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Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:34 pm
I have to admit that I may have been wrong about the Cullens' assumptions regarding the original vision. The Cullens may not have caught up yet to the idea that a human has knowledge of them and might request becoming one of them.
We certainly have more information than most of the Cullens. We know Bella begins thinking about being changed by at least the day following the meadow. And the Cullens don't actually see Alice's visions and how those visions changed. All they know is Bella either dies or becomes one of them. It's possible maybe even JazzGirl's theory that Bella being changed was originally the result of an aborted Edward attack. Or maybe it was originally the James attack.
By that summer, though, I'm pretty sure they all know that Bella is bringing this subject up, often.
As for the Vote, I can see your "imminent death" argument; maybe we could also call it the "impending death" argument. One way or another, it's become just a matter of timing.
I subscribe to the view that the Cullens have considered the change as an entirely free choice and are not averse to it, at least not as the only solution to a problem where all other options have been expended, so that changing Bella simply becomes the least morally repugnant option available. [Rosalie: I DISAGREE!!!!]
I think I understand where you are coming from, though. Can you fill me in? Is this a theological issue that is driving the "imminent death" theory?
Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:15 pm
If we're going to start talking about theology these posts will be kicked over to the Ambivalence thread, so any reply along those lines should probably be put there.
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:31 am
, I look forward to reading everyone's
thoughts on the subjects in this post.
~ Due to Edward’s suicidal condition if Bella dies, IMO, I and Carlisle believe there is an INEVITABLE imminent death circumstance in the horizon for Edward thereby creating Carlisle’s deathbed requirement to change healthy-Bella. In addition, after coming from Volterra one would not need a vision to know what Edward would do next “if Bella’s heart stops beating” and if emergency vampirization fails. Now, I do understand the logic if there is an Alice vision of Bella being a vampire (which is in all the books prior to BD. Though, ironically Alice’s vision is blinded to the details of Bella’s actual deathbed circumstance in BD) one not need worry about this scenario. But Carlisle is not willing to risk it. He refuses to put himself and his entire family in that vulnerable position. As Carlisle says (bold and underline are mine), "It’s the only way that makes sense,” Carlisle insisted. “You’ve chosen not to live without her, and that doesn’t leave me a choice.”
. Meaning, Carlisle had not planned to change Bella without her deathbed circumstance. Further, why would they have to vote on the method of Bella’s transformation at all if they ALL, including herself, would have thought it was coming to pass anyway? A vote on changing Bella without her deathbed would have been a moot point if it was already established that it was going to happen anyway.
~ Though your Rosalie comment is comical
, I myself would have voted “No” as Rosalie and Edward did, though it would have been due to my own personal world view as I have said many times. Which brings me to your question, it would be my pleasure to fill you in on my thoughts regarding what I believe is driving the issue with Carlisle to change healthy-Bella due to, IMO, Edward’s impending
and inevitable deathbed circumstance if
Bella should die and not be changed. Also, I hope my post does not get deleted or transferred to the Ambivalence thread as Tornado correctly assumes. Although, I don’t mind conversing on the Ambivalence thread. My favorite subjects are theology and philosophy.
My answer to your question is YES it is a theological issue that is driving the “imminent death” theory, though not my theology exactly but Carlisle’s theology. Moreover and more importantly, I think Carlisle’s and the Cullens
mode of operation is to satisfy a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. Which is one of the weaknesses that the Judeo-Christian world view (which I think Carlisle borrows some parts from to build his own world view) warns us about that is our inherit weakness and that we all struggle with on some level. And I wish I could take credit for this thought but I can’t. I am currently reading a little theological book and this phrase happened to be in there and I’ve been pondering on it and doing some self-reflection, (and wishing I had heard this phrase long ago), for about a week and then you brought up this subject which led me to look at Carlisle’s and Bella’s theological conversation in the beginning of NM. I had planned to quote Carlisle about 6 times and then comment on his quotes but then
this thought came to me and it just summarizes everything perfectly for me.
If I have misunderstood your question, my apologies and I ask that you please help me understand your question better by providing me detailed examples of what exactly you mean.
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 4:58 pm
Violet Sunlight, if you're going to argue that changing Bella after graduation is an imminent death circumstance because they know that Edward will eventually kill himself when Bella dies, then I don't see why you have a problem with Bella being changed when she is healthy at all. After all, it's the same thing. They're just changing her because they know she will eventually die, and they want to circumvent that. There is no difference in agreeing to change healthy Bella because they know Edward will eventually kill himself when she dies and changing healthy Bella to stop her from eventually dying herself. But neither of these things is an imminent death circumstance, the definition of imminent being "about to take place". Edward's death is not about to take place when they vote at the end of New Moon any more than Bella's death is about to take place when Bella asks Edward to change her at the end of Twilight.
