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Lessons from “Twilight”

Turning the pages of this bulky novel has rekindled my passion for reading. It’s been a while since I last sat down and did nothing but read. I’m a bibliophile, but lately, I have become more of a collector than reader of books. As I re-read Twilight though, it felt like I was being transported back to my teen years, when all I would do at weekends was stay in my bed to read novels one after the other the whole day, only going out of my bedroom to do some “human stuff”. When I first read Twilight, it took me days to finish it because I was only able to read it before bedtime, during commute and breaks at the office. This time, it took me less than a day to finish it. The problem, however, was getting hooked to it, i.e., to the book itself and to its characters.

As soon as I finished reading the first novel, I started watching the movie version online with my 9-year old daughter, who’s an Edward fan. So there goes my resolve not to touch my laptop and disconnect from technology (and social media) altogether. I told myself at first that I would only watch the movie counterparts after reading each novel in the series. However, it somehow became “my brand of heroine” that I was unable to stop until I’ve seen all five movies and and finally slept by dawn of the following day. (My daughter slept much earlier although she meant to join me in this insane movie marathon.)

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 11.15.13

Scene from Twilight (Image from fanpop.com), where Edward charms Bella even more.

I remember being irritated when one of my former workmates, who was older than me, asked us to join her in watching the first film in theater. Her description of the movie was, “it’s supposed to be a romantic story, with characters in high school, where the girl fell in love with a vampire”. All I could think of was why would we watch it if it’s target market was teenagers? Plus, I’ve already seen enough vampire movies to last a lifetime because my husband, for some reason, loves vampire stories and I would naturally be the one to watch the movies with him. (That is, in exchange for him watching rom-com movies with me, which he barely tolerates.)

Looking back, I suppose I was being silly and judgmental. A year later, my husband gave me my first book, Eclipse, because it was in the bestseller section of National Bookstore and he wanted to watch its upcoming movie version then. Apparently, he thought that reading it would convince me to give it a chance. He didn’t bother watching Twilight in theaters for the same reason that it’s supposedly for teens, but because it has a sequel he thought it must be an interesting vampire movie then. Well, I wasn’t disappointed with the book, and I guess you could say that was how it all began. We started watching all the other Twilight sequels in theaters and we both got a copy of each of the novels too. (He started working away from home so we couldn’t share the books, though we would watch the movie at the same time at different theaters.)

As much as I loved Edward for all his endearing qualities and charming looks, my husband liked Alice, the only character our family liked unanimously. Honestly, I wish I have a son who would grow up to be like Edward–smart, caring, sensitive, loyal, respectful, thoughtful, forgiving, courageous, charming, loving, and a true gentleman. I know, he’s a ideal. If he’s real and if the person playing Edward was even half of who he was, the latter would have forgiven his girlfriend’s moment of weakness and moved on in life with her instead of going after some girl who uses an image of a male sex organ to make her appalling dress interesting. Such a waste, don’t you agree? Now you know what I mean by me getting hooked on the characters as well. 

Despite my apparent addiction to this story, nevertheless, there are two lines from the movie that would always stay with me: “Remember who you are” and “You must feed first”. I think everyone who has read the novels and seen the movie counterparts should remember these, too. The story presents many moral values, especially for the modern-day teens, but these are the ones that I could relate to the most at this stage of my life. Somehow, these lines simply stood out above the rest.


Scene from Breaking Dawn, Part 2 (via screen capture): Edward and Bella with their half-mortal half-immortal daugther Renesmee.

The Cullens make sure that they got regular feeding to be able to resist temptations, i.e., to feed on human blood. When Bella finally became a vampire and asked to see her baby, Edward made sure that she understood the importance of this seemingly mundane act, too. He encouraged Bella to wait and hunt (feed) first. Bella needed that, so she would be able to overcome the temptation to feed on her own child, who was half-human, as well as be able to withstand the scent of the other humans.

The other one is equally important, especially when I am face-to-face with a temptation. “Remember who you are, son” were Carlisle’s words to Edward when the latter was trying to save Bella by cleaning her blood, but was about to go overboard and kill her instead, having difficulty to resist the temptation to suck all her blood. In a way, Edward also reminded Bella of this line when she started going after a mountain climber during her first hunt. In both scenes, Edward and Bella were able to control their desires and overcome temptations because they heeded the advice and remembered who they were, i.e., good vampires who bring good to mankind and not monsters that feed on humans.

As a Christian, I see the value of (waiting and) feeding first as feeding myself first with God’s Word and praying first before I start the day, go out, face anyone, or face a seemingly insurmountable challenge for that matter. I should expect myself to be tempted, to react dishonorably or in ungodly ways, especially when provoked, so it’s imperative that I feed myself first to withstand temptations and avoid hurting anyone, especially my family. Lastly, if only I would always remember who I am–a child of God–I suppose bringing others to Christ would be a lot easier for me to do that it would just come out naturally.

I’m glad I finally decided to disconnect and read, that is, read one of the thickest books I have. It’s interesting how God’s grace reaches me even when I least expect it, in places where it’s seemingly unlikely to be found. ❤

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