Twilight and Vampires

Vampires are monsters. They symbolize sin. It was a medieval legend that murderers turned into vampires. A crucifix was said to kill vampires, because Christ defeated evil by His Death. (Moreover, it is no coincidence that a crucifix kills vampires, in legend, and a crucifix frightens demons in a possessed individual, in reality)

Because vampires are monsters, there is no excuse to use them as sympathetic characters, nor is there any excuse to use them as symbols of virtue or grace. Hence, the author of the Twilight books has, in my opinion, done an injustice to her readers, by making the vampire not only sympathetic but also a symbol of chastity and, at the same time, a symbol of young girls’ sexual desires. It would be the same injustice if the devil was turned into a sympathetic character and used to symbolize both redemption and damnation.

I disagree with you because vampires, very much unlike the devil, are entirely fictional and, as such, are entirely subject to the whims of the author that creates them.

Now, you may want to argue that fictional characters that have traditional conventions (such as vampires) should not be used in different ways, which might be a valid point. But then I would have to ask, to whose conventions on vampires must we adhere? Bram Stoker wrote about his vampires earlier than Anne Rice wrote about hers. Was Anne Rice bound to make her vampires the same as his? Surely (although I’m not well versed) Bram Stoker was only expounding on lore and legend that had come before him.

An author can change a monster into a prince, but that dosen’t change the monster itself. Vampires are monsters, they were created as monsters (fictionally speaking), and to take them as something other than monsters - or to change them - is to deny what they are. It is like with sin: many people say it is somethig else, but the Church teaches sin is sin.

Well, I absolutely hate twilight, so I’m not arguing. :smiley: Like I’ve heard before, real vampires don’t sparkle. Coating them in glitter glue and making them ‘vegitarian’ and ‘pretty’ doesn’t change the fact of what they are.

I myself do not read vampire fiction or view vampire films. There is enough hideosity in this world without adding a fictionalized horror to the contents of my mind.

That said, authors are free to use characters however they see fit, especially characters belonging to a class of beings that are entirely fictional.

I think the whole vampire craze is the product of the world’s fascination with evil. Evil is glorified through dark novels and films that are often aimed at youth, which is just plain scary. Some people (though not many, I’m sure) actually believe vampires exist, yet these same people cannot fathom the concept of God. Now to me, there is MUCH more proof of God than there is of a sparkly guy who goes around sucking blood for fun. :wink:

Right on! Call it what is! There is always something that lures people into sin. It’s seductive/attractive, and thats how it can sometimes be mistaken for something good. The vampire characters in twilight are, in every way appealing to the reader because of their “good-nature” and “noble intentions”. The fact of the matter is, they represent something EVIL. You cannot call something EVIL something GOOD. It will, however slowly and seductively, errode the consciences of good people. Why would you expose your children to that? Do you want your impressionable little girls to end up like Bella? To become so terribly addicted to a handsome seductive gentleman, that it becomes her downfall?

“The prince of darkness is a gentleman.”
~Shakespeare

Well…I don’t want to take any sides, just posing a question:

If you can have a bad (even evil) Catholic, why can’t you have a good vampire? Being Catholic will not “make” someone “good”, while being a vampire would not “make” it “bad”.

Exactly. Because vampires are fictional, does that not mean that you can make them into whatever you want them to be?

I agree with you there. I hate the way that the whole thing is publicized. I mean, everywhere I turn, it’s “Twilight this” or “Twilight that”.

Robert Pattinson isn’t even that cute, in my opinion. :rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue:

Nice quote, by the way. I like it.

:slight_smile:

Actually, vampires are fictional characters probably created by parents to scare their children into behaving, along with the boogie man, witches, trolls and other ‘monsters’. Over time, certain characteristics have developed to weave a basic stereotype of who/what they are, but, since they are fiction, they can be portrayed however an author chooses. Twilight portrayed them in a different light.

As for Bella, ugh. I did not find her to be the end all in the stories. The books were more about family bonds and choosing the moral high ground. Perhaps that’s why I enjoyed the series. Twilight, in and of itself, posh. But New Moon put things in perspective.

Wow! I thought I was the only person who preferred the traditional vampire legend over the new trendy sympathetic Hollywood vampire. I also wish people wouldn’t change the legends around. :slight_smile:

Good point.

Yeah, he just doesn’t match what I envisioned reading the books. He does have on-screen chemistry with Kristen, but unfortunately for him, she’s the better actor so their scenes together don’t help him at all.

