Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes

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The plot is relatively straightforward, following events in a clear linear fashion. The only exception is at the very beginning: the Prologue serves as a kind of teaser now common in popular narratives - starting with the most exciting part of the story, the climax, so that readers want to know what exactly led to that moment and why. This has become a common ploy in popular culture narratives, especially in visual media such as movies and television.

One can clearly follow the novel's structure in terms of the romance novel. The first meeting between heroine and hero seems to alienate the two from each other; in this case, the encounter in Biology lab and its consequences weigh heavily on Bella's mind. The attention of rival love matches enters the scenario; in this case for Bella, as she must contend with Mike, Eric, and later Tyler. Next, a rescue bring the hero and heroine closer together; actually, Edward saves her twice, first from Tyler's out-of-control van, then from the four men in Port Angeles. The two lovers are united in a brief idyll; in this case, it's the hike through the woods where they declare their love for each other, as well as the time spent with Edward's family. An outside threat again tests the bonds of their loves; in this case, the threat is James hunting her down all the way to Phoenix. Finally, the hero saves the heroine again and the couple is reunited; this happens in the last two chapters and the Epilogue, though questions remain since there are future volumes in the series.

One can also consider the expository nature of a horror novel for its first third: that is, a mystery poses itself to the protagonist, specifically the unusual behavior of Edward Cullen, and it is heightened when an unusual event occurs. In the case of many horror stories, that unusual event is the loss of life or a threat of some sort; here, it is a life-saving moment, when Edward rescues Bella with his vampire speed and strength. She does not know the root of this event - that is, how Edward could do what he did - and finally finds out the truth by a Native American, Jacob Black, passing along the legend of the cold ones. This is where Twilight departs from traditional horror novels, as Bella not only must accept this horrible fact, but whether or not she loves Edward anyways - and quite firmly, she decides she does love Edward and will stay with him.

While some may argue that the introduction of James and his coven in the last third of the novel makes for a less organic read - that is, it forces new elements late into the narrative instead of letting already-established dramatic elements continue to develop in a meaningful manner. First, this is very much in keeping with the tradition of genre romance novels, where the newly-united couple face a final and unexpected trauma that seeks to tear them apart. Second, as part of a planned series of novels, the introduction of the trio does not seem late in the over-arching narrative the Twilight series follows. As readers of the series know, the story of James and Victoria does indeed continue in future installments in a significant manner.

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Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Free BookNotes Summary

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