Tips for Teachers: You Too Can Capitalize on Student Interest in Twilight and New Moon

December 24, 2010 by  
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Tips for Teachers: You Too Can Capitalize on Student Interest in Twilight and New Moon

Tips for Teachers: You Too Can Capitalize on Student Interest in Twilight and New Moon


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Home Page > Education > K-12 Education > Tips for Teachers: You Too Can Capitalize on Student Interest in Twilight and New Moon

Tips for Teachers: You Too Can Capitalize on Student Interest in Twilight and New Moon

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Your students have finals coming up soon. They need to be studying non-stop, re-reading and analyzing a semester’s worth of information. Instead, they – along with millions of others nationwide – crashed the New Moon movie opening to the tune of 0 million. Rather than view it as a distraction from assigned reading, try to capitalize on the fact that the author, Stephanie Meyer, is a huge fan of classic lit – and makes it known throughout the series.

For example, the young lovers’ interactions in Twilight, the first in the series, was loosely modeled after the Darcy-Elizabeth dynamic in Pride and Prejudice: Edward, the handsome vampire, falls for the human Bella against his will (not to mention his better judgment), initially alienating her with his shocking rudeness but ultimately pursuing her despite already being slated for another woman. Luckily for us, Meyer forgoes giving Bella any suitors that could rival Mr. Collins in obnoxiousness.

In the second novel New Moon, Edward’s sudden disappearance leaves Bella consulting the classics for relationship advice. Comparing her and Edward’s forbidden romance to that of Romeo and Juliet, Bella asks herself, is it possible to survive without love? How would the story be different if Juliet had gone for Paris after Romeo’s death? Should she continue seeing Jacob at the risk of upsetting Edward? Romeo and Paris duel in the play, Bella recollects, and “Paris falls.” Of course, the fact that Bella’s “Romeo” is already dead gives her a bit of an unfair advantage in the decision-making department, but the analogy still works.

As a whole, the Twilight series is full of literary allusions, including everything from George Orwell to Geoffrey Chaucer. Meyer strategically places her favorite books on her heroine’s bookshelf so that the series’ characters can discuss the best parts. On her website, Meyer even admits that she named her male lead with some of her other favorite heroes in mind, such as Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility and Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. Moreover, Twilight’s Bryonic hero motif has reinvigorated popular interest in the Brontë sisters, and sales of Wuthering Heights are reportedly skyrocketing in France. Obsessed though your students may be, enthusiasm isn’t one of those teacher resources you can find just anywhere.

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Paul Thomson
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Shmoop is an online study guide for English Literature like New Moon. Its content is written by Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities, like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale who have also taught at the high school and college levels. Teachers and students should feel confident to cite Shmoop.

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Article Tags:
teacher resources, twilight, new moon, stephanie meyer, literature

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Shmoop is an online study guide for English Literature like New Moon. Its content is written by Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities, like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale who have also taught at the high school and college levels. Teachers and students should feel confident to cite Shmoop.

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