Edward Cullen #6

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TheSecretBella
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by TheSecretBella » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:13 am

Hey guys! I know this is a little off topic here, but I was wondering if you could ask you all for a favor. I've recently become enraptured with the Twilight Saga and wanted to do an article about it for my school's paper. That being said, I would like for your true and honest opinion of Edward. Is he a good hero? What qualities, do you all think, make him so attractive to girls/women of all ages and types? Is it the good looks or does it run deeper than that? I'd love to hear your opinion, so let me know!

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Jazz Girl » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:31 am

TheSecretBella wrote:Hey guys! I know this is a little off topic here, but I was wondering if you could ask you all for a favor. I've recently become enraptured with the Twilight Saga and wanted to do an article about it for my school's paper. That being said, I would like for your true and honest opinion of Edward. Is he a good hero? What qualities, do you all think, make him so attractive to girls/women of all ages and types? Is it the good looks or does it run deeper than that? I'd love to hear your opinion, so let me know!
I guess, first off, I only see Edward as a hero by the strictest literary definition. But, since Edward never sees himself as a hero, I try not to, either. Do I think he is a character that people should admire? Absolutely and without a shadow of a doubt. Let me first say, the attraction to Edward goes so far beyond his good looks that I don't even consider them in the equation. His physical appearance is an after thought, at best. The most important thing about Edward is his is inherantly a good person. Yes, he has committed evil in his life, taken life. But, even the way in which he did that was admirable. He never ever wanted to hurt anyone, even the vile filth he hunted during his rebellion. He constantly wants to be better than he is, and, in my opinion, there is no greater kind of person than that. He is utterly devoted to his family, willing to do anything and everything to protect them. And, he utterly devotes himself to the safety and happiness of the person he loves most in the world. He is a being who is incapable, literally, of change. And yet, he completely alters who he is in order to earn the love of another person. But, most importantly, he makes mistakes...he does things wrong. BUT he learns from those mistakes, changes those things about him that threaten their happiness. Edward is the personification of love and passion.
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holdingoutforjacob
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by holdingoutforjacob » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:37 pm

Okay, this probably will not make sense to anyone, but I would love to help a fellow writer with her article!!!

I don't particularly like Edward. He's just not my cup of tea. It doesn't so much have anything to do with character flaws as it does my personal preferences. But I thought maybe it would help you to have the input of someone who doesn't like Edward?

I think Edward is a great literary character, because he is written as the hero, as perfection, but in truth is so beautifully flawed. I also like that his greatest mistakes and greatest flaws come from his greatest strengths and attributes. His incredible selfessness, his intense need to put Bella's higher needs, her safety, her humanity, actually causes him to be almost selfish in putting his need to protect her before what she actually wanted.

He has to balance doing what he feels is right ultimately with what is right in a relationship, and they aren't always the same thing.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by diane771 » Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:24 pm

selfish?
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holdingoutforjacob
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by holdingoutforjacob » Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:33 pm

Not inherently, but in the ways he deals with the pain caused by his inherent selfless nature, yes.

He deals with his fears for Bella's safety by simply eradicating them, without considering her emotional or psychological well-being, in his panic. Rather than dealing with the issues that make him nervous with Bella's input, and maybe still suffering some anxiety, he goes ahead, tending to overreaction (as Stephenie Meyer herself says), to make sure they go away. So, his selflessness makes him fearful, and his fear makes him selfish.

That's just how I see it.
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Asheleyo
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Asheleyo » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:42 pm

TheSecretBella wrote:Hey guys! I know this is a little off topic here, but I was wondering if you could ask you all for a favor. I've recently become enraptured with the Twilight Saga and wanted to do an article about it for my school's paper. That being said, I would like for your true and honest opinion of Edward. Is he a good hero? What qualities, do you all think, make him so attractive to girls/women of all ages and types? Is it the good looks or does it run deeper than that? I'd love to hear your opinion, so let me know!
Honestly, I like Edward. He's a good character with a great sense of himself (for the most part) and a phenomenal desire to fight the dark things within himself and ultimately be a good person. Does that make him a good hero? Yes and no. The tragic heroes you recall from classic literature tend to be so blind-sided by their ambitions that they end up in some sort of folly. Edward sort of fits that mold. He so very much wants to do what is best for Bella, and it gets him into some bad situations. But I don't think he's as blind as your typical tragic hero, and he's so much more willing to learn and grow that it makes up a lot for his mistakes. After all, everyone makes mistakes, but it's the ones we look to for inspiration that turn those mistakes around and build on them, improve their lives based on what the whole process taught them. And for several situations, Edward does just that.

I think his older time manners and style make him a guy that adult women can enjoy and younger girls use as an example of the politeness they should expect from guys. But what draws women of all ages in to him, I believe, is his devotion to Bella. He makes her the center of his world, which is so much more attention than most women get from guys (for good reason, but we can all dream). No one should really expect to be the be-all-end-all of a man's life, because we ourselves have other things that distract us and it would simply be hypocritical to expect more from our partners than we give. But in literature, extremes are abundant.

