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Re: Explorations

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:39 am
by Tornado
Ah, Open Home, I know! I know!

"I think I remember this love of yours ..."

That's the next line. That movie is so easy to remember!

The Buddhist tenets are certainly true. Desires do cause suffering, and trying to be satisfied with what we have is best. However, when it comes to love (especially in the Twilight saga) I think trying to rid yourself of a desire doesn't always work. That's sort of what Edward tried to do (for Bella's sake) in New Moon, and it kind of backfired ... So I guess there are exceptions to every rule!

Re: Explorations

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:31 am
by December
Love it, Kayla! I feel like maybe the Serenity Prayer gets an oblique look-in here:

It's the wisdom part that Edward was missing in NM (Bella's love for him wasn't something he could change). Jake doesn't exactly excel at recognizing the things he can't change either.

Maybe in a way that's what Bella did have: by the end of NM she'd begun accept that the love of her life was neither coming back nor going to fade from her heart -- and to work, if not towards serenity, at least towards reconciling herself to the second best life had to offer.

And conversely, she has the courage to change Edward's mind about transforming her.

And for his part, Edward does eventually learn to accept to the inevitable....

.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:14 pm
by Violet Sunlight
Wow, everyone’s posts are sooo interesting. I can do nothing but ponder on all that has been said. This topic makes me think of the famous poetic lines from the poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, “’Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all.”

Openhome your Yoda Voice line was funny. :lol:

I guess for me, I do put more weight of romantic pain and suffering in the rejected party. But, I totally understand the other aspect of the romantic pain and suffering you all have pointed out, in regards to the length of time of the romantic pain and the simple fact of the pain and suffering due to the separation of the romantic relationship. All very valid points.
corona wrote:This is an interesting topic. I'm not sure who I would give it to. You make a good point about Edward, Violet Sunlight, in that it was self-inflicted. But, some of Jacob's pain is too. Jacob never had a solid claim on Bella, so it isn't that he really lost her, more like he lost the opportunity. We certainly get Jacob's pain viscerally and first-hand.
Firstly, thank you for the compliment.

Okay, IMO, I don’t think Jacob’s pain is self-inflicting at all. Jacob is first Bella’s soul-mate before he is Renesmee’s. Well, one of Bella’s soul-mates. I must admit, this is very weird. Usually in a story one person has one soul-mate but not in the Twilight Universe and not Bella. In any event, Jacob was suppose to pursue Bella romantically as Edward was. Now, speaking of the Saga (meaning the 4 books) as a whole, Edward and Jacob were both created to pursue human Bella romantically and vice-versa and they were both created to give her their respective HEA. Bella just had to make the painful choice.
corona wrote: Some of that, though, is self-inflicted since he knew he stood little chance of winning Bella, and he holds on even after she has made her choice.
I know Jacob says something like “I knew it was a long shot”. But, IMO, I don’t think it was such a long shot. It’s not like Bella walked or skipped away from Jacob whistling show-tunes. She was whole-heartedly devastated for many reasons when she broke up with him. Also, in regards to Jacob holding on, if you are talking about before the heart-to-heart breakup type conversation, I know we’ve covered this before, but IMO, one of the reasons Jacob holds on to Bella is, she asked him to come back in phone calls, letter(s) etc., (the other is, he very much wants to be in Bella’s life, in spite of her, what he deems, bizarre choices), though, Edward has returned. But, if you are referring to the wedding reception and beyond, IMO, well that’s just the mutual foundational friendship between them hanging on for dear life (not only figuratively but literally in this case).

corona wrote: But if we are talking specifically about unjustified pain inflicted by someone else, then I think Bella experienced the most.
This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about. And IMO, I don’t think Bella suffered the most. In regards to Bella and even Leah getting dumped, they at least knew that their beloved was not signing up to kill their humanity and/or be destroyed. Unlike Jacob who gets a double dose of pain and suffering because he just didn’t get dumped, he has to face the fact that his beloved has chosen to end her humanity and if that was not enough, she has unintentionally chosen to end it tortuously. As the saying goes, “Oh, the humanity!”. ;)

Lastly, regarding Marcus, yes, he suffers for his romantic lost for a long, long, long time but, it was NOT at the hands of Didyme. He suffers because of Aro’s actions, though unbeknownst to Marcus.

