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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Representations of Native American characters in Stephenie Meyer's “Twilight” Saga
by Pearson, Jennifer, M.A., East Carolina University, 2011, 83; 1493566
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis looks at Native American portrayals in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. How the Quileute people are portrayed in the series affects readers' perception of the real Quileute tribe. I argue that while certainly not flawless, Meyer creates complex Native American characters that may have been too easily dismissed by critics because the series contains other issues such as the representation of young women and religious themes that have gained more critical attention. Looking at how Native Americans have been stereotyped in past mainstream literature, I argue that the series is dynamic enough to offer readers a deeper understanding of Meyer's Quileute characters. Such topics explored include the strength and balance of the Quileute people's relationships, how quality family life is on the reservation, and will even explain ways in which the series avoids making the Quileute wolves into animalistic savages. These ideas are also compared to the portrayals of the vampires in the series as well as the role they play in regards to the Quileute/vampire treaty which states that the Quileute will allow the Cullen's their secret identity as vampires if they never bite another human being. I also argue that when compared to criteria for judging multicultural quality concerning literature containing Native American characters, the Twilight series is actually fairly positive and unbiased in regards to the Quileute people. The thesis demonstrates the importance of the series; it holds amazing potential when it comes to making young adult readers aware of the current struggles faced by Native American peoples within the United States.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Arnold, Ellen
Commitee: Arnold, Ellen, Banks, William, Holte, James
School: East Carolina University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: MAI 49/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Literature, Ethnic studies, Native American studies
Keywords: Multicultural, Native american, Quileute, Stephenie meyer, Stereotypes, Twilight
Publication Number: 1493566
ISBN: 978-1-124-66243-5
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