Bella Swan Cullen #3

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by holdingoutforjacob » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:51 am

I think you have shown me something I had never thought of before - thank you!! I hadn't seen that progression, nor had I thought to put together the "attract then kill" mechanism and Bella's inability to breathe near Edward! I thought it was just a love thing!
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by swedishskinjer » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:06 am

holdingoutforjacob wrote:I think you have shown me something I had never thought of before - thank you!! I hadn't seen that progression, nor had I thought to put together the "attract then kill" mechanism and Bella's inability to breathe near Edward! I thought it was just a love thing!
You're very welcome.

Here's a line from the Twilight film that made me think about why Bella would be humbled near Edward to the point of being breathless: "I'm the world's most dangerous predator. Everything about me invites you in. My voice, my face, even my smell. As if I would need any of that. As if you could outrun me. As if you could fight me off. I'm designed to kill."

It's mostly the same in traditional vampire stories: the vampires normally have an ability that allows them to "enchant" humans. In the Twilight series, this particular "luring mechanism" happens to be their physical beauty, which is described as God-like from the perspective of a human. We see a clear example of this very mechanism for attracting humans during New Moon: Heidi, the "fisher", is able to easily dull the common sense of her prey with the physical beauty of a vampire.

Could this be why Bella is unable to think properly around Edward? By nature, vampires aren't supposed to be around humans for extended periods of time. They are supposed to attract and then swiftly kill. By being around Bella without the intent to kill, Edward is subjecting her to a "lure" that even he can't control, since he has never had this experience with a human being before. There is no precedent for him, so he can't "turn off" the mechanism.

Yes, Bella does love Edward. Being "breathless" is understandable when you see your partner and feel an overwhelming amount of love and gratitude for their very presence. However, Stephenie describes Bella's initial feelings around Edward so specifically, which makes me wonder if Bella is fighting to dull the "luring mechanism" from being in close proximity to a vampire. Her dedication and humor in nearly every discussion with Edward after New Moon make me think that, yes, she is becoming more comfortable as time progresses due to the fact that she is successfully hardening herself against this mechanism.

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:11 am

My point in saying that she chose a life with the man she loved was to illustrate that, though it is in a form of which some do not approve, Bella would still be Bella and would still be alive. She would still be a feeling, thinking, sentient being, capable of great love, empathy, compassion, fear, pain, and amazing thoughts, ideas and with a family that she dearly loved who dearly loved her. How is that not life? So, physically, her heart does not beat and she does not need to breathe? If I had to choose between only having one of those two things, I would certainly choose the first.

Bella's decision to choose human life over immortal life was inextricably linked with her decision between Jacob and Edward. I don't see that as arguable, honestly. She only wanted immortality if she had Edward. The only reason she had to choose human lift was Jacob. If she had chosen to remain human, she chose to remain with Jacob. That's pretty much the entire point of the "Jacob is the natural path her life would take " argument, isn't it?

The full realization of just how much she could have happens during the second kiss with Jacob. That's when she understands and accepts the extent of the possibility of choosing Jacob over Edward. But, no sooner does she do that than she immediately reaffirms her choice to have a life with Edward. As I said, you see Jacob as giving up after Ethics. I do not. I see his battle continuing into Breaking Dawn, through the wedding and up through Renesmee's birth. In that, I do completely assert that EVEN AFTER Bella confirms and reaffirms her decision with all the facts laid before her, Jacob continues, in my opinion, to interfere and to stand in the way. You don't agree. I have no problem with that. But, I'm also not going to change my mind. It's how I interpret his actions.

I haven't ever given Edward or Jacob a free pass when it comes to their behaviors in restricting Bella. I find some of Edward's actions less questionable because his intent was to keep Bella in existence, as in she would truly be dead, buried and gone if he did not do what he did. The only action Jacob sought to restrict was Bella choosing an immortal life, which would still have her, again, as a thinking, feeling sentient being, just in a way of which Jake did not approve.

