As adolescents continuously explore the world, they tend to refer to the media as a source of both reality and fiction. To better understand what is reality or fantasy, adolescents start searching for the ideal role model they want to follow in their lives. Indeed, the increasing interest in supernatural events and creatures, specifically vampires, directly or indirectly influences the development of adolescents. In this respect, the impact of Twilight on children, adolescents, and adults can be hardly denied. While some scenes of the movie seem very attractive and engaging for children and adolescents, they may negatively influence their development. Thus, Twilight can be regarded as a reflection of conduct that put adolescents at risk of abuse and violence concerning their relationship with the opposite sex. In this regard, the main characters of the movie, Bella and Edward, are seen as examples of the ideal relationship full of mental torments, forbidden love, passion, and adventure. Nevertheless, the romantic relationship between two characters is a template for violence and abuse that adolescents can transfer into real life. Therefore, Twilight impacts the development of adolescents in middle childhood, specifically mental and physical aspects, promoting relationship violence.
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Twilight focuses on the main female character in the movie, Bella, who is a human adolescent. Bella’s character is of great interest because she is an adolescent who attempts to comprehend the surrounding world and find her place in it. Moreover, Bella undergoes certain events that influence her development in adolescence. These events include the divorce of parents, moving to a new place, meeting new friends, and an extraordinary young man. In this respect, Bella is an interesting character that deserves more detailed investigation. The girl is attracted to Edward who is a vampire (Godfrey, Morgan, Mooradian, & Hardwicke, 2008). Being involved in a complicated psychological situation, a number of aspects of Bella’s development can be singled out. These aspects include emotional, social, cognitive, and parent-child relations. In the movie, Bella’s emotions are varied. She usually has a low self-esteem and doubts herself. Moreover, the girl can be characterized by rapid mood swings. Nevertheless, when Edward appears, the girl becomes dependent on a mysterious young man. Although Bella forms the friendship with a couple of classmates, she is an unsociable character. Furthermore, Bella’s cognitive aspect of development becomes evident when she observes Edward’s behavior, questions tribal and Quileute legends, and examines vampires’ nature (Godfrey et al., 2008). Nevertheless, the particular cognitive development of Bella in adolescence is disrupted because she acts carelessly and does not think about her future (Giles & Maltby, 2003). As the girl’s parents have divorced, she lives either with her mother or father who, in turn, impacts Bella’s development and understanding of herself. Thereby, Bella’s relationship with her parents lacks understanding and support.
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It cannot be overlooked that although Bella is an ordinary adolescent with problems within her family and difficulties with social recognition, she becomes attracted to a young man who is forbidden. Thus, a lover who is unreachable becomes more desirable for Bella. In this respect, the character faces the pressing issues that she must resolve. These issues include questioning and understanding of Edward’s behavior, the social life of vampires, and their attitudes within a family, learning about other vampires and relationships with werewolves. At the same time, Bella’s development in adolescence is affected by the movement to the city where her father lives. Thus, moving from sunny Phoenix to gloomy and rainy Forks, where the girl knows only her father and a couple of his friends, strengthens her antisocial behavior and low self-esteem. On the one hand, according to the theory about adolescence, Bella’s development is typical because she looks like an ordinary teenage girl who studies, meets new friends in the new place, and falls in love with the first handsome boy in school. Thus, the girl experiences anger, worry, love, affection, and guilt that are often disclosed by adolescents (Jutopama, 2006). On the other hand, the character’s development does not correspond to normal development in adolescence because Bella is engaged in violence and aggression that she finds thrilling. The girl risks her life remaining among vampires, but she likes a particular company.
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To help the adolescent develop more optimally, Bella should improve social relationships and build trust among her peers. While the character is unsociable and has low self-esteem, it would be beneficial for her to spend more time with friends and establish peer relationships (Jutopama, 2006). Although Bella communicates with her classmates, she gradually becomes dependent on Edward who is of more interest to her. To lessen this morbid relation with the young vampire, the girl needs to bond with her classmates and family. However, the divorce of Bella’s parents makes it difficult to ensure a favorable atmosphere at home. In this respect, Twilight shows a negative impact on adolescent viewers. Thereby, the development can be hardly defined as an appropriate one. While the movie portrays a fantasy, it is of crucial importance to comprehend that neither Bella nor any other character can be taken as a role model. Furthermore, Bella’s development in adolescence is far from normal because she is always involved in dangerous situations. In addition, Twilight negatively impacts adolescents demonstrating them that the abusive and violent relationship is normal. Therefore, children and adolescents are at risk of being engaged in a brutal relationship in real life thinking that it is a typical form of communication and social connection.
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To conclude, Twilight is a well-known movie about the challenging life of a young girl. At the same time, the movie shows Bella’s development in adolescence through her interactions with peers, family, and her new boyfriend who is a vampire. The character’s development cannot be defined as normal because she is an unsociable girl who dates a supernatural creature and is always in danger. Nevertheless, the movie is a fantasy and, thus, should not be taken seriously.