Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Communication

Major Professor

Elizabeth Bell

Keywords

Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, Vampire, Young Adult

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This dissertation argues that Bella Swan is a representation of Barbara Creed's monstrous-feminine which serves to reinforce ideologies that insist women are abject, inherently dangerous to men, and threatening to a patriarchal status quo. Through close-textual analysis of The Twilight Saga, I demonstrate how the monstrous-feminine frames the hysterical teenage body, hypersexuality, and eternal motherhood as simultaneously unacceptable and unavoidable. These negative women's stereotypes continue to persist in dominant popular culture, and this doublebind is overcome only by the impossible perfection of vampirism. The monstrous-feminine invites constructions of teenage bodies as unstable and unreliable, women's sexuality as dangerous and impure, and motherhood as a requirement for a complete identity. These constructions are particularly dangerous in Young Adult literature and particularly inspirational in fanfiction.

Share

COinS