One of the rites of passage for new members of the Teacher Leaders Network Forum is to pen an essay for our TLN partnership page at Teacher Magazine. Jennifer Morrison, high school English teacher, PhD candidate and lover of 18th/19th century novels of manners offered us the “Confessions of a Twilight Addict,” in which she admits: “I can’t get enough. I’ve read it —all four books (five if you count the unpublished manuscript, Midnight Sun)—an embarrassing number of times.”
Between blushes, Jen describes the parallels she sees among the classics of early women’s lit and the fiction of Stephanie Meyers.
Twilight is timeless because it operates on a number of levels. It entertains like Pride and Prejudice, with a reliance on dialogue and over-description; it provides social commentary and criticism; it offers universal themes about love and society; and it inspires a vision of romance ideal in both Jane Austen’s time and our own.
For teen readers, Twilight is the book that makes classics relevant. While Twilight references Pride and Prejudice, its sequel New Moon draws parallels with Romeo and Juliet. Eclipse, the third book in the series, is littered with allusions to Wuthering Heights. For many of my students, the Twilight series has opened doors into much more difficult, classic texts.
What clever language arts teacher, she wonders, couldn’t hang a lesson on Twilight?