Bella Swan Cullen #3

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Esme echo
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:17 pm

This more properly belongs in the Jacob thread, but I think it's important to remember that Jacob was doing every single thing he could think of to save Bella's life. And he didn't care how low he stooped if it resulted in Bella staying alive.

Bella never appreciated the gift of humanity. I don't believe she had a happy enough life before she met Edward that she felt she had much to lose if she died. She wasn't suicidal or anything, but she also had nothing more to regret than her rather flawed relationship with her parents if she died. I was always interested in Aro's comment that Bella seemed made to become a vampire. She, herself, mused on this fact early in book three of Breaking Dawn. She had finally found the place where she shined.

Jacob--being an emotionally healthy youth with strong family and cultural connections--could never understand that part of Bella.

BTW--this is probably my last post for a couple days, so I want to wish a happy Thanksgiving to you all!
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:34 pm

I guess that's one reason I always disagreed with Jake's actions, totally didn't fall for his manipulations. Because I don't agree that he was keeping her "alive". That is what he did during her dark days while Edward was gone. I think he literally brought her back to life, or some semblance of it. But in the case of her decision to be changed, Jake was trying to keep her his version of alive. When Bella decides to join the Cullens, I don't see her as dying. I see her as changing her life. I think, again, it goes to how you define, "living". If you look at it purely from a physiological perspective, that living is constituted by a beating heart, circulating blood and bodily fluids, ongoing biological process, breathing air and so on, than yes, she is going to die. But, I don't define that as living. That's existing, which is exactly what she did while Edward was away. In joining the Cullens, yes, she was giving up that biological definition of life, but she was gaining something infinitely more precious in that she would truly be living; thinking, feeling, looking forward to each new day, loving not only her soul mate, but her family as well, being challenged and challenging in return. That is what she gained in being changed. And that's what Jake never accepted or could deal with. I agree EsmeEcho that a major part of his hangup might have been his strong connection to his family and community and culture might have made that distinction incomprehensible. But, you'd think, given the number of times Bella explained that that was ALL SHE WANTED, HER CHOICE, he might have at least respected her enough to get it.

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:42 pm

This looks like a very interesting discussion, but I think it needs to move to the Jacob thread, and I can't go there right now. (I shouldn't even be responding to the boards right now! :cry: ) I'll try to go later; maybe even today!
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:56 am

Esme echo wrote:This looks like a very interesting discussion, but I think it needs to move to the Jacob thread, and I can't go there right now. (I shouldn't even be responding to the boards right now! :cry: ) I'll try to go later; maybe even today!
But, again, aren't we talking about Bella's reaction to Edward leaving and whether she'd be able to move on with Jake?? You can't discuss that without discussing their places in her life. As una said, as long as we are relating the discussion back to how Bella reacts or feels, then we are on topic.

And, that is the point. Regardless of whatever else was going on, Bella always chose Edward, above all else. It didn't matter that he tried to push her away. It didn't matter that he was dangerous. It didn't matter that he left. It didn't matter that he tried to hard. It didn't matter that Jake was another good choice. It didn't matter what her family or friends thought. In the end, SHE always chose Edward. She did not see a life outside of him, and knew that for her life to be whole and complete, it had to include him.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:18 am

I try to look at each of the character's actions through their own perspective. As far as Jacob was concerned, keeping Bella human equaled keeping Bella alive. He wasn't joking when he said he'd rather see her dead than to see her become a vampire. It made him sick to his core to even contempate that eventuality. It's the whole golden llama thing.

(I looked for this Stephenie quote on my desktop, but couldn't find it. :( In brief, Stephenie asked what do you do if your best friend is convinced her golden statue of a llama is a god and she wants you to help her sacrifice herself to it? Even though you try your hardest to convince her it is only a statue, she is undeterred. How far would you go to convince your best friend that the golden llama is just an statue and she really shouldn't throw her life away?)

