Essay on Twilight: Gender Representations and Sexuality in Vampire Tales

Essay on Twilight: Gender Representations and Sexuality in Vampire Tales

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Twilight: Gender Representations and Sexuality in Vampire Tales
For a long time, storytellers used the bloodsucking undead to portray a sexual deviant. Wilson acknowledged that the vampire theme is first found as a popular reaction of Polidori's story in 1819 (579). The Twilight Saga, a romantic sci-fi movie adaptation of modern vampires, has grossed over $3.3 billion in worldwide sales, states Wikipedia (Par 1). The primary element that holds the audiences' attention is the sexual tension between the two main characters; a tension that remains unresolved until the couple is married in the almost end of the series. That was likewise the main reason that I devoured this five Twilight series within a week just to find out where the relationship of Bella and Edward will be headed. Despite the tremendous success of the novel and movie, it has the underlying message of gender conformity in Twilight that makes me feel hesitant to give a full support. In the movie, Edward is strong and violent, saving the clueless Bella from danger at all times; meanwhile, Bella suffers from low self-esteem and seemingly doesn't get on well with her peer group except for Edward and his family. Through society's expectations about gender roles, Twilight perpetuates the vampire tales in respect to stereotypical gender representations and sexuality of today's vampire figure by portraying women as emotionally driven and men as domineering and controlling when it comes to romantic relationships.
Vampire characters have existed in different genres of literatures as a trope of sexuality—sometimes in the form of irresistible male vampires such as Dracula who seduce women with their gaze and prey on them. Although vampires have not always been portrayed...

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... feed on animals instead of preying on humans. Some might argue that Meyer ruined vampires by glorifying them as a soulful super-human like a fallen angel and removing their horrendous nature of being a pure evil. When we observe through the history of vampire myths, the representation of vampires is transformed according to contemporary anxieties about diseases, natural phenomena, and the human emotions of that we cannot control, though. There's no gainsaying the tremendous popularity and remarkable influences in pop culture that Twilight has achieved, but one might have hoped to see an evolved adaptation of gender representations to modern times in the new vampire story. While we love mysterious romantic fiction about supernatural immortals like Twilight, it's important not to lose a critical eye and question the underlying messages in analytical ways.

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