    Re: Explorations

    Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:24 pm
    by Tornado
    Violet Sunlight wrote:Okay, IMO, I don’t think Jacob’s pain is self-inflicting at all. Jacob is first Bella’s soul-mate before he is Renesmee’s. Well, one of Bella’s soul-mates. I must admit, this is very weird. Usually in a story one person has one soul-mate but not in the Twilight Universe and not Bella.
    I've never quite known what to make of Bella's comment that Jake and Edward are both her soul mates. Is SM meaning us to take that literally? We do know, after all, that Bella does get things wrong on occasions. She misinterprets Edward's behaviour many times in Twilight, and certainly in New Moon. Is it just her feelings at this point that are making her see it this way?

    I do believe that SM probably thinks this, but I have never agreed. While I know that there are different kinds of love, and different levels of love, to expect any woman, even in a world that has a mythical element to it (and it must be remembered that the Twilight world is still our world, just with a hidden element) to have two soul mates who are so completely opposite to one another strikes me as being the most unbelievable thing in all the books! I just can't buy it. I understand that she can feel something for Jake, that she can love him. Absolutely. But to say that they are both potential soul mates to that level when they are so different? That just doesn't ring true to me.

    Certainly, she could love Jacob in the real world and marry him, but, for me, the phrase 'soul mate' means that there can be no one better. I just can't believe that Jacob is the ideal man for Bella if Edward is also the ideal man for her. Now, if we're just taking the men she knows into account, then, yes, I can buy that. But if we're to assume that, apart from Edward, there's no one else in the world that's as good for Bella as Jacob, then no, I don't buy that.
    Violet Sunlight wrote:Now, speaking of the Saga (meaning the 4 books) as a whole, Edward and Jacob were both created to pursue human Bella romantically and vice-versa and they were both created to give her their respective HEA.
    Jacob was originally created to tell Bella that Edward was a vampire, and only for that. Then, when SM expanded the story into Forever Dawn, Jacob was given to Renesmee. It was only when SM was asked to expand on Bella's high school years that Jacob became a potential lover for Bella.
    Violet Sunlight wrote:This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about. And IMO, I don’t think Bella suffered the most. In regards to Bella and even Leah getting dumped, they at least knew that their beloved was not signing up to kill their humanity and/or be destroyed. Unlike Jacob who gets a double dose of pain and suffering because he just didn’t get dumped, he has to face the fact that his beloved has chosen to end her humanity and if that was not enough, she has unintentionally chosen to end it tortuously. As the saying goes, “Oh, the humanity!”. ;)
    Yes, but Jacob is reconciled to all that in the end. He has to be, seeing he imprints on a child that he would consider, if he continues to hold that viewpoint, to be half dead. So he has to recognise that Bella's change is not the death he considered it. In fact, he half acknowledges how incorrect his previous viewpoint was by saying, "I'll love you the right way now." He finally recognises that the way he loved her before was wrong. It's the closest he comes to admitting he made a mistake.
    Violet Sunlight wrote:Lastly, regarding Marcus, yes, he suffers for his romantic lost for a long, long, long time but, it was NOT at the hands of Didyme. He suffers because of Aro’s actions, though unbeknownst to Marcus.
      But he still suffers. And suffers because of love. And his pain will never lessen, nor will he ever get over it. That's quite a cross to bear. Yes, his suffering is greater than any by the end of the series, because even Leah has the potential to move on. Marcus doesn't.

      Re: Explorations

      Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:54 am
      by Jazz Girl
      My my but I've missed so very much while I've been away. Darn the lack of access on vacation! Granted, is it slightly odd that I went on a family vacation but found myself missing our discussions? Anyway... :D

      Forgive the jumping right back into the fray, but you know me...