In such a case, how can you respect your friend's wish to kill herself for the sake of the shiney golden llama? You love her, but she's nuts! Of course you don't help her or tell her it's okay with you if she kills herself in such an idiotic way. This is Jacob's perpective about Bella's determination to become a vampire. He wasn't direspecting Bella as much as he was trying to get her to WAKE UP and see the realities of the situation.

Bella, of course, was fated to discover the existence of vampires, and uniquely formed to evolve into one. Bella states several times that she didn't have much in common with humans--even with her mother, whom she loved intensely. She was doing okay in the human world, but she didn't really find her place, the place where she shined, until she became a vampire. Jacob was never going to get that.

Part of the attraction of the saga is the sincerity in which the characters hold their opposing views. All three of them--Bella, Edward, and Jacob--are determined to accomplish what is right, but what is right for one is definately not right for the others!
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:18 pm

And I guess that's where I see a huge difference. Jacob didn't just see the Cullens as golden llamas. He, probably better than ANYONE other than Bella, knew what the Cullens were, especially to Bella. He resented the hell out of them because he had to put her back together after she lost them. But, he saw that grief. He saw what they were to her. He saw what her love for Edward was. He never agreed with it, no. But, he was biased for a number of different reasons. Jacob could not accept that Bella would still be Bella. But, Bella knew she would still be herself. She figured there would be some changes. But, over all, she knew she would still be herself. The only one who could not accept that was Jake, and again, biased. Bella would still be a thinking, feeling, sentient being, just not in a form Jake could accept. And, there is where I disagree with the golden llama comparison. Because what Bella was seeking was so much more than that. Bella was not giving up her old life for a new one that did not exist. Jake knew that world existed, knew the future she might have there. He just didn't agree with it. Even with his completely biased and skewed perception, he knew what she wanted wasn't just imaginary. Bella wanted it, accepted it, asked for it, begged for it and sacrificed for it. Why isn't that good enough?
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:05 pm

Jacob's reasons for not accepting Bella's desire to become a vampire were the same as Edward's reasons for not turning her the first time she asked: human life is precious; she would be throwing away the opportunity of growing older, changing, bearing children, and enjoying the seasons of life. Neither man wanted her to lose that.

I don't believe Bella was as secure in her idea of who she would be after her transformation as you are, Jazz Girl. Seeing Bree really shook her. Immediately after her transformation it was a great surprise to her that she felt like herself. She thought it would be years before some semblance of herself would resurface.

I think Jacob refused to accept Bella's decision because he knew she was not considering anything except the opportunity to be with Edward for eternity. She wasn't looking at the down side of becoming a vampire. It's true he wanted her and hated the Cullens. Nevertheless, his whole campaign was an effort to get Bella to slow down her headlong rush toward vampirization and consider the benefits of staying human.

It was fruitless. He knew that. But could he really have NOT made the effort?
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by SenorGimp » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:41 pm

I haven't got time to give a worthy reply, but I agree with you both in that
1) Jacob was absolutely justified in trying in any way he could to get Bella to at least CONSIDER another option to eternal undeath.
2)Bella knew what she wanted, even if her knowledge was due to intentionally dismissing relevant points to the contrary, and nothing anyone did was going to dissuade her from what she chose: to be with Edward forever.
Having said that, I shall now make a statement I have brought up on several other threads:
How do you (any of you) think KS will portray Bella when BD finally becomes a cinematic endeavor??
I cringe to imagine it, but I would love to hear some other feedback.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by swedishskinjer » Sun Nov 29, 2009 4:20 am

I strongly believe that Bella was making an informed decision after realizing that Edward was her soul mate in every imaginable way. The Cullens, a safe and loving family, would be there to support her during the most torturous stages of the transformation. If you accept that destiny itself plays a role in the series, then Bella's theory about being uniquely suited for an immortal lifestyle with the family makes sense.

