Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

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Re: Explorations

Postby corona » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:38 pm

Tornado wrote:Did she say that Alice saw the same thing? (Bella becoming a vampire) I thought she had just said that Alice saw that Edward would weaken, much as he had when originally trying to stay away from Bella in Twilight. Alice stopped seeing the visions of Bella's duel future then, but he did weaken and get together with Bella. she might have just assumed that the same thing would happen this time.


No, Stephenie never specifically says it is the exact same vision. I'm not sure how much SM ever brought that up, because the detailed version was in MS, and she talks about that as little as possible. We do know that the image from MS comes up several times there and a few times in TW.

The solidity or haziness of that image was an excellent prop for MS, though, and it's always the same one. No other futuristic visions are brought up post-change.

I swear, I can almost see it now in the closing credits of BD2.

I have assumed that it is the same vision which Alice relys on in NM, until the cliff diving. The vision was still solid, meaning that Edward must return to Bella at some point. It doesn't have to be the same, it could be different. Aesthetically, I think it is pretty cool. That scene from "Back to the Future" just popped in my head, with Michael J. Fox starting to disappear and then becoming solid again. Weird, huh?

Besides being a cool trick by SM, though, it also had that advantage of being a still image, no Edward, so Edward was allowed to draw his own conclusions.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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Re: Explorations

Postby Tornado » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:18 pm

Although Alice does say, when she comes back in NM, when Bella questions her about that vision, that it "was a possibility at the time", which suggests that she's not seeing it at that time, even though Bella is safe after her cliff jump and Alice has returned. I guess she could have been deliberately vague or non-committal about it because she's worried that Bella might get frantic if she thinks Edward will come back and she will be changed. This happens before Edward decides to go to the Volturi so that can't have any bearing on it. Interesting ...
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Re: Explorations

Postby Knives » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:38 am

I RETURN ONCE MORE TO PLAGUE THE LIVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!

Man do I have some thread to catch up on. I don't suppose anyone remembers questions they tried to ask me that just got left hanging, do ya? I think we were debating the nature of Bella's attempts at self-sacrifice the last time I dropped off the face of the earth.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Knives » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:44 am

Tornado wrote:I'm going to get religious, and I'm really sorry. Feel free to skip this bit if you want, but it's valid.

Christians believe that Jesus sacrificed himself in an attempt to save people who will probably never believe in him. He forgave the people who nailed him to the cross without hesitation. He chose to love his enemies, and do good to people who hate him, and commanded his followers to do the same. Was he stupid? Most people, even those that don't believe he was from God, usually don't think so. Instead, they think he was a great teacher. Was he crazy? Maybe. Loving your enemies isn't something that comes naturally for any of us. But I don't think that you could ever say he was weak. To love someone to death like that takes strength.


Man this is from ages ago, but I've been trawling the thread archives specifically to answer this because I remembered it was there:

There's a tendency I've noticed amongst Christians to see any form of self-sacrifice as a good thing, and it's not. There's an important difference between Christ and Bella: Christ knew what he was doing. If you believe in Christian mythology, Christ died specifically because he knew he was going to accomplish an incredible good (redeeming humanity) by doing so, and he was vindicated after the fact with the sweet taste of glorious success. Bella, on the other hand, consistently accomplishes nothing with her attempts at self-sacrifice and does them so often that the other characters notice and move to prevent it (Eclipse had a wonderful example of Edward and Jacob sharing a, "Wait, is that moron going to...yes she is," moment). Self-sacrifice can be hard, but what I see in Bella is a martyrdom complex, a need to punish herself for nonexistent sins.

Christ, on the other hand, set out with a clear mission and managed to fulfill it, with the bonus extra of starting a major world religion that retains a commanding majority of the world's population. Can you kinda see how they don't compare?
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Re: Explorations

Postby smitten_by_twilight » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:59 pm

KNIIIIIIVES!

Hi. I don't think I was really around here before you vanished, but I had a lot of respect for your posts, looking at them archivally. I'm Smitten. (My name, not my dominant emotion, except re: Twilight.

