Twilight: Playing with the Cheat Codes On

Twilight Recap: Bella has finished her second day of school without incident and the absence of Edward Cullen in Biology class has left her relieved and confused. She's pleased that she doesn't have to deal with his strange hostile glares, but can't shake the feeling that his absence has something to do with her.

Twilight, Chapter 2: Open Book

   I walked swiftly out to the parking lot. It was crowded now with fleeing students. I got in my truck and dug through my bag to make sure I had what I needed.

I feel like I've been doing pretty well lately with my resolution to be fair, balanced, and relatively free of vitriol in my deconstructions, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to slip a little to poke fun at this passage. Mark Twain's thirteenth rule of writing is that the author should "Use the right word, not its second cousin," and I have to say that the mental image of students "fleeing" Forks high school does fit in a vampire novel, but it's a very different sort of vampire novel than the one S. Meyer has written.

In all fairness, S. Meyer is presumably meaning to evoke an image of high school students leaving the school premises extremely quickly -- an image that is surely burned into our social consciousness from our own experiences. However, usually those images are accompanied by a very different setting than what we have here, and I think it's worth examining that for a moment.

A major problem I have with a lot of authors of YA books is that the authors are frequently adults. It's possible, of course, for a male author to write a solid female character or for an adult author to write a decent young adult character, but all too often the adult author seems to completely forget what it's like to be a young adult, and instead "remembers" their youth through a nostalgia-soaked rosy filter of poignant memories.

On Bella's second day of school, the students are fleeing the school grounds. That word evokes a connotation of rush and running, of an almost a panicked need to leave the area. Why would the Forks students behave that way? This isn't the last day of school, this isn't -- based on the fact that Bella will go to school tomorrow -- even the weekend. The weather is cloudy and oppressive with thick, dense clouds hanging everywhere, and it is apparently January and therefore presumably pretty darn cold. There's no snow on the ground for sledding, there's no sun out for playing, and the entire town of Forks is wet and glistening from yesterday's rain (and presumably the icicles that formed over night).

I can see why the students might not linger in the parking lot to chat with their friends under these conditions of cold, wet, darkness -- I'd want to get home to the warm house and a good dinner myself -- but I can't picture the students running around in a frenzy to get to their cars. They have absolutely no reason to rush, and in my personal experience most 16-year-olds to 19-year-olds would generally prefer to stride quickly and casually to their rides rather than making a wild dash across a slippery parking lot and potentially make a fool of oneself in public by slipping on an icy patch or dropping your books in the mud in your haste.

I honestly feel like S. Meyer has thought to herself here, "Kids don't like being in school, right?" and then just written a scene where a bunch of young adults act like hyper children scattering at high velocity from their elementary school with nothing to motivate their wild rushing other than a child-like need to put as much distance between them and the school grounds as possible. I really, honestly wish YA authors would stop for a moment before writing something like this, drive down to a nearby high school, and really observe how the teenagers are leaving the school at the end of a cold, wet, January day -- I'm guessing the verb they'd use at the end of this exercise wouldn't be fleeing.

Acerbity aside, we follow Bella to her car.

   I gunned my deafening engine to life, ignoring the heads that turned in my direction, and backed carefully into a place in the line of cars that were waiting to exit the parking lot.

On the one hand, I can kind of empathize with Bella here; for years, I owned a Toyota RAV4 that was a real trooper of a car, but in wet weather the brakes squeaked and squealed and shrieked louder than the car horn could honk. We had that car checked out dozens of times, but nobody ever found anything wrong with the brakes -- apparently, they were just... naturally noisy. I would often drive through parking lots with people looking curiously in my direction and though I'm not the best at reading facial expressions, I'm pretty sure that at least a few people were concerned that I was going to run over them. I can understand that.

On the other hand, Bella is in high school. Crappy, noisy cars may gather glances in parking lots for grown-ups, but they aren't exactly a stare-worthy site in a parking lot that serves a clientele composed of teenagers who have just gotten their drivers' license and who are on either their "first car" or a loaned car from their parents, assuming they have a car at all. Forks has a population of less than 4,000 people and is a timber industry town; it really does not seem possible to me that a noisy fixer-upper clunker is a rarity in the Forks high school parking lot. I can see Bella getting stares from people as she's driving -- again, people generally dislike being run over -- but just for turning over the engine? I'm doubtful.

