The Twilight Saga

Breaking Dawn: A Bella we love to hate or hate that we love her?

I read in Fanpire, a book that attempts to de-mystify the Twilight phenomenon, that most fans of TTS do not like BD simply because Bella isn't really the Bella that most of us have come to know (and hate or love, lol). By the time Bella wakes up a Vampire, a Cullen Vampire (better than all other vampires), she has  a perfect life. She has the perfect husband. She made all the right choices when she chose Edward. Bella is perfect: she is hot (looking), she is invincible, she has all the time in the world to love Edward & her new family, she has a perfect daughter, she even has a super power: super self control/shield. Not to mention the clothes, the cars & the limitless wealth. She even gets to keep Charlie...and Jacob, although I do not think that Jacob should have been part of the picture (her baby & a shape-shifting wolf! forever and ever and ever. aarrgghh!). The Cullens show the Vampire world who's boss. In fact, Carlisle, Bella's father-in-law, could probably start his own little Vampy "kingdom" strong enough to rival the Volturi if that were his desire...and somehow we fimd this out because of Renesmee, Bella & edward's daughter.  It's all about Bella. The new and perfect Bella. Oh sure, Jacob's POV is in there but I think a lot of readers were a bit miffed to hear part of BD in Jacob's voice, the boring part of the story anyway. I know I'm going to pay for that last comment but really, who's story is more palatable? Jacob hunting down his imprintee in parks where little kids play while cruising around in a super sports car or Bella and a lavish wedding, vampire sex, Bella's pregnancy, Edward & Bella (will Bella's choice to keep her "nudger" destroy her  & Edward's relationship? read on to find out, Twihards. dun-dun-daaaa!), Bella and her perfect, beautiful baby who seeps through the night, eats the same foods as her parents from day 1 & can communicate every thought, feeling and memory from birth to others, and as mentioned earlier, and finally Bella becoming the awesomest  Vampire. Ever.

The fight scene in  the movie BD does liven up the book and the series but for all those who read BD after seeing the movie  they might be a bit disappointed. Fight scene or none, in BD SMeyer presents a Bella who has changed from ordinary human girl to the girl to the girl who has it all...and can keep it forever, unlike the rest of us.

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hi, Marie!!!!! How nice to hear from you!!!!

Marie... Marie.....& Ms. Marie....

Bella....is not 'just' Bella the Vampire...but, was "re-birthed" into a "perfected" being.....transcended into and suspended into a god-like, supernatural state of conscientiousness. Her Body(flesh),Blood and spirit have become actualized/perfected in what she was meant to be and become...reaching her fullest potential & purpose.

It's all symbolic.....and it screams Mormon theology mixed with christian dogma.

For example:

I've touched upon this topic in my own created posts and exchanges on this forum with you & others.

Through out the  set-design/background and foreground of the movie Breaking Dawn1 & 2...this particular artwork/painting appears through various scenes....particularly before Bella gives birth, after her final transformation from being human to a vampire(her resurrection,/re-birth) & in BD Part 2 when she acclimates being a newborn Vampire and various scenes while Renesmee is a newborn. watch @ counter 2:46 & observe the "shroud-like" impressionistic painting behind Emmet's head.

This Painting is a deliberate backdrop/symbol conveying "re-birth"/resurrection while Bella's human form of flesh, bone and blood is being transformated and ''perfected". Her benevolent "sacrifice" to put her own child's life/well-being before her own....reaps redemption/atonement for her self-lessness/unconditional love for the one's she loves. Edward also becomes 'actualized" through his sacrifices to make love to her while human and to control his vampire 'urges' despite the difficulty it causes him.

Bella...Sacrifices her body for her child....notice the painting through-out this scene, just before the bloody, painful birth and  her humanly death.

 

The result? Atonement/redemption for him/Bella.....to enjoy a perfected, ideal love with their soul mate for eternity and a "perfected" vampire hybrid child as a result & rewards for their sacrifices despite their inherent "evil" nature as a vampire.(a.k.a humanity/fallen from Grace).