So, self-sacrifice. Yes, some Christians do glorify it a bit, not the most Christian thing to do unless it has a purpose. The thing is, it usually does, at least in the mind of the person attempting it. Like Bella, who is usually trying to protect others. She sacrifices her childhood to the orderly running of Renee's home. She sacrifices life in her hometown to give Renee her happiness. She tries to sacrifice her youth to running Charlie's home, but starts to get pushback here. Charlie may not cook, but he can generally run his house (and police station) without Bella, so she has more free time ... And ends up hooking up with Edward. Now she gets a lot of pushback, because the Cullens really don't need her help or protection (yet), they just love her. But she sacrifices her safety in order to enjoy Edward's company, and ends up helping him earn his own trust and admiration. She attempts to sacrifice her life to protect Renee and the Cullens because she can't stand to have any of them in danger, and fails to appreciate how good they are at dealing with this kind of thing. Bella's take on that scene is almost like one of these romanticized kidnapping movies, where someone goes all alone to bravely save the victim ... But with vampires instead of FBI. Much more capable. In NM she quite rightly sacrifices her safety to save Edward, as does Alice, and they succeed. In EC she's quite clear; she can't stand to not help, protect in some way. We'll never really know if it was needed or not. And of course in BD, her sacrifice of herself to birth her child, and her decision to expose herself to the Volturi (she, Edward and Nessie could have gone off and hidden together) and a great outcome.

Bella's not really trying to save the world; she just can't stand to have people she loves in danger, like many people. Arguably, God and Jesus had the same motivation ("For God so loved the world..."), and less to risk as truly immortal beings. She doesn't accomplish nothing, she definitely accomplishes something at least some of the time. But she was never out to save the world. Edward and Jacob have those moments of thinking alike because they are powerful monsters who recognize Bella's comparative frailty, and also because they love her and want to sacrifice *themselves* for *her.* Because *they* love her and can't stand to see her in danger.

What nonexistent sins do you think Bella is trying to punish herself for? I don't recall her thinking about punishing herself much.

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Re: Explorations

Postby Tornado » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:22 pm

Hello Knives! I don't think I've ever really met you. I came to this discussion just after you posted your last comment here.

Knives wrote: There's an important difference between Christ and Bella: Christ knew what he was doing.If you believe in Christian mythology, Christ died specifically because he knew he was going to accomplish an incredible good (redeeming humanity) by doing so, and he was vindicated after the fact with the sweet taste of glorious success. Bella, on the other hand, consistently accomplishes nothing with her attempts at self-sacrifice and does them so often that the other characters notice and move to prevent it


I'd like to make a few points here.

First of all, whether or not the self-sacrifice is considered a sensible thing to do is not the point I was making. Was there an element of stupidity in some of Bella's decisions? Very likely. But that doesn't lessen the nobility in her actions, especially considering the stress she would have been under at times like when James was threatening her mother, or so she thought. Was it stupid? Possibly. Was it noble and brave of her to try and save her mother like that? Yes, it was.

Secondly, It's very easy to sit and view these things objectively, and say, "Well, that was an extremely stupid thing to do, wasn't it?" without recognising the stress that the individual concerned was probably under at the time. When I think of how terrifying it must have been for Bella to realise that James had her mother, and would kill her if she told any of the Cullens about it, I can see that it wouldn't have been a great time for rational thought. The fact that her most immediate reaction was to protect her mother at the likely cost of her own life makes me admire Bella because her first thought at such a time was not for herself, but for someone else. I admire that. I'm not sure my first thought would have been in that direction, and I think my thinking would have been just as irrational in that kind of a situation as Bella's was. Most people do not think rationally when lives are at stake. Most of us are not used to dealing with situations like that.

Thirdly, do Bella's actions really achieve nothing? James was clever, and he knew how to get to his prey. He could wait for the right opportunity. Realistically, the Cullens were never going to catch him unless he caught up to Bella and made himself vulnerable when trying to harm her. Bella's action of self sacrifice led directly to James' demise.

You also mentioned the instance in Eclipse. As Bella herself realises, Victoria intended to sit back and watch her newborns take all the risks. If Bella hadn't behaved the way she did, making Edward go to extreme lengths to hide her, Victoria also might not have placed herself in the vulnerable position that resulted in her death.