   As I waited, trying to pretend that the earsplitting rumble was coming from someone else’s car, I saw the two Cullens and the Hale twins getting into their car. It was the shiny new Volvo. Of course. I hadn’t noticed their clothes before — I’d been too mesmerized by their faces. Now that I looked, it was obvious that they were all dressed exceptionally well; simply, but in clothes that subtly hinted at designer origins. With their remarkable good looks, the style with which they carried themselves, they could have worn dishrags and pulled it off. It seemed excessive for them to have both looks and money. But as far as I could tell, life worked that way most of the time.

The Cullens are "of course" (and isn't it just lovely that Bella's judgmental attitude has now been directed onto the actual story she's in?) both rich and beautiful. They're rich not because Dr. Cullen makes so much money as a small town doctor, but because Alice can see the future and uses her incredible foreknowledge to play the stock market. (One hopes that Alice is smart enough to make the occasional bad investment to keep from being red-flagged by the appropriate parties, but then again I already don't understand how the Cullens manage to file their income taxes from year to year. Maybe the forging of important government documents is how Esme spends all her excessive free time.)

Alice doesn't just play the stock market to keep the Cullens in laundry bleach and a survival nest egg, though. She plays to win, and her parents and siblings flaunt it. The Cullens have designer clothes, designer cars, and designer furniture, and they demand nothing but the best out of their immortal life. And yet, I have to wonder: Why?

I like to play computer games, and contrary to my mother's long-held beliefs from when I was a child, I don't seem to be on the verge of growing out of them any time soon. One game that I occasionally return to for an intense fling is The Sims 2 -- a life simulator game where the player is given control of one or more little people and the (ostensible) goal is to guide them through life and make them successful, healthy, and happy. The game can be fun and addicting, but one thing that it really teaches the dedicated player is how to 'correctly' use cheat codes.

Cheat codes are wonderful things, and I won't hear a word against them, but they have to be used responsibly or they can seriously suck all the fun out of a game. The best time to use a cheat code is when you're so frustrated or annoyed with some segment of a game that the alternative to using a cheat code would be to just quit the game entirely. Cheat codes will get you past the Nintendo Hard level that you've tried and failed a hundred times already, they will help you when a computer bug decides to screw you out of a hard-earned victory, and they can be well wroth considering when an NPC drops yet another grind quest on you and you just want to get back to the darn story.

The thing about The Sims 2, though, is that there is no "story" to get back to -- the whole game is about building a family from the ground up and exploring the little sandbox world around them. So while it can be fun and tempting to cheat code your family into infinite wealth, maxed skills, perfect jobs, and a house the size of Hawaii, the novelty will wear off pretty fast and you'll probably end up quitting the game out of boredom.

Most of us would love to be filthy rich, or at least rich enough that we never have to worry about money again, but we'd love that because we have other things we'd like to do with our finite lifespans. If I didn't have to work, I'd have all the time in the world to play video games, write deconstruction posts, and read web comics -- and if I did somehow get bored with all that after the first 20 or 30 years, infinite wealth would allow me to get a job based on my interests rather than based on what will pay me adequately.

The Cullens, I feel, are living with the cheat codes on. They've got wealth and beauty and immortality; Alice is raking in the cash hand over fist, and they all have enough money that they can indulge their every whim and taste with fine clothes, gorgeous cars, and their own private island resorts. They have all the time in the world to indulge their hobbies, and in fact they've done so: Edward has multiple college degrees, and has attained a high level of skill at the piano as both a player and a composer. And just like playing The Sims 2 with the cheat codes on, I imagine this would be fun for awhile... but then I also expect that the novelty would wear off eventually.

