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IntroductionEdit

In today’s world, there have been many technological advancements pertaining to novels, readings, and discussions. Before any of these advancements have come into play, book clubs were the most similar to any type of online forum or discussion. Presently book clubs still do exist, but online communities are taking over, whether it is movies, novels, or even video games. There is always something to discuss or dispute over these topics. An example for these types of communities is Twilight, where teenagers and even adults discuss the novel and different ideas about it.
Twilightbook

TwIlight Book Cover

Online Twilight communities have come together to produce forums, wikis, and discussions that discuss and interpret different features of the series in which there are haters interfere and disputes that come about. Over the course of the semester, the class has gone over different themes from novels and readings such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate”. In Shelley’s Frankenstein, sympathy was a major theme within the story, whether it was a character sympathizing for another character or the reader sympathizing for the characters[1]. In this theme, it is similar to the Twilight novels as the readers feel how the relationships in the novel are distinguished. Also in the novels, the individual characters show much sympathy to one another because the story in the novel concentrates on that specific theme. In Pinker’s “The Blank Slate”, he discusses the idea of the Noble Savage. The Noble Savage is a belief that humans are selfless, peaceable, and untroubled. However due to civilization, humans become greedy, violent, and anxious [2]. The author of the Twilight novels creates a sense of Noble Savage in both Vampires and Werewolves, as they are peaceful and untroubled until civilization changes them to act differently. This theme is seen throughout the novels when Vampires and Werewolves engage one another causing them to act vicious and violent. Sympathy and the Noble Savage are big parts in the novels, which makes readers understand the characters lives from their perspective.


The themes found within the novels are one of the main reasons why there are possibilities in the Wired World. The Wired World consists of many different aspects such as hypertext, wikis, and forums. Hypertexts are important and bring a new dimension to novels because it allows readers to understand certain parts that may be confusing. This is especially important when there are online texts from the novel because using the hypertext functions gives more insight that readers may need to understand themes and ideas of the novel. As technology and ideas are advanced, it allows non-scholars to provide knowledge of their own to the Wired World. This comes in forms of wikis and forums that are accessible online. In more popular wiki pages such as Wikipedia and Wikia, there are endless amounts of information that are based on the Twilight novels that help readers find more information on characters, themes, and summaries. These pages are provided and edited by the average reader and non-scholarly people. Another new way of discussing novels are through forums, where reader communities come together to discuss different topics about the novels or ideas that rise about the novels. These forums are very similar to what many people would call book clubs, but on a larger scale. This shows how the Wired World has so many possibilities that allow readers to communicate with other readers and understand the novels in a different perspective than their own.


The semester has brought upon many different novels and readings that help with the research for this project. In Frankenstein, the idea of sympathy crosses over to my project because of the topic I chose [3]. Using the theme shows how readers can understand the sympathy characters feel for one another. In forums, readers like to discuss different parts or ideas that come about from novels.
The Blank Slate

Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate

Sympathy plays a role in how readers feel about the characters, whether they are on one character’s side or the other. In using Pinker’s “The Blank Slate”, I understand how the belief of the Noble Savage is very similar to the characters in Twilight. It allows the readers to understand the differences between human interaction with other species as well as why the other species act the way they do. In this case, readers understand the anger and violence that comes about in the film because that is how civilization makes them out to be. This lets readers discuss the possibilities as to why this certain character acts the way they do. It brings all sorts of topics that people would enjoy discussing. Discussing interpretive communities from the novel brings a whole new topic. It is how readers understand the novel. Everyone has a different way of thinking and some readers may look more into certain themes in a novel, which causes disputes or discussions [4]. Interpreting the text is what forums are built around, so that discussion can occur.

Interpretive DisputesEdit

Interpretive disputes are when the way a meaning is arrived collectively rather than individually. This does not always mean everyone agrees, which sometimes leads to disputes usually in discussion groups or online forums. In the Twilight Saga, these novels are more fictional that non-fictional. However, readers still wonder how some parts can actually happen. One example is called “The Science of Twilight”, where readers dispute over how a vampire and human can make a baby [5]. The idea started with one reader, called “Debussygirl”, discussing how a 25-chromosome vampire can make a baby with a 23-chromosome human. To compare the two, the reader brings into play how mules are made. The chromosome count is different for donkeys and horses, but yet they can still reproduce a mule. This holds true for the liger, too. The big question is whether the baby is a human or vampire.


