Edward Cullen #6

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Esme echo
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Esme echo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:46 pm

Hmm. Thank you, Jazz Girl, but I think I didn't express my question clearly. What I'm asking is, exactly how did Edward change throughout the series, and was his character development soley the result of loving a human? Did how his relationship with other vampires change as a result of loving Bella?

BTW: If Bella had already been a vampire, and had the same shield-talent, I suspect that Edward would have been a little intrigued when he met her. Bella, herself, fascinated Edward and challenged him to learn new ways to communicate; that could have been the same if Bella were a vampire. (He just wouldn't have been tempted to kill her, could have been himself, and would not have been a protection maniac.)

I admit Bella's defenselessness piqued Edward's chivalry, but I think there was more to the beginning of his interest in her than that. Stephenie said he fell in love with her while he was trying to ignore her . . . nevertheless, that's not what I'm focusing on. How did Edward change? Was it ALL the result of his relationship with a human? Were his changes reflected in all relationships across the board, or only with Bella?
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Jazz Girl » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:17 pm

Ahhh, EsmeEcho, thanks for the clarification. Well, given that we know that vampires are locked into who they are when they are changed, I think, given the fact that the only new factor introduced in Edward's life was the presence of this young woman who completely captivated him, then yes, we can give total credit for all of the changes to Bella and her relationship with him.

The second part of the question is a little more complicated. But, in general, yes, I think you can see the changes reflected in his relationships across the board. As early as Twilight, his relationships with his family change. Jasper tells Bella in Twilight, when she is questioning whether she is worth him risking his life for, that she cannot see the changes she has wraught in him, but that they, his family, have seen the changes. One of my favorite lines in the book comes when he tells her, "Do you think any of us want to look him in the eye if he were to lose you?" Esme, Carlisle, Alice, hell, even Rose admits that the changes in Edward are amazing to see. I also think it effects how he interacts in the future. From the beginning of the relationship, Edward changes his stance on interacting with humans, deciding it's a good idea to be cordial to those Bella considers friends. His "gift" to Angela (see DHN) is something that never would have happened outside of his relationship with Bella. Even his dealings with other vampires change. And, that is to say nothing of the fact that his dealings with the wolves are irrevocably altered because of her. Those relationships may not always be positive, but I truly think the changes in Edward, in how those changes effect his other relationships are, for the most part.

As to what the changes are... I suppose it's a matter of opinion and inference (since we don't really have a glimpse of how Edward is before he falls in love with Bella), but I think we can make some pretty good guesses. First and foremost, though it takes time, Edward's view of himself becomes much more positive. He goes from believing he is a monster undeserving of anything good to feeling like he is a man worthy of loving and being loved by Isabella Marie. I truly believe also that she reverses his belief on the presence of his soul, which alters his outlook on his entire existence. Edward goes from dismissive and superior to at least slightly less so (yes, Edward still has a massive superiority complex). Edward also learns to trust. But, most importantly, Edward learns to love. That, IMO, is the most important and substantive change we see in him.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by swedishskinjer » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:10 am

Hey, everyone.

I've been around a lot of anti-Twilight websites lately, and one argument never fails to infuriate me: Edward Cullen is an abusive stalker. Could someone list any counter-arguments that put Edward's actions in proper context? I particularly want a good counter-argument for an anti who says, "Well, Edward spies on Bella in her bedroom!" Furthermore, I saw a new argument (for me, at least): Edward wouldn't love Bella if her blood wasn't so intriguing. However, once Edward is able to fully resist Bella's blood in Eclipse, he still loves her as passionately.

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Asheleyo » Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:34 am

Alright, without the context of Midnight Sun, we never get the full idea of why Edward is really in Bella's bedroom. With it, we understand it's not creepy at all, or stalker-ish. It's actually pretty practical as well and sweet.

I don't know how to do the whole spoiler cover-up thing, so I guess I'll just make the font small...


