Is Bella a reliable narrator for the story? If not, then how should we as the reader read what Bella tells us throughout the saga?
"Bella's is a lack of self-knowledge; If Bella had understood herself better, she could have saved everyone a lot of heartbreak. Sometimes that happens when you try to do the right thing."
"The questions were stupid, because I knew the answer: I'd been lying to myself."
-- If Bella has been lying to herself, then she has also been lying to us the reader. Given this knowledge, how do you think we should read what Bella says?
-- If she is lying (and she says that she was) how do we know what is real?
-- When did Bella begin lying to herself? Is that something that we can see in the text? Or a question that only Meyers can answer on Bella's behalf?
I think it is a possible explanation, but I do not personally agree with it.
Bella is far too intimate with Jacob for her to have a brother/sister (family) relationship with him. You pointed out that Bella is closer to Jacob than she is to Charlie and because of that she made the assumption that her feels were romantic when they were not. I cannot see that happening, and maybe that is because I have a brother and I cannot imagine having the relationship that Bella has with Jacob with my own brother.
I do not see how Bella could be far too intimate with Jacob. I have not brother but I have friends and yes, it is nothing intimate to hug friend or share kiss saying hello or good by. I would say, Bella is much more reserved!
(And compare how she tries to seduce Edward. She is not shy at all!)
Okay. How about this? Is it possible that Bella is more intimate with Jacob than other friends because of the imprint that Jacob has on her ovaries that would produce Renesmee? Just a thought... :) I think Bella knew she loved Jacob, but not forever kind she has for Edward... so is it possible that they (B and J) felt attraction due to the ovaries? Hmm... just a thought :)
Toni (or anyone :) )
If it was all about Renesmee, then you know she has another half (Edward). It takes two to tango and in this case make a baby.
Why wasn't Jacob attracted to Edward?
Maybe not in a romantic way because clearly both are not gay, but maybe sort of like Seth in that Jacob was more accepting of Edward or if Jacob wanted to hate Edward but for some reason he couldn't explain... he just couldn't hate Edward.
Okay....Did I tell you how much I like this discussion?:) I love how you ask detailed/thought provoking questions....that to me...is the definition of a give/take discussion!!! This is also my definition of education and learning...THANK-YOU!!!!:)
Sorry, If I wasn't lucid on answering your specific questions regarding Bella's thoughts contradicting one another and her status as a reliable narrator. But, I thought I did.....
By saying this:
1."If we observe Bella's words/actions from these provided quotes...you can see an established pattern of consistency/truth in trying to convey boundaries and employ 'honesty" in her feelings with Jacob. She loves him....but not in manner that constitutes or compares with her bond with Edward. Defining her bond/'love" for Jacob is the difficult aspect...it's muddled...but, Bella consistently uses comparable words such as my "friend". Bella states she comes to the realization that she loves Jacob "more" than a friend on pg. 528 in Eclipse...but it's just not enough to change what she feels for Edward."
2. I think Bella's Friendship/relationship with Jacob was necessary for Bella to "experience'', test/compare her love for Edward as "truth" and "reliability" within herself. Its the empirical laws of science and our metaphysical world....consistently expresses the same polarizes compare/contrast concepts. How would humanity understand/appreciate the meaning of life and love with out the comparable alternatives? Light/dark, Good/evil, life/death, young/old, warm/cold, unconditional/conditional love....you get my point. Bella had to experience truth....in order to understand it.
3. "Bella was a reliable narrator consistent with her limited experiences at each period of self discovery and growth...she became more self-aware. The more self aware you are....the more you understand what you want from others and within yourself. Hence...."self-actualization"...which is a life long journey of trial/error and discovery."
My point I was trying to illustrate is this.....How is truth/wisdom/self-awareness acquired? THROUGH EXPERIENCE!!!!(good and bad). Bella was young, and with limited experience. She experienced the truest/most purest form of unconditional love with Edward starting at the very young age of 16. Many people don't experience that type of love/feeling for another person in their entire life time. (much like 100+, virginal, vampire Edward). Some choose not to get that close to another...or allow themselves to feel/love another due to insecurities, internal baggage or extraneous circumstances(like Edward,charlie). Bella was no exception....she is emotionally guarded.....and within her limited experiences...she has witnessed the pain/abandonment from her parents' relationship/divorce. Renee is more of a ''friend"/equal to Bella than a mother fiqure....and charlie has been emotionally distant/awkward presence for most of her childhood/life.
