SL10121: Bella’s Body: Physicality, Mortality, Spirituality, and Desire

Bella’s body is what propels the action of the Twilight series. The lust (for both sex and violence) it arouses, the lust it feels, the way pain makes her feel alive and close to Edward and is therefore enjoyed, the human fragility she must overcome, the bloodlust she feels as a vampire–these elements of physicality drive the story. But just as the saga avoids explicit discussions of sex despite an emphasis on erotic desire, it also avoids explicit discussions of what physicality means. Bella’s ways of inhabiting and relating to her body reveal much about her character and about the cultures–both Mormon and western–that produced her. What do they tell us about a spiritual self?