Perhaps you think that because these were only the unintentional results of Bella's behaviour it still means she was just stupid. Maybe she was. Or maybe she was intuitive, and followed her instincts. I'm sure you won't buy that, but I think, in the end, it comes down to how you view things. Personally, I don't think Bella's decision to run off to find James was a sensible one, but I admire it because her instinctive reaction was to save her mother, and because, as I said earlier, I know I'd be just as irrational when under that kind of pressure. I don't think Edward's decision to leave Bella in New Moon was a sensible one, but I understand that he did it because he thought it was better for her than a life with him. It's noble and selfless that he would do that, as much as it is also idiotic. I appreciate the motives behind their actions, and, as these are traits I admire in people, I can be reconciled to the fact that they may not have been the best decisions. Not to mention that it wouldn't be much of a story without these decisions, especially the ones Bella makes!
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Re: Explorations

Postby corona » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:10 pm

Knives, if you have seen my prior posts, then you know that I do have some issues with the Eclipse book. I find Bella's behavior there more erratic than the other books, even New Moon.

The martyrdom complex really comes out there, but I think a lot of it was the constant frustration of being the focal point for dangers to her and the Cullens. You had the entire wolf pack and the Cullens scouting the area around Forks and particularly her own house. Her suggestion after the graduation party that the wolf pack stay out of things was idiotic, but she isn't thinking well, she's just tired of being the weak link and putting everyone else in danger and not being able to assist.

Her suggestion of presenting herself as bait in the clearing was rash, but then Jasper also thought it would be a good idea as well.

One thing I do keep in mind, after NM it is Bella that is forcing the issue with Edward. She has taken responsibility for her choice, and so she likely felt the burden more keenly in EC.

BTW, don't know if you have read "The Host", but Stephenie's heroines tend to share that trait. She has both Wanda and Sunny leaping in front of their men to protect them from danger, so that seems to be one of her favorite methods for demonstrating love.

I also have to agree with Tornado, that whenever Bella appears to be acting foolishly it ultimately leads to the demise of her enemies (James, Laurent, Victoria), or even her reunion with Edward in NM. I can see where someone has issues with that, characters being rewarded for extreme behavior, but then that is pretty much the basis for the entire series. I personally didn't have a problem with it, I saw that as being the peculiar genius of TW, where the supernatural elements provide the license for that behavior. It certainly doesn't translate well into the "real world" and, as you say, even Edward and Jacob found Bella's self-sacrificial trait aggravating at times.

One thing I will give to Bella, I think her behavior was also a reaction to Edward's over-protectiveness. Edward is constantly reminding her of how fragile she is and tries to protect her even from the knowledge of danger (e.g., Victoria at the beginning of EC). Meanwhile both Edward and Jacob and pretty much everyone else lets her know that she is really the only one in danger but for them things aren't a big deal, they aren't in danger, the newborns in the clearing will be a piece of cake. If Bella is suffering from feelings of inadequacy, no one else is really helping much. Witness her having to be carried to the tent like a child.

BTW, Tornado, now that I think about it, I remember your resentment of Jacob for knocking out Bella's legs from underneath her when he picks her up to carry her to the tent.

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Re: Explorations

Postby Violet Sunlight » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:31 am

Greetings to all, :wave:

Hello Knives, pleasure to meet you. I look forward to reading your posts.

My entire post is directed to you Knives. I’ve made 4 main points to your thought provoking post.
Knives wrote:There's a tendency I've noticed amongst Christians to see any form of self-sacrifice as a good thing, and it's not.

1. Speaking as a Christian and speaking for myself, I kindly and respectfully say, one of the reasons I myself have a tendency to see self-sacrifice (meaning allowing oneself, and ONLY oneself, to be killed, harmed, etc., so someone else can live) as a good thing would be because of the monumental self-sacrifice that Christ made for us. As you yourself have pointed out. Also, Christ says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”.

2. Regarding Bella’s self-sacrifices:

Firstly, other than Christ, what other martyr, from the past or present, do you know of that foreknew the outcome of their self-sacrifice? Before Bella became a vampire she was a mere human, how was she to know, for example, James really did not have her mother or that Edward and Seth were actually doing quite well with Victoria and Riley?

