I finished the third book of the Twilight series a couple of days ago. If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that it was moving a bit slow for me around page 429. Meyer delivered, I was mainly just getting board with the story (as one might after nearly 1,800 pages of reading). However, it picked up for me and began redeeming itself quite nicely, especially when I discovered why most girls (including Bella Swan) are so enamored by Edward Cullen. It turns out that his character, in my opinion, is one of the most chivalrous, moral, and patient pop culture figures of our time--keeping in mind that he is a fictional person. When Bella gets caught up in a moment where both could compromise their physical relationship--Bella decides to "go after" Edward with every alluring way she knows--Edward on the other hand wants to wait until they are married, he wouldn't even touch or look at her in a way that was inappropriate. It was a surprise to read and it's not often that you see this character on television or in books. It was refreshing. One might wonder if boys like Edward still exist. (I would have to say yes---forgive me for being a mush pot--because I've found one, his name is Coy and he respected my physical space like a true gentleman.)
It seems unlikely for teenagers and young adults to air their physical commitments to sexual purity on their blogs and facebooks, but I'm convinced that there is a population of guys (and girls) who truly desire to save something special---but who are also finding it challenging--who are willing to give it up because it's easier to give in to the inner struggle. Edward's character is a vampire and he seems to posses some other-worldly strength. But I know there are real, live, young, and beautiful humans today making decisions to "wait".
Later on in the book, we read that Edward attempts to compromise. There is a moment when he throws all caution to the wind--you see him for a brief moment just wanting to live in the moment. (Sound familiar? We've all been there.) He decided to give Bella what she wants. At that point, she wants to do the right thing and wait. Meyer deserves praise for not ignoring the conflict that is real in most of us. I'm not sure how many girls would have hedged their metaphorical Edward off at that point.
I have to say that I believe in a God that saves and give us strength to persevere through trials and temptations. I am not perfect and have had my fair share of compromise. But, I know this particular strength firsthand as I was able to keep some things sacred for Coy--I'm not saying it was easy by any stretch of the imagination--but possible. This is why I was impressed with make-believe Edward and Bella--the story can encourage all of us (no matter how far we've gone) to choose selflessness over selfishness.
No matter how melodramatic the Edward/ Bella relationship has become, the story brought something pretty valuable to the table--that there are some things worthy waiting for.
Labels: Edward Cullen, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, Vampires