Bella Swan Cullen #3

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Jadey
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jadey » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:10 am

una wrote: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 mentions somewhere in Twilight that she had grown up with a lot of the kids at her school, so they still see her as she was when she was younger, not accepting the fact that people change, or that they have changed. If they saw her as some weird, anti-social kid then, they probably still think the same of her now and so they don't bother to get to know her.

She was shy, and didn't relate well to people, and she probably didn't make much of an effort to make friends because there wasn't really much point. All the cliques have already been established, and she didn't fit any of them because she isn't like anyone else. And trying to push yourself into a clique just doesn't work.

The fact that she's new was possibly the main reason why she made friends in Forks. They didn't know her from when she was a kid, so they hadn't built up an opinion or judgement of her yet. The people weren't as judgemental and made the effort to talk to her and get to know her, most of them weren't like the kids in Arizona. And Forks didn't really seem to have cliques, like Pheonix may have had. You have goofballs like Mike having friendships with quiet Angela, bubbly Jessica and catty Lauren. I also think it's because she is beautiful. Ofcourse she doesn't think so, but everyone in Forks sees her that way. The reason why they didn't in Pheonix? Again, they already had this firm opinion about her from a young age and always saw her that way. Its just what happens.

And its a different school, different town, different people which can make a lot of difference.
It's not just Bella fault as to why she doesn't make friends easily. The kids either want to get to know her, or dont. The Forks kids did, the Arizona kids didn't. But I do agree that Bella is different. Quiet, observant, introverted. She got that from Charlie, and having to look after Renee and being forced into this mature role from a young age obviously had something to do with it.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by marielle » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:21 am

wow, I've spend the last half hour reading the whole Jacob and Bella discussion... I have to add something..

I just finished re-reading Eclipse...During the bonfire night Billy tells them about the first wolf... The first wolf came to exist because he tries to protect the tribe yes... but NOT from Vampires but from a tribe member gone over to the dark side...
The werewolf gene kicks in when the tribe needs protection, and not only from Vampires... So that whole being mortal enemy feeling between Jake and Edward are nonsense....
As Angela stated correctly it is just testosterone driven....
And therefore I agree with Bella at first to be Team Zwits....but when Jake started to get to pushy... she flatered...
she should have sticked to her man...

Also her decision to join the Cullens I think was based not only on the love for Edward but for all of them... It was the big family that she dreamed off...

As for Bella making quickly new friends.... I don't agree totally...
Ok Bella acts friendly towards them and everything but she never sees them really as friends..
at the point she started to get annoyed with mike and started to see through Jess, she is introduced to edward and becomes obsessed with the Cullens.... the only friend she really ever made without strings attached is Angela...
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:46 pm

I also realized something while reading through Sunday's and Monday's posts: Though Jacob never gave up trying to persuade Bella to reject vampirism, Bella didn't have to listen to him. It couldn't have bothered her too much, because she kept on hanging out with him. Bella definately wanted to have her cake and eat it, too.

I think Bella was emotionally desperate when she got to Forks; she was isolated emotionally from all the people around her. Bella's life was so devoid of meaningful relationships that when she finally connected with Edward and Jacob, she couldn't bear to let either one of them go. I totally get her inability to turn her back on Jacob. After the emotional desert she'd lived in most of her life, it would have seemed like ripping a huge chunk out of herself to turn her back on the love Jacob was offering her.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by swedishskinjer » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:07 pm

I don't necessarily agree with the first part, Esme. Bella *did* want to be around Jacob, but she also wanted him to acknowledge that her heart would always belong to Edward as far as love is concerned. It was never about her wanting to dismiss a friendship with Jacob. Are you implying that Bella only loved Edward to such an extent because of her emotional desperation? Please clarify, because that's a rather puzzling claim.

I wouldn't call Bella emotionally desperate, either. She was simply unable to connect with most kids around her age due to an upbringing that required her to grow up prematurely. She could certainly connect well with others, such as the Cullen family, the tribe members, and even Angela.

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:42 pm

I see I need to clarify a lot! I awknowledge the possiblity that my perception of Bella may not be shared by anyone else; I'm totally okay with that.