Since the topic of this thread is Twilight and Vampires your premise here is worth discussion.

Meyer did not rewrite the stories of vampires. Most of them in her books do feed on humans, thriving on their enhanced physical powers, much as would be expected from a book about vampires.

What she did is present an interesting perspective to that existence.

Following your premise that legend has murderers as the source of the existence of vampires, that murderer was created first and foremost, human, by God, and thus, was good. Not evil.

Somewhere down the line the person chooses to kill. Are all murders automatically evil? We don’t believe that. We still believe in redemption for even the most heinous murderers. Certainly their actions are evil, but not their soul. Not automatically.

For whatever reason, the consequence for that particular person was eternal existence on earth requiring sustenance from blood, and vampires came to exist (at least with regard to fiction).

Meyer poses the question of the victims of vampires: If you and I were walking down the street one night and fell under attack by a vampire, would we awake a totally changed person?

Devout in our Catholicism before the event, would that suddenly no longer matter to us in our new state?
Wouldn’t we wrestle with this new turn of events from a Catholic perspective, trying to figure out what this has to do with God’s greater plan?
Wouldn’t we drop to our knees and pray for some understanding and guidance?
Would we believe our souls are damned on the turning alone or would we cling to the hope that what matters is what we do next?
Wouldn’t we consider ‘what if’?
What if we never kill a human?
What if we use our hightened skills/powers to help mankind?
What if we continue to praise and honor him for our eternal life?
Would it matter?

I found the perspective rather intriguing and that’s why I enjoyed the series.

If you and I were walking down the street one night and fell under attack by a vampire, would we awake a totally changed person?

Devout in our Catholicism before the event, would that suddenly no longer matter to us in our new state?
Wouldn’t we wrestle with this new turn of events from a Catholic perspective, trying to figure out what this has to do with God’s greater plan?
Wouldn’t we drop to our knees and pray for some understanding and guidance?
Would we believe our souls are damned on the turning alone or would we cling to the hope that what matters is what we do next?
Wouldn’t we consider ‘what if’?
What if we never kill a human?
What if we use our hightened skills/powers to help mankind?
What if we continue to praise and honor him for our eternal life?
Would it matter?

I found the perspective rather intriguing and that’s why I enjoyed the series.

If such beings could exist, would they have the same “soul” as the human being they once were? The source of life is not the same; therefore is the human soul gone? If so then none of the questions would matter?

I guess that’s the real question…what happens to the soul?

I think legend and tradition would say the soul leaves, and the body remains as the vampire. In that sense, I suppose the vampire would indeed be a monster. What happened to the human’s soul, then? Under the original premise that vampires came out of murderers, then I suppose that particular soul was damned (for murder) while the monster continued to exist.

But what about vampires’ victims? An innocent person, upon being turned by the ‘monster’, would probably have it’s soul sent to purgatory at the very least. From a Catholic perspective I wonder if that soul will be reunited with the body at the Second Coming, regardless of what the body did in it’s eternial state.

It would seem that the vampire would fall under the realm of Satan, then, thus the premise that they are evil in and of themselves. But Satan seeks the ruin of souls, so what purpose would be served in ruling over vampires if their victims’ souls do not get condemned in the turning itself? If the vampires only killed people who were in a state of mortal sin then I could see the point of having an army of vampires to lead, but that’s not how tradition portrays them. They kill innocents along with the condemned, and it seems they prefer innocents.

Then there’s the monster’s existence to consider. He/she still has a functioning mind, emotions, and free will to exercise according to whatever plan is unfolding. How does that happen? What does that indicate?

It seems that’s where Meyer goes with her concept. Their bodies don’t function as a living organism, they don’t need to breathe but they need air in order to speak and growl so they still use their lungs. They don’t eat food so their digestive system isn’t used, but they consume liquids and it doesn’t stay with them so it must be expended in their exertion of just existing.

Meyer has Carlisle attempting suicide when he awakes to realize what happened to him rather than kill a human. He never found a way. I can’t recall if he attempted to starve himself but from what Meyer reveals elsewhere, I get the impression that if they let themselves go without feeding for too long their bodies’ survival instinct would kick in and they’d kill a human without choosing to. Rather than risk that he fed on animals.

That Carlisle laments being victimized and chooses to not to lose his humanity despite the turn of events is what had me pondering what if it happened to someone like me? The vampires still have emotions and a reasoning mind, even in traditional tales. That has to mean something, but whether or not it has to do with the soul remains the question.