FROM MIDNIGHT SUN:

Edward goes to Bella's house the first time because he wants to see her so badly. His first intention is just to look at her and then leave. He missed seeing her, and his days are twice as long as a person's since he doesn't sleep. So he just needed a small dose of Bella. What kept him there, and what made him go into Bella's room, was the allure of her talking in her sleep. He was just about to leave when she mumbled something, and he was frozen with intrigue. How could someone like Edward resist the few moments of unguarded thought?

When he got in there, he decided he would not pry into her things. A very un-stalker thing to do. Stalkers want to know every detail about their obsession's life. And they usually will sneak around to get the privy details. Edward wanted to talk to Bella, to get inside her mind, not her underwear drawer.

The practical part was when he realized that being in her room, where her scent is so concentrated, helped desensitize him. He would go there at night to immerse himself in the smell of Bella and learn how to restrain himself.


As for her blood being the reason he fell in love with her. Well, it was a factor. It was the smell combined with the closed mind combined with the personality. If the smell had been missing, I think Edward would have fallen in love with her still, but he would have been a different Edward in the end. He wouldn't have had to practice such extreme control, he wouldn't have felt so desperately drawn to her. It would have taken longer, I think, for him to really love her. I could argue the same for if she were not a mental shield.

I do wonder what would have happened had Bella not been Edward's singer and not been a shield. Would Edward have ever fallen in love with just Bella's personality? Would he have noticed her long enough to do so?
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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 Jazz Girl » Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:43 am

swedishskinjer wrote:Hey, everyone.

I've been around a lot of anti-Twilight websites lately, and one argument never fails to infuriate me: Edward Cullen is an abusive stalker. Could someone list any counter-arguments that put Edward's actions in proper context? I particularly want a good counter-argument for an anti who says, "Well, Edward spies on Bella in her bedroom!" Furthermore, I saw a new argument (for me, at least): Edward wouldn't love Bella if her blood wasn't so intriguing. However, once Edward is able to fully resist Bella's blood in Eclipse, he still loves her as passionately.
This is a subject that we can't seem to get away from, so much so that the mods have all but forbidden us from discussing it. But, as you asked, I will give my thoughts. Let me preface my post by saying that I am not putting myself out there as some expert, merely relying on my own experiences and understanding to answer this question. I welcome counter-argument and debate, and I'm pretty sure I might get it. I am a survivor of an abusive relationship and have spent the better part of 15 years working as a social worker and educator in the field of domestic violence. My thoughts and answers are based on those experiences.

As always, I will state for the record that my opinion that Edward Cullen is the furthest thing you can get from an abusive partner. Domestic violence, dating abuse, whatever you want to call it, is all completely based on the idea that one partner demands, seeks, gains and maintains power and control over the other partner. It's not about anything else. The abusive partner wants to control everything that the other partner thinks, feels, says and does. It is a pattern that continues over time and escalates without intervention. The other thing that is ESSENTIAL to keep in mind throughout the argument is the fact that, what might happen in real life and what happens in the supernatural Twilight environment are two VERY DIFFERENT things. The supernatural context and forces at play cannot be divorced from the events of the story. If they were, than the behaviors and attitudes take on whole different meaning. But, I am speaking within the context of that supernatural world. So, working from that understanding, let's take a look at some situations in Twilight...

Let's look at the "stalkerish tendencies" first. Edward goes to Bella's room, we know from Midnight Sun, to see her one last time. He is foolish enough to think he can leave, even then. He is drawn in by the fact that she is talking in her sleep, which allows him to hear her unguarded thoughts, which leads him to the revelation that she does, in fact, want him, maybe even love him. He stays, keeps coming back, once he realizes that she might want him there, not only to hear her thoughts, but also to expose himself to her scent, so that it won't be so potently tempting and overwhelming when he is around her during the day. Now, to understand the difference between this behavior and stalking, you have to understand what stalking is, why it is done. In the context of abusive relationships, stalking is a tool used to instill fear, to terrorize, to let the other person know that you can get to them anytime and anywhere. Edward never wanted to scare or terrorize Bella at all. Yes, he wanted her to be afraid of him, so that she would understand the danger he posed to her. But, he never intended his actions to cause her any fear or harm.

