Twilight Saga: New Moon – metaphor for the inner conflict between snow sports

Posted By: The Ski Channel on November 19, 2009 3:13 pm

“Twilight Saga: New Moon” writer Stephanie Meyer, says the theme of the film she penned, is about losing true love. But just what kind of love is she referring to? Could it be the typical type of love between two people, or the love for something else? Hmm.

“Twilight Saga: New Moon” picks up shortly where the original film left off, with Kristen Stewart’s character Bella Swan hopelessly in love with classmate Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). Important to note, Edward Cullen is actually a 107-year-old eternally young vampire, and she is human.

The Cullen family, after having let Bella in on their little secret in the first film that they’re a family of all vampires, plan a quiet 18th birthday party for Bella at their beautiful contemporary home. After suffering a minor paper cut, Bella is quickly attacked by Edward’s normally subdued vampire brother, Jasper, as he is drawn to even the faintest drop of her blood.

After Edward avoids disaster by hurling Jasper away, he decides he can’t risk having it happen again. He ends things with Bella, and she is devastated. Adding insult to injury, Edward convinces the entire Cullen family to move away from the tiny enclave known as Forks, WA.

The story then picks up with Bella recklessly trying to get Edward back, but she is eventually is drawn to Jacob Black, the Native American boy with whom she was childhood pals. Something though is very different about Jacob this time around though. He is looking good to Bella, a little too good. Could it be his thirty pounds of lean muscle he added to save his job in the movie? Or is it something else, something much more dark.

Eventually after evil vampires from the first installment return to harm Bella, it is revealed after he saves Bella that Jacob is in fact a werewolf, a sworn enemy to the Cullen family and vampires everywhere due to their territorial disputes. With Edward now gone, Bella and Jacob become much closer as the sexual tension between the two becomes almost unbearable.

Meanwhile, Edward believes that Bella has committed suicide during her “reckless stage.” Feeling like he has nothing to live for, he leaves for Italy to seek out the vampire royalty known only Volturi, who are capable of killing him. Yes, vampires can be killed.

After finding out Bella is in actuality alive, Edward’s sister, Alice, along with Bella herself, hurry in effort to save Edward from possible death at the hands of the Volturi. Edward is however spared because his skills are too valuable as a vampire, and is invited to join the vampire royalty. He denies, and wishes to return home with Bella and Alice. While leaving the country, the VolturI instruct Edward that Bella, because she is human and knows vampires exist, has one of two options: either she must be killed, or be transformed into a vampire.

Returning home, Bella finds Jacob waiting for her and there is a showdown between Jacob, Edward and Bella. Jacob tells Bella that they cannot be friends with Edward in the middle, and tells her if he bites a human he will be breaking the treaty between the vampires and werewolves, which would leave their vampire coven open to attack by Jacob and his crew. The story ends with Bella determined to find a place for Jacob in her life while also dealing with her desire to be a vampire.

The funny thing Twilight fans should know is that this movie is not as superficial as it seems. It’s actually serves as a massive metaphor for the ongoing conflict between skiers and snowboarders. Yes, you read me right.

Bella actually represents the newbie to winter sports, not just a teenage girl. Whenever one is raised in or moves to a mountain town like Forks, WA, such as Bella in the story, they must chose whether to ski or board. She quickly falls in love with Edward (skiing) with his initially rough exterior, and smooth ways (skiing). He is difficult to read at first, paralleling the sharp learning curve new skiers often find. Once Bella finally breaks through and begins to understand Edward, (skiing) she falls deeply into love with him (skiing).

Similar to many new skiers, she keeps falling deeper into love with the sport of skiing (Edward) until she pushes herself too hard that she is nearly killed. After Bella takes “a bad fall” (Jasper’s near successful attack on Bella), she is terrified of this new world (vampires).

Like so many beginning skiers who sustain an injury, Bella is deeply conflicted over whether she even wants to get back on skis. She goes though many phases of whether she wants to get back into skiing (Edward) and contemplates trying something new.

 

Representing something that is pretty on the outside but relatively boring beneath the core, Jacob the werewolf, represents snowboarding. He is pretty to look at (snowboarding fashion) on the outside with his looks, but lacks the depth that Bella really craves (skiing’s limitless terrain options).

She tolerates it because she is  now scared of skiing (vampires) and feels abandoned by the sport (Edward). She hopes that snowboarding (werewolves) might be more suited for her. Like most former skiers who try to pick up snowboarding, she is quickly able to do so, but grows tired of the sport (Jacob).

In the end she decides she must save Edward (skiing). However, no longer does she have the option to go back. The Volturi tell her she must change to their ways (her now undeniable and unavoidable obsession with skiing) or be killed (quit mountain sports all together).

When they return, the two “sports” begin to fight each other for Bella’s attention. This action mimics that of skiing and snowboarding fighting over territorial disputes in the cases of the few remaining skier-only resorts, and conflicts in terrain parks.

Both Jacob (snowboarding) and Edward (skiing) feel their way is right, and Bella must chose between the two. In the end she must go with her where her heart is, and that is with Edward (skiing).

In the end, while she is very much committed to the skiing lifestyle (Edward), she wants a place in her life for snowboarding (Jacob).

This ending is much in the same vein where we are increasingly noticing a number of people who avidly participate in both skiing and snowboarding. They can appreciate each for its pros and cons, and take away different elements of each sport.

And you thought it was just some dumb teen vampire movie…

 

 

 

 

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