Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

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Re: Explorations

Postby smitten_by_twilight » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:53 pm

Mostly waiting for clarification also. Are you referring to Bella's gesture with the sharp rock in EC? And what alternative were you suggesting for NM? Even Alice thought it was the only hope.
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Re: Explorations

Postby sarahniamh » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:32 pm

While Bella's rushing head-on into imminent death could be viewed as "suicide" from an outside perspective from Bella's point of view it was the only option. the teen and young adult brain sees everything idealistically and thinks itself invincible, perhaps SM was looking into that with Bella's actions. it, honestly is an accurate portrayal of a teen mind (especially in such blinding love). from Bella's point of view, the noble and heroic actions are that of a society where everything ends up in an ideal or perfect situation if the right thing is done. this could also portray how society has evolved to be relentless towards the wholly good and innocent acts of self sacrifice. just a thought ;)

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Re: Explorations

Postby Violet Sunlight » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:44 pm

Hello everyone,

Knives - Thank you for responding to my post. This post is again respectfully addressed to you. And again, I have made 4 points to your responses to me.

Knives wrote: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.

1. I kindly beg to differ, in my humble opinion, in a dire life threatening circumstance, having time to think things through and weigh them carefully, before the self-sacrifice is to be acted upon, is a luxury not a requirement for the self-sacrificial act to hold moral weight. Whether the decision is made in a minute or in a day, whether one wears a smile or frown, whether one's socks match or not, if one does anything to risk one's life to save another from death, it is a self-sacrifice (though, it is not the only example of self-sacrifice, one can't help but to put it on top of the list), regardless of the outcome. In a scenario like this, one is a hero whether one wants to be or not, regardless if no one ever knows about it or, if everyone knows about it.

Also, making predictions is the easiest thing to do. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt, that the exact prediction(s) will come to fruition is another matter entirely. The number of predictions (whether one, none or thousand) is not relevant to the outcome of the self-sacrifice.

2. Regarding Saint Lorenzo of Rome: Though I have not read anything about Saint Lorenzo of Rome, I don’t doubt everything you said about him in your post is true. So I am just going to give my opinion on what you have written. I am failing to understand how self-sacrifice for the economic justice of another, morally weighs more than the self-sacrifice for the life of another. Also, just because someone dies a martyr’s death that does not mean, that before the individual decided to commit their self-sacrifice, they foreknew the exact outcome. All one can do is make probable predictions (death being one of them) and hope for the best.

3. Regarding the ‘suicide squad’: I noticed you said (underline is mine) “fairly certain deaths” meaning the highly experienced ‘suicide squad’ does not know with absolute certainty that the outcome will actually be death for all or any involved. Also, their objective is not to have a meaningful death, that is a result of having a meaningful life that led to the self-sacrificial actions that may or may not have caused their death, not the objective. The objective would be, to get everyone involved to safety, ASAP, with little or no harm to everyone and anyone involved. Further, they are not choosing to die, they are choosing to risk their life for the safety of another and hoping wholeheartedly they don’t die in the process. Though, they are fully aware that death is a very real possibility.

Knives wrote: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'.


4. I don’t think Bella was eager to do the ‘noble’ thing per se, I think she was eager to save her loved ones with everything she had, even her life, if that’s what it took. I don’t get the impression Bella was trying to impress anyone and win a purple heart or something. The safety of her loved ones is worth more than any reward anyone could have ever given her for her self-sacrifice.

Lastly, rushing to one’s death with the objective to save another’s life is a heroic and noble self-sacrifice. Rushing to one’s death with the only objective being to end one’s life is suicide.

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    Re: Explorations

    Postby corona » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:17 pm

    Let me throw a few more cents into the pot.

    I would agree that Bella's self-sacrificing actions are noble.

    I would also agree with Knives' point that Bella's actions can seem reactive and not guided by rational thought. I think there was a reason for that.

    Since this was a story about obsession (or romantic possession as phrased by December), I think there were instances where SM decided not to dwell on Bella's inner dialogue regarding those moments where she felt compelled to act to save the ones she loved. There is a distinct emotional tone throughout the series regarding all thoughts of Bella towards Edward (with a dropoff in BD2). I think SM consciously filtered out details in order to sustain that tone.

    That isn't the way I would have done it, I would said that is a big mistake, that Bella needs to be fleshed out more and displaying more of an independent mind. That would have been good advice for most stories, but not this one.

    I'm not sure if you could have gotten both. I think we get a taste of it in BD2, where Bella is more of an independent player, seeking fight training with others when Edward can't do it, or cutting Edward out of the loop on getting fake ID's for Nessie and Jacob. Edward is certainly there, but he doesn't loom over Bella's thoughts the way he did in the first 3 1/2 books. I would posit that Bella doesn't necessarily change that much, it's that SM decided to finish the book writing Bella in a different style. And, doing so changed the emotional tone of the story.

    So...Bella's thoughts were filtered down and the emotional aspect was pumped up. You can see a bit of the original Bella there in the first pages of TW, the snarky and slightly cynical girl from AZ, but she soon becomes consumed by all thoughts of Edward. And, it worked. Maybe it didn't work as a literary masterpiece, but it sure did connect with a lot of readers and made a bazillion dollar industry.

