Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It is decided (I think).

I will be teaching Eclipse in my intro Women's Studies course next spring. I think the feminist criticism that I have read of the series - that Bella has no real character, that the gender roles are fairly pathetic, that Native Americans are used in a way that is fairly disrespectful to them as people and also fairly stereotypical, the clear messages re. abstinence and the eroticization of same, and a whole bunch of other things that I won't get into now because I don't want to post too man spoilers - is dead on. Still, I finished reading the series this afternoon and then spent an hour going back and re-reading parts of the novel I'd just finished. Yes, I rolled my eyes many, many times during my reading, but yes, it is good enough that I will go back and read it again, and I no longer have any qualms about having just shelled out $40 to buy the last two books in hardcover.

I am really looking forward to classroom discussion next year. There is a lot to sift through. By then, the second movie should have come out, so my class will be able to watch Twilight and New Moon before moving on to the third novel, which is, in my opinion, the best of the four (and also the one that is probably best suited for discussion in a classroom, just because there is a lot more going on, plotwise and in terms of character development, than happens in the other books).


CrackerLilo said...

So you're choosing a book that most of your students already know by heart? ;-)

I think the series is an excellent starting point for dialogue, should someone choose to use it that way. (Especially wrt mixed-sex relationships and womens' roles in them.) It's cool that you're using it that way.

Plain(s)feminist said...

The better they know the series, the better discussion we'll have!

Yea, I think the fact that women across generations (and maybe young men, too?) are loving this very engrossing but deeply problematic book suggests that there's a lot in it to dialogue about.