It’s a Twilight thing—you wouldn’t understand
Cole, Leslie Michelle
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In this Foucauldian analysis of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, I identified several discourses at work in the Twilight series and I discussed how and why author Stephenie Meyer might have deployed those discourses. Using Derrida’s (1980) law of genre, I conclude that Twilight participates in several genres and perpetuates several discourses without belonging to any one genre classification. I argue that, as a gothic-romance, the series perpetuates the promise of patriarchy Janice Radway (1984/1991) associated with romance and the discourse of masochism which Masse (1992) associated with the gothic genre. Reaprropriating a term made famous by Derrida (1981/1972), I call this which conveys the inherently dual nature of patriarchy the discourse of patriarchy as a pharmakon. Next, I argue that Meyer’s vampires and spirit wolves are written according to what Asma (2009b) called the New Testament model of monstrosity and nobility. Further, I argue that Bella Swan becomes the most abject and monstrous figure in the series during her violent and grotesque pregnancy and that through this unexpected pregnancy Meyer extends the formula of the marital gothic to write what I call a maternal gothic. In the third part of this study I examined how Stephenie Meyer used the act of writing and her familiarity with literature as a means to both resist and reaffirm Mormon doctrine, particularly its celebratory conceptions of patriarchy, marriage, and motherhood.