    That may explain partly why SM loved Jacob so much, as a male version of the snarky Bella that necessarily had to be sacrificed for the story.

    There IS a difference between SM's understanding of Bella and how she portrays her in the story. That goes back to the old "Show and Tell" argument. We are told Bella is this, but then SM shows us that. It should at least be considered that SM knew that very well, but decided to portray Bella to us in a way that sustained the emotional tone, knowing that the full scope and pungency of Bella's thoughts had to be filtered out in order to accomplish that. Rules were broken, yet SM still found success.
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    Re: Explorations

    Postby Tornado » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:27 pm

    It could also be that, as with many things, the fact is that women are more emotional creatures than men, so that means we behave in ways that often confound our male counterparts. How many women do things that men decree are not only irrational, but positively stupid? But, in most cases, women understand the reasons for these actions, because we think similarly. Now, I still think some of Bella's actions were not sensible, but I think I understand it better, or am at least willing to do so, because I know of the overpowering need a woman has to protect those she loves, and, as I said earlier, stressful situations are not the best times for rationality to assert itself. Bella was reacting as a protector does - in "mother bear" mode, if you like.

    She was also acting in the only ways she could think of a the time, and, given the information she had at these points, her behaviour is not entirely irrational. When we can see things from an objective standpoint it is much easier to find fault, rather than allowing for the emotion and lack of information in the character to be taken into consideration. There is a reason that most of us figure out who the bad guy is in movies before the character themselves do - it's because we are furnished with everything neatly in front of us. It's easy for us to come to that conclusion. The characters themselves, if they are drawn realistically, do not have this succinct a view of the situation.
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    Re: Explorations

    Postby GrayceM » Tue May 01, 2012 2:53 pm

    Well stated Violet Sunlight!

    I'd like to add a few opinions on this myself...

    Knives wrote: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.


    One of the defining beliefs of the US military is that the "reward" always outweighs the cost. Every sacrifice is terrible and every sacrifice is necessary. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one. Each person who volunteers for duty knows that there is a very realistic chance that they could be killed. They join up because of their different beliefs, sense of honor, occasionally not having anywhere else to go, and various other reasons. Now, if you are talking about suicide bombers/terrorists...their deaths have no meaning for most except for the innocents that are harmed by their actions. That is not noble or moral. That is murder! Don't mistake of someone volunteering to be "in harms way" as being the same as someone choosing to die.

    Bella believes that James is only after her and that he will hurt anyone and everyone close to her to obtain her. Yes, she initially believes that she's going to save her mother and to keep Charlie from being harmed, but she doesn't wait on Edward or any of the others to get there or tell Alice and Jasper because she does not want to take the chance that any of them could get hurt. In the book she tells James that she's left Edward a letter asking him not to avenge her. She doesn't want him to be harmed even though she is pretty certain that she will be killed. She wants this to be a self sacrifice, but what she doesn't count on is Jame's sadistic sense of the game. He is only doing this for sport and to get back at them for Alice. Edward: "His existence is consumed with tracking, and a challenge is all he asks of life. Suddenly we've presented him with a beautiful challenge - a large clan of strong fighters all bent on protecting one vulnerable element."..."You wouldn't believe how euphoric he is now. It's his favorite game, and we've just made it his most exciting game ever." In the movie, she tells James to leave Edward out of it because he has nothing to do with this. She believes that if she goes to him and dies, the Cullens, Charlie and her mom will all be safe from him once the object of his game is dead.
    Do you think she thought her death wouldn’t be “meaningful”? The Cullens were immortal so her "sacrifice" could literally have been remembered forever, instead of as a footnote in a history book. And most assuredly it would have held mass amounts of meaning to Edward, Charlie, Renee, Alice, Carlisle...etc.

    Knives wrote: Predicting the future, as it turns out, is not all that hard if you act on a scale proportionate with your information.
    Then I think Bella did an excellent job of deciding what her goal was considering the information she had. And since she wasn't killing off an entire town, only trying to stop the threat to her family, I would also say that she kept it very "on scale". Was there another option? James didn't offer not to kill her if she sent Edward to him. Nor did he offer to let her mother go. Do you think Bella believed for a moment that James wouldn't still kill her mother had she actually been there? I mean really, Renee would have witnessed a vampire kill her daughter. That would draw some attention wouldn't you think?

    Knives wrote:...he chose to sacrifice himself to prevent the enemies of his faith from using its own resources against it.
    Not sure what this statement actually means. He didn't give the wealth back to keep the Church from using it against the poor?
    Bella choosing to sacrifice herself to prevent her enemies from hurting the others because of her... the only thing I see different (aside from one being a fictional teenage girl and the other a man in Roman history apparently in the position to have some effect on the church) is that this man, actually died and Bella was saved at the last moment.

    Knives wrote: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'.