As much as Jacob wanted Bella to be human (perhaps for selfish reasons of his own), it was ultimately not his decision to make. He foolishly underestimated the weight of Bella's love for Edward, and he also refused to acknowledge that vampires could be honorable beings until the events of Breaking Dawn. If Bella is guilty of dismissing opposing viewpoints, then so is Jacob and his own biases against the Cullens. Why did Jacob not want Bella to embrace "undeath", as you say? Is it because of his inability to recognize any humanity in the Cullens, including Carlisle himself? Personally, my belief is that Jacob was prejudiced against vampires, and so he could not see that Bella would still retain her most defining characteristics after the transformation: a sense of humor, fun, loyalty, etc. And so she did.

Did Jacob have fair intentions? Yes. However, I believe that he wouldn't have respected Bella's decision, even if she was sufficiently informed and ready to do what she felt was best for her future, and not the future that Jacob selfishly wanted her to pursue. In the series, notice how Edward is more accepting of any choice that Bella may make, whereas Jacob is too obsessed with focusing on what lifestyle that he believes is preferable for Bella.

People say that Bella is carelessly throwing her life away. However, that's simply not the case. Like Edward, she is still able to pursue an education. Stephenie even said that she easily could imagine Bella taking night classes as a student with the Cullens. Heh.

Bella's romance with Edward transcended humanity itself, and she was willing to accept the consequences of being with someone who belongs to another world entirely.
She wasn't looking at the down side of becoming a vampire. It's true he wanted her and hated the Cullens. Nevertheless, his whole campaign was an effort to get Bella to slow down her headlong rush toward vampirization and consider the benefits of staying human.

It was fruitless. He knew that. But could he really have NOT made the effort?
He made too much of an effort. It didn't become an admirable quest to wake Bella up to an opposing viewpoint in a respectful manner. Instead, it became a quest to convince Bella to remain with Jacob, who couldn't acknowledge that vampires are still thinking beings with a great capacity for love.

As Bella said, she was growing older as Edward externally remained the same. I believe that she was aware of vampirism and its downsides, since any state of existence has both its positives and its negatives. However, she also knew that remaining focused on the positives would only make the painful transition much more bearable.

Bella's love for Edward transcended humanity itself. She was certain of one thing: she deeply loved Edward, and he loved her in return with every ounce of his being. Therefore, she was sure that committing herself to him eternally would work. It's not like there would be a chance of Edward leaving after she was turned into an immortal.

As a vampire, Bella will still be able to mature. It just won't be externally. She will still be able to interact with humans under the superb guidance of Carlisle. She could still pursue an education, since vampires have much more time to devote to educating themselves. She will be able to sexually interact with Edward. She will still be able to love Charlie. Bella is not condemning herself to a lonely lifestyle.

Bella could see that the positives overwhelmed the negatives. Jacob was only able to focus on the negative aspects of vampirism. Yet, when you think about it, the differences between vampires and humans aren't *too* significant.

Yes, vampires are stronger. Yes, they don't have the same bodily functions and weaknesses. However, vampires still love. They are able to show emotions. They are able to learn and mentally develop. They are able to create lasting friendships. Experienced vampires like Carlisle are able to normally interact with humans. Bella knew all of this, and realized that the negatives would work themselves out in the end, particularly with the humans in her life.

As an immortal, Bella still has these opportunities with the love of her life: Edward.

Does that make any sense to you guys? I've always been adamant in my defense of Bella's choices.

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:31 pm

Very nicely stated, swedishskinjer, and I agree with your conclusions.

By the end of Eclipse, Bella had resolved her uncertainties and was committed to embracing life as a "monster." Of course, we all know that was the right choice for her. With the support of the Cullens, Bella would have the best of both worlds--with the exception of change, which she was afraid of, anyway.

Jacob's agaitation had forced Bella to truly recognize the sacrifices she would make by turning her back on humanity--which was a good thing. He did go too far in several instances; but, crossing the line with Bella was nothing new to Jacob. He didn't have anything to lose in pushing his agenda as far as he could, so why should he hold back?
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