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Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:45 am
by LisaCullenAZ
That's true, December, I hadn't thought of it without BD in the picture. And you know what bothers me even more? That Edward seemed suddenly more inclined to go with Bella's plan after... wait for it... he hears Renesme's voice in the womb. Not because he sees how much it means to Bella, and not because he wants to honor the resolutions they came to TOGETEHER at the end of Eclipse. But because the little Loch Ness likes the sound of his voice. *insert gagging noises here* After he hears that, his feelings on the matter begin to change. That's the turning point, for him. And I understand the emotions behind what SM is trying tell, believe me. And don't get me wrong, I fully agree with them! Somethings just never hit you until you hold that baby in your arms, or until you see your baby smile at you or turn to the sound of your voice. There are few things as compelling and magical as that (for me). So, as a mother, I understand that SM was trying to portray Edward's first "aha!" moment as a father. It WOULD have been beautiful... if it hadn't been part of the old story!

So you're right on that point, D. As usual ;)

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:00 pm
by Lacuna Scion
Glad I could supply the tingling... at least while Jasper's busy :mrgreen:

LisaCullenAZ I totally agree. If Bella were just suddenly eaten by a rabid wildebeest (in the spirit of changing up catclysmic deaths for Bella :lol: ) I believe Edward would have changed her. Definitely not as calmly or rationally as he did in BD, but it still would've happened.

[Something about BD just makes me believe that he may have known what was coming beforehand. He was the only one who was so calm; Rose was in a frenzy, Jacob was spinning like a top, and Bella was on the brink of death. I don't care how old our you are or how immortal, how are you that calm? Maybe he didn't know fully what was coming, but Renesmee's birth was a rather catastrophic event and Edward reacted so calmly. I don't know maybe he was just moving in a trance, like people in accidents who go into shock. Well, of course he knew how it was going to end but it seemed he knew more than he let on, I don't know how to verbalize it.]

He said so himself, he is essentially a selfish creature. And since we know he's not placing any bets on his chances for heaven, he wouldn't let Bella die. Especially not being sure that he could join her definitively. I think he would have changed her although the whole process would've taken place in a completely different atmosphere. Edward still has those human emotions of loss and especially helplessness (and it's magnified on this type of occasion). I think he would probably panic a little bit; it's natural to want to do anything that'll save someone you love.

December I also agree, though I could never voice it so eloquently. He'd already decided on changing her we just had a couple hundred pages worth of interruption. But did Edward really fully agree? He still has doubts (maybe even subconsciously) about changing Bella. And who wouldn't? Put yourself in his shoes-- from the human perspective anyways. If the love of your life was convinced that the only way he/she would be happy was if you, not your dad, killed him/her, what the heck could you say to that? Or if you were some how indoctrinated into a violent, unhappy cult or gang. Then your mate wanted to join up, so they could be with you forever and have no more technicalities of the cult/gang getting in the way of the relationship? If I was asked to murder someone to make them happy, or pull them into a clearly unhealthy cult I'd have to ask: What are you on?!

So, I don't know how I agree with differing posts... but I do. Maybe I can work it out later.

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:56 am
by slightly_torn_page
Perhaps Alice's vision of Bella's future was NOT the result of Edward's decision making. What if Alice was prophecizing on a decision made by Bella? Even that early in TW, Alice could have seen this vision because it related to Edward and to herself. Bella's decion at that time wasn't necessarily to become a vampire, rather to love and be with Edward forever. Even if Bella couldn't see the outcome fully (becoming a vampire) Bella could make the decision to be with Edward forever NO MATTER WHAT. Alice would be able to translate/see that vision as Bella couldn't: Bella as an immortal.

If this is the case, then anything Edward did in his own right to try to change the future was a lost cause. I believe he could alter it (like when Alice said he had everything snarled up) because he was part of Bella's decision. Edward did have free-will to change the future, but he was focusing that change on himself more than he was on trying to change Bella's decision. And Bella was stubborn and knew what she wanted, so that was a lost cause for him anyway.

The story is told through Bella's perspective, so wouldn't it make sense that this decision lies within Bella, not Edward. Throughout the book, Edward does seem to struggle with the decision to change Bella at times. His resolve to go through with it only strenghened as we realized Bella knew exactly what she wanted and she was able to convince him of this. SHE was set in HER decision to become a vampire.

