Media Centered Analysis on “Twilight”

Twilight is a movie based on a best-seller series written by Stephanie Meyer. The film is about a young girl named Bella Swan who moves to the town of Forks, Washington to live with her father. Bella is new at the local high school and does not know many people. At this school, she meets Edward, who is a vampire that she eventually falls in love with. Edward’s secret makes it difficult for them to be together because of the disproval by their families and other vampires that are out to hunt Bella. Through the analysis of media logic and social learning theory it can be seen that the film reflects many different media-centered perspectives.

Media logic focuses on the degree to which viewers tend to take the medium and its social uses for granted and fails to recognize how it influences us to behave or perceive normality. An example of this shown in the film is Edward and his family. Edward comes from a very wealthy family as compared to everyone else at their local high school. Edward and his siblings drive to school in fancy and expensive cars. When people watch the film, they may find this to be desirable and consider it to be normal. In fact, this is out of the ordinary in normal situations. The media brainwashes us to believe that this is normal since we are exposed to it in many movies, twilight being one of them.

Furthermore, the theme of commodification also ties in with media logic. Commodification has to do with advertisements blending with programming. In the film, many examples of this are seen. For example, looking back on media logic, the cars that they drive around are typically nice sports cars that are out of the ordinary. The commodification in these films subconsciously forces people to buy into fancy brands. Commodification can also force trends. The look that some of the characters have in the movie can now be seen as desirable by teens. Bella’s simple, girl next-door look may appeal to several viewers. Viewers will also tend to believe that products, apparel and even certain hairstyles are normal and desirable based on what they see worn in the movie.

Many viewers are also drawn to the fictional characters of Edward and Bella. In fact, most people desire their exceptional romance in the film. Similarly, this also leads back to media logic because the viewers of the film fail to recognize that they are influenced to desire to have the same bond as Edward and Bella in the film. This proves the notion that we are exposed to see this romance as the “normal” relationship that everyone should have. We fail to recognize that this relationship is in fact abnormal since the movie is a fantasy and Edward is a super-natural being.Image

Albert Bandura’s social learning theory focuses on how we learn to believe and behave based on observation, imitation and modeling. Many young males have seen or have heard of the film as well. These males might find Edward to be a symbolic model which is a person demonstrating a behavior through a medium such as TV, film, computer games etc. In this film, Edward is ultimately the perfect boyfriend. Men may find him as a symbolic model and want to imitate the same behavior that he demonstrates towards Bella to their significant others as well. A symbolic model can occur when a person is motivated to imitate the behavior observed. Women tend to be attracted to men with gentlemen characteristics such as those that are portrayed through the character Edward. When men realize this, they may also want to inhibit those characteristics and would be motivated to do so if they see that ultimately most women desire that. Personally, I know many males that have this approach in mind. Therefore, not only has the film influenced its viewers; it has also influenced people who have exposed to the film and its characteristics in the media.

In conclusion, it can be demonstrated that Twilight has many characteristics of media logic and social learning theory, especially from a media oriented perspective. It has impacted our desires and behaviors in several different ways and also altered our understanding to how influential a fantasy film can be.

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One thought on “Media Centered Analysis on “Twilight”

  1. Feedback for Media Centered Analysis on “Twilight”

    I think this post about Twilight is useful because it is one of the most popular movies of the past couple of years and you really focussed on how it has influenced society’s perception of normal.

    Firstly, I think your point about the cars was valid and perceptive. To improve on that, you could discuss Bella’s truck and the obvious difference between her and Edward’s car and what that tries to communicate to the audience about the characters.

    I think you really applied cultivation theory well in that people want the same kind of relationship as the characters, and although there is the element of the supernatural, much of the story is made to seem as real as possible. Perhaps to expand on that, you could use parasocial relationship theory to continue the discussion of how influential this film has proved to be. There has been a huge fan base that has been obsessed with talk about “Team Jacob” and “Team Edward” and how they really feel that they know Edward/Rob Pattinson and/or the other characters/actors.

    Overall I think you did a good job of applying many of the theories discussed in the textbook pertaining to media theory, and assessing the implications. I think with a few more concrete examples, maybe even quotes, you could strengthen your argument even further.

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