Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Harry Potter v. Twilight, why Bella will be banned

I fully admit and own up to having read both the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series.
I fully admit and own up to liking both, pouring over books for hours unable to put them down, lost in their little alternate universes.
I fully admit that Bella will be banned in this house until my daughter is 25.
Only then will she be allowed to read the Twilight series.

I never thought that I would be a censorship parent, that I would have a list of books I wanted to make sure my child never laid eyes on. I figured I would be open, understanding, willing to let my little cherubs explore literature til they burst at the seams with word joy.

But, admittedly, I am going to take Stephenie Meyer's books, that I enjoyed so thoroughly as beach reading, that I devoured, and I'm going to hide them until my daughter is well past her years of teenage angst.

Am I going to raise a daughter who is strong and confident in herself and who would never even think of reacting to a relationship in the outlandishly insane way Bella Swan does? Yes. Yes I am.
Am I even going to give her the temptation of reading a really well drawn character who crumbles when her boyfriend leaves her? No. No I'm not.

It is in some ways a testament to Ms.Meyer's writing that I'm even concerned about this. Her characters are rich, whole and extraordinarily life like even though they are in their own ways absurd caricatures. But, alas, so was Candide.

The crumbling and clinging of Bella is in some ways a part of what we all feel in the throws of a relationship, especially in those delicate teenage years. Just amplified to a point where it is clearly unhealthy.

Mr. Potter and company on the other hand actually face hardships, and I'm not particularly sure yet how I will address all of those with my daughter. From Harry's orphaned status, to his mistreatment by relatives, to the fact that every adult he's close to bites the dust, those are going to be difficult, harrowing conversations.
But in some ways I look forward to them because truly there is a message of strength and perseverance, along with a healthy reliance on friendship and love. Healthy.

I could wax poetic for hours about my love for Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the cast of characters, but suffice it to say I would rather have my daughter face death and weird rebirths of true evil than wallow in a breakup.

Wow, that was a fun rant!

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