As for my insult, I'm sorry that it bothers you. But, I just don't see blind stubbornness in knowing what you want and having the strength to hold on to it despite everyone being against you. And, I most certainly don't see that as a mark of being a teenager. I'm not arguing with you, I'm responding to your post. If you don't want me to do that, don't post it. That's the purpose of a forum....to solicit comment and debate. I am merely expressing my pov. I believe that Bella's confidence in her choice of Edward in the face of the opposition of literally everyone she holds dear is actually a very maturing moment for her.

Swedishskinjer~ An absolutely fascinating explanation of the "dazzling" effect that all the vampires, but particularly Edward, seem to have on Bella. I think what always struck me most about it was that it grew to have a comforting effect on her. Like when Alice returns in New Moon and she surrepticiously inhales as much of her scent as she can, almost as a balm against the pain. Yes, she does try to resist the dazzling effect, particularly of his eyes, and particularly when she is attempting to argue with him. It is a skill she pretty much mastered by Eclipse, where we see her staring at the table or past his face, but also being near him to use the calming effect of his scent and presence to calm her mind. Fairly effective I think. Well done.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by holdingoutforjacob » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:28 am

Jazz Girl wrote: My point in saying that she chose a life with the man she loved was to illustrate that, though it is in a form of which some do not approve, Bella would still be Bella and would still be alive. She would still be a feeling, thinking, sentient being, capable of great love, empathy, compassion, fear, pain, and amazing thoughts, ideas and with a family that she dearly loved who dearly loved her. How is that not life? So, physically, her heart does not beat and she does not need to breathe? If I had to choose between only having one of those two things, I would certainly choose the first.


That's all well and good. But my point, again, is that Jacob wants her to choose life as in breathing, a beating heart as he says. I'm not here to argue what is life and what's not, since I believe that as long as your brain is working you are alive. But to Jacob, she dies when her heart stops. Okay?

Jazz Girl wrote:Bella's decision to choose human life over immortal life was inextricably linked with her decision between Jacob and Edward. I don't see that as arguable, honestly. She only wanted immortality if she had Edward. The only reason she had to choose human lift was Jacob. If she had chosen to remain human, she chose to remain with Jacob. That's pretty much the entire point of the "Jacob is the natural path her life would take " argument, isn't it?


What I was saying was that if she had another reason to choose life besides Jacob he would have used that. That his number one goal was for her to choose humanity, not necessarily him. This has been validated by SM in a personal correspondance, and I'd be happy to look it up for you. Anything to keep my from my history homework!

Jazz Girl wrote:The full realization of just how much she could have happens during the second kiss with Jacob. That's when she understands and accepts the extent of the possibility of choosing Jacob over Edward. But, no sooner does she do that than she immediately reaffirms her choice to have a life with Edward. As I said, you see Jacob as giving up after Ethics. I do not. I see his battle continuing into Breaking Dawn, through the wedding and up through Renesmee's birth. In that, I do completely assert that EVEN AFTER Bella confirms and reaffirms her decision with all the facts laid before her, Jacob continues, in my opinion, to interfere and to stand in the way. You don't agree. I have no problem with that. But, I'm also not going to change my mind. It's how I interpret his actions.


That's right, she affirms her choice for Edward then. And so Jacob's "interference" until then is under the context that she has not made a fully informed decision. Any interference after that is not under that context, I still fail to see when he tries to get Bella to change her mind, and I fail to see why you refuse to explain it to me.

Jazz Girl wrote:I haven't ever given Edward or Jacob a free pass when it comes to their behaviors in restricting Bella. I find some of Edward's actions less questionable because his intent was to keep Bella in existence, as in she would truly be dead, buried and gone if he did not do what he did. The only action Jacob sought to restrict was Bella choosing an immortal life, which would still have her, again, as a thinking, feeling sentient being, just in a way of which Jake did not approve.


He would not approve of it because she would become his mortal enemy. I think that's understandable. What Jacob knows and sees of vampires is not what Bella is. He feels that being a vampire would change him. He's seen what being with vampires has done to her before. He sees how different she is when she's with them. The fact is that throughout the first three books, there is an Edward's Bella and a Jacob's Bella, just like Bella sees "her Jacob" and "Sam's Jacob." Let me ask you something. Is it wrong for Bella to dislike Sam's Jacob? Is it wrong for her to wish he could always be "her Jacob"?