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:51 pm
by December
Hey everyone, I hope you'll forgive me if I revert to a conversation from a while back. I actually thought I'd posted this about six weeks ago, but somehow it seems to have got lost in the shuffle. Snowed under by the holidays, I expect.
SparklingDiamond wrote:He can't help but be understanding. It would be like Edward not reading people's thoughts, he can't do it. He'd like to, but a mind reader is his true self, his vampire nature will not allow him to deny that. Carlisle's family are so moved by his unwavering compassion that they do their best to emulate him. Taking his gift into consideration, it makes more sense to see how it is easier for him to stick to the moral path of the family than it is for the others.

I love the idea that Carlisle can no more fail to feel empathy than Edward can block out other people's thoughts. It doesn't necessarily make the torment of resisting human blood any less, but it makes the temptation almost irrelevant to him.

As it is for Bella. She may feel the ferocious thirst, but she isn't seriously tempted to give in to it. It doesn't feel to either of them like a struggle between their better and worse selves, the way it is for the other Cullens, but like an uncomfortable but foregone conclusion. And I think you are spot-on that the sheer power of Carlisle's example inspires the rest of them achieve a self-restraint they mightn't otherwise have thought themselves capable of.

Visitor wrote: Like Ouisa said many people are not comfortable with their heroines and heroes getting everything they want at the end of their journeys. This is especially true in the TW universe where it seemed that the previous books had practically conditioned us to expect a ‘not-so-happy’ ending for Bella. And even for Edward, who, let’s face it, seemed to be specifically created to suffer. So it’s reasonable to no longer see the value of all of the previous choices the characters made in light of BD.

But then you have to consider this . . . Bella chose to marry Edward believing she’d go childless. Edward chose to marry Bella believing that she could do better. Bella chose to let go of Jacob believing that she would never be able to love him enough. Those were all difficult choices. And yet the choices themselves (and the trajectory of those choices) were almost completely unaffected by the goings on in BD. It’s the rewards that changed. That is not the fault of the characters.

Bella, having received the gift of a child, should not then be expected to shun it in favor of her previously held beliefs about a life of eternal solitude with Edward. If the choices lost any luster at all, they did so in light of our own misconceptions about how the story could have/should have gone. The characters choices did not become less. Just over powered and overlooked by all the manna coming down from the heavens of BD.

Oh, Visitor. What you say makes complete sense. And yet...

I think my difficulty here is this. I don't mind if Bella is blessed with a Happier Ever After than we ever imagined she could end up with. I'm actually a bit of a sucker for over-the-top happy endings with butter glopped over the sides, as LindsAy once put it. I certainly prefer that to stories that feel they have to leave us with a grim, life-is-flawed-so-live-with-it ending (LindsAy again) -- who needs escape fiction for that? Life IS flawed and we're living with it, for heaven's sake....

And if the measure of Bella's love for Edward is the sacrifices she would gladly embrace for him, the love and sacrifice still stand, even if a benevolent Author chooses to return it all to Bella, neatly stacked. Family. Friends. A child. A thirst that is manageable. She did love Edward enough to sacrifice them all, and she chose to do so. If Stephenie wants to pile Bella's plate high afterwards, that's ok with me. By the time it comes to her, she's certainly earned it!

BUT....I guess what I would have liked was a more, well, integrated route to that flawless happiness. Something that connected up the courage and sacrifices with the subsequent joy, or at least made it less instantaneous than: Suffering...BANG...Arbitrary and Perfect Recompense. I realize I'm being unfair here, or exaggerating anyway, but I'm trying to put my finger on why I felt dissatisfied with the route even if I'm delighted with the ultimate outcome. I suppose I feel shortchanged because there could have been some struggle to achieve each of these unexpected blessings. Adjusting to her bloodlust could have been a little more difficult, figuring out how to make things ok with Charlie needn't taken so little effort, even having her baby would be something she needn't have been offered until she'd become a vampire. (Yes, I know that vampires can't get pregnant, but good heavens, Stephenie is the one making (or breaking) the rules here -- as many people have been at pains to point out!). Let her give everything up for love, and then, yes, I don't mind relenting and giving it back to her -- but there was something about the indecent speed with which it was all dumped in her lap that, well, almost didn't give me space to relish it on Bella's behalf....