In the real world, yes, if some creepy guy is sneaking in your window to watch you sleep, run, scream, hide, call the police and file charges. But, this is NOT the real world. In the Twiverse, with Edward's limitations and gifts, this was probably the safest and most caring way he could be around her, get to know her and give her what she needed.

Inevitably, the other argument that comes up in this debate is that Edward controlled Bella by not letting her see Jacob, particularly by dismantling her truck in Eclipse. Now, I will state unequivocally that I don't at all agree with Edward dismantling Bella's truck. He crossed a line and he was wrong. However, in the preternatural world of the Twiverse, his actions do take on a different tint. Edward hears from his sister (who also loves Bella dearly) that her future is just suddenly gone. Most likely, the last thing she saw was Bella deciding to drive to LaPush, the home of what Edward knows to be unstable and dangerous werewolves that are also his enemies. He knows people get hurt, even inadvertently, when around werewolves. And, he also knows that Bella, everytime she is around Jake, reminds him by her very presence that she is choosing a life he does not approve of and that makes him angry. And, he knows when Jake gets angry, Jake can lose control, and when Jake loses control, people can get hurt. Edward's only concern in his life is to protect Bella, even from herself. So, he does the only thing he can think of to intervene in dismantling her truck.

Now, here's another thing to keep in mind. Abusive individuals do not feel the need to justify their actions, to explain themselves at all. They want something to happen a certain way, they do what they need to do to get that, and that's the end of it. But, Edward stays, talks to Bella, pleads with her about his fear and his need to keep her safe, he talks to her about her feelings and needs to see Jacob and why. First and foremost, Bella NEVER feels threatened by his actions. Yes, she's pissed. But, she also accepts his reasoning and promises to continue working with him on it until they find a compromise.

From that moment on, Edward's behavior changes because HE REALIZES that he crossed a line, recognizes that, no matter what, he does not have the right to tell Bella what to do or not do. Yes, he still feels it is his job to protect her and he will do everything he can to do that. But, he will work with her to do it, rather than doing it for her. We watch as he comes to accept that Bella has a reason to trust Jake and his family, that she maybe is not in as much danger as he fears, and accepts that she is going to see her friend. In essentially a matter of days, he goes from flatly forbidding and interfering to facilitating her visits to see Jake and the pack. If Edward were abusive, this just would not happen. Abusive individuals DO NOT change their behavior without serious intervention because they don't see anythign wrong with it. They believe that they have the absolute right to do whatever is necessary to stay in control and they don't care who they hurt doing it.

Another important note; Edward's acceptance and trust are tested almost immediately when Jake crosses the line with Bella, resulting in her being injured. Another very telling moment. An abusive individual would use this opportunity, blaming the survivor for what happened, throwing it back at that partner that they can't be trusted etc. Edward does the exact opposite. He knows, understands and accepts that, despite what happened, Bella still loves Jake and won't hold it against him in the end. Again, not something any abusive individual is going to accept of follow through with.

For whatever reason, this argument and assumption follows Edward. Is he overbearing at times? Yes. Does he cross a line the line at times? Yes. But, more so than any other argument, there is one that we cannot ever doubt. Abusers' actions are motivated by purely selfish goals. They are only interested in preventing their own discomfort, making sure that everything that happens is as they want it. They do not care about ANYONE other than themself, what they think or feel. Edward's only motivations, EVER, after falling in love with Bella are to protect her and to see her happy. That's it and that's all. The fact that he leaves in New Moon is proof enough that he is willing to kill himself before he harms her in any way. The fact that he is totally willing to step aside in Eclipse, to watch her walk away with Jacob if that's what she wants, is proof enough that he only wants her happiness and is willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING in his life so that she can have it. Those are not the actions of a abusive man. Edward loves Bella passionately, and beyond all reason (sometimes literally). And, I would bet my life, as well as my hubs', my kids and the rest of my families, that Edward would never, ever willingly or intentionally cause ANY harm to Bella, emotionally, psychologically, or physically. (Yes, I know, he hurt her when he left. His arrogance was against him. He just didn't get how bad it would hurt. Yes, I know, he "killed" her. I don't see it that way. She was still a thinking, feeling being, just not human anymore.)

