Harry Potter vs. Twilight

All right, so I know that this isn’t wholly Oswego-related as usual, but I just figured I’d post this anyway. Hey, it’s something to talk about. I recently read a review of Breaking Dawn (well it was actually written in response to this novel but was relevant to the whole series) that said that it’s not good but is rather entertaining, and I think that that is something with which I can agree. Meyer’s Twilight novels as a series is far from being good literature. Like I said, it’s entertaining. (This review may contain some spoilers; you have been warned.)

However, I will say that I began reading this in late December shortly after Christmas, and I just finished yesterday (today is March 10). Not only have I been incredibly busy with schoolwork as a college student, but I also simply didn’t have the motivation to read this one like I did the second and third novels. They were really good, and I immensely enjoyed them (as opposed to the first novel which I basically consider to be a literary joke). This one lacked a lot.

It’s very slow. That’s part of the reason why it took me so long to read. There is so much of the book in which nothing really happens, especially Book II: Jacob. The novel is over 750 pages, and it seemed to me as if through this book series, Meyer was hoping to achieve the status of being the next J.K. Rowling, at which she has failed miserably. She lacks Rowling’s creativity, and Twilight is not Harry Potter by any means.

Bella does not have to make sacrifices, as I also read in another review. She basically gets the best of both worlds, and that doesn’t make for a good protagonist by any means. Sure, in the same fashion as Harry Potter, Bella prepares to walk to her death at the end of Breaking Dawn, but that’s part of my point when I say Meyer was trying to make this series the epic journey that Harry Potter is, and she failed. Here are some reasons why

Harry was sacrificing himself for everyone, not just his family, and it was only him that he was sacrificing. Bella was prepared to sacrifice as many people as needed to selfishly save her daughter. I understand that the relationship between a mother and a daughter is one that is nearly impossible to break, because its strength is unmatched, but that was really ALL that mattered to her. She didn’t care who had to die for HER cause. I therefore don’t think it can be argued that Bella’s intents were as good or as tactically epic as Harry’s.

Secondly, Harry was marching to his death, ready to be slain by his WORST enemy, someone that destiny predicted from an early time that he would have to fight, and either he or his enemy (I’m obviously referring to Voldermort here) would have to die as a result. Harry was ready for that person to be him. There was a personal vendetta between Harry and Voldemort, and other than the fact the Volturi were using Bella’s daughter as an excuse to take them down since they saw them as a threat, this vendetta had a very pressing absence in this novel, especially since Voldemort had been Harry’s enemy from the beginning; the Volturi don’t really become Bella’s true enemy until Breaking Dawn, therefore withdrawing from the explosively epic ending that never was.

I don’t want to use the entire review to make contrasts between the Twilight series and the Harry Potter series, because as a fair critic, I should be looking at the Twilight series on its own. It’s just that I can’t help but make contrasts, especially since (a) it is so common to do so, and (b) I hear people actually say that the Twilight series is better, and although every person is wholly entitled to his or her opinion, I couldn’t disagree more. I think some of it may have to do with Bella obviously being a female and Harry obviously being a male, and I can therefore relate to Harry on a deeper level, but that’s definitely not all of it. J.K. Rowling is a much better writer than Stephenie Meyer, and the story of Harry Potter is much more powerful.

I think that the only aspect of this novel that made it epic was Bella finally becoming a vampire. I suppose that here I should negate what I said earlier about her not really having to make any serious sacrifices, because during the time period in which her body changes, she undergoes extreme physical pain and can’t scream or say anything about it for a couple of reasons, one of them being because she’s weighted by morphine which doesn’t help her at all. However, she knew that the transformation was going to be painful; she was willing to accept that. She knew that was part of the deal, so it wasn’t really a sacrifice if you think about it.

I just don’t understand the hype over it. I am not going to say I hate it, because I don’t. I’d be a hypocrite if I did that. I own a tee-shirt. I appreciate it, but it didn’t come anywhere close to having the impact on me that Harry Potter did, and Twilight has an incredibly long journey to go before it reaches Harry Potter’s standards, and I don’t think that that’s a race that it’s ever going to win.

About the Author

Hey, I'm Christopher. I am currently a graduate student in the SUNY Oswego English program, and I am also a Desk Attendant in Sheldon Hall (where I am also living). I graduated with two degrees in May 2012 - English and Adolescence Education with a Concentration in English. I substitute-taught in Rome City School District fall 2012 and then came back to school in January 2013 in order to obtain a masters degree in English, which I plan to obtain in May 2014. I love to read, and I love TV shows, especially science-fiction and fantasy.
Email: ccook@oswego.edu
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