Abstract

Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series (2005–8) demonstrates a strong connection with the theology, cultural practices and history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), of which Meyer is an active member. One of the strongest ways in which this connection is demonstrated is through characterisation: specifically, by featuring vampires and werewolves as prominent supernatural characters in the text. Twilight employs vampires as a metaphor for the LDS Church. By eschewing literature’s traditional association of vampires with subversive acts, especially subversive sexuality, and rewriting them as clean-cut pillars of the community, Twilight not only charts but promotes the progression of Latter-day Saints from nineteenth century social pariahs to modern day exemplars of conservative American family values. The series represents its Native American shapeshifting werewolves as an ancient group of people from LDS scriptural history called Lamanites, who were cursed by God with ‘a skin of blackness’ for their ‘iniquity’ (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:21). The construction of the werewolves as impoverished and socially marginalised yet with strong family ties enables the treatment of race in Twilight to move beyond a standard white/non-white binary frame to engage at a deeper level with LDS stereotyping of Native American people.

Keywords

Peer-reviewed, Twilight, Mormon, vampire, polygamy, Lamanite, Nephite

SMH article 21 4 12.pdf (733 kB)
Sydney Morning Herald Review

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Link to Publisher Version (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.3366/ircl.2012.0063