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:11 pm
Though, I understand and interpret the scenes as I do, it doesn’t mean I agree with them. I still think Carlisle is deciding to take a life when opting to change healthy-Bella at the end of NM, regardless of Edward’s impending imminent deathbed. Like I said, I would have voted “NO” for Bella to be changed while healthy. As a matter of fact, because of my personal world view, I wouldn’t recommend anyone in the Twi-Universe or elsewhere be a vampire. But, since Bella is destined to be a vampire, I am going to pick the lesser of the two evils here and side with changing Bella due to HER imminent death circumstance.
What Carlisle is opting to do is like sacrificing one self-consenting child's welfare for the benefit of another sick child. Speaking for myself, this is soooo wrong on soooo many levels for me. I just don’t see how to justify it. Therefore, I’ll say it again, my vote would be “NO” on changing healthy-Bella.
Also, Bella’s cliff jumping that Alice misinterpreted and Edward’s suicidal attempts that Alice didn’t see until it was almost too late, (remember Bella and Alice got there a second before Edward had accomplished his suicidal goal) was waaaaay too close a call for Carlisle and I am sure for the rest of the family as well. Consequently, Edward has left Carlisle no choice but to opt to take drastic measures. The whole NM almost tragedy happened all the while the vampire-Bella-vision was in place. (Remember Alice said that she still saw Bella as a vampire on the plane to Volterra). Bella’s human-fragileness IS the impending imminent deathbed circumstance FOR Edward. She is always in danger of dying and not of old age I might add. And the vision is always one thought away from going from vampire-Bella to dead human-Bella.
Lastly, by the end of NM Bella has already cheated death 6 times and the Cullens have been present at almost all of them, endangering themselves as well. I am sure Carlisle and everyone else sees a pattern forming and combined with their new knowledge of Edward’s suicidal tendencies, (that have already put Bella & Alice in danger) well, like I said I don’t agree but I do understand why Carlisle and the family voted yes. They already know #7 imminent death circumstance for Bella is just right around the corner.
Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:15 pm
Actually, it seems that Bella's change into a vampire is not something Alice is seeing for Bella's future when they are on the way to Volterra. At least, until Alice makes a decision of her own.
Bella says, "I really wish you could have been right about me. In the beginning, when you first saw things about me, before we even met ..."
Alice says, "What do you mean?"
Bella says, "You saw me becoming one of you."
Alice says, "It was a possibility at the time."
This passage seems to indicate that that outcome for Bella, while it was a possibilty when they first met, it is not a possibility at the time that this conversation takes place, and, if this is the case, it's likely it hasn't been a possibility since Edward left at the beginning of New Moon.
It is after this conversation that Alice then goes on to say that she is thinking of changing Bella herself, so that is likely what brings the vision back into reality, thus allowing Aro to "see" it in Alice's mind. Her decision, at that point, reinstates that future as a possibility for Bella.
Violet Sunlight wrote:They already know #7 imminent death circumstance for Bella is just right around the corner.
So they agree to change her when there is NO imminent death circumstance. Imminent, of course, as I mentioned earlier, meaning "about to take place". They're acting before something else like that comes along, changing her of her own free will while she is healthy.
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:18 am
Of course I understand that where theological matters are involved that these decisions are grave matters.
There's no need to rehash those matters either.
My only contention is that I don't believe this is extended to all of the Cullens, that this was an artifact of injecting a real world basis into mythical Edward's views and actions. I wrestled with this myself and eventually found that the best way to understand the story, for myself, was to regard that as Edward's issue, and that the rest of the family got dragged into it because SM couldn't avoid it.
In my opinion, we have a pretty good grasp of where Carlisle and Edward stands, but the other Cullens are more conventionally based in a storybook world, regardless of any opinions or statements by Carlisle or Edward
. I base that opinion on the fact that the other Cullens simply don't show us they are wrestling with those issues. Rosalie is a bit different, but her issues primarily involve the loss of humanity's benefits in the material world.
This section in NM threw me for a loop for a long time:
- "Actually, you’re the very first one to agree with me.”
“The rest of them don’t feel the same?” I asked, surprised, thinking of only one person in particular.
Carlisle guessed the direction of my thoughts again. “Edward’s with me up to a point..."
