Bella Swan Is A Feminist's Nightmare!Bella Swan. That girl is my main reason for disliking this series.
Bella whined incessantly from the very beginning of the book - it starts out with her complaining. And boy, believe you me, she complains about absolutely everything, all the damn time, when she really has nothing to complain about and seemingly hasn't had a hard day in her life. I mean, she complained that Forks was TOO GREEN.
Bella doesn't have any interesting attributes. There's not much to her. She really doesn't have much of a personality. She's just...a girl. She can be fully replaced by any other female...which I think, is partly what draws so many teenagers in. They can superimpose themselves over Bella and become Edward's girlfriend.
And that leads me to the main reason I don't like Bella. Bella Swan is a feminist's nightmare. She is the WORST example for a generation of young girls. She becomes instantly infatuated with Edward for no other reason than he's nice to look at, latches herself onto him almost immediately, and quickly becomes dependent on him for...everything. Her happiness, her well-being and safety. Every page is filled either with Bella whining, or Bella mooning over Edward and describing in vivid detail how gorgeous his sculpted cheekbones and shiny bronze locks are. She caters to his every whim, and lets him make all the decisions and control her life completely. He is the very centre of her being - all she ever thinks is Edward-Edward-Edward, like a stuck record...that is, when she's not complaining. When he left her, she threw herself on the ground in despair. I mean, yes, it's going to hurt when someone you love leaves you. It's okay to cry. It's not okay to lock yourself in your room over that, for months on end. This reaffirms my belief that you should learn to love and be happy with yourself, and learn to stand on your own two feet, before you enter a relationship and love someone else.
And, how does Bella recover from this so-called depression? Why, she yet again becomes dependent on a boy -- enter Jacob Black. Instead of maturing, and growing stronger and more independent, instead of learning from her previous mistake, she does the same thing again. She relies on a boy for happiness and well-being, instead of being her own person. While all this is going on, she shoves her friends to the side. She didn't seem to care much for them at all, and treated them like crap. The people that were kind to her and helped her settle in to a new, unfamiliar school... she just pushed them out the way to make room for Edward and his family, and then latched herself onto Jacob Black and spent all her time with him once Edward was out of the picture. And there are actually girls out there that respect Bella, and want to be like her! It's terrible.
And then there's the fact that Bella is, by most accounts, a Mary Sue. A lot of people - though not all! - these days are throwing this word around willy-nilly, using it to simply mean, 'female character I don't like.' What I don't understand here is why people don't just say, "I did not like this female character," and go on to explain why. I mean, there's nothing wrong with not liking a character. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and a character that one person adores may seem utterly repulsive to another reader, and that's a positively wonderful thing and something to be happy about as individuals. So why don't people be honest and lay out the reasons they don't like the female character instead of throwing the term Mary Sue around all over the place and confusing everyone? For the record, the actual definition is: "A Mary Sue (sometimes just Sue), in literary criticism and particularly in fanfiction, is a fictional character with overly idealized and hackneyed mannerisms, lacking noteworthy flaws, and primarily functioning as a wish-fulfilment fantasy for the author or reader. It is generally accepted as a character whose positive aspects overwhelm their other traits until they become one-dimensional." So basically, a Mary Sue is a character who is idealistic, and lacking flaws; an overidealised self-insertion of the author so that they can live out their fantasies. (Hey, you have to admit, Twilight DOES read like one of SMeyer's sexual fantasies! And hey, she did say she the idea for Twilight came to her in a DREAM...)
Now that all cleared up, so we can get down to business: Why Bella's a Mary Sue. Bella started out already perfect. She had nowhere to go, she couldn't grow or improve. As soon as Bella moves to a new town she is fawned over by almost everyone, and she finds that all the kids attending her new school want to date her or be her friend (except for two female characters who are mind-cripplingly and painfully-obviously jealous of her) despite the fact that she doesn't show any interest in any of them. Bella has no weaknesses apart from being clumsy, and even this is not made out to be a flaw as such: Bella's overt clumsiness is another form of 'Mary Sueing' known as 'Moe weakness'. Basically this particular flaw is so far into the extreme that it's no longer a weakness or flaw, but something that is viewed as endearing and used to make the character cute and innocent. It is found in a lot of anime and cartoons but also in books, and it's becoming progressively more popular, I have noticed. I like characters to be strong, and valiant, especially the female ones... but I digress. In any case, you cannot deny that Isabella Marie Swan is a prime example of a Mary Sue and of Moe weakness. Her clumsiness only attracts Edward to her, and is viewed as adorable. Bella is convinced she is plain, and wears no make-up, everyone reacts to her as if she's drop-dead gorgeous. Bella captures the interest and then the undying love of the main male character without lifting a finger, despite the fact that he nearly has to turn his whole character inside out just to be with her. She also wins the love of Jacob Black as you probably know, not to mention the fact that all the other boys her age start pathetically squabbling over her too, even though she has little to no interest in any of them either. And, as has often been pointed out, Bella is, without the shadow of a doubt, a perfect desc
Bella Swan's Desc
Stephenie Meyer: Wide forehead with widows peak, extremely pale, perfectly clear skin, brown eyes, lips too full for jawline, heart-shaped face, brown hair, pointed chin, not at all muscular...
And then there's the whole vampire-but-not-really thing. It is supposed to contain vampires, but I didn't find any in there. No fangs. Little to no bloodsucking. There were but a few, tiny, minuscule action scenes thrown in amidst the kissing, gushing and complaining. To sum it all up... Twilight is about how important it is for a teenage girl to have a boyfriend. Don't read it if you're interested in blood-thirsty vampires. I would recommend this for people who like romantic fluff with no substance or depth, shallow people, woman with no self-respect, and anti-feminists.
I have to say, I liked Jasper and Rosalie the best of all the characters. I thought they had the most interesting back-stories and personalities. Rosalie was cold and aloof because of her past, and Jasper was the most vampire-like of the Cullens; he had to stay away from Bella because he couldn't control himself properly, and would've eaten her had she gotten too close. Man, I wish that'd happened, it would've brought some much needed excitement to the series! Emmett was just a big, muscular, lovable teddy bear, Alice was a bubbly happy-go-lucky young girl, and neither of them was vampire-like in the slightest. Edward was brooding and introverted, and without Bella I could possibly like him, but with Bella he makes me want to vomit, or throw something - 'You are my life now'? What? Why, exactly? I just don't understand his captivation with her, aside from wanting to drink her delicious blood. He should have just gobbled her up and been done with it.