Do the Cullens ever go slumming for a few decades, I wonder? As undead vampires, they lack the same necessities that humans have -- they don't require sleep, they're never really vulnerable, and they can defend themselves easily against just about anything -- so I'm surprised that we don't see or hear a mention of them ever giving up the pretty clothes and fast cars and soft furnishings, at least temporarily. Do they ever set goals for themselves, a la Barbara Ehrenreich from Nickel and Dimed -- does Emmett ever say to himself, "I'm going to go work as a day-laborer for a year and hold down a one-bedroom flat, just to see if I can," or does Esme ever decide to put in some volunteer work down at the homeless shelter?

I don't wonder this from an "understand my fellow man" perspective or even from a "charity" perspective (although surely such charity would help the vampires keep a little bit of perspective about how woobie-sad their lives actually aren't), I just wonder from a boredom perspective. When you're infinitely beautiful and don't have to struggle for anything in life, doesn't that get old after a century? Maybe this is why the Cullen kids go to high school, maybe the torture of endlessly repeating the same grades over and over again offsets their pleasure at having everything else in life handed to them on an Alice-shaped platter, but it still doesn't address the issue that the Cullens by all rights should be starved for stimulation more than they ever have or will be for blood.

   No, I didn’t fully believe that. The isolation must be their desire; I couldn’t imagine any door that wouldn’t be opened by that degree of beauty.

It must be said: Bella is either very cynical or very shallow. She's either very shallow for believing that people with good looks can get whatever they want in life, or very cynical for believing that everyone else is shallow enough to give people with good looks whatever they want in life.

Although either personality trait is consistent with the surrounding in-text characterization, and although neither trait is particularly endearing for a protagonist to exhibit, it's important to note that Bella is right: In the Twilight universe, the absolute perfection of the Cullens -- their beauty, their wealth, their immortality, and their super-powers -- opens every possible door for them. And, based on the text in these novels, I think that's how S. Meyer believes life should be.

34 comments:

Sabayon said...

Well, as you noted this lifestyle is really most appealing to the living, and it certainly attracts Bella (notice how attracted she is to the whole family's lifestyle more than Edwards dreaminess).  Perhaps then, the Cullens has foresworn human blood, but it is aften considered for obviously and profoundly better than animal blood that perhaps this whole elaborate lifestyle is designed to attract the very occasional human.  They lure this individual in with their lives and beauty then, only when the human begs, do they finally allow themselves to feed.  This is simply Edward's turn, but he is really going to make Bella beg and plead and even go so far as to marry him before he gives in.  It's really all an exceptionally twisted BDSM-esque game.
There is actually a lot of the feel of this (at least the desire to have a victim who desperately wants it) in much vampire literature, most notably Dracula.

Oh, and I am pretty sure that Bella is just that cynical (and largely vindicated in that cynicism).

Kadia said...

Isn't she in high school? How much experience does she actually have in a setting where beauty doesn't equal power? I think you're being a little hard on her by calling her shallow and cynical for drawing a reasonable (if flawed and incomplete) conclusion from the way people act around her. After all, if Edward had been socially awkward, do you really think he would have gotten away with his little "scary face" routine back at the classroom? If the Cullens weren't so wealthy and glamorous, would their eccentricities be tolerated so much?

Maybe. But in a high school environment, beauty/popularity does at least appear to trump everything else.

Kit Whitfield said...

I dunno; the Cullens have to move towns and completely re-establish themselves every two decades or so. Every time they move they have to re-establish their identities, integrate themselves into a new community, and - for the 'children' - once again pass as plausible teenagers, when teenage fashions and customs change continually. Plus they hunt their food and have to hide all that, and presumably have the odd territory war with other vampires. Added to all the family time and hobbies, it seems enough to keep you busy. After all, they'll never live like common people, as Pulp would say: if you can get out of a bad situation any time, it's all just a game, and if you're going to play you might as well play in comfort. 

--

Crappy, noisy cars may gather glances in parking lots for grown-ups, but they aren't exactly a stare-worthy site in a parking lot that serves a clientele composed of teenagers

They don't necessarily stare, though; all Bella says is that they turn their heads. Maybe it's just the automatic 'What was that?' look that everyone gives when they hear a loud noise. 