Jazz Girl wrote:As for my insult, I'm sorry that it bothers you. But, I just don't see blind stubbornness in knowing what you want and having the strength to hold on to it despite everyone being against you. And, I most certainly don't see that as a mark of being a teenager. I'm not arguing with you, I'm responding to your post. If you don't want me to do that, don't post it. That's the purpose of a forum....to solicit comment and debate. I am merely expressing my pov. I believe that Bella's confidence in her choice of Edward in the face of the opposition of literally everyone she holds dear is actually a very maturing moment for her.


How is everyone against her? Jacob's against her. That's it. I really don't see anyone else against her. Can you explain?

It bothers me that you're still refusing to listen to what I am trying so desperately to convey. What was immature was her inability to see all the consequences of her actions and consider everything that she was giving up. She doesn't do this until Eclipse. When she does this, it IS a very maturing moment for her. She goes from having decided on this HUGE choice based on her desire to be with Edward without giving true thought to any alternative, or really acknowledging that there IS an alternative, to knowing there is an alternative and making the conscious decision not to go with that.

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:36 am

Bella's version of life vs. Bella's version~ But, shouldn't the person who has to live the life get to choose what it is? I'm not arguing that Jacob only values his version of life. What I'm arguing is whether it is right, as Bella's best friend, to force it on her.

Choose Jacob vs. Choose Humanity~ After reading Being Jacob Black and reading the saga several times over, this is my interpretation of the choice Bella makes as Jacob sees it. Yes, he knew she would be choosing humanity over immortality. But, he also knew that her choice of humanity meant she would stay with him. They can't be separated, particularly in Bella's mind. Bella does not see it as a choice between immortality and humanity. She sees it as a choice between Edward and Jacob.

Ethics vs Transformation~ Now this is a discussion best left to the Jake thread. But, as it is a part of the current discussion, I will push on. I'm not refusing to explain anything. In fact, you and I have gone around about this before. I am merely accepting of the fact that you are set on your interpretation of events, and I am set on mine. Howver, because you asked, I will include some of them. First and foremost, you have Jacob's own words..."until your heart stops beating, Bella..." He promises her that he will not give up fighting for her, no matter how much she might want him to. Jacob's actions in the Ethics chapter are themselves, a fight. It is just like in Monster, when Jake has the inspiration to manipulate Bella into asking him to kiss her. It is a change in tactic, but one he sees as effective. Jake knows his self sacrifice and pain hurt Bella, toy with her emotions and her psyche. So, in Ethics, when he compares his actions to those of the second mother in the King Solomon story, he is manipulating her, forcing his pain on her. When he continues the story by telling her about what would have been, again, hurting her with her choice. Yes, after that he runs. But, he chooses to come back, to her wedding. In my opinion, Jacob understands just how insignificant the wedding is in Bella's mind. It does not symbolize her true commitment to Edward and her new life. He knows this probably better even than Bella does. So, that significance is not lost, in my opinion. He loses control at her wedding, threatening her and her new husband over something that is so far out to the realm of what is any of his business it is ridiculous unless he was still fighting for her. If he was not still fighting for her, his reaction would not/should not have been as strong. But, he was. Because he completely believed what he told her all those months previous..."until your heart stops beating." And, then his reaction upon their return, when he decided to attack the Cullens unprovoked and without proof of any wrongdoing. And his further reaction...that he would kill Edward, or worse, deliberately not kill Edward so that he would suffer, should Bella die, which he knew would not be allowed to happen. All of those are not the actions of a friend. They are the actions of a grieving mate or partner. Actions that Jake had no right to take and would not take, had he truly given up fighting for Bella.

Sam's Jacob vs Bella's Jacob~ But Jacob is choosing to make her his mortal enemy. She is still Bella. And, if he wanted to, and as he later does when essentially forced, he could put that difference aside. Yes, I think it is wrong for Bella to dislike Sam's Jacob. If she is truly his friend, she will deal with it, accept it as a part of the friend she loves. Just as if Jacob truly wanted to be Bella's friend, he should accept her choice and her transformation as a part of his friend.

