Pop Culture

Vampires & Suicide

In the interests of full disclosure, before I write this post I will front up and say that I have never seen nor read any installment of the Twilight Saga. My entire knowledge of the plot is garnered vicariously.

My main source of knowledge is the ever-wonderful, ever-hilarious Reasoning with Vampires tumblr. One evening my friend and I were planning a movie night. In the middle of our decision making process one of us threw out Twilight as a suggestion (completely ironically), which led to some har-de-har-hars, and me going “Oh, I know of this really hilarious tumblr!”…. 3 hours later and we hadn’t watched a movie at all, we had spent that entire time going through the archives of the RwV blog.

So when I say that Dana (the genius behind RwV) has just posted one of my favourite entries, you should understand the full weight of my meaning.

I am sure we have all read about how terribly terrible Twilight is, and the bad messages it sends to young women about their worth. But what I did not realise was how much Meyer romanticised suicide, and how terribly problematic this is in it’s own right.

I understand that teenagers (and grown-ups, too) have volatile emotions. A broken heart really can seem like the end of the world. People get depressed and feel like they have nothing to live for. I know.

Depression and suicidal ideations are real and should be taken seriously. These are issues that have a perfectly valid place in discussion and literature. The subject of suicide isn’t the problem; the presentation is.

Here we are at the end of New Moon. Everyone is safe and sound, despite the self-destructive behavior of our protagonist and her true love. What changed? What stabilized the will to live? Edward loves Bella; Bella loves Edward. Bella wasn’t dead; Edward wasn’t dead. The suicidal problem was only resolved because their relationship was revived. No one decided that life was worth living for the sake of being alive.

When you purposely write a bland protagonist to make it easier for the reader to relate to that character, you have an obligation to get the message across that suicide isn’t the answer. I’m not swayed by the fact that “it’s just a book,” because if readers can be inspired to greatness by books (and I believe people can be), the flip-side is that books can ignite destruction.

Darlings? Please know that suicide is not the answer. Please.

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Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia

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Lauren is a Maths and Physics student from somewhere in the southern hemisphere. She has an affinity for reality, and you can find her on twitter @lolrj, or Google+.


  1. January 17, 2012 at 7:25 pm —

    I view the entire series as an objective piece of fiction. For Edward, suicide is a viable option because of the nature of vampires, as written by Meyer. Falling in love permanently changes a vampire; it completely changes their way of thinking and their perspective of purpose in life. They don’t really change as a person from the time they turn, unless they fall in love.

    My big beef about this series is that we meet 20-some vampires (mostly couples) at the end of Breaking Dawn. None of the couples are same-sex. They know all these vampires, and all of them are heterosexual. There are the two females from South America, but they’re described as two parts to the same being, and not as a couple.

    Totally unrelated, but it’s my opinion, and one of the only negative ones I have about the series.

    • January 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm —


      I guess it is not surprising that Meyer is bad on the LGBT front considering she is Mormon.

      Re: Edward and suicide, I can see how that would make sense in the context of the story. However from what I understand it is Bella that has the suicidal ideations, and she is the human that (I imagine) most of the young girls reading these books are relating to.

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