Abstract

This thesis argues that Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga is an exemplification of rape culture due to its valorization of romantic relationships that are psychologically abusive, violent, and ultimately destructive. In my analysis, I use a postmodern feminist framework to examine the four main books in the series: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. Specifically, focusing on how the female protagonist, Bella Swan, is portrayed, I interrogate the interactions with her two love interests, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black. I found that the romantic developments between Bella, Edward, and Jacob are depicted as violent and dangerous affairs that echo non-physically abusive relationships, ignore consent, and rely on implied threats of psychical violence to control Bella. In addition, these destructive aspects of the relationships are romanticized through their normalization, belittlement, and religious sacralization. Due to the series' cultish following, the implications of marketing love as obsessive, violent, and all consuming is damaging to its audience when these relationships are being championed as reflections of true love.

Advisor

Helen Crump

First Committee Member

Maria Bevacqua

Second Committee Member

Kirsti Cole

Date of Degree

2012

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Gender and Women's Studies

College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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