Breaking Dawn: Breaking Wind, Breaking Minds – Part Two

Eventually, I had the courage to resume as the book shifts back to Bella’s perspective, and she goes through the agonizing transformation into a vampire before awakening, her senses sharper than ever and her alleged physical plainness and clumsiness gone for good, now just as implausibly attractive and powerful as other Meyerpires. Of course, as a Newborn Vampire, Bella is a volcano of hunger and rage, a danger to herself and others, and must be restrained from harming humans—

–Oh wait, she has perfect self-control to the point that Carlisle compares it to a superpower and is better than she ever was as a human. All her worries about losing anything during the transitional period where she’d be dangerous and not feel much but hunger prove completely unfounded, and Bella is now completely deprived of anything to make her flawed, interesting, or relatable. Understandably, the book gets really boring around this point after the horrors from before.

The book seems to end early on its normal anticlimax with the werewolves calling off their intent to attack once they find out that Jacob intends to raise Bella’s hellspawn to have his puppies, but Meyer decides to do what she neglected to do last time and actually wrap everything up in one go by having Renesmee (here after known as “Sin Against Nature”) noticed by another vampire, who mistakes her for an immortal child like the ones Carlisle mentioned and reports her to the Volturi. Bella is alarmed when Alice announces that the Vampire Mafia is about to come down and use Sin Against Nature’s very existence as an excuse to attack and draft the Cullens, but I can sort of see the Volturi’s point here. Not only are immortal children bad news, the idea of Edward and Bella reproducing is so vile and horrendous I’d be gearing up for war, too.

Alice and Jasper decide they’re too cool to die and promptly bail on the situation while Carlisle tries to call in favors to amass a force of vampires to bear witness to Sin Against Nature not being an immortal child. A variety of vampires, some with incredible superpowers, show up to help, but the majority of them still eat people. Carlisle, like a normal vegetarian, doesn’t force his views on them and lends them cars so they can go hunt, and the werewolves are for some reason OK with this. Bella is worried they’re still screwed, but finds out that in addition to her “self-control”, her unreadable mind has transformed into a psychic shield that could actually give them a chance. Still, Bella decides to cover her bases by setting things up for Jacob and Sin Against Nature to escape together if things go wrong.

The Volturi finally arrive in force, and the final confrontation begins between the Cullen family and the three Godfathers of the vampire world. The three leaders are Aro, the Sissy One, who seems to just be foppish and polite to the Cullens while allegedly planning world domination (presumably in charge of making people offers they can’t refuse), Caius, the Surly One, who is more brash and angry (presumably leaves severed horse heads in people’s beds), and Marcus, the Superfluous One, who doesn’t do or say anything (presumably the audience surrogate for male readers by just not giving a damn about the crap going on). There are mention of “THE WIVES” and their presence being a big deal, but like many things in Twilight, it’s not as important as you’d think; they don’t do anything except maybe indicate Aro isn’t the most effeminate member of the group.

You’d think that now that Bella has gone from utterly useless to a complete power fantasy with her Newborn strength and oh-so-special mind shield, but that doesn’t pay off either; everyone just sort of stands there and talks for a while before Alice and Jasper come back with another half-vampire to prove Sin Against Nature’s existence isn’t a threat. The witnesses and the Volturi go shuffling off in different directions, feeling very foolish, and the book ends, banality snatched from the jaws of conflict.

In the immortal words of Dorothy Parker, “This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.” Breaking Dawn is a wretched, disgusting work of literature I feel dirty just for reading. Sin Against Nature’s very existence is impossible, what little plot isn’t directly concerned with S.A.N. is stupid, and there is a lot of really gross, disturbing stuff going down without anyone seeming too bothered about it.

I mentioned earlier that this book is in blatant defiance of biology, and I meant that, too. It seemed like Meyer was trying to have Vampires make sense from a scientific perspective, but really she’d have been much better off claming it’s just magic and she doesn’t have to explain things, because her science is stupid.

How can you have a half-vampire? If Edward still had sperm frozen in time from his human days instead of venom, they would have been human sperm, because you can’t just alchemically transmute a cell to have two entirely new chromosomes in, and Edward wouldn’t be producing new sperm after his body died. Vampires reproduce virally, that’s fine, but they can’t ALSO reproduce sexually. But beyond that, the abomination produced by this absurd union could not possibly be brilliant and fast-growing like Sin Against Nature from a biological standpoint. Extra chromosomes are terrible for a growing child, and having one extra chromosome not linked to something causes all kinds of birth defects and often mental retardation. Having two extra chromosomes not connected to anything would pretty much guarantee Sin Against Nature would be mentally and physically stunted. Add to this that blood is one of the most inefficient sources of nutrition available and her growth rate is completely impossible. Creatures that feed on blood, such as vampire bats, mosquitoes, and ticks need to bloat their bodies to gain nutrition from it, and things that eat them need to eat LOTS of them. Sin Against Nature would need to either hunt constantly or completely bloat herself with blood to be able to process it efficiently.