I feel like Bella was the emotional caretaker of her mother, not close to her father, and unable to make good friends with her peers. She described herself as unable to relate well to people, never exactly on the same page with anyone--even her mother, who was her best friend (Twilight, 10-11). When a girl has never had a friend with whom to share her fears, frustrations, joys, hopes, and dreams, she becomes emotionally isolated.

Part of Bella's fears about starting in a new school mid-year and her initial unspoken criticism of the guys who tended to flock around her are based on her inability to relate teen-to-teen. (It's always safer--emotionally--to keep up a running dialogue with yourself [you're always in control while you're in your own mind] than to take the risk of allowing a peer to get close enough to embarrass you! Believe me, been there, done that!)

I think one of the reasons Bella fell so hard for Edward--over and above all the vampire lures, which definately impacted her attraction--was that he really looked at her, listened to her, and cared about her--to the exclusion of everything else. That's pretty heady stuff for a girl who had never had it before. I think she was emotionally hungry in addition to being impossibly attracted. It was a powerful combination.

I won't disagree with you, swedishskinjer, about Bella not wanting to dismiss her friendship with Jacob. But she was so desperate for an emotional anchor after Edward left her that as soon as she started to function again and came within Jacob's sphere, she immediately latched onto him. Think about it. Here was another guy who really paid attention to her, listened to her, and cared about her happiness--in very direct ways. The only comparison I can think of off the cuff is someone who has been in solitary confinement for years . . . and would do anything to avoid going back in again.

I'm not degrating Jacob here. I'm just saying that Bella's emotional neediness was a big factor in why she couldn't resist the temptation to try to stay close to Jacob--even after Edward came back and she awknowledged her dedication to him.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Jazz Girl » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:16 pm

Esme Echo~ A very very interesting take on Bella's need for Jacob. It makes a ton of sense. I have always thought that a part of the attraction to Edward for Bella is the fact that she does become the center of his world. After years of taking care of everyone else, finally, someone finally cares about her thoughts and her feelings. Exactly as you said, he listens to her, really pays attention to her and only her. So, it would totally follow that, just like covering the hole in her chest at Edward's loss, he also helps to fill that hole as well.

I don't think your perception denegrates Jacob, or his relationship with Bella, at all. Because you are absolutely right. Bella could have done more to discourage Jake, but didn't. A part of her needed him.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by swedishskinjer » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:32 pm

Esme echo wrote:I see I need to clarify a lot! I awknowledge the possiblity that my perception of Bella may not be shared by anyone else; I'm totally okay with that.

I feel like Bella was the emotional caretaker of her mother, not close to her father, and unable to make good friends with her peers. She described herself as unable to relate well to people, never exactly on the same page with anyone--even her mother, who was her best friend (Twilight, 10-11). When a girl has never had a friend with whom to share her fears, frustrations, joys, hopes, and dreams, she becomes emotionally isolated.

Part of Bella's fears about starting in a new school mid-year and her initial unspoken criticism of the guys who tended to flock around her are based on her inability to relate teen-to-teen. (It's always safer--emotionally--to keep up a running dialogue with yourself [you're always in control while you're in your own mind] than to take the risk of allowing a peer to get close enough to embarrass you! Believe me, been there, done that!)

I think one of the reasons Bella fell so hard for Edward--over and above all the vampire lures, which definately impacted her attraction--was that he really looked at her, listened to her, and cared about her--to the exclusion of everything else. That's pretty heady stuff for a girl who had never had it before. I think she was emotionally hungry in addition to being impossibly attracted. It was a powerful combination.

I won't disagree with you, swedishskinjer, about Bella not wanting to dismiss her friendship with Jacob. But she was so desperate for an emotional anchor after Edward left her that as soon as she started to function again and came within Jacob's sphere, she immediately latched onto him. Think about it. Here was another guy who really paid attention to her, listened to her, and cared about her happiness--in very direct ways. The only comparison I can think of off the cuff is someone who has been in solitary confinement for years . . . and would do anything to avoid going back in again.

