I would much rather read one of Meyer's plot-less novels with characters meandering about without purpose or reason than swallow, say, her take on King Lear or Hamlet , with newer, much happier endings. I believe this topic has been so beaten to death that I decided to stick it in Part II of my essay, and not make it an actual focus of my arguments. Advocates of Meyer's behalf propose that she can redesign vampires however she sees fit because vampires are fictional, and various authors over the centuries have adjusted the "rules" of vampires for their novels.
I doubt many people would disagree if I said that Bram Stoker's novel Dracula was one of the earliest, most popular, and influential vampire novels ever written, and therefore it would be fair if I used his portrayal of vampires as a basis of criticism for Meyer's vampires. Any objections? I didn't think so. First of all, Count Dracula may have been the first portrayal of a "sexy" vampire, whereas before then traditional vampire folklore portrayed them as grotesque creatures.
However, Dracula's sexiness was pivotal to stoker's novel because the author was criticizing the sexual prudishness of the Victorian era, whereas Meyer uses Edward's sexiness for nothing more but masturbatory fodder for her adolescent readers. Also, like Meyer's vampires, Dracula didn't burst into fire when he stepped into sunlight. Dracula had the strength of twenty men, could also control the weather, transform into a bat, dog, rat, or fog, he had hypnotic powers, could defy gravity, and he could also juggle chainsaws. To be honest, Dracula doesn't juggle chainsaws in the book, but I'm sure he could do it if they were invented back then.
If Stephanie Meyer wants her vampires to sparkle, to not burst into flames in daylight, to be super strong, and have these bullshit deus-ex-machina psychic powers, who am I to say this is wrong? It honestly isn't that far off from Bram Stoker's portrayal of vampires. He made vampires sexy, Meyer made them sparkle.
Yes, I do think sparkly metrosexual Backstreet Boy vampires are lame, but stomping my feet and pouting about it won't support my argument. This will: Stoker's vampires have something Meyer's don't, something which make Meyer's vampires suck. I am talking, of course, about weaknesses. Dracula's powers were weakened in sunlight.
Dracula needs to sleep in the soil of his native country or else he will lose his strength. Dracula needs to drink human blood or else he will lose his vitality. Dracula hates garlic, crucifixes, and the Eucharist. He has weaknesses, something which Meyer's vampires do not have.
Sparkling skin is not a weakness. If you're one of Stephanie Meyer's vampires, or a "glampire," you don't need to drink blood, the sunlight doesn't weaken you in any way, shape, or form, Christian idols don't harm you, and you can still eat garlic bread.
Their one and only weakness is that a newly turned glampire has a carnal, neigh uncontrollable blood lust, and are essentially mindless killing machines. This weakness later turns out to be nothing of consequence. It can be overcome, and in Bella's case, overcome without any sort of effort. Once Bella becomes a vampire in Breaking Dawn , she has no blood lust. None whatsoever. So with that and sparkling out of the way, Meyer's glampires have no downsides.
I think it's fairly obvious why crucifixes and Eucharists don't harm Meyer's glampires. A vampire's repulsion to Christian idols symbolizes that they are damned creatures, cursed by God, and Meyer, a Mormon author, couldn't allow her oh-so-perfect boyfriend to be forsaken by God. It's a cop out. Jesus loves vampires because Meyer wills it so.
No matter what iteration of vampires we're talking about, whether they were written by Bram Stoker or L. Franzibald, vampires are always damned. So now we know the difference between one of Meyer's glampires and a traditional Stokerian vampire. Meyer's glampires are not damned, they have zero weaknesses, all the benefits of being a vampire immortality, super strength, etc , yet they do not need to drink blood. To be frank, Meyer's glampires have more in common with elves than they do with vampires.
But I'm not here just to talk about vampires. Meyer can bastardize vampiric folk lore however she wants, they're fictional creatures, the same cannot be said of the Quileute tribe. I don't want to be the white guy with the bleeding heart for minorities, but this has to be said: you can't take a real Indian tribe and rewrite their entire history as you see fit. What if I wrote a book about a tribe of Mormons or Evangelicals who ate unborn fetuses on full moons, circumcised their women, and had orgies in their true animal form on the vernal equinox?