The Mormon Theology intermixed with Christianity may  have been a subconscious effort from Meyer through her dreams and inspiration for her twilight story/characters...but, it screams at me in very overt tones. LDS believe humans are capable of being ''perfected" in Death and able to become "gods", flesh and blood Angels or even prophet-likeness to God, himself.

Meyer's vampires are metaphors...for being "god-like", perfected angels....

This is why the "sparkling effect" is such an important effect to her vampires....they are actual humans, absolved of sin, and perfected in death by their good works, actions previously on earth.

The Volturi or  human blood seeking vampires represent the opposite....fallen angels/human sin(evil) rejecting the righteous path and "choosing" sin. All vampires sparkle....because all humanity is created  in the image of God, yet it's the choices we make that determine our paths of self-actualization/peace for eternity. The volturi or Human-blood vampires are suspended in a constant state of hell for eternity...bound by their need for blood and a life of greed, coveting and selfishness. Their vampire bodies are encased in their own personal hell for eternity. (the metaphoric coffin).

 

Thanks Danette for the very succinct explanation of SMeyer's conscious/subconscious Mormon themes actualized in BD2 in particular.

I have some questions based on what you wrote:

"This is why the "sparkling effect" is such an important effect to her vampires....they are actual humans, absolved of sin, and perfected in death by their good works, actions previously on earth."

That makes sense, to be rewarded/perfected in death for their good works on earth but aren't most of SMeyer's vampires a bit young to have had much choice to do 'good works" while they were human? I can only think of Esme of having done good in her life by trying to save herself and her baby from an abusive man/husband/father but then again, she does try to kill herself which if I am not mistaken, is one of the biggest sins a person can commit. And Carlisle? When before Carlisle was human he went on witch hunts with his father & his father's religion even though he grew to disagree with it. And I mean witch-hunts in the stereotypical manner meaning that some innocent people were probably killed in the name of religion. So why is he perfected in death? How does that work in a way that I can understand it for all of SMeyer's Vamps (the "good" ones anyway)? What about after changing when Edward killed humans on purpose, Alice & Jasper also killed humans for food after their change, in  fact, Jasper killed many innocent Vamps just b/c Maria told him to do it so why are they "redeemed'? 

When I have to wade through a ton of Mormon theology to understand TTS my mind usually goes on auto-pilot & I do not process that information well (although I do like learning about other religions & theology). So thanks again for the easy-to-understand interpretation but I still am a bit confused. Does that make any sense?

And btw, do you like Bella more before, after or no difference after she becomes a vampire? A Cullen Vampire.

hey Marie...

Oh, I'm so glad that my Mormon or LDS theories or observations made some coherent sense to you. It's  difficult for me to interpret as well, so I just picked up the  LDS bible and read up on their basic beliefs to facilitate my understanding of it all. But, for me...Meyer is quite obvious with her Mormon frame-work for her twilight story & characters. Remember, Marie, these are just theories of mine...not overtly proven or dictated by Meyer herself.

You brought up some valid points or some holes in my theory...that I may need to expand or elaborate on.

YOU SAID:

"That makes sense, to be rewarded/perfected in death for their good works on earth but aren't most of SMeyer's vampires a bit young to have had much choice to do 'good works" while they were human?"

I agree Marie, that all of Meyers vampires were quite young when created....which potentially limit their experience while human.

Marie, I believe this is all symbolic as well....of man falling from Grace/original sin.....hence the famous Twilight apple. What do I mean exactly? We are all "born" into sin from the time we leave our mother's womb....and "age" doesn't absolve us of that sin we all inherited. We are all sinners from birth....yet, its our actions or 'choices' in which determine our paths in the after-life. LDS believe the body and soul of a person can have potential to be flesh-bone angels based upon their good works & actions. Some may be appointed by God....but, others earn it by their specific sacrifices, benevolence, charity and good works in the ideal of God's expectations he has designed for them.

