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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:06 am
by Asheleyo
holdingoutforjacob wrote:Okay, on to when Bella is selfish. I think her selfishness really comes up most with Edward. Not only does she want to become a vampire, which she knows will cause him serious guilt and pain, but she wants HIM to be the one to do it, which she knows is killing him due to the fear he'll mess it up and the fact that he knows it's wrong for it to happen at all. But then beyond that, she is determined to have sex with him while she's still a human, which she knows is also killing him. And none of that seems to weigh on her decision at all. If she even considers it, it's for a fraction of a second before deciding that her wants are simply more important.
It bothers me that it should be Bella's fault that she wants Edward to do the changing. And the only reason it does is because, if it weren't for Edward saying something, she never would have dreamed of asking for it. She was settled on having Carlisle do it, who was experienced and wouldn't suffer too much. But Edward used himself as a bargaining tool. Bella shouldn't be blamed for Edward trying to advance his desires in that way. She wanted it so badly toward the end because he had dangled it in front of her like an irresistible treat.

However, the sex part I agree with. I'm glad they were able to do it without horrible consequences, that she got to experience that as a human. But it's really frustrating that she couldn't restrain herself enough and look to the future of heightened senses and wait for that particular pleasure.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:20 pm
by SenorGimp
Esme echo wrote:Okay, SenorGimp: Why is it that Stephenie gets dumped on so thoroughly for giving Bella every single thing she wanted at the end of Breaking Dawn ("and she didn't have to suffer for it or to lose anything!"), yet no one ever makes the same fuss concerning Edward, who got "every single thing [he] want[ed], plus all the things [he] didn’t think to ask for"? He gets a total bye! Is it because girls expect more from their female characters than their male characters? Is there still some archaic perception or foregone conclusion that the guy will get his girl, so no need to make a scene?

(BTW, I'm one of those people who is totally happy with the ending of the series . . . except that it ended!)
well, now that is a good question.
Personally I can't stand the fact that Edward is still viewed (after the way things went in New Moon) to be just an absolutely wonderful guy, and everyone is so happy for him when everything works out fine.
Don't get me wrong, I really like the way it ended also, but I do think that Edward should have had to suffer more for it.
This has actually been one of my more passionate topics in the past, while I was still very actively posting on here, and I shall use this prompting to reassert some of my stronger points regarding the subject.

But first let me say that I think the reason people are so critical of Bella is that, well, most (I believe) of the Twilight readers are girls, and the way Edward is made to seem is like the perfect guy, so I think that a lot of the girls are mad that plain old Bella gets to get the guy of her dreams (the guy of millions of Twilight-fans dreams, to be sure) and they're stuck back in their plain old lives with plain old real guys who plain old suck...

So I find it to be appalling the amount of credit people give to Edward, because he really caused all of the drama in the story, if you take the time to think about it.
1). He fell for Bella and risked his whole family's safety even after he found that he could barely contain himself from bleeding her dry!
2). He steadfastly refuses to turn Bella, even though he knows it's what she wants and pleads with him repeatedly to do so.
3). Due to his refusal to turn Bella, a whole lot of drama arises in the neighborhood with: James, Jasper, The Pack, Victoria, The Volturi, etc.
4). Because of his unwillingness to turn Bella, and what happens at her birthday party, he completely removes himself from her life, thinking that that is what's best for her, breaks her heart telling her, "I don't want you", and THEN has the nerve to be angry at and possessive of Bella when she starts falling for the local werewold boy, even though he's the one that drove her to it.
5). He forbids her to see Jacob, even though Jacob is the only one who has never let her down, except when Pack directive prevented him from being there for her.
6). He does all of these gross and possessive stereotypical jerk-boyfriend things, and she still loves him to death and he STILL won't change her!
I could go on indefinitely, but the stupid library computer just told me that I only have 5 minutes left before it logs me out, so let me just say this:
Edward should have had to suffer a lot more for finally being able to get Bella in the end.
A lot of us suffer WAY more than Edward had to (physical craving to consume your loved-one's blood aside) and don't even end up with the one we suffered so much to be with.
But I love the story, and I love Edward, and I'm just ranting because I was given the opportunity to do so.
So I hope I don't get any angry responses like I did after my dual Jacob/Edward-bashing posts...
Please, I hated those.
Thanks for your time.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:25 pm
by holdingoutforjacob

Well I agree that Edward certainly did have a huge part in the drama that Edward and Bella are as a couple. Frankly, it's what turns me off to them as a couple - the melodrama. Even when they are happy, it's so grandiose, and even a bit pretentious, to me at least.