If so, though, it suggests Bella's either very suspicious or very anti-social that she just ignores them. It seems like a good opportunity to make a joke or a wry face, to establish yourself as pleasant and entertaining, and hence an opportunity to make friends. It's curious that Bella seems so determined to avoid people. She's going to have to live in Forks for a while; you'd think she'd want someone to eat lunch with - and she if she doesn't like any of the people who've approached her, you'd think she'd be on the lookout for people she'd like better. (Of course, there are the Cullens, but she's discounted them as unapproachable. Either she's holding out the hope that she'll get in with the popular crowd and keeping everyone else at a distance just in case, or she really doesn't want friends. And in the latter case, why not? It's as if she things Forks is catching.)

--

I'm no expert on cars, but is a Volvo that sexy a ride? I thought they were the reliable family-type cars.

If that's the case, it could actually be a subtle touch: the Cullens have the money to choose their own cars, and while they're trying to pass as teenagers, they instinctively prefer cars that an adult would choose. If questioned they could pass it off - 'Yeah, my dad chose it for me' is all they'd really have to say - but it might be a place where we consider how they draw the line between concealing themselves and living a tolerable life. Maybe sitting through high school is bearable for them but driving a teenage car isn't. 

Of course, I know practically nothing about cars, so somebody may wish to correct me. 

--

'The isolation must be their desire' is a curiously double-meaning sentence in this context, no? 

bekabot said...

"There's no snow on the ground for sledding, there's no sun out for playing, and the entire town of Forks is wet and glistening from yesterday's rain (and presumably the icicles that formed over night)."
I'm going to niggle; please forgive me.  Icicles almost never form in western Washington, not even in January.  It never gets cold enough for that; the temperature almost never drops below freezing.*  The moderating influence of the layer of marine air which slides in every night and out every morning is intense, and its effect is greatest near the coast and west of the Olympics (in other words, in the area in which Forks is located).  Otherwise your description of western Washington in January is spot-on: no snow, no sun, everything wet and glistening under the mist.  That's partly due to the existence of the marine layer and partly to other factors but all the bits come together to give us warm winters (to which there are some advantages); unfortunately the flip side of that is that we sometimes get June days where the temperature barely clears 60℉.  (I'm looking out into one of those right now.)

*It can, though, briefly: not long enough or hard enough to form icicles (running water) but long enough and hard enough to form black ice (still water).  That's why you'll sometimes see ditches and ponds with ice skims on them around a town like Forks, and why Bella's slip-and-fall on a small patch of ice later on in this book is believable.  

Nathaniel said...

A similar thought to the one animating this post occurred to me, but in a different context.

Usually with stories concerning the supernatural with humans involved there is a crucial balance. While the creatures of the night may be faster, stronger, better etc, this is almost always offset by acute Achilles heels. Even when fighting against beings as powerful as small gods, there is always some kind of weakness that can be exploited.

None so here. With these Cullens, sun doesn't hurt them, a stake would probably splinter and they would laugh at a cross, and probably even a flame thrower would not do much more than tickle. While they may be called Vampires, they are more akin to Marvel superheros.

Moleman said...

The Cullens are afraid of discovery because of the social mores of other vampires, correct?  Spoilers, but in book two, it's implied that being seen doing the sparkly thing in full daylight by humans that you're not going to eat is worth a death sentence from the ruling vampire clan, at least on their turf.

And, well, not to drag Buffy in, but it'd be interesting to see what an Initiative-esque organization would do in Forks.  Twilight vampires are superhuman, but not invulnerable.  Mild super-strength, durability, and super speed/agility, but that's a combination that baseline humans can at least theoretically deal with- although the various "inborn" powers are the real wildcard.  (Man, now I need to look up the old KOTOR II quotes about fighting Jedi.  Just great realistic, cynical advice on how to survive in a world where you've got superhuman threats walking around)

cjmr said...

"I gunned my deafening engine to life, ignoring the heads that turned in
my direction, and backed carefully into a place in the line of cars that were
waiting to exit the parking lot."

