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Why Twilight Is Better than The Maze Runner

How come K-Stew is in both films?

This is a quick post about shit lit vampire series Twilight, and shit lit dystopic series The Maze Runner. Both bestsellers were turned into box office hits, and I apologize to mankind on their behalf. We should have fought this problem at its root. I think it's too late now to save ourselves from them.

Also, warning: spoilers. I'll be discussing some crucial plot points ahead. If you don't want your enjoyment of these stories spoiled, THEN DON'T FUCKING READ / WATCH THESE STORIES IN THE FIRST PLACE. You are better off reading something from Wattpad, or watching the New Breed Category of Cinemalaya, which to me are the same thing, and are much better use of one's time than watching Twilight and The Maze Runner

Anyway, disclaimer. When I talk about Twilight and The Maze Runner in this particular post, I refer not just to their source text (which is to say, the novel) nor just to the adapted text (the movies), but to the text created when the narrative exists on different media (books and movies). That concept in itself will take a lot of epistemological explaining to do, so just fucking roll with me here.

Ok, so.

The Maze Runner opens interestingly enough in media res. A boy wakes up with no memories in an elevator speeding up a shaft. The door over his head opens, and he finds himself surrounded by other boys living in what they have been calling THE GLADE.  Sounds like a good premise so far.

Unfortunately, it only goes downhill from there. As we soon find out, The Glade is a part of a ridiculously elaborate plan by the government (or what remains of it) to either a.) find a cure for an infection threatening mankind, or b.) a screening process to see who deserves the cure.

What starts out as a very intriguing premise turns out to have an unbelievable, and unconvincing explanation. It just doesn't make any sense.

a.) It doesn't make sense to spend time and resources on an elaborate process that involves sophisticated machinery and logistics to develop a cure. It's something a 12-year old psychotic spoiled kid would have thought of, had he been in charge of the world. I'm assuming adults are still in control of the world at that time, so I find it hard to believe that all the theatrics (people pretending to be dead, people scaring the test subjects with their drama, etc) are part of a scientific, logical process to determine a cure.

b.) It is an insult to the world of science to think all these playacting tactics can help determine the cure. Cures are developed through biology, and chemistry. Not through an elaborate plan that involves constructing a maze designed to hold a CODE that will help the test subjects escape.

c.) You have the technology to wipe people's memories away, and this is how you used it?

d.) All the "Gladers" / test subjects came to the Glade with their memories wiped away. Tabula rasa. Clean slate. What's their motivation to escape, then? Why would they want to escape when they can't remember a damn thing? They don't have a longing for anyone's presence (i.e. an absent family member) or the need to return to a lifestyle that they have lost (i.e. getting stranded on an island after a plane crash). They LITERALLY HAVE NO REASON. Let me state again the basic premise of this story: THEY CAME TO THE GLADE AS BLANK SLATES. This is like me telling you "Dude, we need to escape this place and go to Kagago Nation, because all the reasons we have for living are there." You will probably say: "What's Kagago nation? I don't think that exists." EXACTLY. The Gladers have no idea about life outside of the Glade, so why do they keep trying to escape? It's not like Thomas came to the Glade bringing them artifacts of their old life to remind them how living was like outside of the Glade, but nope, no, didn't happen.

At least Twilight had these things going for it:

a.) Bella Swan was a typical teenager. She was despicably obsessed with her 90-year old volatile boyfriend, and she thinks everything is a matter of death. But that's how teenagers are. OMG, have you seen one? They literally think they have no reason for living after a break-up. They literally want to kill themselves because the persons they're "in a relationship" with had other plans for themselves. They will LITERALLY throw away their potentials and opportunities because of─you guessed it─LOVE. As the single-minded driving force behind the series Twilight, it makes sense. It wouldn't make sense if Twilight is about a fully-formed adult with a fully-formed life obsessing about Edward Cullen; it would be sad and pathetic. But this is Bella Swan. She hasn't had enough life experiences to let her know better.

b.) Bella Swan's motivation was clear from the get-go: she wants to be with Edward Cullen. That's it. It's simple and neat, and you can throw LITERALLY anything at her, and she would still want to be with Edward Cullen. All of her subsequent actions after realizing that goal are in accordance with accomplishing that goal. You can throw an ancient clan of murderous vampires between her and Edward Cullen, and she will find a way go through them. Hell, you can throw her in the fucking Glade, and she'll fucking solve that Maze just to have Edward's fangs on her pussy. On the other hand: there's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING convincing that's motivating the Gladers from leaving their lives behind.

When we talk of literature, Twilight is at the bottom of the cesspool. Not because it's particularly bad, but because it's ridiculously successful while being ridiculously bad. Its success makes us realize that for all of our intentions of writing good stories, the readers have a totally different idea about what to read. It scares us of even trying to write good because now we know it's bad writing that will get the readers reading. But for all of that, The Maze Runner manages to accomplish something. It manages to be an even worse crap than Twilight.


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