In our modern society, we are taught to accept advice at face value: "don't eat the yellow snow" or "don't ask the barber whether or not you need a haircut." This frame of mind and the underlying concept of an antiquated quote possessing substantial truth and inherent value is being applied to today's literary works. However, people overestimate the inclusion of an epigraph in a work to be vital to the "correct" interpretation of said work. They will construe the epigraph to be a tool to foreshadow events; others believe it is meant to encourage the reader to pre-form an enigmatic, yet symbolic concept of the author's intention. Yet, in the very nature that they are the audience and not the narrator or the writer, they are left in ambiguity as to the true intentions of the author, who may find the quote to be merely supplemental (or conversely, imperative to the interpretation of the book.). As it is up to the audience to interpret its value, some readers choose to take the epigraph at face value and assume that because there IS an epigraph, it therefore should be actively applied to the book as a whole.
It is general interpretation in the Twilight fandom that the books are escape literature, and as such, I propose that it be compared to other escape literature and not works cited within said text; it has already been specified that the intention of the author can not be determined from the addition of a simple quotation to the first page, and as such, should be discouraged from use as "evidence" toward any audience members' individual beliefs. This essay outlines similarities between the themes and characters of the Twilight series and Disney's The Little Mermaid, and how the classic nature of the latter can predict the outcome of the former.
It goes nearly without saying that the protagonists of The Little Mermaid and of Twilight are Ariel and Bella, respectively. Both long for the life they're NOT living – the life lived by the men they love. Ariel, bound to the sea, is constantly separated from Prince Eric, about which she frequently laments: "What would I give to live where you are, what would I pay to stay here beside you?" One of her earliest reactions to this separation intensely focuses on what she could give/lose in order to preserve this relationship. Bella, in a similar display, claims: "I'd rather die than be with anyone but [Edward]."
Ariel and Bella both seem prone to getting into trouble with their fathers, and both react by fleeing the immediate premises. Both go to great lengths to learn about their respective loves; Ariel gathers knick-knacks in an attempt to understand humans, while Bella does somewhat extensive research into vampire lore and the Cullen family. Both are completely captivated upon first seeing Eric and Edward, and are excited again to have replications of them: Ariel, through her statue of Eric, and Bella, through her photographs. Both Ariel and Bella live in their fathers' homes.
Following this declaration, Prince Eric is Edward. Although perfect men and fabulously wealthy, neither can seem to dress themselves like those they surround themselves with. Prince Eric stands out as the well-dress sailor, and Edward is described as apparent in his expensive clothes. They both have musical voices and play musical instruments, and face pressure from family figures to get married. Prince Eric saves Ariel's life by ramming a boat through Ursula, the sea-witch; whereas Edward saves Bella's life by killing Victoria. Both fulfill the 'hero' role and the love interest in classic literature.
Sebastian is Jacob; both are initially favored as the childhood friend [over the love interest] by King Triton, who is Charlie (as both are the head of their respective ruling authorities, and fathers to the main characters.). Sebastian/Jacob take an instant dislike for Prince Eric/Edward; Sebastian's initial reaction to Prince Eric is disbelief and derision: "We'll just forget this whole thing ever happened." Jacob's initial regard for Edward is similar in its dislike as he speaks of Edward's family as "the cold ones" without consideration for his family's merit. Both retain these prejudiced beliefs for a great portion of their respective storylines.
Sebastian furthers this analogy while he adamantly argues that "[he] told [Ariel] to stay away from humans; they are bad, they are trouble!" while Jacob results to calling vampires as a whole "leeches" and "bloodsuckers." Both earn the protagonists' anger when they snitch to their individual parents about their wrongdoings: Ariel's "Why don't you go tell my father - you're good at that!" and Bella's "Let me go! I'm going to murder him! TRAITOR!" Eventually, both realize that the main character deserves the main love interest and abandon their immature behavior. Sebastian even remarks that "[King Triton] will march you home and you will just be... just be... miserable for the rest of your life," signaling that he understands that losing Prince Eric would be excruciating for Ariel.
Ursula is Victoria in the simplest way; they are the antagonist and they both intend to use Ariel/Bella to destroy the men that love them. Additionally, they both have truly unfortunate hair.
There are several similar themes in both Twilight and TLM. The most prominent of those is the rampant belief by the protagonist's opposition that they should not marry or date outside of their "normal" environment or race. It is even expressed in delight by the antagonist: "No, I can't stand it... the child is in love with a human! And not just any human, the prince!" Sebastian and Jacob both become discouraged to hear how Bella and Ariel view their homes to be outside their natural habitats, and that the 'home' has become where the love interest is; between Sebastian's subdued "Down here is your home," and Jacob's version of the same:
"Why are you taking me here?" I demanded.
He looked at me blankly. "I thought you said you were going home?"
"Ugh. I guess you can't take me to Edward's house, can you?" I ground my teeth in frustration.
Pain twisted across his face, and I could see that this affected him more than anything else I'd said.
"This is your home, Bella," he said quietly.
Both Ariel and Bella face the dissension of their parents and subsequent demands for order; King Triton's "As long as you live under my ocean, you will live by MY rules!" mirrors Charlie's "This is my house — you follow my rules!" almost exactly. Bella and Ariel both insist on the integrity of what they want: "[Ariel] just [doesn't] see how a place that makes such wonderful things... could be bad," and Bella speculates "You're dangerous? […] But not bad. No, I don't believe that you're bad." Both cite the man they love as "beautiful" and that someday they'll be "part of [their respective love interests'] world." Additionally, Bella and Ariel worry about what will happen should they give up themselves up in the fight for the men they wish to be with. Bella, giving up her life, worries that it will destroy Charlie and Renee, while Ariel ponders "if [she] becomes human, [she'll] never be with [her] father or sisters again." Both decide they want to give up their family and leave their homes, regardless.
Following this pattern of common features, one can easily predict that the rest of the Twilight series will follow TLM: there will be a three day transition period (Ariel had three days to get Prince Eric to kiss her, or she would join Ursula's "garden"), there will be a wedding between Bella and Edward, and Bella will get what she wants with the blessing of Charlie, regardless of Jacob's opinion.
And they'll all live happily ever after. [~*~*~Especially Edward and Bella.~*~~*]