Basically.....Bella knew she wanted Edward for eternity....but was "scared" to have it or even accept she was worthy of that type of love!!! Also....After Edward left her in New Moon....this fed these insecuries/self-doubt/unworthiness even more...this is why she appeared to become more confused in Eclipse!!!! For one...she was aging...and Edward was not...and the reality of her situation/circumstances had to be dealt with...because life goes on whether she is ready to face her fears/insecurities or not!!!! Bella's urgency/impulsivity to become a Vampire...was in part because of "fear".....fear of loosing Edward or questioning her worthiness of him.
Her relationship with Jacob respresents "safety", security and predictibility. She knows he loves her more than she loves him....and there is false security in that!!!!! Edward's relationship with Bella is anything but safe/predictable....and it scares her....more than becoming a "vampire"....and more than loosing her humanity/life....due to her observed failed experiences with the relationships that surrounds her.
Those quotes we both provided...illustrates a pattern of self-discovery and growth. Bella appears to be contradicting herself....but, in my opinion....she is clear on what she wants....she just has to believe it within herself. How does she gain this internal trust within herself? Through her experiences and contrasting and comparing her "humanistic''/safe/worldly relationship with Jacob and idyllic/celestial/soul-mate relationship with Edward.
Bella finally faces her fears within herself....and accepts she is worthy of Edward's unconditional/unworldly type of love....in which she knew she wanted all along.
I am very glad that you are enjoying our conversation and banter. I am enjoying it too. As stated, I agree with your assessment and understand of Bella as she learns more about herself. She is a young teenage girl and if she really had everything all figured out then the story wouldn't be as easy to relate to. People love Bella because she isn't perfect and the reader is able to feel like they can go on the journey with her in self discovery. That is really awesome.
I think the failure of my question being answered is in myself in not asking it well (not in you not answering it). So I will try to rephrase my question and will do so separately. Because there are so many "reply" options that we get, lol.
"People love Bella because she isn't perfect and the reader is able to feel like they can go on the journey with her in self discovery. That is really awesome. "
So...wise and true, my friend.....
Thanks for that.....this is how I read Bella/Twilight as well....
yes. also, if you all recall, in the movie Eclipse Bella did tell Edward that it was not about choosing who she wants. It was about choosing who SHE WANTS TO BE. She always felt out of step as a human, awkward, uncertain.... Jacob is the sun and Edward is the moon. Sun is the warmth, human and Moon is the cold, vampire, forever. Bella felt more herself in the Moon world than in Sun world.
I think Bella was also considering everyone's feelings in her decision. Like, her father.... Jacob and so on. she knew if she became a vampire, she would have to stop seeing everyone to 'deceive' them in believing she is dead.... if she was to become a human still then she would have to deal with her aging, clumsiness and knowing Edward will always wait for her on the side....
I think she and Edward imprinted on themselves such as soul mates because they were meant to be. Like in BD, Bella did say she is meant to be a vampire because she is happier, not out of step anymore.... Hmm...
Wow!!! First off, this is a very detailed explanation! Secondly, I totally can see where you get by saying these. I very much agree with you. I do believe in my opinions that I have stated earlier, but I also agree with yours. Yours is a beautifully explained! :)
for the Positive affirmations in regards to my writing/articulation. I know you directed this compliment to me yesterday....and I wanted to thank you for buttering my "ego" up....I don't get that too often around here...THANKS!!!!:)
And Toni....I've read your previous remarks....tell me more of What you feel....I want to know your side. I feel the more perspectives...the better.
Your very welcome. I was not trying to butter your 'ego' up ;) but all the same, no problem! lol.
I am trying to word things better but you are doing a heck better than I am! ;)
I will be adding things as I think more ok?
Instead of thinking about this from Bella's perspective. Think about as debates/readers here on the site.
Debater 1 brings the quote below as their justification that Bella doesn't really love Jacob. Bella clearly states here that Jacob is like family to her and she is NOT in love with Jacob.
Quote:1 I thought carefully. "I miss you when you're not there. When you're happy," I qualified carefully, "it makes me happy. But I could say the same thing about Charlie, Jacob. You're family. I love you, but I'm not in love with you."
Debater 2 uses the quote below to say that Bella 'is' in love with Jacob. That Bella feels more than friendship for Jacob and is in fact IN love with Jacob.
Quote2: "Jacob was right. he was right all along. He was more than just my friend. That's why it's impossible to tell him goodbye- because I was in love with him. Too. I love him much more than I should, and yet, still nowhere enough. I was in love with him, but it was not enough to change anything...."
Both Debator 1 and Debator 2 have documented evidence for their statements.
I believe that Bella meant what she said at both times. However, her statements are clearly contradictory statements and therefore I do not see how both can be valid. For me it makes either Debator 1 or Debtor 2 wrong and where they cannot both be right.