Against Bella~ If you look from the beginning of the saga, yes, pretty much everyone at one point or another is against her choice. Her human friends all think the Cullens are freaks. They ostracize her, with the exception of Angela. Ben comes around because of Angela. And Mike, well, Mike's Mike. But, Jessica, Lauren, Tyler, Erik, and the rest of the lot are in the staunchly anti-Edward column. Charlie, understandably after New Moon, but still to the point of cheering on Jacob after he forces his kiss on Bella, despises Edward and makes no secret over his preference. Yes, he comes around by the wedding. But, essentially because he realizes he does not have a choice. Jacob, Billy, Sam, Embry, Quil, Paul, Jared, Emily, even Leah. Well, I don't think I even have to enumerate their feelings. That is, minus Renee, the entirety of her friends and family. But, you would also have to add in Edward himself, Rose, and even Carlisle for a time (he did support Edward's choice to try to leave, after all).

Bella's Staunch Adherence to Her Choice~ It isn't a moment, it is a progression. Yes, the last piece was acknowledging that she had the possibility of other love outside of Edward, of a human life. But, Bella considered many other pieces prior to that. At various times throughout the saga, she is faced with the reality of what life as an immortal, as a vampire, means. Piece by piece she accepts it; she faces the fear or anxiety that it brings, accepts what she has to give up, and accepts what is still the life that she wants. Start backwards from Eclipse, she accepts the loss of her human friends and family, the inevitability of it and the fact that she has to let them lead their own lives (that she ends up getting to keep just Charlie is a huge surprise and gift). She accepts that she has to give up most of her memories and her experiences. She accepts that she has to make compromises. Even in Twilight, she accepts just the reality of the mythical world. I dont see how any of that is blind stubborness. And, again, I don't see how that acceptance has anything to do with her age. It is a progress. Yes, the moment when she accepts the full repercussions, is a maturing moment. But, so were all the other acceptances she made along the way.

I'm not refusing to see anything. What I choose to take away is that she DID consider her options, one at a time, UNTIL she had considered all of them. And, each time, the answer was always the same. I don't find that immature, nor do I find it to be because she was a teenager, stubbornly clinging to what she had already decided what she wanted. What I believe is that it is the testing process that she goes through, just as any of us go through in choosing our partner. Age has nothing to do with it, IMO
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by holdingoutforjacob » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:57 am

Bella's version of life vs. Jacob's version: He had a duty, as her friend, to make sure she had considered all her options before making such a huge and permanent decision.

Choose Jacob vs. Choose Humanity: I wasn't talking about Bella's mind. Obviously in Bella's mind, the only reason to choose humanity would be to choose Jacob. What I said was that in Jacob's mind, if she chose humanity and did not choose to be with Jacob, that would be fine with him. He would be devastated and heartbroken, but satisfied with knowing that she was still alive.

Ethics vs. Transformation: Clearly, after the second kiss in Eclipse, you see all of his actions as trying to manipulate Bella, whereas I see them as genuine expressions of how he is feeling. I don't think it's entirely fair to assume that everything he's doing is trying to manipulate her, but whatever. I see his actions as based upon the fact that he still loves her, which he has every right to do, whether he's accepted her decision or not, whether he's fighting for her or not. When he comes to the wedding he tells her several times that this is what she wants and he wants her to smile and be happy and that he wants her to not feel guilty. He flies off the handle at the mention of sex because it is SO dangerous and he still loves her. The fact that he still loves her does not mean he is still fighting for her. You're right in that his actions when he thinks she is dead are the actions that someone who is grieving over a lost love would take. Who are you to determine whether or not he had the right to love her?

Sam's Jacob vs. Bella's Jacob: Bella is choosing to become Jacob's mortal enemy. Jacob didn't choose to be a werewolf, and Jacob didn't choose the vampires as a mortal enemy for his tribe. To claim that he is choosing that way of looking at it is to ignore the psychological aspects of the pack mentality.

