Escaping the Vampire: The Allure of Darkness
- Thursday, November 05, 2009
Just breathe …
If you have seen or read Twilight, how would you describe Bella? (For instance, clumsy, brave, normal.) Did you find yourself relating to her character at all? If so, how?
Looking back on the notes I took while researching vampires, I see one thing very clearly. At some point in the late twentieth century, the vampire's persona became a "gray area." By that, I mean he was no longer considered altogether bad. Oh, vampires were still "bad boys"—but it was cool to like them. Maybe you'll agree with what Diane Robina, president of the cable horror channel FEARnet, said: "Vampires are the new rock stars. They are the bad boys your parents don't want you to date."12
It's a truly interesting transformation. Is it just an example of literary creativity, or could it be just another blurred line between good and evil? It does seem that we're having a harder time telling right from wrong, truth from lies these days. You don't always know who the villain is when he enters the room. And vampires? Hey, they might even be the heroes.
So what do we do with all of this? It's clear that we are so drawn to this story and others like it. Despite the fact—or maybe because of the fact—that Edward is mysterious and dangerous, we're almost irresistibly swept up in the adventurous romance. We so desperately want to experience such a story ourselves. But then the credits roll or the last page is turned, and we're back in our own reality. Our lives are just the same as they've always been. There are no good vampires—or even vampires of any kind—and Edward remains that character in our head.
Have you felt this way? Like you wished you could really live in Bella and Edward's world and leave your own behind? It makes me start to wonder if there's actually something more going on here, a deeper reason that we're all so attracted to and drawn into this story.
Here are some of the comments I've heard from girls who love Twilight:
"I cried. I kept thinking, oh my gosh, is this guy for real? He's not like other guys."
"Edward is way hot … sooo cute!"
"I liked the romance.… I wish a guy could be that way with me."
"Maybe what I liked was the fact that they're not supposed to be together but they are."
"He's into what is best for her … well, most of the time."
Just breathe …
God thinks that your reality is way more interesting than Edward and Bella's. Think of at least three things about your own life that you are proud of. Maybe it's people in your life or the way you can make someone smile … or maybe something unique that makes you uniquely you.
Recently, I was talking with a group of girls after a conference. Their faces lit up when I mentioned Twilight. One of them told me that she couldn't stop thinking about the movie. Twilight was her obsession. She began sharing quote after quote. Soon the whole group joined in—how many lines could they remember? I could see that they were reliving the adventure together. You could hear it in their voices and see it in the excitement on their faces.
Then I asked them about their lives. Who was their true hero? Who offered them the love, protection, and unending relationship filled with hope and life they were desperate for? That totally stumped them; they didn't have an answer. So then we talked about how no mortal can unconditionally fulfill these things. A few may come close, but no one offers perfection. No one offers love without a price. So why do our hearts keep longing so hard after something we can never find—something that simply does not exist?
Unless it does. Unless this longing is a hunger for what our souls were created for.
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