corona wrote:That's no slam on Edward, the best choice of all for Bella is Edward. But if Edward will not change her, is her second best choice staying with Edward while human? I think it might be Jacob.
Yes, if Bella isn't changed their life would always be one of frustrations, with Edward forever burning because of her scent, terrified of injuring her with his strength, and Bella ageing all the time. It was never a practical solution. I'm not going to say better Jacob than that, but vampirism was always the best choice, with all things taken into consideration. It is clear from the way the Cullens live that vampirism does not have to be evil, so therefore, although there are serious drawbacks (like that she can't see her family again), if she wants to be with Edward it is the best option.
I also think Bella would still choose Edward while still staying human. But this scene really brings into focus why that wouldn't be good for Bella. There are benefits and sacrifices for both lifestyles. Staying as a human with Edward would mean losing many of those benefits she has as a human, and she will be sacrificing something unique to that particular pairing, aging while Edward stays young. She will have to make sacrifices becoming a vampire, yes, but it becomes very clear that that is what she will have to do, that it doesn't make any sense not to become one, at least not if she wants to stay with Edward.
I can see the final death in this scene of Edward's "second" option, staying with her while keeping her human. I think Edward becomes more resigned to the inevitable as the story progresses in EC, but he is still holding on to that option as an alternative he could live with (and he's been saying as much the entire series).
In other words, by giving Bella a really good option as a human, the strongest case is now presented that in choosing Edward, she MUST become a vampire. I have no idea if that is a point that SM explicitly wanted to get across. I doubt Bella gave it much thought, because this point was always ridiculously obvious to her. But Edward could only see the downside of changing Bella. Edward ends up getting his wish, that Bella finally sees what she is giving up, but by accomplishing that he ironically ends up making Bella's arguments for changing her airtight.
How about a Twilight "apple" analogy? Before taking that TGDS bite, Bella is ignorant of all of the sacrifices she will be making, so that a human existence with Edward might be possible even as it would always be bittersweet. After taking that bite, such an existence is no longer possible.
corona wrote:but I can understand how SM might feel about Jacob, dragging him, an innocent bystander, through the angst of our young couple and then not wanting to take anything more away from him.
As such, he was supposed to be the tragic hero, but as you noted, SM couldn't do it. So now he is in this odd state of a forced HEA. He should have been the sacrifice physically that he was symbolically, but she couldn't do it. SM couldn't kill Paris to save Romeo.
And she even had second thoughts about Bree, didn't she? If she felt that way about Bree, how much more must she have cared for Jacob?
Tornado wrote:I agree with that, my only problem being did she have to make his behaviour quite so bad? Even in New Moon I never got the impression that he would go to such lengths to try and win Bella. He seemed like a kid with some decency, but all that seemed to be thrown out the window in Eclipse.
I don't really care what he admits to being wrong about, I just want to hear it from his own mouth that he acknowledges that he's not the be-all, end-all of knowledge on everything and that he has a lot to learn. I think, once I hear that, I can be reconciled to Jacob.
I completely agree. The ramping up of Jacob's anger and bitterness was over the top, but I think done for a purpose. And in the end, it really didn't work for me.
I think maybe SM was wanting to pull a Tom Hanks "Big" on Jacob. A child makes a wish and enters the world of adults, but then wants to become just a kid again and return to his former self. I think SM wanted to give Jacob back his original role as that good-natured kid on the beach. That was the problem, though. The Tom Hanks character in Big was always a child, even while masquerading as an adult. Jacob is an adolescent made into a man physically by the time of BD, and even has his adult moments as well. Just before the imprinting he accepts his role and status as the alpha and grants Bella the exception to the treaty. I thought that was one of Jacob's best moments in the story.
Jacob can't go back, but I think SM really wanted that for him, even though it no longer made sense. He's nearly seven foot tall for crying out loud. His obsession with Bella keeps him near for the imprinting, and his inner turmoil is meant to demonstrate his own personal need for a resolution. The anger and acting out is ramped up to lead to the scene where an existential need for the imprinting manifests, saving the life of Renesmee.
I don't agree with these choices for Jacob, at all. But having done this, the best thing for Jacob at that point is to have his own epiphany. Not a love-drug induced haze, but some honest to God reflection over what he has gone through and things he has done and said over the past several months.
And there is the conflict. Jacob, the wolf behemoth, has just imprinted on a newborn baby. No matter which way you slice it, it isn't going to work for a lot of fans. I would have liked to have seen Jacob acknowledge he has made mistakes, but the kind of adult behavior that may work to his character's benefit also makes his relationship with Nessie seem even more bizarre by emphasizing the adult/child disparity. Suddenly the path he took to get there, obsession, lust, anger, passion, desire, no longer work. Problems, problems. What to do, what to do?
In the end, I think SM settled for placing Jacob back on his original path by essentially baptising him in the waters of imprinting, removing all of his sins and restoring the innocence that SM took from him by elevating his role in the story. Just as SM makes him into an adult to have a relationship with Bella, she turns him back into a child again for Nessie, de-sexualizing our nearly 17 year old, nearly 7 foot man-child. I think SM had taken Jacob way too far down the adult path to pull him back, but I think that was what she wanted.
So we get the imprinting reveal scene with Bella. And doesn't the way that end, with Bella sitting off in a corner ashamed of her attack, tell us everything we need to know? Seth, the innocent, was the one injured, but isn't that really a way of saying that Jacob is innocent? Bella thinks she is talking to the Jacob we have all come to know. She doesn't realize that this is the new Jacob who appears to be only dimly aware that they even have a past. Jacob doesn't even think about those things anymore, because Jacob has become a newborn himself.
"...Bella, things are different with us now, but you’ll always be my best friend, and I’ll always love you. But I’ll love you the right way now. There’s finally a balance. We both
have people we can’t live without."
This is just my opinion, but that statement by Jacob is likely the closest he will ever get to acknowledging any personal responsibility for causing Bella any unjustified pain. But, he doesn't really admit to anything, and note he is also reinforcing his claim on Nessie. I really needed something more from Jacob, not a statement that he will be good to Bella, now that he has found a true soulmate for himself (who just happens to be her daughter).
Frankly, I think that if there are any additional stories to be told with Jacob in them, that one of the plot elements you will NOT see is Jacob coming to terms with his behavior during this period. I get the distinct impression that as far as Jacob is concerned, SM doesn't see that there is anything that needs to be forgiven.