      Violet Sunlight wrote:Okay, IMO, I don’t think Jacob’s pain is self-inflicting at all. Jacob is first Bella’s soul-mate before he is Renesmee’s. Well, one of Bella’s soul-mates. I must admit, this is very weird. Usually in a story one person has one soul-mate but not in the Twilight Universe and not Bella.
      I must agree with Tornado in this instance. If nothing else, no matter how much he tried to force the issue, Jacob always knew the score. Bella was nothing if not upfront and honest with him. She would always choose Edward, period. The more Jacob pushed, the more he set himself up for hurt. The longer he refused to accept her choice, the harder he was going to fall when it finally came to fruition. He always had the ability to cut his losses and walk away. I understand that many believe he had his nobler reasons why he didn't. However, in the end, all mixed messages and supposed noble intentions aside, Jacob chose to keep putting his hand in the fire. Getting burned was his choice.
      Tornado wrote:I do believe that SM probably thinks this, but I have never agreed. While I know that there are different kinds of love, and different levels of love, to expect any woman, even in a world that has a mythical element to it (and it must be remembered that the Twilight world is still our world, just with a hidden element) to have two soul mates who are so completely opposite to one another strikes me as being the most unbelievable thing in all the books! I just can't buy it. I understand that she can feel something for Jake, that she can love him. Absolutely. But to say that they are both potential soul mates to that level when they are so different? That just doesn't ring true to me.
      I'm in complete agreement, Tornado. Even I can acknowledge that Bella loved Jacob please don't look so shocked, you lot :lol: ) However, it was never, in my eyes, True Love, for lack of a more concise term. They were comfortable together. In NM, she appreciated the fact that he wanted to be with her and she didn't feel like he wanted anything from her that she couldn't give (at least at first). In EC, she felt... beholden to him in a way. It was familial. She wanted his happiness and appreciated his dedication. What you never see, and what I think is essential when you are talking about soul-mate-true-love-to-the-core-of-your-beinglove is that all-consuming passion, that complete loss of senses when the other is with you. If you consider TGDS, which is essentially the moment of greatest passion between them, the majority of her reaction is anger, anger that he is taking advantage of the situation, anger that he is manipulating her and even more, that she's giving in to it. Even as her mind was frantically catching up with her enflamed hormones, she didn't see a life of love that she had to have, she didn't see life without Jacob as vast emptiness where she was accepting a suitable second best. Yes, she hurt. But it was a hurt she knew she would survive, and a hurt she knew that she could share with the person who was truly her other half. If you compare that with how we know she always reacted (every single time) to Edward's touch, to his mere presence, or even the thought of his presence, it is a wholey different level. Her entire being reacted to Edward, physically and emotionally. The intensity of their connection was comparable to nothing else.
      Violet Sunlight wrote:This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about. And IMO, I don’t think Bella suffered the most. In regards to Bella and even Leah getting dumped, they at least knew that their beloved was not signing up to kill their humanity and/or be destroyed. Unlike Jacob who gets a double dose of pain and suffering because he just didn’t get dumped, he has to face the fact that his beloved has chosen to end her humanity and if that was not enough, she has unintentionally chosen to end it tortuously. As the saying goes, “Oh, the humanity!”. ;)
      While I don't agree with your description of Bella's future, this honestly was the one small thing that allowed me just a moment of sympathy for the mongrel. In essence, Bella chooses a life that he cannot fathom, an existence that he loathes, and does so with his mortal enemy. It is a bit of salt in the wound, so to speak. Of course, Jacob's attitude and behavior about the entire situation tends to bring me right back around again, so it doesn't really last.

      Re: Explorations

      Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:18 pm
      by December
      Jazzgirl wrote:this honestly was the one small thing that allowed me just a moment of sympathy for the mongrel. In essence, Bella chooses a life that he cannot fathom, an existence that he loathes, and does so with his mortal enemy.

      Absolutely. Obviously he comes round over time; but to start with, all Jake can is a pure, innocent, warm, trusting girl rushing headlong to her destruction. We look at the Stephenie's vampires with human eyes and are bowled over by their unearthly beauty, grace and allure; werewolves look right through that to the essential monstrousness -- almost a sort of moral putrefaction, as viscerally disgusting to them as the vampire's scent. Think zombies, decomposition, deformation -- that is what Bella is proposing to become, in Jake's eyes. Or so I've always sort of imagined it.

      The chilling thing is that -- actually -- this isn't far off how Edward looks on Bella's choice for a long long time. Jake's horror at the life Bella wants to take on mirrors Edward's own. Small wonder he smashes the flat screen telly at the end of NM....

      Re: Explorations

      Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:58 pm
      by Jazz Girl
      December wrote:
      Jazzgirl wrote:this honestly was the one small thing that allowed me just a moment of sympathy for the mongrel. In essence, Bella chooses a life that he cannot fathom, an existence that he loathes, and does so with his mortal enemy.

      Absolutely. Obviously he comes round over time; but to start with, all Jake can is a pure, innocent, warm, trusting girl rushing headlong to her destruction. We look at the Stephenie's vampires with human eyes and are bowled over by their unearthly beauty, grace and allure; werewolves look right through that to the essential monstrousness -- almost a sort of moral putrefaction, as viscerally disgusting to them as the vampire's scent. Think zombies, decomposition, deformation -- that is what Bella is proposing to become, in Jake's eyes. Or so I've always sort of imagined it.

