I like Edward Cullen.
He reminds me of Jesus.

Image by i heart him via Flickr This is a reblog of an earlier post. I'm going to see "New Moon" in the theater this weeken...

New Moon WallpaperImage by i heart him via Flickr

This is a reblog of an earlier post. I'm going to see "New Moon" in the theater this weekend, Stephenie Meyer was on Oprah, authors are screaming about how unfair her success is, and vampire books, movies, and television shows are springing up like dandelions. What's the fuss? Without getting too religious about the moral value of the vampire myth, let's just look at a possible reason for its broad appeal. Something is drawing people to the Twilight Saga... could it be a driving inner thirst, not for human blood, but for love? For a Savior willing to sacrifice Himself for us?

I confess, I'm a closet Twilight fan. With no movie theater in town, no kids in public school, and a personal distaste for all things vampire in nature, Twilight never even blipped on my radar screen. I saw the books by Stephenie Meyer at Wal-Mart, but wrote them off as "young adult" novels. And then my daughter and her fiance brought the movie version home on DVD.
My teenage boys were appalled, horrified, even disgusted, that we would consider watching such a smarmy excuse for a film. I asked them if they knew anything about it. With sarcasm and matching sneers, they rattled off a litany of reasons why Twilight was stupid. Their reasons revolved around the Beatle-esque devotion given to the movie by the girls in their social sphere. The mere fact that they were so adamant prompted me to watch the movie, with reservations of my own.
I suffered from night terrors as a child. From the time I was around six or seven, those nightmares involved a Dracula-type figure. The terror was enough to generate full-fledged panic attacks – the kind where other people can tell there's something wrong with you - at school, at home, even at a Halloween party my parents hosted for my class in my own home. The way you avoid bees if you're allergic, I avoided vampire books, movies, and television programs.
When my daughter pushed “play,” I was prepared to make a fast getaway, if necessary. But after the first five minutes, I was hooked.
It's a well-worn plot: Likable girl is drawn to mysterious loner. Everyone, him included, warns her to stay away, for reasons no one wants to explain. He's afraid he'll hurt her, yet compelled to protect her. They become each others' irresistible forbidden fruit, in spite of the risk their relationship creates for them and their loved ones.
It's not a new plot, and vampire lore has been passed down for centuries, so why are teen girls flocking to Twilight, and teen boys hurling insults? I think it's because Twilight feeds the female craving for romance, with vampire hero Edward Cullen as the knight in slightly dented (albeit sparkling) armor. He's not your classic hero. He's pasty pale, a little odd-looking, and ridiculously moody. But by the end of the movie I was drawn to this character, fangs and all! If it's not his looks, what's appealing about him?

Twilight saga.Image by Vivian Viola via Flickr
Edward's appeal is his willingness to lay down his life and deny his own desires for the sake of the woman he loves. What woman doesn't want to be loved and desired so deeply, so intensely, that the man she loves is willing to risk himself – not just physically – but emotionally, socially, and mentally as he reveals the deepest secrets of his heart and exposes his true identity, to her?
There's a Bible lesson hiding in here, believe it or not. Meyer's books are filled with Biblical symbols and allegories much like those found in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia or Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.
Edward, the hero of Twilight who denies himself for the sake of the one he loves, is just following the pattern of the ultimate hero. Jesus, the supernatural son of the living God, came to earth and revealed his true identity to all mankind. Through his life, he exposed his love, his passion, his humanity, and his desire to bless and not curse, to save and not destroy. And then, because we were tainted by sin, he opted to pay for that sin with his own life, then battle his way back from death so he can spend all eternity with us. Not just for a lifetime, but forever, if we'll just say “yes” to his love. If you can't see the romance in that, it's time for a heart check-up!

Check out this recent post from Robin Lee Hatcher with reviews of two new Christian books, one non-fiction and one fiction, about vampires: Faith & Fangs

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

You Might Also Like


  1. I haven't read any of Ms. Meyer's books, but I give her credit for her success. Books don't just write, sell, and market themselves!

  2. I read all 4 of the series and as someone who has read many books in my 60 plus years of living, this has to be the best love story I have ever read. I think you got the point when you said that he (Edward)would sacrifice everything for the person he loved. I did like how you brought your religion into your article and thought it really tied in well. :-)

  3. You're right, Jill. I read them all, in the space of a week, only after my daughter insisted. Sometimes I think we writers get more caught up in the "literary quality" of our work than in what readers want to read. Meyer's certainly nailed the latter.

  4. Thanks Sandy! After I finished reading the series I realized that was the first time in years I'd not been able to put down an entire series of books. I was just glad I had them all and didn't have to wait months in between!

  5. First of all to that list of biblical allegories you gave you could add J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, don't you think? After all the main character gave his life for his friends, family and the society he was part of...sounds pretty biblical to me, without getting too religious about the morality of wizardy anyway, right?

    Anyway I've read the Twilight books and I have to say that I am slightly appalled that one would say that Edward Cullen is Christlike. Throughout nearly all of the third book he keeps his "true love" away from her best friend! In fact he is so possessive of her that she has to resort to trickery in order to spend time with someone outside of Edward's sphere of influence. That just doesn't sound healthy or good to me.

    Another thing, Edward's "self-sacrificing" characteristic only extends to Bella. His focus is narrowed to one person to the exception of all others. Whereas the other allegories you mentioned have a vastly different tone. Frodo gives of himself, not just for one other person, but for everyone in his world, Aslan sacrifices himself not only for Edmund but with the full knowledge that it would take away the White Witch's power for the good of all of Narnia and, as previously mentioned, Harry gives his life for his friends, family and the world. In fact most of the books I've read where there is a "Christ-like" figure they tend to sacrifice themselves for everyone.

    Also there is a part in the second book where Edward is willing to reveal the secret of his entire world because he believes the lie that Bella is dead. That doesn't sound self-sacrificing to me, that sounds selfish. He believes his pain to be greater than the importance of keeping his family and his world from becoming known. That isn't self-sacrificing, that's willingness to sacrifice others without their consent or knowledge. Again, that's selfish.

    So how is it that Edward's obssession/possessiveness/love of Bella to the exclusivity of all others Christlike??

    I'm just not seeing it.


    P.S. this is my third attempt to comment so if this repeats just delete the last two, sorry, thanks!

  6. G,
    I haven't read J.K. Rowling's series, so I can't speak to the allegorical position of her characters.
    Obviously, no fictional character is ever going to perfectly represent Christ. Even the Bible uses more than one descriptive name for the Son of God, because He is, after all, God.
    No representation from the limited mind of man is ever going to be able to express our Lord.
    I guess I'm looking at Edward's exclusive, jealous, possessive love of Bella as one facet of God's multi-faceted love for us, just as Aslan's laying down his life to save Narnia from the White Witch is a facet of God's love, and Frodo's choice to suffer and endure great hardship in order to rescue his world is a facet of God's love. But those aren't the only sides of His love.
    The Bible says God is a jealous God, that He yearns for us, that He is a consuming fire, that He's willing to destroy that which defiles us. There's no question that He is fiercely possessive and protective of His own. He desires such a close, one on one relationship with us that it's as if all else ceased to exist.
    I certainly agree that the allegory is imperfect (as are all allegories) but I hope I've been able to communicate a bit more of my opinion about Edward.
    I could probably find similarities in Jacob, too, and there's definitely something in the brotherhood between the wolves... but that may come to me later. : )
    Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate your thoughts!


Disqus for In Truer Ink