I'm not degrating Jacob here. I'm just saying that Bella's emotional neediness was a big factor in why she couldn't resist the temptation to try to stay close to Jacob--even after Edward came back and she awknowledged her dedication to him.
I would dispute that Bella wasn't close to Charlie. Since he was slightly reclusive by nature, I think that she enjoyed his laid-back company. In the first book, didn't she immediately want to ensure that her father would not be endangered by James? On several occasions, she deeply thought about leaving behind her family until her definition of what constituted "leaving them behind" started to change. They didn't have the most exciting relationship, but it's clear that Bella did love her father and the calm simplicity that he represented. Furthermore, she had fairly unorthodox parents: her father was the calm figure in the background, and her mother was the fun, adventurous spirit who never quite remained in one location for too long. I think that Bella's specific upbringing contributed to her inability to relate, because the community that she was stepping into was so close-knit and...normal. She had to "grow up" rather fast due to her lifestyle.

Just to clarify: do you believe that the love between Bella and Edward is genuine when it starts to mature from the initial fascination to pure, sacrificial love? Yes, knowing that Edward intrigued her must have contributed to the fascination, but do you believe that there was ever any significant maturing, particularly during BD?

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Esme echo » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:14 pm

I didn't mean to imply that Bella didn't love her parents; I think it's quite obvious that she did. BUT, even though they loved one another, none of them were especially good at emotional attachments. One indication of this is that Bella could not talk to her father about things that meant a lot to her. She couldn't share her thoughts or dreams. In fact, she spent a lot of time trying to avoid meaningful communication with her father. Compare how she communicated with her father to how she communicated with Edward. She was always more open with Edward--even when they were practically strangers.

When did Edward and Bella's love transition from fascination to genuine love? That's a hard question. That's what the whole series is about! As someone who never felt fully accepted in her world until she married her best friend (that would be me!), I can testify of the transforming power of being the recipient of pure love. I think Bella and Edward were fated to be together. I think they recognized each other on a cellular level in a very short time! I think Bella knew from a very early period--just as she expressed in the hospital bed at the end of Twilight--that they belonged together. "You are my life. You're the only thing it would hurt me to lose."

Thus said, Bella was not very mature. She was not used to being in personal relationships, and she messed up quite a bit. I cringed over and over as she tried to deal with all the changes and stresses her romance with Edward engendered. I think she was still very protective of herself--sort of a mirror of her shield. She had a hard time risking emotional rejection--not that Edward ever would deliberately do so, but the fear . . . with her level of neediness, the fear is pretty powerful, even when your head tells you you're safe. And remember--Edward left. I'm not a bit surprised Bella went catatonic for while.

I feel like I'm rambling. I'm sorry. Bottom line: Bella and Edward were deeply in love early on, but living in a loving relationship requires more than emotional attachment, and they both had a lot to learn.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by Amanda Beth » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:10 am

I know what you're saying Esme echo :)

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #3

Post by holdingoutforjacob » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:25 pm

I think Bella needed to be with Jacob simply because he WAS part of her destiny, he was perfect for her, and she was in love with her. Edward just happened to be more powerful. But you're definitely right Esme, in that if it really really bothered her, she would have stopped seeing him. And we know that she's capable of doing so when he crosses the line, like in Eclipse when he says he'd rather her be dead than a vampire. She gets up and walks out. I think on some level, she recognizes the difficult situation they are all in, and she does her best to understand where everyone's coming from and how they're feeling and be tolerant of that. I think that's why she doesn't flip when Edward messes with her truck and all that, and it's why she puts up with the anti-vampire stuff from Jacob. She just hasn't reached a level of experience with relationships where she's capable of dealing with it other than to be understanding.

I think we all forget sometimes, and I'm certainly guilty of this, that this is a crazy new experience for Bella too. She knows so steadily what she wants that it makes it easy to forget that she's never even been in love with a boy, let alone two! She's never had one boy in love with her, let alone two! Heck, she's never even had a best friend before, let alone a friendship THAT deep.

I really think that when Bella arrived at Forks, she was emotionally crippled. Her caretaker role with Renee had demanded that she develop certain maturities before developing the steps that came before that - it was like putting icing on a cupcake without it baking all the way first. She had learned responsibility and how to be self-reliant in day to day life, but had learned nothing about being with people, and nothing about responsibility for the feelings of others, simply because she hasn't had the experience of friendship before, you know?

I also feel like she had no sense of her own identity without it centering around someone else, and that's what's dangerous for her. That's why she collapses so completely in New Moon, that's why she can't stand up to either boy in Eclipse, that's why Edward becomes the center of her world so quickly in Twilight. Renee never made it safe for her learn about herself and create an identity of her own. Rules and structure allow children to do that.
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