Like I stated before, Meyers's sparkly vampires are metaphors for human sin receiving grace/redemption....in the after-life or in death for their  'good' actions done on earth despite the Vampire's(humanity) inherited, sinful nature they're born into. Vampires(humanity) can defy their genetics/instincts, with great sacrifice/determination if they so choose...and God will reward the vampires(humanity) greatly for attempting to follow the righteous path despite the Vampire's requirement being tethered to human blood for sustaining immortal life. The Vampire being tethered to "blood" is also symbolic or a metaphor for humanity, selfishness and original sin,(blood of Christ/resurrection/sacrifice for saving all humanity).

There are some significant differences between Mormons and Christians. Christians do not believe our bodies are perfected IN death but our soul has potential to be in peace and free of worldly pain/sin.

Christians don't believe humans can be god-like through good works on earth....Christians believe in Christ, and obeying the law of God will give you pardon for all your earthly sins...the ones you will inevitably create and be 'born' into. Christians believe the human body encases the soul....but, leaves the body/flesh in death on earth. Mormons believe the human body/soul are perfected in death...and have potential to become Flesh/bone, luminous, perfected, resurrected beings or prophets through their further 'good' works in heaven or astral/celestial plane. Christians believe only God/Christ can be resurrected and be infallible. Mormons believe  perfected  "human" angels can return/decend to earth as prophets.(hence Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon faith).

And like I stated before, All of Meyers Vampires are sparkly because they're made in the image of God and ...all are equal in the the eyes of God(humanity)..despite our inherited sin at birth. In other words., if Aro decided to become a vegetarian like Edward....he would be forgiven,too...even though he has lived  much longer than Edward...and murdered many more people....he would be forgiven in the eyes of God.

This is why age has no bearing in terms of sin and our potential to be absolved or given grace if we "chose" the actions of God over our humanly flesh/selfishness.  Meyer's Vampires aren't truly 'perfect'...and make mistakes all the time due to their inherent, humanly form.

This is why I say Twilight is a mixed bag of Mormon and Christian theology....whether it was shaped intentionally or subconsciously by Meyer...we shall never know, but it is fun to theorize/assume anyway!!!:)

As for which Bella "bodily" form/character I prefer.....Hmm....I have to say Human Bella. I like the juxtaposition of  externally fragile/soft, human Bella(internally strong), next to externally strong, perfect Vampire, who is internally fragile/compromised.  Its a perfect love story....or fairytale, yet Bella as a human  truly becomes the savior. I find beauty in internal strength and conviction...rather than overt  'perfection' as the world praises/seeks. I found Bella most beautiful and strong when she was most desiccated/fragile while pregnant with her half-bred vampire child. unconditional love and bodily sacrifice at it's highest form. She could have aborted her child due to it compromising her own life....yet, chose to sustain the pain/agony of the whole pregnancy for the acceptance/love of her unborn child. Also, what is most beautiful...is she didn't want to kill what was apart of Edward....despite his protests. For me, Bella found her true strength in becoming a wife and mother, than becoming a perfect, eternally beautiful, strong immortal vampire.

Hope that made sense Marie....please feel free to critique any of my ideas....or expand on them....

thanks for creating such a great topic....I wish more people would join in...the more thoughts..the better, as far as I'm concerned.

love...

Danette:)

To Marie's examples of the Cullens not living such a perfect life before being changed, and some (like Jasper) did not live a good life after being changed.  Another example I wondered about would be Jane and Alec.  How does this theory apply to them?  They were barely of age to be changed when they were.  Similar to Alice, they obviously had some type of ability as humans and were considered witches, but it seems like they were far to young to really understand that they had a "choice" of being fallen or being perfected. 

Hi, JJ....

I get where You and Marie question the ability for Meyers 'young' vampires to have the cognitive ability  to understand right  from wrong..with limited experience or time on earth before they were changed. Like I stated to Marie before....humanity is all born with original sin....being very young, middle aged or very old doesn't absolve us of this inherited ''condition". The volturi, Blood-seeking vampires, newborns and the Cullens are all created with "human" and inherited original "sin". Their 'choices' or innate compass(the soul) is what determines their fate. Also, Meyer touches upon "rules'' that govern humanity and the vampire world. These rules are obeyed or enforced because each member of that particular society chooses to abide by them or not. Why do the Cullen choose to abide by the volturi's parameters and yet, follow their own Moral Compass? Morality is developed at a very, very young age...and children know right form wrong. The difference is children/young adults may not have the wisdom to forecast the consequences of their choices.

