Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Thoughts on my first reading of Twilight.

We had some thought provoking discussions on the Lex, I thought I'd share my opinion on the matters. All page numbers refer to Twilight.

page 92 Edward say he wishes Bella wouldn't try to figure him out because he may not be a superhero. It reads:
"Oh...I see". "Do you?" His face was abruptly severe, as if he were afraid that he'd said too much.
"You're dangerous?" I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He'd been trying to tell me that all along.
He looked at me, eyes full of some emotion I couldn't comprehend.
"But not bad," I whispered, shaking my head. "No, I don't believe that you're bad."
"You're wrong." His voice was almost inaudible."

about the emotion mentioned above...

Remember how Edward is able to think many thoughts at once(and often,although Bella can't understand that)? I wonder if he isn't doing this here?

Right after she says "you're dangerous" he makes the face. Could he be thinking these thoughts all at once: leave, don't leave, I wouldn't hurt you, will I hurt you, love me even though I'm a monster, run and never look back Alice saw you changing, you're ephemeral, I'll lose you someday(after having read the series several times, I now realize this)

The first time I read it, I was so confused. If he's a vampire (I knew this because the friend who recommended the series told me), then he is the bad guy (we don't know yet he's a "vegetarian"). Even through this I could feel the internal struggle. That is the crucial point of this emotion that you can sense even though, as a first time reader, all the questions have not been answered. (Great job, BF Steph, making us love the unlovable even though we have no real reason to - yet.)

To be totally honest, I read through TW so fast the first time, I never really understood how much Edward loved Bella (even though he said he did) until the day she went to the Cullen's house. Until then, it seemed like it was all about her blood and pretense of not having it spilled in front of him. Well, I guess this is about Edward's intentions, of course based on my first reading (so things have changed) but I'll share.

When we first see Edward (in the cafeteria) he is perplexed by Bella, then becomes so hostile in Biology. Later he saves her from Tyler's van, but he seems very annoyed, perturbed even, by that fact (so we think). At Port Angeles, once again he saves her life, but makes his saving her seem more like a mission than an act of affection (examples: He is driving so fast to get home, doesn't take her affection well, and he even mentions he's never tried so hard to keep one person alive before).

At this point I started thinking of her as a sort of project.

Then in the meadow he mentions that he saved her so as not to spill her blood before him (because he would lap it up). The first time I read it, I really thought that was why he saved her. I missed a crucial word, which I'll clarify below. It is very strange reading the meadow scene under this misapprehension. It seemed like he needed a "fix", like he had found his heroine, and since he was a good vampire, would just like to have it around, not "use" it. Not that he really Loved her. By this point, Bella is hooked, this gorgeous, dangerous boy following her, being her savior, watching her - interested in her. Bella is the type of girl that would fall for that alone. (no offense Bella, I was, too)

I wonder when Edward realized he did love her? I think it could be in the meadow. I don't think he knew for sometime. For me, I imagine it as a sort of annoying preoccupation with her (and vice verse) then the light comes on. I sort of liked to think she was a project at first - a need he had to fill - that fulfilled him in more ways than he ever could have imagined.

On later readings, I of course cleared up the misconception by the following revelation:

Page 272, in the meadow:
"Of course, then you were nearly crushed to death in front of my eyes. Later, I thought of a perfectly good excuse for why I acted at that moment - because if I hadn't saved you, if your blood had been spilled there in front of me, I don't think I could have stopped myself from exposing us for what we are. But I only thought of that excuse later. At the time, all I could think was, 'Not her.'"

I believe this "excuse" was both for himself (along the didn't-know-he-loved-her-yet lines) and his family (as he had out them in danger of being discovered). "Later" and "excuse" here prove that it was love (he might not have called it that yet), not the need to stop her blood being spilled. Notice,he didn't use the word "reason, he said "excuse"." I used the two interchangeably during the first reading. On the second, and subsequent, readings the difference in the words was blinding.

Thanks, Stephenie Meyer (BFF) for knowing the subtle difference!


Amy said...

This is why I can not wait to get my hands on Midnight Sun! I can't wait to get inside of Edward's head. I've read that first chapter more times than I am willing to admit.

Of course I can't wait to get my hands on The Host and Breaking Dawn. Your BFF needs to write faster! :-)

I had never thought of Bella as a project before. It's an interesting idea. I might have to reread Twilight (the sacrifices I make!) and then maybe I can contribute more to the conversation. You've given me some interesting points to keep in mind while reading.

Nicole Meier said...

Thanks Amy. I'm not totatlly sure that I still see Bella a "project" exactly, but I do think that Edward might have been telling himself something along those lines in the beginning.

I'm going to Reread it, too. I've gone through it about 3 times, but I feel this time I'm going to try to pay better attention. The last times I've practically sped read to get to all my favorite scenes again.

I can't wait for Midnight Sun, either. I would love to see Bella's change from Edward's perspective, too.

By the way, I wrote a letter to BFF imploring her to write faster. I'm pretty sure it will work since we are, after all, BFF's.

(I do love how subtle she can be. For example the "excuse" instead of "reason", I totally missed that the first time I read it and it really cheapened the way I pictured Edward's love of Bella. I, now, apreciate knowing that he was fighting loving her just as much as he was fighting letting her love him.