This goes for werewolves, too. If they have an extra chromosome for their shapeshifting powers, wouldn’t the pack be uniquely suited to breed with Leah? Leah claims she has not had a period since the transformations began, but Werewolves can turn off their time-frozen powers at will, so Leah would be the best possible mother for producing werewolves, and yet nobody can imprint on her. There’s nothing we’re told about shapeshifting that indicates it would normally be an exclusively male trait, so female werewolves would be a logical step forward for them in Imprinting’s quest to make bigger, better wolves. Instead, Leah is treated as an aberration and a genetic dead end. It doesn’t make very much sense to me at all.

Speaking of the frozen in time thing, that raises some pretty horrific implications for Sin Against Nature, who we are told will grow for seven years; when she is seven years old actually, she will be 18 physically and an old woman mentally. Ignoring that such a person would be one of the creepiest things in the world to romance, once she hits 7/18, she freezes in time and lives forever like that. Based on what we know, immortal and unaging women are unable to have children, so Jacob’s only getting those puppies if he impregnates Sin Against Nature before she turns 7 and stops aging. It’s blatant pedophilia no matter how you slice it, and like with Quil and Claire, Imprinting doesn’t take the Westermark Effect into account. For those of you not in the know, the Westermark Effect is an effect of reverse human imprinting that means children are sexually desensitized to people they live in close domestic proximity to during the first few years of their life. Basic human psychology indicates that Sin Against Nature and Claire will never want to have children with Jacob and Quil, but as we’ve learned, Imprinting doesn’t accept “no”.

Breaking Dawn had a lot more characters than usual, but nothing that really gave me much interest in awarding points. Bella and Edward were horrible as usual, Jacob was only marginally more sympathetic than in Eclipse and then got brainwashed into a child molester, and most of the new vampires introduced were undeveloped and boring. Alice and Jasper didn’t really get to be in the book much, so the only ones I’m giving points to are Emmett, for not taking this melodrama seriously and repeatedly dropping double entendres that were actually funny while Bella tries to dramatize that her life is pretty much all about sex and her hell-baby now, and Leah, for being an interesting character. She’s a woman in a situation that hadn’t happened before but isn’t as implausible as things like Vampire Pregnancy, regarded with confusion and hostility by her male colleges, and needs to struggle with the unfair circumstances of her life before finally moving on and proving a capable and snarky second-in-command to Jacob’s mini-pack. Sadly, Leah and Emmett don’t get to do much, and so the book largely focuses on completely uninteresting people doing disgusting things. Bella in particular ascends to the highest rank of Mary Sue by not only being romantic wish fulfillment for Stephanie Meyer but also a power fantasy. Vampire Bella is apparently the strongest vampire in the book, described as perfect in every way, adored by all, and basically the sort of thing people fantasize about being when they’re in High School and want to be special. There is nothing interesting or relatable about her, as her life will basically consist of raising her self-reliant hell-baby for a few years before Jacob takes over and leaves her to have bed-breaking sex with Edward and leech off Carlisle’s enormous fortune forever, never growing old or having any problems. There’s no real conflict, not when Aro proves about as threatening as a Saturday morning cartoon villain that postures a lot but retreats at the first sign of resistance, and with no real conflict, there’s nothing interesting.

This is the last book in the series (thank god) so I will also relate what I think the lessons Meyer is conveying are, intentionally or not.

1.    Aging is the worst thing ever. Life would be perfect if it stopped at 18 and nobody had to deal with growing up, gaining responsibilities, and eventually getting old.
2.    Relationships are not a casual thing; if you love someone, it is obsessive, all-consuming, and you should have next to no life beyond your significant other. Said love is generally established the very first second you see your “soulmate”.
3.    Physical beauty is a good way to judge the inner goodness of a person. Books are only as good as their cover and pretty people get away with murder.
4.    Motherhood is the only thing in a woman’s life more important than her man. If you cannot have or do not want children, you are less of a woman than those that do.
5.    Stalking is the truest expression of love and devotion.
6.    Don’t have sex before you get married.
7.    Stephanie Meyer’s favorite word is “chagrin”. She has only a vague idea of what it means.

I think Meyer only intended 4 and 6, but that’s what I got out of it. Breaking Dawn is the horrible conclusion to an awful series of books, and I am appalled that Meyer made a lot of money off of this.

I don’t know if Twilight is destined to fade into obscurity, but it deserves to be forgotten so it does not influence future writers. If you have not read the books, I recommend you keep it that way. I could not honestly recommend Breaking Dawn to any human being that could say they loved books and mean it.

To conclude, I recommend dealing with these books the same way one would deal with the vampires therein; tear it apart and set it ablaze. It’s the only way to be sure.

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