Secondly, I know it has been said here already, but I agree that all the self-sacrifices Bella did was a good thing, regardless of her successfulness. Everyone she sacrifices herself for she truly believed were in imminent danger. It’s not like Bella did something as pointless as getting in front of a bullet for Edward. Then I would have agreed with you and thought the girl does stupid things indeed.

Thirdly, I’ve always thought, Bella sees all the humans and supernatural beings she loves as equals. Not only in regards to rights but value. Actually, she values everyone she loves more than she values her own life. Consequently, she is always doing no less than if her beloved supernatural beings were regular humans as she was.

Lastly, though I do agree with you that Bella has a martyrdom complex, I don’t believe she did it to punish herself for non-existent sins. Not even Christian martyrs do it to punish themselves for their non-existent or even existent sins. Christian martyrs know one can’t work, or earn, their way into God’s good graces or, for that matter, entrance into heaven. It is a free gift to those who believe in Christ.

Knives wrote: with the bonus extra of starting a major world religion that retains a commanding majority of the world's population.

3. Ummm, I respectfully say, actually it is not a bonus, it is actually the main point. To reconcile the relationship between sinful humans and God through Christ's priceless self-sacrifice. However, there are many bonuses that Christ does offer to those who believe in Him, free entrance into heaven being one of them.

Knives wrote: Can you kinda see how they don't compare?

4. I've personally, always thought of Bella's self-sacrifices as a good water down version of Christ's self-sacrifice.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Knives » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:00 am

I'll make a more in-depth reply to everyone's replies later (hiiiiii everyone!) as I'm strapped for time right now, but I thought I'd address a point real quick:

Violet Sunlight wrote:Firstly, other than Christ, what other martyr, from the past or present, do you know of that foreknew the outcome of their self-sacrifice? Before Bella became a vampire she was a mere human, how was she to know, for example, James really did not have her mother or that Edward and Seth were actually doing quite well with Victoria and Riley?


Because this actually dovetails nicely with my point, both present and past, about how self-sacrifice is something that needs to be thought through and weighed carefully to have significant moral weight as opposed to being a thin attempt at suicide. Predicting the future, as it turns out, is not all that hard if you act on a scale proportionate with your information.

For example, Saint Lorenzo of Rome died a martyr's death, burned over a gigantic grill for distributing the riches of the young Catholic Church to the poor (and then rubbing it in Rome's face, I might add). He could have handed over the wealth and lived, but he chose to sacrifice himself to prevent the enemies of his faith from using its own resources against it. As a reasonably intelligent (and not to mention rather witty) man, I'd dare say he realized this and went to his grave with that in mind.

Likewise, 'suicide squad' missions in various military forces through history (and sometimes today) follow the same principle; a team of volunteers, in full knowledge of their fairly certain deaths, choose to attempt an objective in the hopes that their deaths will be meaningful. They don't need prescience in order to understand their choice, just a knowledge of how realistic their odds are and a belief in whatever it is they're actually dying for. These men (and women!) act carefully, weighing the reward against the cost, and then choose to die.

Bella, on the other hand, sprints off on the cuff, barely investing enough thought in her action to actually do it, and inevitably ends up horrifically injured (Twilight), nearly dead (New Moon), putting her friends in unnecessary and horrible danger (Eclipse) or mutilated and shattered with mind-blowing pain (Breaking Dawn) because she's so downright eager to do the 'noble' thing instead of the smart one. If she'd stopped to think about almost any of these (Breaking Dawn being the theoretical exception) she would've grokked pretty easily that throwing herself under the bus wasn't a good or even workable solution, but she doesn't. Rushing towards death with your eyes wide shut is called 'suicide', not 'sacrifice'.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Tornado » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:28 pm

I'll wait for your extended reply before I respond to these things, Knives, but can you please enlarge on the unnecessary and horrible danger that Bella put her friends through in Eclipse? I'm not sure what you mean by that. It can't be Victoria's army in the general sense, because they were coming anyway, and everybody seemed pretty keen to fight them even without Bella as the catalyst for their arrival.
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