Then others have observed, Twilight offered us the story of an epic love, a love so fierce that it burnt everything in its path because nothing in the world mattered set beside their love for one another. For that incandescent passion to deepen and grow into love for their child is natural enough (and as some of you know, I always had this nutty conviction that Edward and Bella would somehow end up with a family!). But NOT until this first story was all wrapped up and we had a chance to see that Bella had been right. That this was a love worth sacrificing EVERYTHING for. Without that, it’s no longer Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet -- it’s just a sweet story about two kids who love each other an awful lot, and get married and have a family and live happily ever after in eternity. Yes they are prepared to give everything up for one another, and we see them suffer agonies to reach their happy ever after. But that's not quite the same as seeing their judgement vindicated. That they ARE enough for each other forever....

BD really struggles with the collision between Twilight's original and never-completed story -- of an obliteratingly pure love which is sufficient to itself -- and its sequel: the evolution (or fulfillment) of that love in the love of family. It’s a natural enough progression, but in this case, the sequel has sort of galloped ahead and cut short the original storyline. The culmination of Edward and Bella's love story -- what we all naively called "the Bite", because that was surely where that tale had to end -- ends up being overtaken and subsumed into the story of Nessie's birth: the final, emblematic consummation of their love, follows the conception of their child, instead of preceding it. Even if you aren't thinking in these allegorical terms (and mostly one isn't!), this inversion of the natural order of Marriage First Then Family is subliminally troubling. Edward and Bella may have got their white-lace-and-roses wedding before Nessie is conceived -- but this romance was never about their human vows, really. In the end, the troth that matters is one they never get to pledge before this emblematically out-of-wedlock baby carries off their love story into new territory. At some subtle level, we feel shortchanged on their behalf.

Nessie's too-soonness shortchanges her as well, because her story -- the desperately longed-for and cherished "miracle baby" -- has to compete for airtime with the conclusion of Edward and Bella's otherworldly romance. A lot of readers have been bothered by Edward and Bella's readiness to park Nessie with her doting aunts and uncles (and Jake), the sense that Bella adores her but doesn't seem to need her with the almost physical craving so many mothers feel for their firstborn. But this casualness is almost a foregone conclusion from the collision -- or at any rate, entanglement -- of these two narrative arcs. We see the joy and delight Edward and Bella feel in their precious daughter but also, running beneath it -- and in a way counter to it -- we continue to feel their completeness together, for one another. It’s hard to simultaneously revel in the ecstasy of the newlywed and the ecstasy of the new parent. We dash about like children with too many presents on Christmas morning, trying enjoy all our happy endings at once. It’s an awful lot for one denouement to hold.

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:02 pm
by Lacuna Scion
Someone mentioned in another thread that SM mentioned a possible fifth and sixth E&B book in a years old podcast. Now reading December's post makes me think it probably would have been a good idea. I always felt that BD was a little... uh. I don't even have an adjective for it; just "uh".

But December you seem to have pinpointed it for me. There are some many events, piled on top of useless symbolic love sacrifices smeared with warped and torn emotions and jammed into one book binding it doesn't seem real.

In past books there's always been one key plot mechanism that is built up to--whether the reader is aware of it or not-- James practically killing Bella and forcing Edward to make a big decision, Bella encountering the Volturi and pretty much having a death sentence handed to her, and the brawl with the newborns and Bella coming to a decision in her convoluted love lives: fire or ice?

So, for me I guess BD was just a little overwhelming, not that I couldn't handle it but it was just too much and I couldn't really appreciate the magnitude of each event. 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.

I finished BD and felt like I'd just been doing 60mph on freeway on a bicycle... and now I know why. Compare the former and latter paragraphs, my eloquent description of the Saga. The former description comprised three 500 page books; quite respectable. The latter was vacuum sealed into one cohesive unit better than an aging starlet in Chanel couture at the Oscars. The events in BD, if we follow the BAM pattern, could have taken another six books! So, I guess it just seems and overwhelming break from the norm.

So, SM blindsided us with lots of rising action until we thought we'd bust a lobe; what's the big deal? Never getting to appreciate any of the events (good or bad) for what they are. December (again... you had a good post, lots of stuff to talk about) you pointed out that we didn't get to fully appreciate the newlywed idea nor the sacrifice of eternal love. But that got me thinking, we didn't get to appreciate any of the major events of BD because someone had a new beef the next chapter and things just got all scrambled before I could squee for a wedding, or weep for a baby. And the events contained within BD are BIG. James practically killing Bella in TW is a trifle compared with a lot of the action in the fourth installment. So isn't it a pity that we didn't get the appropriate time?