I don't think SM really wanted to get into this whole thing, but she had invested so much into Edward's character that she eventually realized he had certain views that she couldn't change.
That's a neat side-step there, though, isn't it? The other Cullens are briefly brought up in the conversation in a way that seems to show that Edward isn't out there by himself on some fringe, but then the subject becomes Edward alone. There is no further discussion, as far as I know, about exactly what the other Cullens really believe.
Anyway, that's just my opinion. I do see SM having to bring the issue up, but then trying to segregate what may be a real-world concern with Edward from her more conventional storybook tale.
It's because of that opinion that I don't see the Vote as having an excruciating moral debate simmering underneath the surface. Well, for Edward it's always there, but I don't see the issue as really existing for the others. Otherwise, I think the Vote may have gone down differently, or at least had broader discussion. Put another way, (my opinion only) the other Cullens always live in the original Twilight storybook world, it's only Edward that lives in the New Moon world that overlaps our own. You could view the Vote as asking the Cullens which one they would rather live in.
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:30 pm
My apologies, you’re right about the vampire-Bella-vision being non-existent before Alice makes the offer to change her and thereby making the vampire-Bella-vision reappear. But, it does not change the fact that the vampire-Bella-vision was in existence when Bella step foot in Volterra. Which still means Bella is about to be in imminent danger while the vampire-Bella-vision is present. Moreover and to everyone’s horror, Edward is also in imminent danger, albeit due to his unpredictable
suicidal condition, and also while the vampire-Bella-vision is present. The point I am making is that I understand why Carlisle thought he had to change self-consenting healthy-Bella. What happened in Volterra was a rude awakening of how fatality unpredictable
things can quickly
become, and all the while the vampire-Bella-vision is present.
Tornado wrote:So they agree to change her when there is NO imminent death circumstance. Imminent, of course, as I mentioned earlier, meaning "about to take place". They're acting before something else like that comes along, changing her of her own free will while she is healthy.
I kindly and respectfully say, sometimes there is more than one meaning to a word. When I refer to Edward’s impending imminent deathbed circumstance, (that I believe, along with
Bella's self-consent, is the reason why Carlisle offers to change Bella at the end of NM, NOT before), the following definitions is what I am referring to. Although, as you rightly have illustrated these words can also be used in other ways too. As I myself have also done in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (It all depends on the desired context.):
Imminent - liable to happen soon; impending
Soon - in the near future
Near – close to
I did not realize your question was in regards to the rest of the family. I thought it was regarding Carlisle’s intentions being that he is the one who has offered to administer the change. Your question was too broad for me. Please allow me to try again.
Now, brace yourself the following is coming out of left field and may not exactly answer your question again (sorry
), but I’ve been meaning to bring this up ever since you talked about the amoral life style of the 99% of red-eyed vampires in the Twi-Universe some time ago.
Here we go.
Well since theology is not on the rest of the Cullens’ radar, Bella included, maybe
(just my errant thoughts here), the rest of the family views their situation as an incurable medical glitch (I mean their vampire thirst) that one can live with via the animal diet plan/treatment while constantly obtaining and/or keeping their humanity/morality because of its’ beneficial side-effects. So if Bella wants to join the party, well great, the more the merrier, because to them it’s doable or I guess manageable. Subsequently, if Bella has a bad day and the treatment/animal-blood is not taking affect or she is not allowing the treatment to take affect, or she just didn’t have time to take her treatment and thereby allowing the glitch to take over, then that just means she and the human in question are having a bad day and the glitch happened to take over that day. So no worries, she will do better next time.
(here come more of my errant thoughts), the Cullens view the red-eyed vampires as individuals who either just refuse, or don’t know about, the treatment. Consequently, living/existing amorally is understandable to them. Maybe they feel compassion for them. Which explains to me why they are so accepting of the good red-eyed vampires, especially super-compassionate Carlisle.
Almost like, when a mentally ill person forgets, or refuses, or doesn’t know, they are suppose to be on meds, and due to the glitch in their system decides to murder somebody. Now, they don’t get put in jail, they get put in a medical facility to further help the individual live and manage their glitch.
Well anyway, these are just my crazy errant thoughts.
