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Re: Explorations

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:06 pm
by GrayceM
corona wrote:This was my understanding, Grayce. When you say "as quickly as she realized why she couldn't", that would apply to everyone at the point they began to have awareness again. Bella maintained her silence for the last half, which was extraordinary, but she was hanging on by a thread and knew her body would betray her if she had to respond to Edward in any way. She at least had a reason for not crying out.
  • "Bella? Can you hear me?”

    I knew, beyond all doubt, that if I unlocked my teeth I would lose it--I would shriek and screech and writhe and thrash. If I opened my eyes, if I so much as twitched a finger--any change at all would be the end of my control.
corona, by that I only meant that she realized very soon after coming back from the blackness that it was the morphine keeping her still. She didn't feel grateful that she couldn't scream but she figured out pretty fast why. Right after the part you posted with her describing the baby kicking her ribs apart.

"The fire blazed hotter and I wanted to scream. To beg for someone to kill me now, before I lived one more second in this pain. But I couldn't move my lips. The weight was still there, pressing on me.
I realized it wasn't the darkness holding me down; it was my body. So heavy..." "...Why couldn't I move? Why couldn't I scream? This wasn't part of the stories.
My mind was unbearably clear--sharpened by the fierce pain--and I saw the answer almost as soon as I could form the questions.
The morphine."

Yes, after her spine repairs, she starts to become aware and begins to remember and then becomes grateful that she couldn't move. She also gets stronger at that point as well. Hearing Edward's voice brings him into her focus so that she even ends up counting his breaths to mark time and by doing so, I think that gives her more strength.
corona wrote:All of that is to highlight what Carlisle went through, which appears to be utterly unique. He was at least silent enough from the very beginning not to catch the attention of anyone in his village who was conducting a search. He may have made some noises, but not much. He maintained enough control at the beginning to actually seek out a hiding place.

As far as I know Carlisle is the only one who did not scream out from the very beginning. And, he was able to either maintain some kind of consciousness, and therefore self-control, sufficient to not cry out, or he simply didn't even as he was overwhelmed with the sensation of being burned alive for hours on end. Halfway through the process his self-control would have improved, just as it did for everyone else, but it is those first hours that are remarkable. It wasn't that his self-control finally came back to him, it's that it appears he never lost it.
Absolutely! Carlisle has extraordinary control, but he was the only one we know of who wasn't dying or near death already. He had a little extra "strength" to fight his own reactions because he knew what would happen. Similar to Bella when she does regain control. He wasn't weakened by sickness or injury, his spirit wasn't broken nor was his will to live. He kept quiet to keep from being killed and Bella to keep from tormenting Edward. We already know she would have died a thousand times to keep from hurting him.

Can you imagine!? I want Carlisle to go with me the next time I have to go shopping or to the DMV... :lol:

Re: Explorations

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:05 pm
by Tornado
Yes, Grayce, I agree that Bella certainly seems to have some awareness all the way through. She just doubts it would be enough to hold her still if she was able to move in the beginning. However, we don't know. It would have been interesting to see how she would have behaved if she was without the morphine, but had been aware of what was happening from the first moment she was bitten. After all, because she was bitten when she was already under the influence of morphine for the birth it took her a few minutes of pain to realise what was happening. If she had been aware from the first moment that Edward had bitten her and she had to keep silent or she would upset him, even without the morphine, would she have been able to keep quiet? Probably not, but I'm not sure.

I'm not sure we can categorically state that Carlisle is the only one who never screamed. While we are aware that going through the venom's born is a horrible torture, the only ones mentioned as actually screaming during it are Rosalie and Emmett (which was mentioned in outtakes). I'm not saying that means that the other Cullens didn't, but just that there are a lot of vampires out there, and I think it's a possibility that someone else kept silent, especially if they were aware, from the outset, that they needed to keep quiet, as Carlisle did. Granted, Carlisle does clearly have extraordinary self-control, but even SM doesn't suggest that that's his talent. Rather, compassion is his talent, and that begets his self-control, although that's more in the instance of refusing to kill humans.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:58 am
by corona
Tornado wrote:I'm not sure we can categorically state that Carlisle is the only one who never screamed.
I agree, we can't state that categorically, although Edward gives us a hint when he said it was a "miracle" that Carlisle stayed silent.

