In Response to Book Riot – A Bella Swan Post

February 21, 2014 at 8:04 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , )

Kristen Stewart, actress, as Bella Swan in the Twilight Saga movies

Kristen Stewart, actress, as Bella Swan in the Twilight Saga movies

Many moons ago, I posted this.

Today, I read this.

Of course, I have something to say about it all… of course.

So here it goes:

Of course we envy Bella’s apathy.  Of course we wish we could float through life allowing everyone else to make decisions for us.  Of course.  Why? Because it’s simple.  It’s easy.  You are not responsible for your actions if you’re merely a reactor, if you function by being completely nonfunctional – always being taken care of.

Ruminate on that thought.  Embrace it.  Now revisit Bella’s story…

What if Edward had become an abusive drunk? What if her friends were not so nice or trustworthy?  What if all these fabulous adventures she just allowed to happen to her throughout the series, what if all this apathy, had come back to bite her in the butt?  Being a helpless twat doesn’t sound so awesome anymore, does it?

Ultimately, we like Bella Swan because everything worked out for her.  Her personality and choices are acceptable because there is a happy ending.  Put the same traits on someone with a not-so-happy ending and we’d blame them, shake our finger at her blatant disregard for taking care of herself and heeding wise council.

I appreciate this Book Rioter’s post about changing thoughts and opinions on a character.  I appreciate that she identifies with Bella Swan, that she envies her in some ways.  That’s her right and the beauty of books – everyone gets a little something – take what you like and leave the rest.

brokenBut me as a teenager, I think, would have found Bella just as repulsive a character as I found when I read it as a married adult.  Mainly because she was disobedient, a poor student, and was relying on the love of her life to scoop her up.  All things that a teenager probably *wants* to do, but as a teenager (more so than as an adult), I did not allow this line of thinking in myself because I saw time and time again in others how self-destructive it could be  when life spun out into the wrong direction.

I was blessed enough to actually marry the boy I loved in high school – a lot of people I knew did – but I wasn’t counting on this.  There is nothing wrong with being in love.  There is no shame in the desire of your heart to ultimately be a wife and mother.  I don’t knock that one bit.  But please, please, prepare for another scenario.

Be the best student you can be.  Train for something – learn a trade.  Be capable of paying your own bills and keeping a roof over your own head.  That is something that I didn’t get from Bella Swan, not in the slightest, not one bit.  Bella Swan expected her fantastical boy to sweep her off her feet and had no secondary plans.  This, ladies and gents, disturbs me, no matter how much I, too, may envy her apathy at times.

You don’t have to be a control freak to take control of your life and your future; and you don’t have to be apathetic to fall into the desires of your heart.


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