Now there are many ways to argue this and my constantly ambiguous psyche is going to probably try to interpret them all in the coming lines. On the one side we can argue that the Saga began to follow a more realistic pattern; in the words of Forrest Gump, "It Happens". Sometimes, in our lives, we don't get time to fully appreciate what's going on around us. How many couples have been surprise by an unexpected (sometimes seemingly impossible) pregnancy. And how often does it seem that when one pebble trickles down to us that the whole cliff-face is not far behind? That's my logical side.

But my romantic side is telling me NOT FAIR. None of this real. Werewolves, vampires, all this stuff. This whole storyline is based on an almost entirely made up world. It is a novel where anyone can escape to where the world is better, the problems are bigger but the end is definitive if not satisfying. If that is my TW Saga then why all of sudden do we need to throw in big kid logic. Vampires don't make vascular sense. The werewolves, how would any human brain survive the kind of trauma of morphing into a horse sized dog? No matter how many home skillets you have telling you that everything's kosher. That was supposed to happen. Any person would need a 48 hour lock down and a Thorazine drip.

That, to me anyway, is the magic of TW. You can tell your parents you're going for a shopping trip and instead go camping in the woods to wait out a potentially epic vampire battle and never once get a phone call and need to explain the awkward background noise. You never have to get into too much detail why you flaked out and went to Italy for three days and came back comatose with a guy. Things just work out. That's why it's fiction. And when we reach the climax, the fourth--and ostensibly last-- last book we have to go with the logic? We can't just have some goopey happy ever after or a heart wrenching, tear drenched climax?

Back to the other side of the fence. Wouldn't the happy ever after or body laden ending been easy to see coming? Isn't part of the quality of good fiction a surprise you never saw coming? Not everything flows nicely. Don't you hit some bumps on the road and occasionally you blow out your passenger side tire and roll into a ravine?

Terribly sorry if my multiple personalities/arguments aren't making a lot of sense; but I don't think I'll ever be able to reconcile the end of BD. However, I don't think I'd feel differently if more Shakespearian end were in store for the characters.

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:06 pm
by December
Lacuna Scion wrote:That, to me anyway, is the magic of TW. You can tell your parents you're going for a shopping trip and instead go camping in the woods to wait out a potentially epic vampire battle and never once get a phone call and need to explain the awkward background noise.

I never thought of it in that light.

To be honest, though, I suspect there's more to it than a move towards greater realism. (I mean, the scale of the wish-fulfillment by the time Stephenie is done is so wildly BEYOND all possibility of realism...). I'm sort of inclined myself to parse this as I did above: as a problem of conflicting storylines. Not entirely surprising, when you consider how the original two-book sequence of TW and FD had to be opened out to make room for two more volumes (NM and EC). An inventive, inspired writer like Stephenie, who is possessed by her story -- and just beginning to get into her stride -- is going to have trouble spending two books merely connecting the dots between her starting point (TW) and her destination (FD). Clearly, as she let the story of those intervening years come to life in her head, stuff happened. The narrative opened out in ways she hadn't expected. And the rationale for her her original denouement became less powerful -- indeed problematic. That initial, concentred love story got stretched out from one volume to three: it became the substance not of one book but an entire series, so that we began to see Edward and Bella's perfect love and their willingness to give everything up for one another as THE story arc which had to be fulfilled. The theme of choice (heh), on which we've spent so many column inches on this thread, acquired an importance that left us frustrated and baffled that Stephenie would snatch the chance to make an unforced choice away from Edward and Bella. ("You are not going through with this with a sword over your head," Edward insists, and by the end of EC we are all nodding in agreement."). Perfect love, perfect sacrifice, freely chosen: this is where the story has been leading us. Small wonder that BD's reversion to an earlier storyline is jarring.

But in its own terms, the story of BD makes a lot more sense....

Gah! Running of time here. Have to return and edit in this next thought later....

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:29 am
by Lacuna Scion
Yes... *ponders*. I think the addition of the two extra books between TW and FD not only greatly expanded and enriched the story but it opened new plot lines, events, circumstances, choices and decisions.