Wait, she's *backing* the car into a place in the line of cars?  Are they driving out of the parking lot backwards or do they just have very poor parking lot designer in Forks?

Redwood Rhiadra said...

I think that means the line goes right past where she parked and she's backing out of the parking space into the line.

Ana Mardoll said...

@57dee390c9eb4f46d201bf74c052cbcf

(Man, now I need to look up the old KOTOR II quotes about fighting
Jedi.  Just great realistic, cynical advice on how to survive in a world
where you've got superhuman threats walking around)


Ah, that brings back good memories. Atton's advice on jedi-killing was really well written and well thought out. He had a really elegant combination of flooding his mind with overwhelming emotion (lust was a popular one) so that a nearby jedi would tune him out as painful white noise and then getting in close and accidentally killing them. And I really liked how his character emphasized that he wasn't successful because he was Just That Good, but rather because it's extremely easy to just bam! kill someone who i6sn't really expecting it.

Dunno how much that would work on the Cullens, of course -- they're less fragile than jedi, it would seem.

The Cullens are afraid of discovery because of the social mores of other
vampires, correct?  Spoilers, but in book two, it's implied that being
seen doing the sparkly thing in full daylight by humans that you're not
going to eat is worth a death sentence from the ruling vampire clan, at
least on their turf.


And this is true, but it bugs me because it only answers the question "Why do the Cullens avoid discovery?" and pushes back the obvious question, "Why do the VAMPIRES avoid discovery?" It's possible, of course, that they prefer not to "out" themselves in a world where humans have superior firepower, but I'm still skeptical that the vampires wouldn't be able to work out a co-existence they could 'live' with.

Silver Adept said...

cjmr If it's anything like the high school parking lot I'm familiar with, there are so many cars that they form their own chain, even with a properly designed parking lot. Someone is probably being polite to Isabella and letting her into the queue, so she would be backing into it by moving from the parking space.

As for the substance of the post, I don't know that it's playing with the cheat codes on as much as it is enjoying what they were lacking in life. From what I gather of the way that Carlisle has been gathering his "family", he always finds them at a dark point in their lives, possibly while they feel suicidal (whether mortal or tuned, as I believe Jasper was already a vampire when Carlisle found him) and offers them the very thing they want - both death and life, and apparently, a fair bit of riches now, as well. I'll bet a lot of them know quite well what it's like to be poor and human, and the kids are probably mostly in the process of deliberately Not Thinking About It and enjoying that undeath and riches. Carlisle, presumably being the mature one of the lot, has probably gotten beyond that crisis (and a few other ones) and is now probably where Ana thinks the vampires should be, in a profession that's relatively humanitarian.

Either that, or Carlisle is a flagellant, and his choice of the medical profession is his hair shirt.

Ana Mardoll said...

Silver Adept

That's a really good theory, I like it. And yet... well, it's not that I think the vampires "should be" anything, not even humanitarians, I'm just surprised that they're so satisfied with this life of constant strength, beauty, and riches. To my mind, people don't *work* that way... it makes me think of an infinitely long summer vacation: sure it'd be nice for awhile, but after awhile I'd really start to want school/work again.

Nothing really seems to challenge the Cullens, and I just think that would be so incredibly boring and actually kind of depressing. I feel sorry for them. At least humanitarian aid would give you a sense of the challenge of helping people. Or, if they went slumming and tried to survive an artificial challenge, that would make sense to me, too. As it is, I just can't imagine how they keep their minds off their initial depression.



I mean, take Rosalie. Fur vf zvfrenoyr nobhg orvat encrq, zheqrerq, ghearq vagb n inzcver, naq hanoyr gb unir puvyqera. How does she get her mind off that? Her 24 hour day looks like this: drive to school, sit through boring classes, drive back home, make out with Emmett and/or play games with family, stay up all night listening to music/TV, repeat. I would be depressed living that life, no matter how much money and beauty I had. It's hard for me to understand why the Cullens... aren't.

Silver Adept said...