The story in Twilight is very fictional because of Vampires and Werewolves. This makes the dispute very interesting because none of it can be true. However, discussions continue as more questions arise as to whether their baby can have children and will she be more human that vampire. This specific topic shows how devoted these readers are to the novels to the point
Twilight Eclipse

Vampire vs. Werewolf

where they can imagine the world the novels bring. It seems as if Debussygirl is the only one providing scientific knowledge while trying to bring mules into the conversation. This shows how someone can make something so make believe into something so real. Most readers seem to be knowledgeable of the novels, which make them understand how this can possible happen in the novel. It seems that different readers make their cases differently, some use scientific meaning and some use information given from the text. The author of Twilight possibly understands that this question may arise from the text. Those readers who want to really get down into the facts will do their best to interpret the novel inside and out. The readers that participated in this discussion understand that this cannot truly happen, but in a fictional world it can, which makes it more interesting about how these readers feel it is necessary to discuss this.


Another interesting discussion or dispute found in this forum was how readers incorporated the ideas in the novels of Harry Potter into Twilight discussions. The Sorting Hat is an idea used in Harry Potter to split each individual into a specific group such as Gryffindor considered good or Slytherin considered bad. Using this idea, readers brought up the topic of where the main characters in Twilight would fall under [6].
KristenSortinghat

Bella wearing the Sorting Hat

A reader in the forum called Smittenbytwilight suggested that Bella, the main female character in the novel, should be in Gryffindor. She states that she can quote specific evidence in the novel to show this. Many others disagree as they say Bella belongs in one of the other four groups. Using the text, these readers have to understand what characteristics the characters have to even consider any specific group for them. Readers make their case through quotes or mainly attributes that are developed by reading the novel. The readers dispute with one another as they believe a character should belong in this group and in the end, there is still no collective answer.


Knowledgeable CommunitiesEdit

One helpful use of forums and wikis are the information it can provide. These are know as knowledgeable communities where devoted readers and fans create a wiki page solely on a novel, film, video games, and just about anything. There are two main wiki pages that I have come across that provide so much knowledge on the Twilight series, Wikia and Wikipedia. Wikia is actually shows a more advanced display and it includes linked photos of the characters so that when you click on a photo, it goes to a description of the character.
Screen Shot 2012-05-08 at 3.36.20 PM

Twilight Wikia

On the main page of the Twilight Wikia, a fan may choose his or her own path. They can choose a specific Twilight series book or maybe even one of the films. On the Twilight Wikipedia, all the information is on the same page, so a person could scroll down to find what they are looking for or they may click the link on the table of contents.


A few parts that are unique about these wikis are that it shows different aspects of the book that readers might have to
Screen Shot 2012-05-08 at 3.40.14 PM

Twilight Wikipedia

read over such as what powers the vampires have or what is different from the novels and the films. These wiki pages are different than knowledgeable communities such as Survivor Sucks because the “spoiling” is different. If people have not read the Twilight series then they could spoil it for themselves by readings these in depth summaries that the fans and twilight readers have already typed out for them. Survivor Sucks is more of a fan based that seeks to find out what happens before it is released. To compare these wikis to such would be finding out what happens in the novel before the publisher releases it to the public.


These knowledge communities come together to produce a finished work of art that comes from the Twilight series. Different from interpretive disputes, knowledgeable communities reproduce the information that comes from the books versus disagreeing on why or how something has happened in the book.
250px-Breaking Dawn cover

Breaking Dawn

One could tell that fans have come together to form an organized way to somewhat specialize the only the text and what it contains such as characters, themes, and settings. When comparing the Wikia and Wikipedia, Wikia is definitely a better source. Wikia has more visual aids and color to attract the audience [7]. The information on Wikia is more in depth. For example, in Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book in the series, is broken into three sub-books similar to Frankenstein where it contain the different perspectives of the characters [8]. In Wikia, the fans have provided in depth summaries of each sub-book whereas Wikipedia just provides an overall plot summary and background [9]. This is more helpful to those who really want in depth plot summaries and information about the text, but for those who want a general understanding of the text then Wikipedia will not “spoil” too much of the book to the readers. Wikia also provides a discussion section at the end of each heading and sub-heading therefore fans can discuss the novels in the respective sections. This make is better to discuss the book in general, however, forums are a better place to suggest new topics.