That suggests that Carlisle's experience is unique, at least from what Edward knows about his family and possibly a few other vamps he has read the mind of (highly unlikely topic of open discussion amongst vamps). It's also completely in line with Bella's experience, who quickly realizes that staying silent for her would be impossible for her except for the morphine.

So, I assume every Cullen except for Alice also screamed out.

I have a few other theories. One is that Bella was submersed in a bath of venom injections from the beginning, which is why she was overwhelmed so quickly. Since a vampiric mind is key to having the best chance not to cry out, it is possible that while Carlisle had to spend an extra day in pain that the venom was able to vampirize much of his brain before the full onslaught throughout his entire body. That's a little weak, but the brain does get flooded with blood (and venom) first, and it is soft flesh that would seem to be the fastest to change.

That at least would explain how Carlisle was able to keep a thread of higher consciousness alive while Bella ended up losing herself entirely for a while.

And, as everyone has said, Carlisle knew he had a need to stay quiet and at least had some understanding why he was in pain.

One other theory is that this is simply a little weak spot in Stephenie's story. All it would require to patch things up is to give us a little more story from Carlisle's view, but that didn't happen.

Also, she could have acknowledged Carlisle's self-control as supernatural, but then both Alice and Aro state Edward's is even greater, so that puts a kibosh on that unless she wants to give Edward two supernatural gifts. I know, that's apples and oranges, but it still muddied the water.

But, I mean, SHEESH, you would think that if Carlisle's ability to stay silent is beyond Edward's (and Bella's) own comprehension, and the man has developed and trained an immunity to the temptation of blood that is also unique, that Stephenie would just give it up for the good doctor. That's not so difficult.

Well, maybe she sees the rest of the Cullens eventually developing their resistance along those lines, given time, so I guess I have to consider that.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 5:06 pm
by Tornado
SM has acknowledged that compassion is Carlisle's gift, and that it does border on super-power. I guess his self-control, even as a human, could have been born out of his compassion, perhaps he even developed a stronger dimension to his self-control because of his compassion, which led to him being able to master the pain.

I don't think it's a weak spot in SM's story, because everyone is different. After all, as you pointed out, it seems Alice was silent for her transformation too, because of the shock treatments, so it's not even unique to Carlisle. Different people's personalities and experiences lead them to respond to things in different ways. Is screaming the norm? I'm sure. But I think it's highly likely that vampires other than Carlisle and Alice did not scream, although I think it would be a very small number.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:05 pm
by corona
Tornado, I know, it's a little confusing to me, his almost-talent is his compassion that helps fuel his self-control. That seemed to me to be most related to his obstinately training himself to become immune to temptation. Compassion provides the motivation, and self-control provides the ability to actually achieve that goal. They do seem to be two different facets of him that often hinge on each other, nut sometimes are demonstrated all on their own.

The self-control related to staying quiet was a little different since that was pure iron will motivated by self-preservation. Afterwards, compassion keeps him away from people and self-control enables him to go without feeding for months until he is finally broken and attacks that passing deer.

Maybe this is the way to see the difference in the self-control issue between Carlisle and Edward, and how Carlisle often seems to be the master but where Aro (and Alice) says Edward's is greater. Edward's self-control CAN be even greater than Carlisle's, but he has to be properly motivated first, and he has to have a reason other than himself.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:22 pm
by Tornado
I couldn't agree more. Edward never practiced medicine professionally because he couldn't handle the blood like Carlisle, but was that simply because he underrated his self control? After all, as he himself points out after the Meadow scene, "I didn't know if I was strong enough". It wasn't until after he himself realised he was strong enough that the danger was gone. I'm sure he could practice medicine now because, as MS tells us (invisible ink), even fresh and exposed, no blood is ever going to be as tempting to him as Bella's was. I wonder if that's what he does.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:21 pm
by corona
Tornado, that was my understanding as well. I believe he underrates his self-control because he feels unworthy and doesn't trust himself.

Alice's assessment is a personal judgment, I guess, based on her knowledge of Edward and Carlisle.

Aro's assessment is a little more interesting. Having experienced both Edward's and Carlisle's memories, I have a feeling that he must have compared Carlisle's initial months of self-denial followed by that first mindless animal attack with Edward's experience in that biology class. It seems he considered Edward's temptation the greater one.

And, yes, I do believe Stephenie sees Edward eventually gaining control of his temptation to the point where it equals Carlisle's immunity. And, likely Bella and other as well, eventually, although Jasper will probably be last.