Is coming up with a fictional tribe of Native Americans all that hard? What is the point of using the name of a real Indian tribe and then not doing a single lick of research on them, and then just bullshitting together a fictional history as needed for your story? What was Meyer thinking? It's a hilariously racist part of their bible, and I have a feeling that it slipped its way into Meyer's books, perhaps intentionally, perhaps subconsciously.
The crash course on the Lamanites is this: the Lamanites are "wild, ferocious, plundering, robbing, and murdering people," so God cursed them with "skin of blackness. How does the Book of Mormon and the Lamanites tie into Twilight? I would like to argue that Jacob Black is a Lamanite, and is treated as such within the books. First of all, Jacob is a Native American, and the Book of Mormon states that the Lamanites are "the principal ancestors of the American Indians," and secondly I find it rather blunt that Meyer chose to gave Jacob the surname Black, and I see this as a reference to the Lamanites' black skin.
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People familiar with Meyer's work probably know that she puts a lot of thought and consideration into naming her characters,  and I doubt Jacob Black was any different. The traits of a Lamanite are really stacking up against our poor Quileute friends. Not only that, but in the next installment, Eclipse , Jacob date rapes Bella, forcing her to kiss him.
Can things get any worse? In the end Bella decides not to take Jacob Black's hand in marriage, opting for her sexy white-skinned vampire instead. Just like the Book of Mormon preaches: no inter-racial couples. I'm not trying to say that Stephanie Meyer or her self-insert Bella are racist for not picking Jacob Black, but isn't it the least bit odd that ever since the beginning of the first book, Jacob has always been second best to Edward?
You'd be fooling yourself if you ever thought he really had a chance with Bella.
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One would think that in this day and age a female protagonist written by a female author would be able to overcome misogynist and stereotypical perceptions of women. If anything, Bella only reinforces those negative stereotypes and supports the belief that women are: moody, lying, manipulative, unintelligent, indecisive, irrational, irresponsible, submissive, symbiotic, money-grubbing, overly emotional, and the only thing they have to offer in a relationship is that lukewarm hole between their legs.
The previously mentioned list of unflattering and offensive characteristics can all be used to describe Bella Swan. Here is the single most terrible role model for women in literature. A character whose very existence causes great harm to the women's civil rights movement. Twilight 's popularity has always baffled me ever since I read the very first chapter of the first book. Right off the bat, in chapter one Bella's father Charlie buys her a car as a present, and her immediate reaction is to bemoan how it's not brand new and give him a sarcastic thanks, so right away I'm picturing Bella as one of those girls on MTV's "My Sweet Sixteen" television show, an ungrateful, spoiled princess.
I could come to forgive a character who did that if she developed into a decent human being eventually, but she doesn't. The Bella you see here in chapter one is here to stay.
What does this scene have to do with misogyny? Right away Bella's character comes off as a moody, two-faced liar: "That's really nice, Dad. I really appreciate it. The average misogynist would probably argue that women are only good for their bodies, and that appears to be the only thing Bella is good for.
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Edward and Bella don't have sex until Breaking Dawn , but time and time again Edward constantly reminds her that the number one reason he loves her is because of the scent of her blood. He loves her human body so much, that it's the reason why he doesn't want her to be a vampire, never mind the fact that Bella would be immortal and no longer in constant danger of being murdered, Edward cares more about Bella being delicious than he cares about her safety. Frankly, I don't blame Eddie. Bella has got nothing else going for her.
So what are Bella's dreams, her ambitions?
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Does she want to get into an Ivy League college? Earn a doctorate? Become a scientist like Rosalind Franklin, or peruse a career like any other female role model I can think of? She wants to have Edward as her boyfriend forever and ever, and that's it. Its as if Bella's life has no inherent value when she's away from Edward.
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What college does she want to get into? Which ever college Edward will go to. What does she want to major in? Doesn't matter, just as long as she's with Edward. What are Bella's hobbies?
Daydreaming about Edward, thinking about Edward, and trying to have sex with Edward.