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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Edward Cullen as a "FLAT" character


Stephenie Meyer and Ayn Rand have been accused of writing "wooden" - read flat - characters: Edward Cullen, Roark, Galt (Galt rhymes with halt), are the most celebrity examples. It seems like Meyer is in good company eh? BTW Twilight has more than a few floating signs referencing Ayn Rand - Edward's bronze hair signaling Roark's unruly orange hair for one, inflexible integrity another. Still think Meyer is a dimwit running to the bank, folks? 

This "flatness" has tarred the actors playing the "flat" characters: Gary Cooper, Robert Pattinson for easy quote examples. It seems Diana Hsieh is not the only idiot in town, as almost every reviewer of Fountainhead and the Twilight movies says the same. She is in good company with twenty-fifth rate minds. Exactly where she belongs.

Saturday, 17 March 2012  darren writes of FLAT characters:

A "flat" character does not mean a "boring" character. It's a technical term in literary theory popularized by the novelist E. M. Forster in his monograph on writing titled "Aspects of the Novel." According to Forster, a "flat" character is a kind of token: his or her psychology and values do not grow, change, evolve, or come to any kind of crisis during the course of the narrative because characters — like plot points — have functions within the story; it is simply not the function of a flat character to steal attention away from the main character(s) — the protagonist(s) and the antagonist(s) — by growing, changing, evolving, or reaching any sort of "crisis" within the story in which they must exercise his or her will, and come to a decision — or initiate an action — that would be surprising, i.e., a new pattern of behavior inconsistent with their previous pattern. "Flat" characters remain who they were throughout the entire course of the story, because they are there simply to provide a particular kind of obstacle (or point of affinity) for the main characters. They are part of the stock-in-trade of every playwright, screenwriter, short-story writer, and novelist. They are a particular kind of narrative tool
For quotes from Forster go to the above link.

Meyer has solved her problem by making Edward Cullen a vampire. Vampires never change. They are frozen - read flat - where they were when they were changed. Forever.
Edward in the books and more so in the films exists to love Bella. Everything he does and says is to show his love for Bella when really he desires her so much he wishes to kill her and drink her blood until she is drained. (For a fanfic version see Hide and Drink by savage.)

In discussing the Hays Production Code of the 1930's Zizek  (RL p.84)....."it generated the very excess whose direct depiction it forbade.....The Production Code did not simply prohibit some contents, rather it codified their enciphered articulation, as in the famous instruction from Monroe Stahr to his scriptwriters in Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon":

At all times, at all moments when she is on the screen in our sight, she wants to sleep with Ken Willard...whatever she does, it is in place of sleeping with Ken Willard. If she walks down the street she is walking to sleep with Ken Willard, if she eats her food it is to give her enough strength to sleep with Ken Willard. But at no time do you give the impression that she would even consider sleeping with Ken Willard unless they were properly sanctified. (Fitzgerald,TLT, 1960,p.51)

Could we say that every time Edward Cullen is on the screen it is only  to desire Bella. 

A film flat character. A floating sign to assert and deny. 

Zizek - sigh

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