One of my awesome commenters for my Byronic Hero series slung one at me - now go and compare zombies with Shakespeare. Well, before I begin research on THAT daunting task, I'd like to quickly share some similarities with fairytales in the Twilight series. Now you Twilight haters, don't get me wrong, I'm not rabidly into Twilight, but this author deserves her due, even though I shamelessly used her to write about my favourite heroes, Darcy and Heathcliff with a dash of Rochester thrown in. Meyer's done her research - she's thought about links and she's written books that have sold millions. I never bedgrudge anyone their success.
Now just for fun, and because I spent yesterday watching Kate (or should I say Catherine?) Middleton's fairytale come true, I give you CinderBella:
"Once upon a time there was a dark forest of deep green where magical creatures simultaneously offered succour and peril, sanctuary and slaughter. At the edge of this forest lived a girl with skin as white as snow, a luscious blush to her cheeks, dark hair that rippled down her back, and a smell more tempting than ripe apples. The girl, whose name meant 'beauty', lived in exile with her father, for whom she kept house, cleaning and cooking with good will. She liked to read and had feet that would not dance and a mind that was silent to the probing of others.
Bella and her father were not poor exactly, but they had little to spare. Peerless as she was, she had no real friends among her own kind. Instead, she fell in love with an outsider-a prince who had the face of an angel, beastly appetites, and skin that reflected sunlight better than any glass slipper. Bella did not always heed warnings never to stray from paths in the forest and was therefore lucky to be befriended by the wolves living there-guardians of the forest and the 'provincial town' of Forks. The wolves cared not that Bella wore no hood of red, only that her blood continued to pump through her veins, lending its colour to her pale cheeks-and that she did not become the handsome prince's next meal."
Twilight and History, Nancy Regin, pp. 47-48.
Which fairytale does Twilight resemble most? If you look closely (and I did) there are bits and pieces of Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast and Little Red Riding Hood. The fairytale most apparent, however, is the American Dream - an aspiration of 'survival with hope' that has been handed down through the generations. Think about it...
Bella comes from a lower middle-class family. Her father Charlie is a small-town chief of police, and her mother Renee has a nondescript occupation and education. Rags to riches? Certainly. Maybe Bella wasn't in rags at the beginning of the story, but by the end she had access to unimaginable riches. The American Dream tradition is alive and well in Twilight, where a young woman is a variant of Cinderella, without the glass slippers. The right marriage elevates one out of the dark cabin in the woods to the sunlit castle on the hill. End of story?
Do you agree or disagree? Do you recognise a fairytale in Twilight?