Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Breaking Dawn by: Stephanie Meyer

The fourth installment of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series brings an entirely new level of extreme situations of danger and passion for lovers Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. Bella has finally chosen between the brooding and sensitive werewolf, Jacob Black, and the aloof and desirous vampire, Edward Cullen. Her decision alienates her best friend Jacob, but Bella has decided to create a life with Edward with plans to become a vampire herself. These plans cause stress for the Black family as well as the other werewolves because there are ancient Native American myths that identify vampires and werewolves as enemies, never to interact civilly with one another. This creates an enormous void between Bella and Jacob, which is only covered up by the passion in Edward and Bella's relationship. Bella finally agrees to marry Edward, which means he will finally transform her into a vampire herself. As the novel progresses we see Edward and Bella move their relationship to a physical level, which automatically endangers Bella who is still a human. On their honeymoon Edward allows himself to be intimate with Bella, which results in Bella discovering she is pregnant with a half- vampire and half-human child. The struggles that Bella faces are described in detail as she suffers through an extremely painful pregnancy that is only helped by the limited knowledge of Dr. Cullen about such a pregnancy. Meyer depicts Bella as a strong and stubborn individual and although the pregnancy may be detrimental to Bella's health, she is determined to come full term with the pregnancy. The descriptions throughout the rest of the novel show the outcome of Bella's pregnancy for all of the individuals surrounding her...the Cullen family, Edward, Jacob, and Bella's parents. For a more detailed plot summary Wikipedia provides further information here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_Dawn.

This novel is extremely interesting and brings the world of vampires to an entirely new level. Meyer's imagination in this novel surpasses any of the other books in the Twilight series and I was amazed at the creative details that surround the dramatic events of this book. This interview shows Stephanie Meyer discussing "Breaking Dawn" and what went into the creation of this novel. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVEvEtF08S8.

This book would definitely be valid in high school classrooms because it is extremely interesting and would engage students in reading. Although the events that occur in the novel are superhuman it is intriguing to see the ways in which superhumans deal with teen pregnancy and how it is even a struggle for a family with such strength and power. Students will also be able to open their imaginations to the possibility of these superhuman activities and allow them to analyze them literally or figuratively. Many of the issues that are discussed in this novel could definitely serve as social commentary on real life issues that non-vampire teens could relate to easily.

I am a huge fan of this series because it brings about ideas that are so imaginary and unbelievable, which makes them so interesting to readers. Since the existence of vampires is make-believe Meyer utilizes such detail and breath taking imagery to bring to life the vampire family by giving them human emotions in superhuman bodies. Although there are not many issues that the contemporary teen could relate to directly, I think classroom discussion could show students that Meyer's works, after careful analysis, could relate to the lives of teens. It forces young adult readers to broaden their horizons and really dig deep into the true meaning behind these works. For an alternate opinion of "Breaking Dawn" check out Entertainment Weekly's article about the fourth Twilight book:

If you want to hear some information on all four books in the series, look at this video that goes through Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nurw_Ef-NdQ&feature=fvsr


Amy said...

I absolutely loved this series. I resisted for awhile but once I started, I read them all in two days... I just couldn't put them down. While the story itself is of course fiction, there is obviously a reason why this nation (and even world) has become obsessed. Each character pulls the reader in. We sympathize with the Cullens for being "different." Alongside Bella, we fall in love with Edward. I think teens (and adults) can relate at least a little bit with most of the characters, which really helps with the success of the series. The outside story may be unrealistic but the feeling and internal issues that the characters endure are very real for many. Meyers certainly had one heck of a dream (on Oprah she announced this entire story came from a dream she had) when she discovered these story.

averch said...

I am 26 years old and still got obsessed with Edward and Bella. (My students think I'm nuts). This book almost seems to rap things up, and finish the story out. I agree with you that Meyer brings out the make-belive and the unimaginable. It almost makes you feel like vampires really do exist. Great read that will get kids (both boys and girls) Hooked and wanting to read more!

Mallory Umar said...

I think that this book could open up discussion about pro-life/pro-choice. Bella clearly chooses to have the child even though the doctor warns her and it is showing to be detrimental to her health. While this is probably a very long book to lead to that discussion, abortion is certainly is an issue that will always be a "hot topic" to debate on.

hutting said...

You forgot the humor! This book to me had the best humor and story twists of all the books in the series. My daughter read the series and got me hooked in. She read Breaking Dawn first and told me about the pregancy part. I was worried about the sex scene description, but they were clean and funny due to Edward killing a feather pillow in the heat of passion and the lines about Rosalie and Emmett knocking down houses with their lovemaking. The series has passion and love without the need for graphic sexual details.

This book has the best tension between Edward and Jacob that was started in Twilight. Renesmee and Jacob's relationship are a cute twist ending. I also loved the twist Meyer wrote in about Alice with her leaving and her clues to Bella. Although I am like many, I wish there was another book in this series, but Meyer wonderfully wove everything neatly together this final book. This book I feel will make the best movie of all the Twilight books.

Danielle Bartman said...

I too am a Twilight fan, and can not wait to see the movie of this. I heard on the radio though that many people think these movies are not "hollywood" enough and should include sex scenes, many people said the second movie should have had a sex scene between bella and Jacob. Not only does that not happen in the book, I think that by the way she wrote the books makes kids realize being a teenager does not mean you have to be thinking about having a sexual realtionship.

Krystal Tanami said...

I'm team Jacob all the way. that being said I really enjoyed this series and hope that Meyer actually gets around to publishing the book that tells the twilight story from Edwards perspective.