Umah…huh…Nobody ends up being evil do they? Even the devil is good, in that, the Most High made him, and that his existance serves the Most High’s purpose.

Then again, Christ said no men were good, only God. Would that imply that anything lacking the Almighty’s perfection would be less than good, would be evil?

Actions don’t make the person? I was simply born in evil, have a propensity towards evil, often do evil, I reek of evil. But I myself am not?

The original vampire legends didn’t have any sort of “contagious” bit going on, and if they did, to eschew all the preventive measures would in a way, be inviting the devil to take hold of you in some form.

I’ve also read that vampires were to corpses of those that drank human blood, a vile, terrible offence, with many diabolical associations.

The victim would have to get his body back. The human body, as such, is innocent: the mind/soul’s life-support mechanism. It could not be blamed for its actions while its soul was gone. And the soul could not be punished (via nonending bodilessness) for the actions of the body it had already lost.

The fact that turning humans into vampires does not directly damn them, does not make vampires useless to the purposes of Hell. Killing, in itself, separating souls from bodies, adds to the “balance of evil” in the world. Some will go directly to Hell, some will not; but everybody will be afraid, the good lives of innocent victims will be lost, and people’s faith will be weakened. All of which strengthens the cause of evil.

The “vampirized” body still has a head, and a brain, which will still be working. The same way that vampirized legs still walk, and eyes still see, and hands still handle; a vampirized body’s brain will still think and know and will. Therefore the being still has a mind. In essence, this is part of the basic unitedness of soul and intact body.

(In the old legends, are vampires killed by beheading? If so, this would suggest that indeed it is the intact head that gives the creature its mental propensities.)

Isn’t there the whole debate about the existence of evil anyway? The one that state God only makes good things, he did not create evil, evil came to exist when Lucifer made his choice. So, no I’m pretty sure the Church teaches all God’s creations are good.

Then again, Christ said no men were good, only God. Would that imply that anything lacking the Almighty’s perfection would be less than good, would be evil?

I’d have to know the statement in context. I’m not familiar with it off the top of my head, can you cite the passage? And, no, God creates all things perfectly, even what we would consider ‘broken’ is not so by his standards, and certainly not evil.

Actions don’t make the person? I was simply born in evil, have a propensity towards evil, often do evil, I reek of evil. But I myself am not?

One can be born into an evil environment but still make good choices. I think every human has the propensity towards evil, that seems to have been proven over time, regardless of one’s upbringing. Once a person does evil, that’s a choice, and it is the action which deserves the label of evil, not the person. The whole point of God’s message is that his salvation is available for all souls, particularly those which are on a path for damnation, is it not? Didn’t he say he came for sinners?

The original vampire legends didn’t have any sort of “contagious” bit going on, and if they did, to eschew all the preventive measures would in a way, be inviting the devil to take hold of you in some form.

I’ve only known of tales where the victims of the vampires die or become a vampire themselves. I didn’t read enough of them to understand how one differentiates the outcome. Why would the vicitm’s attempt to remain human in manner be inviting the devil to take hold of him/her? If it’s because of a void, then couldn’t God also take hold of him/her to fill the same void?

I’ve also read that vampires were to corpses of those that drank human blood, a vile, terrible offence, with many diabolical associations.

That, I don’t know about, but it’s interesting.

That’s what I’d think, and that’s why Meyer’s twist intrigues me. There would be a point to trying to use the body in a good manner so long as it exists.

The fact that turning humans into vampires does not directly damn them, does not make vampires useless to the purposes of Hell. Killing, in itself, separating souls from bodies, adds to the “balance of evil” in the world. Some will go directly to Hell, some will not; but everybody will be afraid, the good lives of innocent victims will be lost, and people’s faith will be weakened. All of which strengthens the cause of evil.

I see your point, particularly with the normal vampires in Meyer’s story, so if the turning doesn’t damn them, there does seem to be grounds for Meyer’s twist about the Cullen Coven. It doesn’t seem such a re-write as those who oppose her books claim, but rather one thread which could plausibly stem from the original.

Well Meyer holds true to that as well, then, because that is how vampires can cease to exist in her books. One has to dismember the head first, and burn all the remains. Tearing them to pieces doesn’t work because the pieces are drawn back to the core for reconstitution.

With a working mind then Meyer’s idea that vampires could have a choice about whether or not to live the traditional lifestyle still makes for a good read to me. I don’t understand why so many dismiss the books because of the different take she puts forth.

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