HatersEdit

Twilight is a very unique love story that catches the hearts of many teenagers, young adults, and even adults. Many believe
No-Haters-Button-0992

No Haters Please!

that once the Twilight series has been released, vampires have been the rage these days. There are countless movies and television shows that have the same idea as Twilight such as True Blood and Vampire Diaries. Much of this has brought “haters” into the light where such readers do not approve of this vampire nonsense.


In many forums there are “haters” that come on and either disagree on everything about the books or comment using vulgar language. In Twilight Lexicon Discussion Forums, there is a specific thread discussing the forum rules and how to report what they call “trolls” [10]. They label this thread “Don’t Feed The Trolls”, which means they do not want readers and fans to argue with the “trolls” or “haters” because that is what their plan is. This way, everyone is on the lookout for “trolls” so they do not ruin the positive Twilight atmosphere. It looks like a user named December is a person who cares a lot about this forum as many of the threads with rules are created by that person. It is important that forums have this kind of leadership so readers and fans can post about what they like about the novels instead of why people hate it.


Another forum I came across was specifically on why people do not like Twilight. It is called “Not Another Twilight Discussion” where users come on and discuss why they dislike or hate Twilight. A user with the name, Emma, created the thread a posted something very different. Her brother really dislikes Twilight for many reasons and he found an essay about why Twilight is bad and ridiculous [11]. Interestingly enough, this essay has caused Emma to change her views on Twilight. She posts the rather long document for everyone to see and then a discussion starts about hating twilight. It seems like most of the readers on this discussion used to like the series,
Shirt

Hater T-Shirt

but the fourth book really caused them to rethink their reasons why they like it. Nicole Yasha, reader and user of the discussion, had a “eureka moment” after reading the final book, where she realized how “stupid” the Twilight series was [11]. As I read this discussion about disliking Twilight, it seems to be a role reversal whereas the ones who like Twilight are the “haters” and instead of despising it, they try to bring up valid reasons as to why people should not hate it.


In this online community, it is definitely filled with dispute, but everyone is bringing together their valid points as to why they like or dislike it versus simply saying “Twilight sucks”. However, as the discussion goes on, the idea of fantasy versus reality really kicks in. Of course the series is a fantasy, but most “haters” dislike the novels because of everything about the fantasy. This leads to argument about how the story is not realistic, but readers believe it is a fun read because the reader does not know what to expect. The “haters” will never stop, but it is important that those who "hate" provide valid reasons as to what they dislike about the novels, so fans of the series can understand where they are coming from. Depending on how the “hater” responds to threads determines how the fans will respond. If fans feel the “haters” are attacking the book directly with no valid reason then the fans feel threatened to the point where they must defend themselves and what they enjoy like the Twilight series.

Links and ResourcesEdit

Twilight Saga Website

Stephenie Meyer's Officla Twilight Series Website

ReferencesEdit

  1. Course Presentation: Frankenstein - Tying It All Together
  2. Pinker, Steven. “The Blank Slate.” Course Readings, ENGL295
  3. Course Presentation: Shelly and Frankenstein
  4. Course Presentation: Interpretive Communities
  5. http://forum.twilightlexicon.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=509
  6. http://forum.twilightlexicon.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=6546
  7. http://twilightsaga.wikia.com/wiki/Twilight_Saga_Wiki
  8. http://twilightsaga.wikia.com/wiki/Breaking_Dawn
  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_Dawn
  10. http://forum.twilightlexicon.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=5885
  11. 11.0 11.1 http://nerdfighters.ning.com/forum/topics/not-another-twilight
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