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Twilight 4: Breaking Dawn

To see our potential as something that can become actual and true.

by Helen Bryant

Suitable for Key Stage 4/5


To see our potential as something that can become actual and true.

Preparation and materials


  1. You might like to begin the assembly by reading the poem ‘Dawn’.
  2. Have you ever seen the dawn break? When everything turns, slowly but over a fairly short period of time, from the edge of night to full day. Many people claim that dawn is the most beautiful and peaceful part of the day. The sky lightens from a steely grey, through many different colours, from the light of the sun.

    The sun, orb-like, rises over the horizon and its warming light spreads from that small point, and bathes everything in its liquid light. The growing from darkness into light, from cold to warmth, breathing new life. The idea is that the breaking dawn is not something that is destructive, but is life-giving and life-affirming as the new day begins full of possibilities. It is the breaking dawn.
  3. This is where we find Bella, then, in the last book in the ‘Twilight’ saga: Breaking Dawn. She is awaiting her wedding to Edward, with anticipation and some nervousness, like any bride. She is going to be joined with him for ever in her marriage, for eternity in fact, because Breaking Dawn is about Bella’s transition from being human to becoming a vampire. As the image on the cover of the book shows, through the use of chess pieces, Bella is like both the pawn and the queen chess pieces. As a human she is the pawn: weak, fragile and able to be destroyed easily. As a vampire, she is like the queen. In chess it is the queen that can win the game and is the most powerful piece. She is strong, powerful and full of possibilities.
  4. However, as we know with Bella and Edward, nothing is ever simple and straightforward. There is much suffering to be faced, with despair, tension and uncertainty to be experienced before the final pages. I won’t spoil the end for you, but the fact that I have told you about Bella becoming a vampire should come as no surprise. It has been her main aim and at times her driving force from the moment that Edward reciprocates her love.
  5. We know that Bella and Edward inhabit a fictitious world created skilfully by the author Stephanie Meyer. And yet that fantasy world echoes our real world closely through descriptions of feelings of love, despair and the traditional way in which events unfold within the love affair of Edward and Bella. They marry so that they can be together for ever: how romantic, and, some have said, old-fashioned.
  6. But Breaking Dawn is about fulfilment and potential also. It is about finally discovering something and someone who truly fulfils their potential and gives you the ability and safety and love to do it too. Edward allows Bella to become what she has always wanted, and to fulfil the potential inside of her, and that is something that we can all relate to.
  7. The psychologist Carl Jung talks about a process that is called ‘individuation’. This process is about ‘becoming’ and developing yourself as an individual in your mind and allowing that individual to develop and thrive. It is about developing the part of us that we call the self. When asked about ourselves, we often find it very hard to express what we mean. But Jung explains it in a way that we can make sense of it.

    He says that your life is made up of two clear types of adjustment and understanding of ourselves. The first part is where you become used to your surroundings and where you fit in to your family, friends, society and school and places such as that. It is a growing awareness of yourself and where you are placed. The second part is much more difficult and may or may not happen for you. Many people in their thirties and forties say that they feel much more comfortable in their own skin than when they were younger because they have come to terms with who they are. This second part of becoming is actually learning and getting to know yourself. It is knowing who you are for you, not for what you can achieve or how many friends you have on Facebook. You are the sum of your parts, I guess, to put it in a mathematical sense. What will you really add up to?
  8. It is also about growing and developing your potential as a person. As a human and using the skills and abilities that you innately have within you, to bring joy, fulfilment and strength not only to yourself but to all those people you have contact with on a daily basis and throughout your life. You become who you are meant to be, just as Bella becomes a formidable vampire.

    It is Bella’s skills of love and compassion, and her ability to protect and her strength to do that, which make her the ultimate winner in the tale. Because although the road has been long, with many tears and troubles, she comes out of it a winner in the end, and in full control of herself. She fulfils that potential within her. That potential was always there, and her qualities have not changed. She just needed the right circumstances and the right people to bring it out of her.

    Can you see where your strengths are, and where you could fulfil your potential? One thing is for certain, you won’t need to become a vampire to do it. You will all grow into yourselves to allow yourself to be truly known, to yourself and others.

Time for reflection

Allow me to see myself as someone who will develop and grow.

Let me realize that to be myself is the most important thing. It is the potential within me to grow, to understand myself and how I fit in and where I am going, that will show me where to go.

As the dawn breaks and the days of my life progress, let me bring warmth and joy and strength to all those who I touch.

Allow me to be a force for good, even when things are hard.

Publication date: June 2010   (Vol.12 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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