58 PM #

              Yep!

  6. parisienne December 4, 2012 at 3:48 PM #

    Everyone,

    I may not be here this evening but please have the discussion and I will answer when I can.

  7. Open Book December 4, 2012 at 6:51 PM #

    Welcome new and returning visitors to our discussion tonight. Please feel free to join in or ask questions.

    • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 6:53 PM #

      Hi OB,

      I’m here! How are you?

      • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 6:58 PM #

        I’m good. A little cold but not bad.

  8. Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:09 PM #

    Exactly. I think it’s one of my favorite lines; (far better than her graduation speech).

  9. Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM #

    Paris,

    Did they say why it appeals to adult women other than being dissatisfied in their relationships?

    • parisienne December 4, 2012 at 7:16 PM #

      From what I read it appealed to them on an emotional level. They weren’t getting what they needed emotionally from their relationships so they turned to Twilight for “nurturing”

      • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

        I’m not the right demographic but I would have a hard time getting over the cold thing.

        • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:27 PM #

          I would have hard time finding nurturing there.

        • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:29 PM #

          HAHAHAHAHAHA!

  10. parisienne December 4, 2012 at 7:33 PM #

    Everyone,

    Thanks for coming by and discussing this with me but I have to go! Have a good night.

    • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:35 PM #

      Goodbye Paris,

      Great topic and article. TC!

  11. Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:34 PM #

    I love reading and character development etc… But nothing beats the real thing. Do u think social media has made it easy for women to live in this perpetual state of denial and idealism? Do u find social media gives them an excuse to give up on trying to have a real relationship because they have a simulated one through social media?

    • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

      Great question!!!!!!!

      • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:44 PM #

        I keep trying to find Edward in the real world.

        Though wealthy, (likely attributed to Carlyle) Edward does have some exceptional traits that many teenage women do not like.
        • He’s a loner.
        • Though described as a good student, he doesn’t join academic clubs.
        • No one ever sees him on sunny days, so no one has any memories of him in the best weather.
        • No attributes any particular ambition to him.
        • He clearly has a mind of his own.
        • If he had not been introduced by Jessica (who clearly has a thing for Him) I’m not sure Edward would have become the character we know today.

        • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:53 PM #

          I should not define Edwards fans as conformists, but people like him aren’t always the immediate popular folks in real life. Maybe older women’s perspectives are what keeps Edward a romantic hero (in the US).

          Am I wrong?

        • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 7:58 PM #

          Not every women is into the same things. However, I think what Paris stated in the article. Most fans who were attracted to Edward liked how protective, chivalrous and intensely attracted he was to Bella. All great things to desire but the flip side to being with Edward he’s 180 years old and u have to kill yourself to get screwed both figuratively and literally. This minor little detail seems to slip pass this fanbase.

  12. Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:55 PM #

    I’m frustrated Paris left because I still have questions about the book.

    • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

      CR,

      I’m sure Paris will check back later to answer your questions.

      • Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 8:07 PM #

        OB,

        I need to leave. Talk to you later.

        Thanks for the interesting topic Paris.

        • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 8:09 PM #

          Goodbye CR!

          TTYS….I’m going to check out for tonight as well. Goodnight All!

  13. Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:56 PM #

    I think it’s amazing that he found academics to discuss this book when they seem the least likely to find the book provocative. Since I have not read their work, would he define them as feminist or not committed that way at all?

    • Open Book December 4, 2012 at 8:06 PM #

      ITA I’m very glad someone had the patience to sit down and analyze this phenomenon without loosing their sanity.

      • ozzie20 December 6, 2012 at 7:53 PM #

        Me too! Finding logic in a crazy, over the top fandom is refreshing and a relief that not all of humanity is doomed, lol!

  14. Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:58 PM #

    That book has some really odd claims….

    “Fans that preferred the relationships between Alice and Jasper as well as Carlisle and Esme had a preference for relationships that are supportive, mutually reliant and less possessive. They also were happy with their current relationships.”

    I can’t believe this statement. I guess many don’t really know the histories of all of these pitiful characters.

    I know were talking about Books, yet so you understand me I will rely on the Twilight books and movies I read and seen and the Twilight Saga Wiki.

    Unfortunately obsessive Twi-hards believe even “Midnight Sun” is cannon material even though it was never formally published. And contrary to the book by Elizabeth Behm-Morawitz, Melissa Click and Jennifer Aubrey these fans tend to blur the line between the books and movies.

  15. Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 7:59 PM #

    Maybe because it was not depicted in the movie, people seem to have forgotten that Carlyle bit Edward, Esme and Rosalie. That act was supported by his notion that being a vampire was “life.” How can people believe the marriage between him and Esme is “supportive, mutually reliant and less possessive.” What a joke!!!!!!!!!!!

    Be careful because they frequently endorse Meyers ideas, yet this is what the Twilight Saga Wiki.com said about Carlyle…..

    In 1911, Carlisle worked as a doctor in Columbus. Because the local doctor was away, he was assigned to treat Esme Anne Platt’s broken leg after she fell off a tree. They felt a strong mutual attraction, even though their encounter was brief. Though he had found ways to use his skills for good, he did not find what he was searching for: a companion who shared his philosophy and value on human life. His loneliness increased over the years, and eventually, he began considering creating a companion of his own; but the idea of cursing someone else with the same life as he repulsed him.

    Not long after, in 1921, Carlisle and Edward moved to Ashland, Wisconsin, where Carlisle was called to the bedside of a dying woman. He was surprised when he found out the woman was Esme, who suffered injuries from a failed suicide attempt spurred by the loss of her child. Remembering her as the ever-so-happy young girl and unable to believe that someone as vivacious and beautiful as she would meet such cruel fate, he changed her into a vampire to save her life. He then explained to Esme about what he had done to save her. To his surprise, she was not upset by his decision; she, too, remembered their first meeting, and had always considered Carlisle her ideal of a gentleman. They soon fell in love and married.

    http://twilightsaga.wikia.com/wiki/Carlisle_Cullen

    • ozzie20 December 6, 2012 at 8:01 PM #

      I think he turned Emmett too. I think Jasper and Alice had the best relationship out of all of them because they were turned by different people and met after, their relationship were on equal footing. I hope that makes sense!

      • parisienne December 6, 2012 at 8:02 PM #

        That does make sense and yes he did turn Emmett too. 🙂

  16. Comic Relief December 4, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

    Maybe it’s just me but I think the rest of the cast reproduces what I find unhealthy about the narrrative leads.

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