Then by the time we get to BD although some of the issues of past are tied up--the big ones of course are still up in the air--many are still left unresolved. Plus we have so many new bits to add; which is for the best. How boring would a book be if it just spent hundreds of pages weirdly tying up loose ends? So it makes sense that more action is necessary for a book that's going to hold any readers attention. The same with NM and EC, it would be easy to tell that SM was just biding her time until she got to FD/BD. But the story grew and in the end it all makes sense.

It just seems to me that the book was, not rushed, but squished I guess. It seemed like so much happened in one proportionally small book that the reader may not have been able to appreciate the impact of each action and event. Maybe because the Saga was not written in the typical chronological fashion, things got a little different towards the end. Not bad, by any stretch of the imagination--it's a wonder that anyone could even fathom such an in-depth and intricate world--just different?

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 know it's natural; Bella and Edward were reaching the climax of their courtship (and human-based interactions) and that's a big event. That accompanied by a thirty day gestation and the whole book (and it's subject matter along with it) seemed to just wave as it passed through town. It seems that in comparison to TW, NM and EC the events of BD were significantly more far reaching. But again, maybe it's the natural tenor of their relationship and the natural course of events. And in all honesty it would have been a pretty boring end to a fantastic series if B&E just got hitched and ride off into the sunset.

If BD's general plot and storyline isn't far from FD's then I can see where the continuity gets... strange. Because BD is almost the second and fourth book simultaneously.

Now, I suppose the solution to this would simply be read a little slower. Maybe, a chapter a day instead of a book a day.

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:40 pm
by jettabugfox
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? :roll: 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!

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:05 pm
by December
Welcome to the thread, Jettabugfox! -- looking forward to your thoughts on the subject of choice. I don't want this discussion to slide into a general denunciation of BD -- this isn’t really the place for that -- but there's no doubt that BD flies in the face of many ideas we've been thrashing out here for the past year about the choices Edward and Bella make and what they mean for Stephenie’s story....

Re: Choices aka Ars Longa Vita Brevis

Posted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:09 am
by fanMNM
First, I wanted to start off by! Reading through all of your posts was so...mind boggling (for lack of a better way to describe my incredibly full mind right now...) It was really interesting to read so many different opinions and viewpoints and question my own preconceived notions. Thank you!

I don't think there is enough brain power to time to address everything you all made me consider! lol But there are a few things I thought about while reading thru the discussions that I wanted to add...

I know I'm going back a bit...but on the idea that Alice's visions acting as self fulfilling prophecies...I dunno if I am off base in my thinking, but if Alice had been unable to see the future, would the events have been any different? I don't think so...Edward would still have fallen in love with Bella, decided if he was going to have enough self control to resist her blood, and ultimately tried and failed to walk away from her. I think Alice's visions give the Cullen's a chance to make informed decisions, but I don't think she really causes them to take a different path. We'll never know, because Alice does have this power...but my guess would be that the story would have carried on much the same way without Alice's ability. The Cullen's and Bella may have just been less prepared for certain events.

For me, BD sort of presented the idea that the story and life don't always have to end sadly. Readers have suggested that they felt BD was anticlimatic because all of Bella's sacrifices ended up in happily ever after. That was an interesting idea for me to consider because I had always felt that the pain and sacrifice was wrapped up in the process they both had to go thru to reach the decisions they ultimately did. Bella made her decision quickly, but then later, when she considered giving up Renee, Charlie, and Jacob...there in laid the sacrifice...her feelings of loss and knowing she was going to hurt those who loved her. The feelings she experienced, and the feelings Edward experienced as they went thru the motions of making each choice...that seemed to be the painful part to me. Maybe, because I am an emotional person...I think that the emotions Edward and Bella felt over their choices were powerful enough to be make them suffer.

The fact that SM chose to write the story the way she did...ultimately giving them everything they could have hoped for and more...I didn't feel it was anticlimatic or unreal. Sometimes, for some people, a rough situation does end happily despite the fact that the situation seems to call for heartbreak and tragedy in the end. Many people may feel that life is not so giving and benevolent...but it can be (I know, I know...I sound REALLY corny and optimistic here...) But in my own personal life, I went thru a situation where a relationship seemed hopelessly doomed, suffered a great deal of turmoil, and evenutally turned out in happily ever after (or happily as far as has been experienced so far...)

I guess that all plays into personal perspective though! That's why it so great to debate and vampires and their powers...none us of think the same so we can each bring our own perspectives to the discussion :)