Thesis

True love's bite: the twilight saga as fairy tale and media virus

Regardless of whether or not we read fairy tales or horror stories, we are acculturated with the structure, motifs, and moral expectations and lessons that accompany these genres. As the traditions morph over time, society learns and maintains assumptions about the characters and the plots that are featured within both types of stories. In the Twilight saga, Stephenie Meyer creates texts that feature supernatural characters most commonly associated with horror stories; however, the saga's plot structure is easily mapped onto Vladimir Propp's thirty one functions of the fairy tale. By manipulating our expectations of the vampire story and turning it into a fairy tale, Meyer has written her texts to be consumed by a culture that is primed to be receptive of this familiar plot structure, which allows Meyer's moral and cultural themes to infiltrate consumers cultural DNA, and positions the Twilight saga to be what Douglas Rushkoff defines as a media virus. As the virus spreads, questions arise as to how the Twilight saga will infect its audience, particularly the young adult females that make up the primary fan base. Keywords: Stephenie Meyer, Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, Midnight Sun, vampires, fairy tales, media virus, Bella Swan, Edward Cullen

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