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Title: Bella's Passion: Romanticising Suicide and Demonising Sex in 'Twilight'
Contributor(s): McKay, Kathryn  (author); Maple, Myfanwy  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: The 'Twilight' Saga is a worldwide phenomenon, inspiring Twihards of all ages into breathless endorsements of its apparently ageless romance. While media critiques have focused on questionable literary skills and the obsession it has inspired in its fans, few have examined the idolization of a female heroine so passive in her initial acceptance of death and so active in her desire to die in order to be a good woman to Edward. Bella's see-sawing between active and passive suicidality corresponds with the manner in which her sexual desires are conceptualised in terms of insatiability and denial. Only allowed fulfillment of her sexual desires after marriage, Bella's sexual passions then become reframed into physical violence, exemplified by the bruises she rejoices in finding inscribed along her body. This violence extends into a pregnancy that inevitably kills her - a fulfillment of her desire throughout the novels. Rather than kill her own body, which would harm the baby, she allows the baby to kill her - and Edward to save her by turning her into a vampire. Beneath this narrative lies a desire for death that is romanticized by the fact that Bella does not die at all - she becomes immortal. It is important to dissect the trajectory of the language Bella uses to conceptualise and articulate death, sex, and love throughout the novels. This will illustrate the frightening ease with which a modern romantic idol is stripped of her agency and self-value in a way that denies her sexual desire but encourages her desire to die.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: Making Sense Of: Suicide 3 - 3rd Global Conference on Making Sense Of Suicide, Salzburg, Austria, 10th - 12th November, 2012
Source of Publication: 3rd Global Making Sense Of: Suicide Conference Programme, Abstracts and Papers (Session 7: Constructing and Depicting Suicide in the Arts), p. 1-16
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary.Net
Place of Publication: online
Field of Research (FOR): 111708 Health and Community Services
111714 Mental Health
111710 Health Counselling
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Category Description: E2 Non-Refereed Scholarly Conference Publication
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Series Name: Probing the Boundaries
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Appears in Collections:Conference Publication

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