Against Bella: Not everyone likes the thought of her being with him, and a lot of people are jealous of him, but only two actually fight against her - Billy and Jacob. And possibly Rosalie. I'm a little incredulous that you see the Forks kids as having ostracized her.... do you not remember Lauren's fury because everyone loved her? They didn't ostracize her when she started going with Edward, they ostracized her when she decided to completely fall apart and not talk to anyone forever, then immediately welcomed her back. The only true opposition she faced was Jacob, and at times Edward himself.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:37 am

Particularly when answering these questions, and on this thread, I try to put myself in Bella's shoes. Particularly as it relates to the choice, I have always seen Bella's as the most important PoV. So that is the filter I see as most important. When you look at the issues through Bella's eyes, to me it becomes even more clear...

Bella's vs Jacob's Version of Life~ I will be a thinking, feeling, sentient being and I will have the greatest love I can imagine, the person I know I cannot live without and an amazing family of my choosing vs. I will be a live, warm, air breathing human who will have my best friend by my side, knowing he is no longer hurting and I will have the opportunity to have kids, to grow old and to leave this earth in 60 or 70 years. BOTH are good options. But, Bella has ALWAYS made the same choice.

Choose Jacob vs Choose Humanity~ The choice is the same. Just as the choose immortality vs choose Edward choice is the same. Bella would only choose humanity because of Jacob. And, Jacob knew this, just as surely as he knew his own name. He always knew that Bella would ALWAYS stay with him IF she chose humanity. So, yes, while he wanted her to be his version of alive, you can't remove that influence from his opposition to her other choice. Just as you can't remove being with Edward from her choice to be immortal. They are, in Bella's mind, the same.

Ethics vs Transformation~ But, in loving her, he is unable to stop fighting for her. Because he loves her, he cannot help but react to things like the idea of the consumation, or her pregnancy. If he had accepted that she had, in fact, made a fully informed and completely thought-through decision, than why would her decisions about either of these things be any different? I would never maintain he has no right to love her. But, he has no right to make her suffer because he loves her. And, in reacting, in showing his pain and his loss at those decision, he is still fighting for her. He is still trying to get her to see the options.

Sam's Jacob vs Bella's Jacob~ Yes, Bella chooses to become a vampire. Just as Jacob later chooses to put his emnity aside and join forces with them BEFORE HE IS FORCED . Knowing how badly Bella wanted the life she chose, why would it not be possible for him to do that before his hand was completely forced, for the love of his best friend? Bella begged Jacob to understand. Not to draw the line. Bella understood that he didn't have to. I don't choose to ignore the pack mentality. I understand that Jake had a chain of command and orders to follow. But, I also see that Jake, as Ephraim's grandson, knew better than anyone, that those orders could be changed. And, he knew he was the only one who could do it. I see Bella's friend refusing to support her choice because of an old bias.

Against Bella~ Yes, I see the Forks kids as ostracizing her. Bella kind of stumbled into friendships. But, the people who she did befriend were at least at first, important to her. I never said the ostracized her immediately. But, think of, say, Jessica's reaction to her getting closer to Edward. No, she didn't react because she thought he was bad for her. But, she still reacted badly, regardless. After Edward returns, Bella tells us the only ones who came back around to her were Angela, Ben and Mike. Of those two, the only one you could really say was supportive was Angela. The others were indifferent at best. Everyone remains staunchly in the anti category. No one really even attempted to understand why Bella felt the way she did, reacted the way she did.
Charlie never truly accepted Edward in her life until Bella threatened to move out because of his constant preferential treatment. I'm not saying he didn't have reason to disapprove. But, he also did EVERYTHING he could to encourage Bella to choose a different person. Bella was constantly at odds with him, from the end of Twilight on, to even allow Edward in the house. He showed downright happiness when he thought they were fighting and even congratulated Jacob for forcing his daughter to kiss him. Charlie only came around when Bella forced his hand.
But, also, if you think about the relative size of Bella's support network, of the number of family and close friends that she counted on or might turn to, the size of the opposition is pretty large. And, opposition does not have to be limited to direct statements and actions to split them up. Cold indifference, belittling comments, and general attitude make very bold statements without saying much at all.