Ana Mardoll

Sorry about putting words in your mouth. Perhaps in the backstory of the vampires, there's some of this either boredom or desire for self-imposed challenges. Maybe that's why they locate so close to Queleute territory - they like the feeling of potential danger from having the werewolves nearby. But for someone who's suffered trauma right before they became a vampire, and then given a life of ease, comfort, riches, and strength, well, perhaps they have nightmares or flashbacks regularly to the world that they were in before they had all their problems resolved. Maybe they've found several centuries' worth of distractions to work with so as not to think about that.

Perhaps the stories of Twilight are Isabella's attempt to show us how miserable her life was before she was given the great gift of immortality, Edward, the Cullen family, and Reneesme. Of course, compared to the other Cullens, she's had it pretty easy, so she comes off as a brat, but it's possible.

Or maybe Forks is the Cullens' game of The Sims and they're busily
trying to subtly meddle with everyone's life to have them meet goals
that the Cullens can draw out using Ed's mind-reading abilities and then use Jasper, Alice, and the others to manipulate them toward those goals. Then comes Isabella, and they can't draw her into the game like they normally can with everyone else - they can't read her, they can't influence her (or is she only immune to Edward?), and so now they have to worry about other variables being introduced to the game, too. Isabella is a Random Event, and a fairly important one, too. Maybe there are enough of them that come along to keep the game interesting.

I still like the idea of Carlisle Cullen as either a martyr of a flagellant - it makes it so much easier to understand why he wants to pull people into his vampire family right at the worst point of their existence and try to rebuild them into something not totally broken.

Moleman said...

I swear there was a sub-section of it that went something like:

"Don't use blasters.  Use bombs, poison gas, strike indirectly when you can.  Don't give them any way out, because they can see the future, and it helps if the only available one is 'I die.' Attack the padawan if you can- their distress will distract them more than a knife in the back."

Which is pretty useful (especially when you're up against a precognitive and a telepath).  Which brings us to lost opportunity number a million:  The Initiative, Forks Branch, targets Bella so they can use her psychic distress to lure/distract Edward, without realizing she's the only person he can't sense that from.

cjmr said...

Ah. That would be poor parking lot design, then.

In a parking lot that it is expected that many cars will be exiting at the same time, a good design will have  an area where the line of cars exiting the lot can form without interfering with cars exiting the spaces.

Silver Adept said...

@9f316c9283356f2a0480f40475041b6b:disqus *spittake* Now that I hadn't considered. It seems oddly out of place, but then again, it's not like we're praising S. Meyer for her character depth and consistency, so maybe Carlisle is Jesus.

@cjmr:disqus When it comes to US public schools, excepting perhaps university campuses, the design is to fit the maximum amount of stuff onto the available plot, because the plot is invariably two to three times too small to design a proper and functioning space, including parking lots and other support structures.

Ana Mardoll said...

Silver Adept   BTW, I don't know if it's just me, but your posts make me laugh out loud. I want to put on my "smart-aleck" face and say "You mean we're NOT praising S. Meyer for her character depth and consistency?? I'm so confused..."

Silver Adept said...

Ana Mardoll Glad to bring a laugh to the table, then. Keep up with the good posts, and we'll do our best to make something funny about them.

LectorElise said...

I am actually much more sympathetic to Bella now that I'm reading your deconstruction. As a deeply anti-social, insecure and cynical teenager, (Undiagnosed depression is so much fun.  /sarcasm) I probably behaved a lot like Bella does here. Literally, my goal was to get out of high school without getting detention or people's attention.

Bella as revealed here seems painfully familiar. Uncomfortable with people, unforgiving of flaws, (in others, in herself) externalizing her self-hatred onto other people. More and more, I'm thinking 'Bella has chronic/atypical depression worsened by seasonal variation' is a valid interpretation of the books. It explain why she avoids Forks, actually. ('I just don't like it there' translating to 'I feel even more disconnected, rejection anxious, and fundamentally broken than usual there')

Or I could just be mapping the worst years of my life onto Bella in a sub-conscious attempt to understand her. Either one's possible.

Ana Mardoll said...

