Hi everyone -
I have a lot that I want to reply to, and I probably won't remember all of it by the time I am done with this post. This may seem a little jumbled, as that's what is going on in my head with all of the stuff that I want to address, so sorry 'bout that. But here goes...
First, because its closest, I wanted to comment on Lacuna's thoughts about the "wrapping up" (or the warping up, as I just accidentally wrote).
Lacuna Scion wrote:Throughout the first three installments, time seemed to move at a regular intervals. Maybe slower or quicker based on the lack of favorite character but fairly regular nonetheless. And BD comes onto the scene and I felt like I'd been sucker punched. The natural tempo of the saga picked up exponentially. The decisions and choices made in BD were so far and away compared to those of previous installments.
I feel like there is some truth to this statement, and this adds to the sometimes-discomfort I feel with BD. Let's look at the three other books, their timelines, and their major plot points compared to BD -
Twilight - January to May, but there are at least 8 weeks of exposition that is omitted - six weeks when Edward ignores Bella at the beginning, and a few weeks toward the end after the Phoenix incident. Two big plot points - can Edward love Bella without killing her, and can he save her from James? The first question takes up about 374 pages, and the second takes about 124. The two are very linked (can E keep B from being killed by his world?) so they almost could be the same plot point (and this major theme is continued until the very end of BD). Choices in this story - should B and E love each other? Is it worth it to put Bella in constant danger?
New Moon - September to March (? - I think its March, but I'm not entirely sure) - however, there are 4 months that we have no exposition on because there is nothing but zombie-Bella - Two big plot points - can Jacob save Bella from her depression and protect her from Edward's world, and can Bella save Edward from himself? If we consider the end of the first question to be when Alice returns, bringing the vampires back into Bella's life, then the first question takes up 381 pages, and the second takes about 182 pages. Choices in this story - Will Bella decide to reciprocate Jacob's feelings? Will she become a vampire voluntarily via Edward or against his wishes?
Eclipse - Mayish into June - Two big plot points - and I think there is a shift here* - can Bella reconcile her old life with her new choices (can she include Jacob in her life, even though she is determined to be a vampire) and defeating the newborn army and Victoria. The two plot points are pretty much interwoven throughout the whole book - 629 pages of it. Choice in this story - Will Bella really decide to give up her mortality, humanity and possibly her soul to be with Edward, or will she choose to keep them all and therefore choose Jacob?
*I think that a lot of the first plot point in Eclipse is spent setting up parts of Breaking Dawn, but because it is such a struggle in Eclipse, it falls flat in BD when it is so easy.
Breaking Dawn - August until January - however, there are several months that we don't see - Chapter 27 starts with the mention of the first three months as an immortal (from 1/2 way through Sept to 1/2 way through December, I am assuming) and 217 pages are spent from a different narrator's point of view - So narration from Bella's point of view is really about 2 months (much like the previous three books) And cue plot points:
Lacuna Scion wrote:Right of the bat we're hit with a wedding then BAM fantastical honeymoon BAM vamp sex BAM vamp pregnancy BAM my kid's killing my BAM I'm a vamp BAM my best friend/guy I love awkwardly is my day old baby's soul mate BAM the Volturi want to kill my baby BAM anticlimax BAM cue the little cottage and happily ever after.
(Hope you don't mind, Lacuna)
Also, BAM my baby is growing at an exponential rate and we need to figure out why BAM Alice and Jasper have left us BAM I have to figure out how to protect my baby (if she can escape) BAM I have superpowers that I need to learn how to control BAM I am going to have to learn how to see my father without killing him... Did we miss anything?
Yes, the book was 754 pages, but there was just so much STUFF! We hardly have any time to adjust to what is happening when we have an entirely new plot point thrown in our face. Maybe more realistic - as in, this often happens in real life - but as was pointed out, the magnitude of the conflicts is never fully explored. More like - here's the problem; two pages later, here's the solution! Yay! And, even better, they are ALL CONNECTED! Isn't it lovely?!? I know this is a little simplistic, but I really think this is my problem with all of it.
And surprisingly (getting back to the theme of the thread) there are very few choices by any of the characters. I think the only real choice any of them made was Bella choosing to keep her baby - which drives the major action in the book. Jacob's actions, we find out, are not a choice but a compulsion; Edward had already chosen that Bella would become a vampire and he would do it, so even the emergency vampirization wasn't a choice in reality; and the other character's actions are all predicated by Bella's choice to have Renesmee. Fighting the Volturi wasn't really a choice, in my opinion. There are choices in these books that aren't really "choices" - should E and B love each other and pursue a relationship, for example - but in my personal world, if you have to choose between saving your family or not saving your family, well, there is no choice in that scenario.
I've decided that I am going to stop for now - I do want to explore some of the other topics - specifically choice in Bella and Edward's relationship and how Alice's visions affect these choices - but I am not coherent enough for that right now. I hope this was a good first attempt for this thread! Thanks for listening!