As for the argument that he wouldn't have wanted her if not for her blood, I'm sorry but that is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while. Edward's life with Bella as a human, with her blood calling him, was nothing short of torture. Yes, a torture he freely reveled in, but torture none the less. Constantly tempted, constantly burning, constantly afraid he would lose control and hurt her, constantly holding himself in such tight control that it had to be exhausting, even for a vampire. and, yes, he loved her just as much, if not more so, AFTER she was turned. Now, the question of whether he would have fallen in love with her without her being his singer, it's an intriguing one that has been asked. We know from MS that it is the COMBINATION of things that make her up that call to him; her quiet mind, her big heart, her beauty, and her blood. But, the only thing Edward credits her blood with doing was making it so he wouldn't be able to ignore her. I like to believe, all else being equal, he still would have fallen just as desperately in love with her. It just would have been a millionth easier. She would still be human with the yummy and the blood. :D

There are many other arguments I could provide. But, I think these are the most compelling and really address the main issues. I am always happy to chat more, either here or via pm.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Esme echo » Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:29 pm

It was a pleasure to read your defense, Jazz Girl! Thank you for taking the time to articulate that!

swedishskinjer, though Jazz Girl did a great job of explaining why Edward was not an abusive stalker, I hope you don't expect the Twilight haters to be satisfied. The haters don't care. They're only interested in spreading their misery and supporting each other in their negativity.

I know several people who didn't care for Twilight, couldn't get through the first book, or flatly refused to read it or go to the shows; but they don't demonize the series and/or the author. Haters are another breed. Their mission is to 1) mock, 2) spew anger, and 3) destroy. Frankly, I don't get it.

As far as why Edward was attracted to Bella, I think her mental muteness was the key to everything. Her blood just got in the way of Edward getting to know her more quickly. Remember, he was intrigued before he smelled her. Edward was majorly bored. Here was something new. I think his curiosity would have driven him to try to figure out why he couldn't hear her mentally. Her attributes attracted him as soon as he started paying attention, but I think it's possilbe that he might not have bothered to notice anything at all about her if he could have heard her thoughts the same as everyone else's. (Of course, that's ignoring kismet!)
"Where there is great love, there are always miracles."

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by swedishskinjer » Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:36 pm

Esme echo wrote:It was a pleasure to read your defense, Jazz Girl! Thank you for taking the time to articulate that!

swedishskinjer, though Jazz Girl did a great job of explaining why Edward was not an abusive stalker, I hope you don't expect the Twilight haters to be satisfied. The haters don't care. They're only interested in spreading their misery and supporting each other in their negativity.

I know several people who didn't care for Twilight, couldn't get through the first book, or flatly refused to read it or go to the shows; but they don't demonize the series and/or the author. Haters are another breed. Their mission is to 1) mock, 2) spew anger, and 3) destroy. Frankly, I don't get it.

As far as why Edward was attracted to Bella, I think her mental muteness was the key to everything. Her blood just got in the way of Edward getting to know her more quickly. Remember, he was intrigued before he smelled her. Edward was majorly bored. Here was something new. I think his curiosity would have driven him to try to figure out why he couldn't hear her mentally. Her attributes attracted him as soon as he started paying attention, but I think it's possilbe that he might not have bothered to notice anything at all about her if he could have heard her thoughts the same as everyone else's. (Of course, that's ignoring kismet!)
I wholeheartedly agree with you.

MOD EDIT: The following was removed for being off-topic.

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by amethyst » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:29 pm

Jazz Girl that was an amazing post. I reread it twice just for the sake of it. Your thoughts have perfect linear path and everything is articulate and meshes together <3
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by edwardsluv » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:46 am

Jazzgirl I agree with you 100%.

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Post by Kachiti » Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:40 am

Jazzgirl, couldn't agree with you more/
Frustrated love has been the incentive for many great works.

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