[***waiting quietly in a corner while everyone tells me how sooo off base I am***]
Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:01 pm
The thing with Alice's visions is that we already know that she can see more than one future at a time. While I believe that there was a future available for Bella that included vampirism at this stage, the fact that they were racing to Volterra to save Edward, and possibly get killed as a result, may mean that the future was, again, dual. It may also mean that the vampire future was not actually present at the time Alice made her decision because too many other factors came into play. However, Aro, not being stupid, would have realised the factors that came into play in Alice's visions the moment he started looking into her mind, so he may have only made the decision to change her when he saw that his decision was required to make the vision a definite future for Bella. Also, since it's clear at that point (SM mentions, when Caius is contemplating killing them all, that Aro seems unhappy with the way the conversation is heading, indicating he would probably like to spare them, if he could) that Aro seems willing to be lenient, if only because he wants to see how Bella "turns out", it might only be at that point that Alice's vision of Bella becoming a vampire again came into effect.
As regards imminent death circumstances and everything else, we've been over it before. We will agree to disagree, then.
Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:23 am
First, I don't think you are off base in your assessment of the other Cullens. We know very little about their beliefs from the books. SM tells us in her interviews simply that it's very difficult for them to abstain, but they do. There seems to be varying levels of sympathy for human victims. Certainly in MS I saw more concern from Alice, even before her visions, towards Bella and her human life than I saw from Emmett. And Jasper and Emmett have that bet going in EC.
[EDIT: In my opinion, this isn't really fair. SM added additional levels of realism to Carlisle and Edward that she didn't give to the other Cullens. The other Cullens were meant to stay in fairy tale world to greet Bella's return. In that sense, they don't actually have views regarding that particular debate. But, yes, if they must have them, then they certainly have a more cavalier attitude towards it than Edward.]
As for Edward's unpredictable suicidal tendencies, the circumstances were unpredictable but the reaction wasn't. I will hold out that the other Cullens might not quite understand, never having been in that position before and likely only knowing about Marcus and his wife as a story told by Carlisle. Rosalie doesn't think about it at all until after she calls Edward.
From our side of the story fence, everything was actually quite predictable.
Also, Carlisle's statement at the Vote:
"It’s the only way that makes sense,” Carlisle insisted. “You’ve chosen not to live without her, and that doesn’t leave me a choice."
That's technically wrong on a few counts. First, Edward didn't really choose Bella, he fell in love with her. I have no idea if Edward was truly strong enough to leave at the beginning of TW, but Alice could have been messing with him as well. Remember, he was sort of forced into his position. Everyone knew he was on the edge of the black hole of love and was drifting closer. Everyone should have known that at some point the situation was going to become irrevocable. Again, I hold out the possibility that the other Cullens aren't really thinking things through, which goes back to the Knives post. I see Bella demonstrating deeper thinking skills than most of the Cullens most of the time.
[EDIT: My mistake. It is clear that at least Esme knew from the very beginning where things were going, and she was quite happy about it and has thought of Bella "as family" for a long time.]
Second, Edward has not chosen to live with her, it is impossible not to live with her. That goes for every single vampire.
Carlisle knows better, but he also knows Edward, and he's telling him to take responsibility for the situation, which Edward is not doing. Edward has completely disrupted all of their lives, he is responsible for revealing the Cullen family and Bella to the Volturi, and he now wants the family to take it on the lam for the next several decades while he sticks Bella in one hidey hole after the other. That is how he plans to fix the problems he is responsible for, by creating more problems and disrupting all of their lives even further. Carlisle needs Edward to snap out and face reality, which is why I think he words his statement the way he does. When I look from Edward's view I think it is so unfair, but when I look from Carlisle's view I see someone who needs a wakeup call, fast.
I'm sure Carlisle is concerned about the lives of everyone there at that table. His statement is a bit harsh, but he's trying to get through to Edward, and he seems to be very much in sync with Bella's reasoning. Note how he ingnores Edward later and tells Bella directly he is capable of changing her himself.
P.S. Just thinking here. I saw Carlisle's statement that he can change Bella himself as very unusual, almost as if he has had enough and is demanding Edward to face this. It is unusually bold for Carlisle, a complete flip from the beginning of the book when he wants no part of this dispute between B&E. Does anyone think he is snubbing Edward as a way to goad him into changing Bella himself? I don't know, just asking. And what about Rosalie? Isn't that kind of a snub against her as well, that's she is way off base? "Absolutely, Rosalie, you are right, I should never have changed you. Bella, on the other hand, I have no problem with, she'll turn out just fine, unlike you." Dang, that's cruel, but how else would Rosalie have taken the fact that Carlisle had no compunction at all about changing Bella? Isn't Rosalie's explanation for her NO vote a backhanded slap at Carlisle and a warning to him that if he has any integrity he should vote NO as well?
I wish we could have been there at the beginning when SM was freely answering questions about the series.