    I'm not certain what you mean by "barely investing enough thought in her action to actually do it," what action does she do without a lot of thought? She didn't have a whole lot of time to decide anything after James calls. Can you clarify that statement?
    In NM, she did not intentionally try to kill herself. She was trying to console herself with his "memory" that spoke to her when she was doing something foolish and dangerous. She never thought she was in real harm. The cliff jump could actually be seen as selfish but unintentional. Going to the Volturi, she had no choice and there was nothing to think about. This wasn't just some guy who broke up with her and ended a high school crush. This was a supernatural being that couldn't possibly exist, couldn't possibly see her as anything other than a mere human and couldn't possibly want to love her and be with her; that did exist, was consumed by her presence and who literally did not want to continue to exist if she was no longer in the world. What would you have done to keep him from going to the Volturi?
    For Eclipse, here's what my 16 year old son had to say about the 3rd wife's sacrifice. "Why didn't she just cut herself? I mean come on...did she really have to kill herself if the only distraction needed was the smell of blood?" Bella was smarter than that. She wanted to help, she felt like the weak link and wanted to be the person that changed the outcome. She wanted to protect her friends and Edward. She wanted her death (if that's what it came to) to have meaning. She had no control over the fact that Victoria had set all this up because of her, or ultimately because of Edward. She worked with what she had. A knowledge of what would drive the enemy to distraction long enough for Edward to gain the upper hand. The newborns she was fairly sure would be distracted by her scent.
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    Re: Explorations

    Postby Violet Sunlight » Sat May 05, 2012 6:47 pm

    Hello everyone.

    GrayceM wrote:Well stated Violet Sunlight!

    GrayceM – Thank you for your compliment. I too, enjoy reading your posts and everyone else’s posts as well.


    corona wrote: I would also agree with Knives' point that Bella's actions can seem reactive and not guided by rational thought.

    Hmm. Most of Bella’s actions seem reactive to me, the rational ones (all her self-sacrifices) and the irrational ones (just to mention one of the many, choosing to be the human/”singer” girlfriend/fiancé/wife of a vampire).

    corona wrote: Since this was a story about obsession (or romantic possession as phrased by December), I think there were instances where SM decided not to dwell on Bella's inner dialogue regarding those moments where she felt compelled to act to save the ones she loved. There is a distinct emotional tone throughout the series regarding all thoughts of Bella towards Edward (with a dropoff in BD2). I think SM consciously filtered out details in order to sustain that tone.

    I, for one, am glad SM chose to have Bella express her self-sacrificial acts the way she did. It made them seem more . . . instinctual . . . genuine.

    corona wrote: I'm not sure if you could have gotten both. I think we get a taste of it in BD2, where Bella is more of an independent player, seeking fight training with others when Edward can't do it, or cutting Edward out of the loop on getting fake ID's for Nessie and Jacob. Edward is certainly there, but he doesn't loom over Bella's thoughts the way he did in the first 3 1/2 books. I would posit that Bella doesn't necessarily change that much, it's that SM decided to finish the book writing Bella in a different style. And, doing so changed the emotional tone of the story.

    While I do agree Bella’s tone did change once she became a vampire, IMO, her independence didn’t feel it had changed at all. Even before Edward walked into her life, she was independent enough to be able to give her mother/best-friend the space she needed. Though, it was painful for Bella to do so. Also, she’s been known to be independently savvy and resourceful before she became a vampire, surprisingly towards her beloved vampire family and even more surprisingly, towards her psychic vampire-best friend. Moreover, in BD2 Bella’s preparation methods seemed more orderly, IMO, because finally there was ample notice of the enemy’s arrival, so there was the luxury of having the time to prepare accordingly.

    I also agree, in BD2 the obsession and/or possession tone in the story becomes more subtle. Not only for Bella but for Edward too. I think it was because the element of the human-side-effects, meaning human-mortality, divorce and/or abandonment were, IMO, literally laid to rest. Usually, one feels obsessive or possessive about someone else because they fear losing them. If the fear is eliminated then the side-effects of the fear (obsession and/or possession) disappear as well. Further, being that the vampire-mate-bond is for life, and it now, not only applies to Edward but Bella too, at this point of the story the only thing the happy vampire-couple has to fear is one another’s physical destruction and the physical destruction of their loved ones. Well, another thing to fear is enslavement by Aro or anyone else strong enough to do the job. In any case, maybe these reasons are why the obsession and/or possession trait was not eliminated entirely, being that Twi-vampires are semi-immortal.
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    Re: Explorations

    Postby Tornado » Sat May 05, 2012 11:34 pm

    Okay, everyone, I'd like you to meet Harry. He's beautiful, and, in spite of being a bit jumpy when we first met, he has settled down remarkably quickly. He is two years old, and looks like a great dog, who learns quickly.
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    Re: Explorations

    Postby Openhome » Sun May 06, 2012 12:34 am

    Oh, Tornado!! He's gorgeous. I'm so happy for the both of you! :clap:
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    Re: Explorations

    Postby Tornado » Sun May 06, 2012 2:43 am

    Oh goodness! I just realised I posted this in the wrong thread. Well, I'm a dill, aren't I? I was going to post something remarkably profound here, and now I've forgotten what it was.
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