Twilight # 5 (A Twofer) Print
Written by Douglas Wilson   
Saturday, 28 November 2009 12:05

Edward continues to be “so beautiful,” emphasis mine, though it might as well not be my emphasis. He has “ocher eyes,” not to mention “deep gold eyes,” back to “ocher eyes” again, and then “burning gold eyes.” And he still has a “heavenly face,” thank goodness.

The dramatic tension is cranked way up in this chapter because Bella faints in Biology class, being able to smell blood (with which they are experimenting), and we know, knowing that Edward is a vampire, that this is a skill fraught with peril. The rest of the dramatic tension is supplied by a seething cauldron of high school puppy crushes, spiced with conversations in which Bella and Edward refuse to tell each other stuff. As dramatic tension goes, it is not quite The Guns of Navarone, but you can’t have everything.

The next chapter of Twilight was duddy in one way and not in another. The duddy part was that Edward Cullen was off someplace else, and so we were not treated to alternating flashing gold and flashing black eyes, and we also missed the emotional charge of not knowing whether they currently like each other or not. So this chapter was something of a respite from high drama, junior high style. On the other hand, this is the chapter where Bella finds out, kinda, about the vampire stuff. So other than some cattiness from one of the other girls, there is not much to write about.

But I am not going to let that slow me down. Let me take this opportunity to point out the theological logic of this whole sorry business, offered as yet another reason why Christians ought to be having nothing whatever to do with this, as I say, sorry business. After all, what sense does it make to say, “Yes, well, I know the writing is terrible, but at least it has lots of Mormon weirdness!”

So there is something of a spoiler here, so if it is your policy to avoid spoilers, then stop reading now. At the end of the series, Bella does get it in the neck, so to speak. She gets vampirized, although I don’t exactly know how, having no intention myself of reading that far. Why does that matter?

The cover of the first book is a pair of hands offering a bright, red apple. Remind you of anything? And Bella is being drawn into the circle of the beautiful people, and they really are beautiful (if you like ochre eyes). This is the temptation and fall, only with a peculiar Mormon twist. The Fall was, according to Mormon theology, necessary in order to allow for spirit children to acquire physical bodies. As it says in their writings, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:19-25). This is their version of the felix culpa, the happy fault, the fall considered as a sort of roundabout upgrade.

So the question now is, “Why shouldn’t parents allow their children to learn that we should do evil that good may come, just so long as they acquire that knowledge in writing bad enough to make your molars ache?” Not an easy question to answer.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 28 November 2009 12:18