Wisdom is acquired usually by trial/error...or mistakes so-to-speak...and learning from them or not. I think we witness how Edward evolves and learns self-acceptance for who and what he has become. Bella is the catalyst in all the emotional growth for Edward...because she accepts him for what he is from day one....he just learns to accept her love. Bella evolves and grows through her mistakes....and learns to love/appreciate/accept herself as much she accepts others unconditionally. Bella becoming 'perfected' as a vampire is synonymous with becoming self-actualized/perfected within herself.

If an individual is "perfected" in becoming a vampire then I don't understand someone like Jasper.  He was also "perfected" when becoming a vampire, but did "evil" in drinking from humans and even killing other newborns for no reason other than it was their time to be destroyed.  Then he gross a conscious (sort of) and decides to leave with Peter and finds Alice and joins the Cullens, but struggles the most their the veggie diet.  If he was "perfected" at the moment of his transformation, then how is he able to go from evil to good?  And what would be the point or incentive for him to do so?  Either evil or good, either way, he is "perfect" because he is a vampire. 

JJ,

The perfection  or "godlike" appearance of Meyers vampires are a subconscious collaboration of Mormon beliefs. If you look on top of many Mormon churches....an Angel named Moroni or Nephi who appeared to Prophet Joseph smith to write the golden plates...founding the Church of latter day saints/bible. Mormons believe every human "born" has potential to be perfected by their choices and acts during and after death.

I think Meyers vampires aren't Vampires at all....but, fabrications of her religious beliefs and fantasy is what shaped her characters. I believe the Cullens are really Angels or symbolic religious figures...and the volturi represent the "fallen" nature of mankind.(evil-persay).

here is a little back ground about the mormon belief:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affirms as its Third Article of Faith:

‘We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.’ [A of F 1:3]

“In these remarks I shall set forth some views of the church of Jesus Christ on this subject.

“Saved as here used means resurrected and returned as a sanctified, celestialized, immortal soul to the presence and society of God, there to pursue an endless course of eternal progress.

“To get a glimpse of what this means requires a knowledge of the form and nature of God and of man and their relationship to each other.

“Man is a soul, that is, a dual being, a spirit person clothed in a tangible body of flesh and bones. God is a perfected, saved soul enjoying eternal life. He is both immortal and exalted to the highest glory. He is enjoying that blessed condition which men may attain to by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. (“How Men Are Saved,” Ensign, November 1974)

Broken down, then, what Mr. Romney taught about God is this:

  • He is immortal.
  • He is perfected.
  • He is exalted.
  • He is saved.

Because God is saved (per Mr. Romney’s stated definition),

  • He is resurrected (immortal).
  • He is sanctified.
  • He is celestialized.
  • He is returned to the presence and society of  God.
  • He is to progress eternally.

As interesting as that is, I do not believe that answers my question. 

 If he (Jasper) was "perfected" at the moment of his transformation, then how is he able to go from evil to good?  And what would be the point or incentive for him to do so?  Either evil or good, either way, he is "perfect" because he is a vampire. 

JJ,

I didn't mean to be evasive with my response, I was really attempting to answer your thought-provoking questions.

Because, like I've stated a few times...humanity is all born with "original sin" or selfish/centric dispositions due  to falling from Grace. Jasper, Edward and even evil Aro are all created in the image of God and "equal" in status/value....no human is absolved of sin or is truly Good. How humanity values and stratifies human life is a much different process than God's. God is only perfect and infallible....and humanity is created in God's image of perfection. So... all humanity has equal opportunity to perfect themselves to their fullest potential, if they choose to deny their innate selfish nature/flesh for a life following the righteous path/rules of God.

Lucifer(satan), was God's most beautiful, intelligent, appointed angel...until he WANTED TO BE GOD, rejected him and didn't want to obey/serve his laws. Everyone has a free will to choose their behavior....Jasper chose to no longer fulfill his innate needs/duties to Maria and changed to follow a path to redeem/value  human life. Edward rationalized only killing bad people...he knew like Jasper....this was wrong/unjustified, regardless of whom these people were or  what they have done.