@LectorElise:disqus  It's certainly how I often see her as well, so it's good to know that I'm not the only one that finds her rather tragic. Annoying, sure, but tragically annoying. If that makes sense... :)

LectorElise said...

Oh yeah. It definitely a cringe-worthy reminder of why no one took me seriously at 16. But it's an ugly, scary, painful place when you're on the inside, and I just want to save Bella from her family and the chemical fuck-you that is clinical depression.
The 'killing yourself when you're depressed is a wonderful idea' accidental subtext that is popping up doesn't help. Oh, Stephanie Meyers, no.

Ana Mardoll said...

Sorry about putting words in your mouth.

No worries! I blame myself for not being clear the first time around. :D

Specifically, there's this incredibly heavy-handed segment about how
Carlisle Cullen is this sort of amazingly compassionate, omnibenevolent
figure who saved Edward, granted him eternal life, and loves him despire
his sins and flaws. In this passage, Edward is agonizing about how
badly he wants to eat Bella and he's just sooo ashamed that he's sinning
again and potentially disappointing Carlisle. Basically, what I'm
trying to say, Silver Adept is, of course Carlisle is a martyr. He's
Jesus.


Wow. This..............is interesting.

Carlisle is granting his children eternal life, but it's not a gift that they all WANT. Edward comes to really regret and angst over his turning, as he thinks he has no soul. (And, of course, it directly led to him becoming a murderer several times over, but he doesn't worry as much about that it seems.)

Rosalie, in particular, comes across as REALLY resentful of her turning, especially since she was largely turned to be a bride for Edward, who then rejected her. Her life has been a series of impacts inflicted by men who view her as a sex object rather than a person. That's got to be very frustrating for her. I'd even go so far as to level a possible accusation of hubris at Carlisle for it. Hmm.

This series just keeps getting more fun. Though I DO fear my posts may be getting repetitive. :)

Ana Mardoll said...

I'm going to niggle; please forgive me.  Icicles almost never form in
western Washington, not even in January.  It never gets cold enough for
that; the temperature almost never drops below freezing.*


I did not know that! Thank you. :)

I'm going to blame Hollywood, since I've never been to Washington in the winter. The "New Moon" movie with the "Bella is very depressed" montage has snow and icicles as far as the eye can see from her bedroom window. DARN YOU HOLLYWOOD. *shakes fist helplessly*

While they may be called Vampires, they are more akin to Marvel superheros.

At least if they were DC, we could find some Kryptonite. :(

aravind said...

And yet, they seem so completely paranoid of discovery. Why? They certainly can't be harmed by humans...

Gotchaye said...

I think what they're doing might get boring eventually, but it's not as if the vampires have actually been around for eternity already.  Wikipedia says Edward was born in 1901.  We don't get very many 110 year olds, but I'd bet that many of them wouldn't say no to another ten years of life at whatever age they liked best with enough money to do whatever they liked.  Granted, they might change their minds if they had to go back to high school...

The Marvel talk is neat.  I'm not at all familiar with the Twilight universe, but, if the Cullens are as awesome as all that, I'm very surprised that none of them have donned brightly-colored spandex. 

Carrie said...

As a person who grew up LDS, I feel like I'm in prime position to assess the Mormon-ness of Twilight. In a lot of cases, I don't see much that's specifically Mormon about the books, except for the fact that there's a sort of eternal marriage thing going on and, with it, comes perfection. That's, admittedly, pretty Mormon. Mostly, it seems like pretty standard Chritian pro-abstinance stuff. 

That is, until I read Midnight Sun. Midnight Sun was all kinds of Mormon, to my mind. Specifically, there's this incredibly heavy-handed segment about how Carlisle Cullen is this sort of amazingly compassionate, omnibenevolent figure who saved Edward, granted him eternal life, and loves him despire his sins and flaws. In this passage, Edward is agonizing about how badly he wants to eat Bella and he's just sooo ashamed that he's sinning again and potentially disappointing Carlisle. Basically, what I'm trying to say, Silver Adept is, of course Carlisle is a martyr. He's Jesus. 

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