The good looks are just the icing on the cake for Edward. When I think back on the books, I don't even recall so much his full on description physically as I do his characteristics. He could look like your average Joe, but his character would still shine to Bella and make him the most beautiful thing to her. Love does that to us.
Precisely because death awaits us in the end, we must live fully.

Stars did fly toward each other, irresistibly, as if they were falling in love. And millions of years later, lovers on Earth drew together and fell in love, watching the stars fall.

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by holdingoutforjacob » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:55 pm

It's interesting, Asheleyo, that you point to Edward as an Almost Tragic Hero. I agree - you can almost put him in that mold. I do think he's capable of learning from his mistakes, although he does have to be pushed very, very hard to admit them sometimes. I think though, also, that the tragic heroes of literature of old did not have others around them who would show them their mistakes, who would criticize them, for the most part. I mean, mostly, the tragic heroes I've read about were written against casts who did very little to save them from themselves. So maybe Edward is the modern tragic hero? Just thinking out loud.
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TheSecretBella
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by TheSecretBella » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:50 pm

Wow! You guys are all so awesome! Thank you so much for your help!!
(secretly, I'm with you, HOFJ, I'm a Jacob girl, myself!)

I find it interesting that you cast Edward in the mold of a tragic hero, that which was molded by the likes of Shelley's Victor, Milton's Lucifer, Byron, and even Heathcliff himself. I can see the part of the tragic past, but do you think Edward should be put up there with those great tragic heroes of literature? Why or why not? What qualifies or damns him?
Also, the fact that he over protects Bella has gotten to me a bit. In Eclipse, I found Edward down right cruel throughout the first part of it. He was treating Bella as his prisoner almost, and then refusing her to see her best friend. Sure Edward could have thought that Jacob was dangerous, but come on, I was with Bella the whole time, if there's a ravenous Vampire on the loose, who better to protect you than your werewolf best friend? Do you find Edward controlling? Are there some parts of him that we as a culture should NOT idealize? How would you justify Edward's reactions in Eclipse?
Thank you so VERY much for all your help! You guys are the best and I knew I made the right decision to come here and ask for some real opinions!! I'm taking everything you say down and I'm super grateful!! Now, if only I could talk to Stephenie Meyer herself!

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Jazz Girl » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:12 pm

TheSecretBella wrote:Wow! You guys are all so awesome! Thank you so much for your help!!
(secretly, I'm with you, HOFJ, I'm a Jacob girl, myself!)

I find it interesting that you cast Edward in the mold of a tragic hero, that which was molded by the likes of Shelley's Victor, Milton's Lucifer, Byron, and even Heathcliff himself. I can see the part of the tragic past, but do you think Edward should be put up there with those great tragic heroes of literature? Why or why not? What qualifies or damns him?
Also, the fact that he over protects Bella has gotten to me a bit. In Eclipse, I found Edward down right cruel throughout the first part of it. He was treating Bella as his prisoner almost, and then refusing her to see her best friend. Sure Edward could have thought that Jacob was dangerous, but come on, I was with Bella the whole time, if there's a ravenous Vampire on the loose, who better to protect you than your werewolf best friend? Do you find Edward controlling? Are there some parts of him that we as a culture should NOT idealize? How would you justify Edward's reactions in Eclipse?
Thank you so VERY much for all your help! You guys are the best and I knew I made the right decision to come here and ask for some real opinions!! I'm taking everything you say down and I'm super grateful!! Now, if only I could talk to Stephenie Meyer herself!
I think, in a human world where monsters and mythical creatures and the dangers they represent do not exist, it is right to sit back and say that Edward was totally wrong in how he reacted to Jacob and how he treated Bella, that his actions in preventing her from seeing Jacob were wrong. But, within the context of the story, of the mythical world Stephenie Meyer creates, Edward's actions were at least justified. That is not to say that I agree with them. But, I at least understand them.

First, everything, and I mean literally EVERYTHING, that Edward does is motivated by the absolute need to keep Bella safe. Edward did not perceive a real threat from Victoria, counting on himself and his family to be able to protect Bella. The only threat he saw was from an unstable young werewolf who was too emotionally involved in the situation. Even Bella perceives the threat from Jacob and the pack. By this point, they could probably be counted on not to hurt her intentionally. But look no further than Emily to see what happens, even when you don't mean it. The threat from the wolves was real, particularly to someone they counted as an enemy. I would never say he treated her as a prisoner. There was one place he asked her not to go, one person (or group of people) he asked her not to see. Did he cross the line in preventing her from doing so? Yes, ONCE. As soon as he realized Bella was going to do it anyway, he relented completely because he saw what it truly meant to her to have that part of her life.

