— Posted by Kara (June 20, 2011 at 6:06 pm)
I finally got around to watching the third installment of the “Twilight” saga, Eclipse. While I am a casual observer of the series, I found this movie had interesting pop culture theories and offers comparison and contrast to the topics I hold important.
In the movie, Bella argues that marriage is just a piece of paper, points out high divorce rates, and thinks the marriage in our generation means “I got knocked up.” Edward, on the other hand, views marriage as his generation’s way of saying “I love you” (Edward, a vampire, was born in 1901, while Bella, a human, is a teenager from our generation). He wants to marry her before having intercourse with her.
So here we see a narcissitic view of the institution of marriage, while one person upholds the value of marriage. Marriage is a special and sacred union of a man and a woman, in which “two become one flesh.” Thus, marriage is more than “just a piece of paper” or a fast fix for a pregnancy.
I found another interesting situation and message too. In one scene Bella tries to make Edward have intercourse with her. Even though he’d like to, he won’t sleep with her because of safety issues (he’s a lot stronger than her), but more importantly, because he still holds on to the concepts of marriage from his generation–he cares for her soul since she still has a soul, and he’s concerned for her virtue as well. He tells her that back where he came from, he would have courted her, they would have had chaperoned dates, iced tea on the porch, and he “maybe would have stolen a kiss or two, but only if I had your father’s permission first.”
I found it interesting how he said “I maybe would have stolen a kiss or two, but only if I had your father’s permission first.” Parents were respected and kisses were valued as special, not just a mere sign of affection or “thanks” for a nice evening out. However, such a beautiful message is tainted by the fact that Bella and Edward push the limits of chastity by passionate kissing as well as sleeping with each other “without doing anything”–clearly, they are crossing a line here.
Here I also found a lament of a generation gone by. There was a time where chastity and marriage were promoted and honored. Today, we see these two sacred things torn apart, mocked, scorned, and viewed as trivial.
But as long as we continue to stand up for our beliefs, and “walk the walk” we can help bring these concepts back into public view. I had to laugh but agree when an acquaintance from my university said losing virginity was something sacred, not just to go out and say “take a ticket.”
Finally, in the movie, Jacob, Bella’s werewolf friend, at one point forces a kiss on her (which ticks her off and causes problems). But then he promises not to kiss her until she asks him, and when they do kiss, he says, “That should have been our first kiss.”
Here I thought again about how kisses are undervalued, and that they should be more highly valued and special. One kiss only, either with the wrong person, forced, or at the wrong time/setting can cause regret or guilt. But a special kiss, especially with “the one,” can be treasured in one’s memory forever.
It also got me thinking: if something as simple as a kiss can cause regret, how much more so with sex before marriage! Even pop culture can’t ignore it–some movie characters regret having sex or kissing someone. Moreover, I remember reading that a high percentage of girls actually regret losing their virginity. I found this on Wikipedia about adolescent sexuality in the United States:
While teens may believe that their sexual activities are fine at the time, Lukas cautions that they may feel very differently in time and may regret the choices they made. She points to research that shows 2/3 of sexually active girls wish they had waited longer before having sex. Sex therapists have found that the roots of sexual issues facing adults often date back to regretful teenage experiences. Of seniors in high school, 74% of girls regret sexual experiences they have had.
So while these messages aren’t perfect, I found Eclipse offered some insights I wanted to share with you, as well as inspiration to keep fighting to bring back appreciation for purity, taking things slowly, marriage, and not making choices we may regret for a long time.