One thing I will have to disagree on is that Edward should NOT have turned Bella as soon as she wanted it. Bella was hardly ready to be turned then. Bella was not ready to be turned until she said goodbye to Jacob at the end of Eclipse, or you could go so early as to say after the kiss outside the tent. Although one could argue that had he turned her then, she never would have gotten that close to Jacob, that would mean she'd never truly considered what she was giving up.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:18 pm
by SenorGimp
That is very true, ...Jacob, and I do agree that she was not ready, I was merely making the point that all of the life-shattering events which took place as a result of Bella's being so fragile could have been avoided had Edward not been so stubborn about changing Bella.

If you remember, his primary concern was that Vampires don't have souls, which he proved that he subconsciously didn't believe when he saw Bella in Volterra, and exclaimed that he guessed Carlisle was right (thinking that he was in Heaven and that Bella was with him).

Anyway, It's good to be back on the boards, I've missed you guys. :D

Much Love

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:00 pm
by Heart_in_Hand
HOFJ, I think you have very good points, and I love that your opinions are so unique! It really gives me something to think about! :D I really liked your argument about Bella's behavior at her wedding. While I do feel like it was her day, and Jacob was a little out of line asking about her sex life, Bella really did not need to keep perpetuation that line of conversation. She should have changed the subject or lied or done something to help prevent that from happening. Again, here is a situation in which they both made some mistakes, and it's really hard for me to put blame on any one person in this scene.

I guess all I can really say on the subject of Bella being selfish is that, well, yeah she is. I don't really disagree that she has moment where her wants and needs come before those of other people in her mind. But I would like to just say that every character in the series, and even just about every person in the world has those moments. My questions is: Is Bella really any more selfish than any of the other characters? I don't think so.

Edward admits that he is selfish to even want Bella, and much more selfish for trying to keep her. Putting her life at risk ever single day he is with her just so that he doesn't have to suffer the pain of being without her is unforgivable to him up until the end of New Moon. And even after that his jealousy makes him do some pretty selfish things when he returns (forbidding her to see Jake) despite how either Bella or Jacob feel about it. And do you think Edward really tried to understand Bella's feeling about getting married while he ruthlessly teased her with the option of having him change her just so he could get her legally bound to him. I mean, wasn't her willingness to end her life for him enough to prove herself as dedicated? Not for him it wasn't. He wanted it, and Bella's opinions didn't matter.

One of the most selfish things I think Jacob did was forcefully kiss Bella the time that she punched him for it. She obviously did want that from him, and it was completely self-serving for him to use his strength to overpower her and take that kiss no matter what she wanted. The second kiss, which he kind of tricked her into was also selfish, but Bella was more willing in that scenario, and it can be argued that it needed to happen. I hate that part in the book because I think it was completely wrong for Bella to allow herself to take things that far with Jacob, even if he was threatening her... but it was selfishness on Jake's part nonetheless. Then there was all the times Jacob continued to berate Edward and the Cullen's in front of Bella even though he knew how much it upset her. He promised her time and time again he would "be nice" but he broke that promise ever time. And for what? His own selfish need to relieve his anger?

Alice is even selfish in the way she attempts to guilt Bella into having a big wedding for her. It's Bella's wedding, and even if she was being ridiculous about it, she should have it the way she wants it.

Anyway, there are more, but I have to go to class. I wanted to say more of the things Bella did and felt that were really unselfish, but I will find actual quotes from the book and get back to you all.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:10 pm
by carranzaya
Regarding SenorGimp post about Edward:

Am almost a 90% agree, after all he did to her, that she could forgive him so fast, sometimes make me mad, but i think a good way of suffer for him was to lost Charlie's trust, he never trusted him anymore, at least not until the very end, for Edward it was a big deal what Charlie though about what he has done to his daughter, so i think in a way this was his punishment for leaving her.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:18 pm
by holdingoutforjacob
Heart_in_Hand, you are absolutely right that the other characters have a lot of selfish moments as well. What I will say about Edward and Jacob is that we do know (SM told us) that their base, most important goals and motives were selfless.

I'm glad you could see what I was saying about the wedding. That seems to be a pattern of Bella's - she doesn't really understand that she is equally responsible for how interactions go as the people she's interacting with, she doesn't get that she's responsible for other people's feelings, and that's a part of growing up. Bella has a lot of growing up to do at that point in the book, or really at all until the very end of BD.

Jacob and the kisses... hmm. The thing is, I don't know that the first one was selfish. Stupid? Definitely. Wrong? No doubt. Reckless, thoughtless, irresponsible? Yes. But I don't know that I would consider it selfish, just because in order to be selfish, I think you honestly have to think that you're doing something solely for your own gain and not care about anyone else's gain or loss, and even consider the consequences and disregard them. I don't think Jacob did any of these things, I think he honestly felt that Bella was in love with him (which, she was), I think she sent him some seriously mixed signals, and I think he honestly felt that she would enjoy herself, but didn't realize it yet. I certainly am NOT condoning this action, and maybe I'm being a bit nit-picky!