      The chilling thing is that -- actually -- this isn't far off how Edward looks on Bella's choice for a long long time. Jake's horror at the life Bella wants to take on mirrors Edward's own. Small wonder he smashes the flat screen telly at the end of NM....
      Well, it may be an obvious statement, but I've always been slightly thankful that I am able to form my opinions about the Cullens and their brand of vampirism without my senses being overwhelmed by their preternatural luers. For me at least, it isn't about their beauty or their allure. It is that, as Bella so eloquently says in NM, they are genuinely good to the core of who they are. We see that evidence from the moment we first see them. Their struggle, their bond, the way they love unconditionally... It is honestly why the entire debate over the existence of their souls, or the value of their struggle tends to snap my teeth together just a bit. It is why Jacob's flat refusal to, to steal a bit of a phrase if I may, judge them by the content of their character and not the sparkle of their skin, cuts me to the core. He is prejudice, plain and simple.

      As for the similarity in Edward's and Jacob's points of view, I always did find that little bit of irony slightly amusing and somewhat emotionally exhausting. The better irony is the fact that Edward has much more right and reason to feel that way, in my opinion. But, I digress. When you boil it all down, the similarities between Edward's and Jacob's feelings and their reactions are downright comical at times.

      Re: Explorations

      Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:25 pm
      by December
      Yes. And put to excellently comic effect in the Tent Scene....

      No question that the moral beauty outshines even the physical graces ("even more incredible behind the face" and all that). My thought was just that the narrative is rigged so as to make everything about the Cullens alluring to Bella (and the reader). Rather than telling this story à la Beauty and the Beast, where one would have to work harder to recognize the inner beauty. Of course, Beauty and the Beast is precisely how Edward himself sees it (cf. the scene with the lengthening shadows in MS): he finds his own unearthly beauty glaringly, monstrously hideous. But the reader is never seriously asked to wrestle with that kind of opposition between inward and outward beauty.

      And one upshot of this is that it's extra-difficult to imagine our way into Jake's original mindset, in which the sheer physical presence of the Cullens is viscerally disgusting and it takes education and a tremendous effort of will to look beyond the revulsion to their essential goodness.

      Re: Explorations

      Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:35 pm
      by corona
      I'm sorry, I wrote this before JG and December jumped in, apologies if I seem like I am ignoring what you said, but I have to post this now.
      Tornado wrote:But he still suffers. And suffers because of love. And his pain will never lessen, nor will he ever get over it. That's quite a cross to bear. Yes, his suffering is greater than any by the end of the series, because even Leah has the potential to move on. Marcus doesn't.
      One other thing I should bring up, I forget this sometimes, is that Marcus's backstory isn't detailed in the series. Based on the TW text alone, there really couldn't be any sympathy for him, because we are never told within the story what had happened. We only know about this from SM's interviews and the IG.

      I only really felt sympathy for him when I read his backstory in the IG and found out that he refused Corin's talent that would help numb his pain. That reminded me of Bella's line in NM, "Forbidden to remember, terrified to forget; it was a hard line to walk."

      It's funny, but this discussion, weighing and judging the validity of romantic suffering, has actually crystallized a few of my thoughts concerning Jacob. I have little sympathy for Jacob. Violet Sunlight has a great deal of sympathy for him. Why do we have such opposite reactions to the same character?

      In a nutshell, I have always viewed Bella and Edward's love as being special, a supernatural connection that exists only in this fantasy world that SM has created. That has been one of the genius facets of this story, that SM gives both of them the license to love to extremes and act in extreme ways due to this supernatural factor.

      And yet SM gives Jacob this license as well. Jacob's human connection to Bella eventually grows to rival Bella's supernatural connection to Edward. Is Jacob's connection supernatural or human? I think that is one of my great resentments, in that SM seems to give Jacob the license to act in extreme ways while absolving him of all fault. He loves Bella almost as much as Bella loves Edward, even though his connection is human while hers is supernatural. Bella and Edward are responsible for their actions and must suffer for it, even as the root cause of it is their supernatural connection that drives them beyond reason. Jacob is not responsible for his actions even as he is human with a human connection to Bella and would normally have to accept responsibility.

      You see what I mean? I judge Jacob as a human. I expect Jacob to grow in maturity and understanding as humans are supposed to do. I expected Jacob to come to the reception with a new attitude (he was gone for two months for crying out loud). I judge Jacob's actions there as a human, so I have little sympathy for him, and I don't excuse him for his youth. The fact that he never seems to let Bella go until it is mystically severed for him by the imprinting is something I attribute to a choice that Jacob has made. All of us have to eventually let go of someone romantically if they choose someone else. It isn't healthy to hold on, and if you really love them you have to let them go.
      Jazz Girl wrote:I understand that many believe he had his nobler reasons why he didn't. However, in the end, all mixed messages and supposed noble intentions aside, Jacob chose to keep putting his hand in the fire. Getting burned was his choice.
      Jazz Girl, we are on the same page there.