And, I think, there in lies the heart of Edward. Yes he overreacts, he is overprotective, like a mother hen with one chick. But, he also recognizes his mistakes and changes his behavior. And in that we see his true motivation, and his true heart.

As for justifying Edward's behaviors in Eclipse, it really depends on the behavior. We already looked at the whole truck incident/not wanting Bella to see Jacob. Other than that, I honestly can't really see anything to justify. He treats Jacob with a certain lack of civility and respect. But, I would say that that is pretty much mutual. He asks for certain compromises in agreeing to Bella's conditions for turning her. Relationships are about compromise.

Are there parts of Edward that we should not idealize? Well, I'd say yes, just as there are characteristics in all of us that are not the best. His superiority complex for one. Edward completely believes himself to be infallible in some things, above reproach. That one is just irritating as all hell and leads to much of the conflict between he and Bella. Edward also struggles with his jealousy. He is extremely possessive of Bella. And, while we rarely see it's expression (save a few key examples), it isn't the best way to be. And, regardless of his motivations, methods and intentions, he has committed murder. Edward is certainly flawed. That is part of what makes him so fascinating.

As for whether or not he is, by definition a tragic hero? Hmmm, that is a tough one. But, I think, yes, he does qualify. Edward damns himself, considering himself a monster unworthy of being loved and unable to love without hurting the one he loves. As he slowly is brought to realize that he both deserves love and can give love, you see his transformation before your eyes; from self imposed exile to glowing and doting father and husband. But, regardless, Edward, a very small part of him, will always believe that he took somethign from Bella and damned her when he turned her. And therein lies the tragedy.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Asheleyo » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:22 pm

I think writing styles have changed dramatically from the times of the true tragic heroes, back to the Iliad and Odyssey and even Oedipus. We're much more character driven with our stories now, it seems, whereas past writers focused more on overarching themes. So it's hard for me to fully cast Edward in that light. But as I said before, he fills the bill by having his quest: keep Bella alive and happy to his best ability, and should the former be in greater danger, sacrifice the latter. His stubbornness in keeping with that quest is what pushes him along the road of a tragic hero. But unlike the great heroes of past, instead of mystifying warnings of things to come, Edward has very real and present characters to try to warn him of the error of his ways. We know that Alice tries to tell Edward that it's no use packing up and leaving Forks in New Moon, and Bella fights him tooth and nail in Eclipse to make a compromise between vampire and werewolf so she can spend time with Jacob. I think he is only saved the tragedy of his ways in New Moon by Alice and Bella, and would have otherwise been truly a tragic hero. But he does turn around, changes his ways enough to continue his story and keep him off the path of a tragic ending.

Also, I agree with you that Edward is overprotective. He has reason to worry about her well-being, but he needed to allow her to be more of an adult and make her own decisions. What made the difference for me in Eclipse was the simple fact that Bella knew Jacob, had spent time with him since he became a werewolf. It was no foreign concept for her, and it was no mystery person. If she had been asking to spend time alone with someone she had just met, had no idea the character of, then Edward would have every right to go a little crazy and kidnap her to keep her from getting herself killed. Despite the fact that Edward thanks Jacob for keeping her alive when he wasn't there to do it, he still finds Jacob unfit to be around? I could never make the two concepts mesh. And I wanted to slap some sense into him. He was being pigheaded. Yes, accidents can happen, Emily is living proof. But Edward well knows that accidents could happen just as easily around him, as is evidenced by the birthday party in New Moon. If Bella is willing to accept that risk, it's her right to see whomever she wants, especially someone as important to her as Jacob.

But I just wanted to point out that, historically speaking, women accepted a role of subservience to men and protection was the job of the man for so long. What we enjoy now as "liberated" women is such a new concept. I've grown up with it all my life, but what is 23 years compared to the thousands of recorded history? And even in my life, I saw exactly how culture used to be. My mother lives the subservient life, willingly. She sees it as her place, to listen to her husband, to act on his wishes and to not talk back. That's how she grew up. She will stand up for her beliefs, but as long as those aren't compromised too much, she's fine taking orders. Now, Edward never tried to make Bella do whatever he wanted and act however he wanted. He loved her for being who she was. He just felt the need to protect her because he saw the huge chasm between his strength and hers. He spent so long protecting her just from himself that it's understandable that he would want to protect her from any other possible threats. It's just the manner in which he went about it and the lack of trust he had for Bella's knowledge of someone's character. Just as Bella knew that Edward would never harm her, she knew Jacob would never either. Edward needed to trust that judgment. If he should have known anything, it was that she would never knowingly jeopardize the future she wanted to spend with him.
Precisely because death awaits us in the end, we must live fully.

Stars did fly toward each other, irresistibly, as if they were falling in love. And millions of years later, lovers on Earth drew together and fell in love, watching the stars fall.

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