As for the second one, I urge you, in Jacob's defense, to consider that he was under a real time limit there, not only because they were about to go into battle but because if and when they came out alive there'd be nothing to hold Bella and Edward back anymore. His chance would be shot. It was a last ditch effort, one last attempt to save her life. He definitely could have gone about it better though. He didn't need to be so dramatic, nor as sarcastic as he was.

Anyway, that doesn't really belong here, if you want to continue that discussion we should take it over to the Jacob thread (God knows it could use it!) and finish there.

I think what bothers me about Bella is that, unlike Jacob and Edward, her basic motive is not selfless but entirely centered upon herself. Everything Edward does he does to keep her as safe as he possibly can. Jacob's motives, through Eclipse at least, were to keep Bella human, thereby saving her life. Bella's interest was for her, and ultimately it didn't matter who got hurt in the process, at least that's how it feels to me. I've always been terrible at articulating why I have such trouble with Bella though.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:48 pm
by Asheleyo
HOFJ, I think you're stopping a little short in your assessments. Yes, Jacob's motivation was to keep Bella human. But it was to keep her human so that she could be with him, ultimately being a selfish act. He wanted Bella to himself, and he did a number of things that were inconsiderate in order to try to get her.

The same basic argument goes for Edward. After New Moon, at least, he kept her safe to keep her alive and with him. And even before and during New Moon, he did what he could to keep her alive so that he could live with himself, knowing that she was somewhere in the world and breathing, otherwise he feels his life means nothing. He has pinned his life to hers just as much as she has to his.

It comes back to a philosophical debate about whether every action is ultimately selfish. The argument can, and has, been made in favor of selfishness. Because no matter what we do, and how selfless it may seem, we do it because it makes us happy or it's the only life we can stand to live. You can look at it from multiple ways.

And I don't think it's fair to say that it didn't matter to her who got hurt in the process. She cared that it hurt Jacob, but she had also told him very clearly what he was getting out of contact with her: friendship and nothing more. It is completely Jacob's fault for not letting it go there. I've been in his situation before, and once I was finally able to just accept that fact that the guy would not be with me, would never feel what I felt for him, I simply embraced our friendship and learned how to be happy with that much. And I found my own happiness later on. As it's been said before, happiness is a choice. It's not easy to make that choice, but you can't blame someone else for you never leaving a situation you could have walked away from. You could view Bella's choice to include Charlie in her "afterlife" as selfish, or you could view it as Bella helping her dad keep his sanity by not constantly worrying about her. He knows she's "alive" and healthy. And she did do it for both of them. That doesn't make her selfish or selfless, just normal.

The same duality can be applied to Bella asking Edward for immortality. We know for certain that it wasn't the allure of beauty, eternal life, or great strength and intelligence that made her want to be a vampire. It was the desire to be with Edward forever. On the other side of that, it was also the desire to give Edward a reason to live. Once Bella died, and she knew this, Edward would not want to live. She did it for both of them, because she wanted him and because she could not stand the idea of a world without Edward and he loved her that intensely.

To me, selfish people only seek to meet their own ends, never caring for the outcome of others. They manipulate and coerce and do everything they can to get what they want. Bella is not that person. She does some things to get what she wants, but nothing above what the average person does to pursue their own goals.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:24 pm
by carranzaya
Girls, you have said it all, what an analysis!!! I deeply enjoyed reading it.

It amaze me how deeply you can go, on this, an excellent interpretation of Bella's action for all of you. In my case, all i can say is that for me it was a process, not love at first sight, i did have to learn to love Bella, it wasnt easy, at the beginning i hardly relate to her as a woman, i did relate with her feelings, her personality was too much to me to handle, specially her low self-esteem, sometimes was unbearable. But i ended loving her as much as a sister, she grew in front of my eyes; i think what really make me love her was how she react to the fact she was pregnant, her love to her child was beyond anything she have done before, i think it was the ultimate proof that she wasnt selfish in the things that really matter,thats my humble POV.

Have a nice night girls, Yadira.

Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:26 pm
by Heart_in_Hand
Ashleyo, well said! Somehow you put into words everything that I was struggling to say! Thank you!

I really feel like everyone does selfish things, but that does not make any one person selfish. To be a selfish person, you need to nearly constantly be doing things that are selfish, and I don't think Bella does. For one, I don't think going to the Volturi to save Edward at the risk of her own life was selfish. And to go meet James head on to take her mothers place (or at least that is what she thought she was doing) was portrayed pretty self-sacrificing to me. She was even willing to give up Edward and the life she could potentially have with him to save her mothers life.

But this is not to say that Bella did not do selfish things... just that she does unselfish things to, and I think that makes her not a selfish person in general. Just as Edward and Jacob and everyone else who has ever done anything selfish are not selfish people overall... unless that is all they ever do. ;)