Tuesday, January 06, 2009
The Vampire Who Wanted to be Good...
The mythology of vampires is always thought to be dark, haunting and the stuff of our most terrifying nightmares. Not so in the Twilight series. Stephanie Meyer makes vampires--the Cullen family at least--inviting and open. They are almost made to appear more human than the humans at times. For example, Dr. Carlisle Cullen is a doctor, an odd choice for a vampire but as he explains in the series when a human is turned into a vampire, they will have an enhanced ability from their previous life. He believes he brought compassion [let's not forget will power and stellar good looks] from his human life. Carlisle has had centuries to perfect his abilities and medicinal talents--making him an excellent doctor. Unlike most vampires, he is not tempted by the scent of human blood, most likely due to the 300 years he has spent abstaining from this temptation.
Quick History: Carlisle's father was an Anglican Pastor that hunted for witches, demons, vampires and werewolves during the 1640's, but his father never found any real creatures of this sort just humans he believed were" the creatures of Hell" and many died not being really guilty.
When his father became ill, Carlisle, assumed his father's positions and discovered a real coven of vampires. During the raid of the coven, he and his group tried to kill the vampires, but Carlisle is bitten. Although he is not dead, he knows what his father will have done with him--burned at the stake because of contamination--and so Carlisle crawls to a heap of potatoes and buries himself for three days while the transformation becomes complete. Knowing what he has become, Carlisle leaves with no intentions of coming back.
"I’m the world’s best predator, aren’t I? Everything about me invites you in — my voice, my face, even my smell. As if I need any of that!"
Edward Cullen, Twilight Chapter 13, p.263
So why make the vampires so inviting? So human? Why not? According to the series they are only separated from humans by two chromosomes. So why not show how similar vampires can be to humans?
When vampires who are nightmarish enter the scene then can't we see just how truly like humans they are--Can't humans be just evil? Nightmarish? Don't we have serial killers? People who murder for tiniest reason? [Don't believe me--I have a personal story there--another time perhaps?] It also draws a clear line, one that defines choice and free will. Look at this vampirical family that chooses to live a "vegetarian" lifestyle and see all the power and wonder that these beings hold but still have control of his/her choices. They choose to honor human life not take it and that makes them human as well as humane. It's the golden rule in its most basic form.
Are we not wondrous beings as well? And...Do we not have the same choices? Ones that can make us seem more or less human, but we may say that these characters are super-human or fictitious and their problems do not equate to ours. Fine. Believe that and choose to turn away from a belief that you are capable of achieving what you want to do.
Bella doesn't fall for Edward because she knows he's a vampire. She falls for him and is intrigued by not only him but his family because they are unique to her. A mystery that she needs to know more about. They lead, for vampires, extraordinary lives but they do not stand out in any special way other than just being a curious lot. A mystery that most people wouldn't bother exploring, but Bella isn't that ordinary either. She is discerning enough to know that Edward's agitated outward appearance is a facade to protect a deeper mystery. And so she searches...shouldn't this compel us to search out our own mysteries and find our own answers?
" I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand." Bella Swam Twilight, Chapter 4, p.79
We are all unique and can be just as mysterious--maybe not to ourselves but to others or someone. Find your path; find yourselves; find your dreams because you are the only ones who can fulfill them.
I mean, really, who wouldn't like the Cullens--or at least be envious of them--they look like freakin' models for Ralph Lauren!