My main interest is in reading media through post modern thinking, mostly that of Foucault and Baudrillard. I have about 10 blogs where I do this, all under the name of seymourblogger at blogspot. I have also written fanfiction at www.fanfiction.net
@Strom I liked your comment. Maybe you will read my two below in which I discuss grief.
As for Leah and gender problems I would suggest you begin to delve into Judith Butler Gender Troubles, etc as gender ambiguity is a major issue today. Mayer fictionalizes this in her character of Leah. I, and I often feel alone in this, think Meyer is a major "CUT" into the history of sexuality but here is not the place to pursue this.
Also the new Lars von Trier Melancholia with Kirsten Dunst is to give a contemplation of what it means to be a melancholic. The clinical term is depression, which has only been around a short time. Meyer was courageous in not turning Bella's grief into a clinical situation and medicating her. Giving her the time to come to terms with it herself and growing from it, surviving it. Have you read Josephine Hart? She is literary, intoxicatingly intelligent and intuitive, personally knows about love and loss, which she writes about. Your students would like her, but perhaps you might not be able to use her in a classroom unless it would be in a University. Her sex is startling. Your students are dmaybe reading fanfiction on Twilight which is an eye opener for a literary reader.
I am having trouble with your posting.
1. Since you are teaching undergraduates why not do Kate Chopin's Awakening. It lies in that break of modernity of a woman's consciousness that she is not property. And like Bella she commts suicide but is successful. All these are Tristan and Iseult and continue to be T/I, variations, inversions but nevertheless T/I.
2. Bella is simply an observer. She is the young girl who unknowingly is a candidate for becoming a writer. Like Kate Chopin who married, had 5 children, and then wrote everything in 10 years!
3. If one reads Baudrillard: Bella is Other, just as Edward is Other to her. She is engimatic, singular, individual among all the high school girl clones, who jump around, act active, think alike, but think they are individuals. They are on the way to PC Feminist Dominating Discourse.
4. Your error is in participating in the Dominating Discourse with your students. Trying to explain within the Discourse only leads to more and more interpretation with no resolution in site. Have you read Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation, and/or Foucault on Hermeneutics.
You are on the right track so I am trying to give you a little push.
I write on a number of things always reading them through post modern thinking. You might like my twilightirruption @ blogspot where I am seymourblogger. I'd like to dialogue with you. I see Twilight as a Foucauldian "CUT" in the Discourse of sexuality. Foucault wrote 3 volumes on The History of Sexuality on all this that you are trying to impart to your students with your hands tied behind your back because of the Discourse you are in.