      However, if you see Jacob's connection to Bella as being "special", as something on par or close to B&E's connection to each other, then you would see Jacob as literally not being able to help himself. He is being driven by the same compulsions that B&E are being driven by. And since his connection is human and not supernatural, doesn't that actually make his love for Bella even more "special", and perhaps elevate it above even B&E? The bonding strength of the supernatural love, but existing entirely within the natural and healthy love of humanity.

      Maybe the best example and evidence for this is the imprinting scene at Bella's change. Jacob wants to tear Nessie to pieces. If you view Jacob's actions as a result of his human choices, being judged on the same level all us humans are, then his imprinting should be a humbling experience for him, resulting in a wiser Jacob. If you view Jacob as being compelled with a love for Bella that knows no reason, then his wanting to kill Nessie was an understandable reaction to Bella's seeming death, and Jacob is simply out of his mind because he loved Bella that much. Jacob's action is essentially equated to the response that Edward had after he thought Bella had died in NM. What they both wanted to do was deplorable, but understandable. Edward never says that he regretted what he wanted to do, and neither does Jacob. Stephenie does not judge Jacob for this, and neither does she allow Jacob to judge himself for it.

      ****************************

      So, I guess I don't really sympathize much with Jacob because I never bought that. It didn't make much sense at the literary level as it flew in the face of the original premise, which was a) B&E's extraordinary bond with each other and b) the license it gave them to act and feel the way they do. Giving that freely to Jacob as well undermines that premise, so I just rejected it. Jacob does not have that license (how could he? it's not possible!), so he is in violation of the Twilight Standards and Practices Act of 2006, Subsection 13.2, of the True Love and Soul Mate Exemption Code that bans all extreme behavior in the pursuit of Love, with a grandfather clause exempting any Supernatural Love established prior to 2006. Bella and Edward are grandfathered in, Jacob is not. Someone needs to arrest that boy. :D

      Re: Explorations

      Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:57 pm
      by Jazz Girl
      And yet, one is forced to do exactly that, in a way. The differences between the Cullens and the traditional vampires, who are all equally as beautiful and who are all equipped with the same luers, are jarring. The subtle yet startling physical differences between them are markers and ones that play on even humans completely dulled instincts (ie red coloration being an inherent warning in the animal kingdom). However, that the debate about the presence of vampiric souls even exists points to the idea that vampires are not all the same, that there are those who are other than what we assume them to be. Thus, we have to look to their inner beauty, because outwardly, they are all equally perfect.

      And even in that, you have various levels. You see, for instance Garrett or Benjamin. Traditional vampires who feed off of humans. From one point of view, that makes them automatically bad or evil. However, they see it, to borrow your comparison, like a human eating a hamburger. They are living from the food source from which they were designed to live. Yes, there's an option. But, isn't there also an option for humans who eat meat? They love and give love. They see the side of compassion and right in the battle with the Volturri. They are not out for themselves or for power or domination, just out to be allowed to live their lives in peace. Juxtaposed against the Romanians, or the Volturri, who hunger for power and use violence and manipulation to gain and maintain it, are they not arguably "good"? Our human superiority complex tells us they must be evil because they prey on poor unsupecting humans. But, I'm pretty sure if you asked a cow or a chicken, most humans are inherently evil.

      EDIT: corona and I seem to have similar problems today. ;)

      Oh how I do love the way your mind works. That must be where I differ from all these folks who find sympathy for the mongrel, who forgive him is extremity. I never saw Jacob's love for Bella as anything other than something in the realm of human. Yes, he is a preternatural creature. But, I suppose my attitude is much the same as Leah's. It's not as if he imprinted on Bella. If his feelings were mystical, they would be that. It doesn't seem to me that there is an internediately mystical level, if that makes sense. Thus, his feelings are human feelings. Yes, they may be strong. He may be in love with her. But, when it comes down to it, she tells him no. She chooses someone else. Once she does that, all of his prodding, pushing, and refusal to accept her choice are unacceptable. I suppose I am a believer in the old addage, if you love it, be willing to let it go; if it is meant to be, it will return and if it doesn't, it wasn't meant to be. Bella and Jacob was never meant to be.