Deconstructing The New 'Twilight' Movie08:56
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Actor Robert Pattinson and actress Kristen Stewart in the "Twilight" movie series. (AP)
Actor Robert Pattinson and actress Kristen Stewart in the "Twilight" movie series. (AP)

"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1" has arrived!

The film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" novels have already grossed almost $2 billion worldwide. And the newest one opens in theaters across the country Friday, and features the long-awaited wedding of the human Bella and her vampire-lover Edward, and Bella's subsequent pregnancy with a half-vampire, half-human child-- a pregnancy that puts her life in danger.

The series has long been interpreted as an allegory about abstinence-- loving a vampire could kill you! But Harvard extension school lecturer Sue Weaver Schopf also sees the birth of Bella's child as an allegory of society's discomfort with racial and ethnic mixing.

Schopf teaches the "Twilight" books and films as part of her course on "The Vampire in Literature and Film."

She says that Meyer's story has found such a wide audience because the author taps into the intensity of teenage emotion and references love stories like Romeo and Juliet while giving her star-crossed lovers a happy ending.

Guest:

  • Sue Weaver Schopf, associate dean at Harvard's Extension School

This segment aired on November 18, 2011.

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