Perhaps she considers this the gift for years of self-denial, and didn't want this to be something exclusively available to Carlisle, which it would be if it was considered truly a supernatural talent.

Bella's self-control, I would say, is a little different. Carlisle's and Edward's seem to be greater as far as raw iron willpower. Bella's seems to be based more on her ability to focus and control the direction of her mind, as if she already had decades of experience. This allows her to avoid temptation by negating it, to some degree, rather than wrestling with it like Edward would. I know, she is amazing with Charlie, but I did find it interesting that she needed to hold Renesmee and was able to endure by focusing on her.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:00 pm
by Tornado
I think Bella's is also a sign of her preparation. She was ready for the temptation, but none of the others were expecting it, so they had no chance to prepare and had to learn 'on the job', so to speak. This helped Bella a great deal. Certainly, in this regard, Carlisle's strength would be the greatest, because he resisted from the start with no help from anyone at all.

But it does seem that the more time spent as a veggie vampire, the better you get at it. Look at the Denali sisters. The inference is that they've been vegetarians for longer than Carlisle, and they have sex with random humans and, as far as we know, never slip up. So it's probably logical that Edward will be the next to gain the same self control as Carlisle.

Rosalie's control is interesting, though. She had never killed anyone for her thirst, and managed to murder seven men without drinking their blood when she was (probably) still a relatively young vampire. So I think her stubbornness and desire to remain as human as possible stood her in good stead when it came to self control, although it would be interesting to see what she'd do if she encountered a 'singer'.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:20 am
by corona
Tornado, Rosalie is very interesting. I didn't mention her because I was ranking on her recently here.

To me, she's sort of the opposite of Edward. It's difficult to put into words. Edward seems to me to have internalized his nature far more than Rosalie. More torture for him, but he seems to deal with his vampirism. He doesn't excuse himself. It's easy to say Rosalie's self-control is based on vanity, because so much is, but I think that works here too. Rosalie seems more to think she is just better. The vampirism is more external to her, something that was visited on her by Carlisle. She likes to pretend she is human, more than anyone else. She hates Bella for discovering the secret. I'm not saying she doesn't value human life itself, but killing and feeding is pure vampire.

I guess it comes down to Edward wrestles with temptation, and Rosalie wrestles with the very nature itself. Both methods work, but Edward is at a higher level.

I think when Bella arrives, Rosalie has to deal with her vampirism like Edward always has, and she hates that. I'm thinking also about that stare of pure venom in the lunchroom when Bella finally knows what they are and is looking at them.

One practical effect, I think, is that Edward is better prepared by constantly wrestling with his tempatations. Roslie's self-control is very effective, but she won't get to the next level until she faces who she really is.

But you know what? I don't think Rosalie was really ready for that until now. She has that penchant for blaming others. If she had internalized her nature the way that Edward had, she might have simply gone off the deep end and become a red-eye, and not come back the way the Edward had.

BTW, have you seen the shot of her and Emmett in those new BD2 pics? She's actually smiling. I like that. I hadn't really thought about that, but what if Stephenie decided she really wanted the movie Rosalie to show she had changed after Nessie's birth. I like the idea of that.

Re: Explorations

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:49 pm
by Tornado
I'm not sure I agree that Edward's problem was temptation and Rosalie's the nature of a vampire. Doesn't Edward's attitude to Bella becoming a vampire disprove that?

After all, it's not primarily the thought that Bella might kill someone if she becomes a vampire that bothers Edward. It's that Bella will lose her soul, which is more to do with the nature of a vampire and the views traditionally held about vampires than about temptation. However, he is already a vampire, so what can he do about it? Nothing. He has to live on, because he has no option and he may as well, although his life is largely purposeless before Bella comes into it.

That's also part of the reason why he hunted humans for a while. As SM says, he decided to do that because he was sick of the burn in the his throat and, although he didn't want to end human lives, he thought killing people as monstrous as himself would be a good compromise, and he didn't think it was going to make any difference to his eternal destiny. Even when he gave up that lifestyle, it was because he was tired of ending the lives of others, not because he suddenly believed he had the possibility of an afterlife.

So the nature of a vampire clearly bothers him, but on a deeper level that Rosalie's. She seems mainly put out because it denied her a chance at a normal human life with children and grandchildren, etc, which is, in a way, rather shallow. Edward despairs because he believes he has lost his soul.