But, in the end, I guess I return to my original point. It is Bella's choice to make, Bella's feelings and thoughts that are the center of the question. So, shouldn't it be Bella's understanding and reasoning that we look at? Bella didn't see it as dying, but as choosing life with the man she loved. Bella considered all her options and never waivered in her choice. Everything else is essentially, window dressing.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by una » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:42 pm

My goodness you guys were busy this weekend!

In reading all these posts, a question comes to mind that may have been discussed a while ago, but it may be new for most of us here. When Bella came to Forks, it seems the only tie she left behind was to her mother and consequently her step-father. Why do you suppose that is? She seemed to make fast friends in Forks, how is it that she didn't seem to have any friends back in Arizona?
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Heart_in_Hand » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:10 pm

una wrote:My goodness you guys were busy this weekend!

In reading all these posts, a question comes to mind that may have been discussed a while ago, but it may be new for most of us here. When Bella came to Forks, it seems the only tie she left behind was to her mother and consequently her step-father. Why do you suppose that is? She seemed to make fast friends in Forks, how is it that she didn't seem to have any friends back in Arizona?
I kept finding myself with so much to say to the many posts I missed... but I think most if it has been said in some way, and I feel like this question is a good one to move on with!

I think that Bella, as it has been stated by others, didn't really belong in the human world. She was an outcast in Arizona... like she wasn't ever meant to be there. For one, she could not tan, and as Jess put it... "Aren't people from Arizona supposed to be, like, really tan?" I think that this characteristic of her was really foreshadowing the idea that she was already pretty much cut out to be a vampire, she already had the paleness down!

Anyway, it's like Edward said in MS... everyone was fascinated by Bella when she first came to Fork's because she was a novelty. She was basically the only person in the school that didn't grow up down the street from someone there. Everyone wanted to be her friend because of that fact, at least at first, and most of the guys only wanted to date her really because she was something new to look at.

I'm not saying Bella isn't likable, but she doesn't have much in common with kids her age. Like her mom observed, Bella is an old soul. She tolerated the asinine teenage banter of her peers because she knew it was a part of human life. But when she met Edward and realized the existence of these amazing creatures who seemed to be so different... yet so similar to her, I think it only served to further disconnect her from the human world in which she never truly felt she belonged.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:00 pm

una wrote:My goodness you guys were busy this weekend!

In reading all these posts, a question comes to mind that may have been discussed a while ago, but it may be new for most of us here. When Bella came to Forks, it seems the only tie she left behind was to her mother and consequently her step-father. Why do you suppose that is? She seemed to make fast friends in Forks, how is it that she didn't seem to have any friends back in Arizona?
Bella says herself at the very beginning of Twilight that had never physically fit in anywhere, staying pale, "ivory-skinned without even the excuse of blue-eyes or red hair," despite the constant sunshine. We also know that Bella lived in one of the few "low income" neighborhoods included in what is otherwise an extremely well-to-do district of Phoenix. She also tells us that she does not relate well to people her own age, or maybe even people, period. As she describes it, she feels out of harmony with everyone, including her mother, who she is closest to in the world, going so far as to wonder as to whether she was seeing the same things through her eyes that the rest of the world saw. Finally, I always remember what Charlie says to Alice about Bella in New Moon, what Renee says about her in Breaking Dawn. Bella was born middle aged and being the parent for her flighty mother did not help her at all in relating to kids her own age.

Also, thinking about her friends in Forks, the only one she was really close to was Angela, a girl who was very similar to Bella, good natured, good hearted and a caretaker. Her friendships with Jessica, Mike and the rest were fairly superficial.

So, looking at all those factors, no, I don't think Bella really had the time or patience to develop friendships with her classmates or the neighbor kids. She was too busy avoiding the stares and attention given to her because of her physicality, and taking care of her mother. That she doesn't have friends her own age doesn't really surprise me at all.
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