Monday, June 30, 2008

Terrific essays about Meyer's character "Jacob" in TWILIGHT

A post to YALSA about people of color in fantasy led me to a livejournal post about Jacob, the Quileute character in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga.

Saskaia (the author of the essay) is finished with the first three books (I'm partway thru the second one, having set it aside to read and work on Landman's Apache: Girl Warrior. By the way, it would be so cool if the powers-that-be over at Candlewick would say "STOP THE PRESSES!" and cancel the release of Landman's book in the U.S.).

In this 'slice' of a larger essay, saskaia (the author doesn't capitalize the first s) considers the plausibility of Jacob. Here's an excerpt:

While Jacob is surely overwhelmed with being a teen werewolf attending the tribal high school while patrolling Quileute land in all of his free time, I can scarcely believe that he and the other Quileute characters never attend powwows or social dances - not one is ever mentioned. It's disconcerting to anyone familiar with Native culture in the United States, especially reservation culture where powwows and social dances still serve as the major arena for socialization.

Saskaia has an engaging style of writing. I enjoyed reading her critique and am with her as she says

I am all for deviation for the typical character archetype but this is where I am thrown from the story, out the window and into my street. I can buy that Jacob thinks himself in love with Bella, but where are Jacob's experiences so he can freely choose Bella? Where are the other Native women?

Saskaia has a link in her essay that I'm placing here, too: Stephenie Meyer's use of Quileute Characters. This is her first post about the saga, wherein she talks about herself (she is Native) and says

While Jacob was written to be mostly age-appropriate, I think she did fall into uber-sexy warrior territory after his first phasing as a werewolf...

Do take a few minutes to read saskaia's critiques. They are terrific!

[Update, 12:54 CST, June 30, 2008---Saskaia's got quite a following! My sitemeter stats show lot of hits from livejournal. Welcome to my site!]

If you want to read more on the ways that the Quileute's are portrayed in the series, look over to the right side of this page. Scroll up or down till you see the section labeled TWILIGHT SAGA. There you'll see several links to posts about the series.


emily said...

The links to the live journal entry appear to be dead. I realize that this was posted a few years ago, but for those of us who are interested now, is there any way we can read these essays?

Debbie Reese said...

Emily.... I'll see if I can find it...