Humanity will Sin....and be sinful...but, God will pardon those who repent and reflect on their choices. Aro kills with no regret or conscious.  True Perfection or self-actualization is only attained through atonement,selflessness and sacrifice. Aro is self-serving and disobeying God's laws...therefor will never have the opportunity to be perfected in God's celestial kingdom as long as he so chooses. remember, JJ....Meyer's created literary characters are just symbols or metaphors  based from Mormon beliefs....not to be taken in a literal context.

" It's all about Bella. The new and perfect Bella."

-- I just want to say, duh!  Of course it is all about Bella.  It has ALWAYS been all about Bella, lol.  

Now to be a little more serious.  I do not love or hate Bella.  She has always been an annoying character to me, however most of her "mistakes" and whining serves the story (meaning it would be boring without it).  Bella has the self esteem the size of a peanut and that doesn't really change in BD.  She hopes that she is strong enough to save everyone but doesn't really believe that she can.   

I feel like the heart of this thread topic is "what is wrong with BD" and so that will be my focus. For my biggest issues with BD you actually have to go back to Eclipse.  The point of Eclipse is for Bella to really look at the decision she is making to become a vampire and the consequences it will have. 

1) Bella will have to give up Jacob. -- Turns out not to be true. 

2) Bella will have to give up her parents -- She keeps Charlie, but loses Renee.  (not sure how they are going to explain that to Renee why she never gets to see Bella but Charlie does.)  

3) Bella gives up the future of having babies of her own. - Turns out not to be true. 

4) Bella will be a newborn with a powerful thirst for human blood and uncontrollable. -- Turns out not to be true.  

 

Now on to BD and what we are told. 

1) Bella needs to get papers for Nessie and Jacob to escape -- Turns out not to be true. 

2) That the Volturi will come and everyone is going to die. -- Turns out not to be true. 

3) Jacob hates imprinting and doesn't want to imprint. -- Then suddenly goes on a joy ride in order to try and imprint.  Then suddenly DOES imprint. 

** So basically after feeling lied to for two books now, by the time I got to the end of BD with there not being a battle, I very much hated the book.  There are aspects that I like about it, but they seem to be swallowed up by annoyance that they make it hard to remember.  Instead I'm just left frustrated. 

Thank you JJ and Danette for your comments. I cannot respond now; just wanted to let you know I will be back a bit later today to address the points you both brought up. You both have given me a lot to think about. I also have some hand written thoughts about BD...thoughts about THE BABY & THE WOLF  ( aaarrgghhh!  I don't think that I will ever get used to that set-up.)that I will post later. Okay, be back at a more godly hour when I can clack away at the keys of this computer without waking everyone.

oh, btw, you are correct, JJ in treating this as a "why I don't like BD" thread. It started out as a response on another thread about the movie BD2 being awesome due to the fight scene or sucked because it wasn't as good as the book BD? Either way it was all about the movie. I decided to post this here regarding the novel BD. JJ, you are so clever to get right to the heart of the matter.

Hi Marie and JJ....

This is why I like many points of view regarding a topic...because 'individual' perspective can add so much dimension to it. It's like looking into a painting....everyone will see something a little different or add something new to decipher/interpret it's meaning/purpose.

Meyer's story is ART...and how we interpret her abstract words/thoughts and actual intentions is very subjective(unless Meyer specifically states otherwise in her true meaning or actual intentions in her abstract thoughts).

it's interesting how I interpreted your post question, Marie, about  love or hating BD Bella in an indirect/abstract/philosophical way...and JJ, answered you directly...in concrete form. I LOVE IT!!!!! but, this just reinforces how we approach art from an individual perspective. Marie, I'll be waiting to hear what you have to say about both of our interpretations....it shall be interesting!!!:)

@ JJ....thus is all true what you clearly stated about Meyer seemingly written BD with a bunch of contradictions or even LIES, that didn't back up her previous books/material.

But, this is "WHY"  I brought up the "MORMON" ideology again.....to get inside the head of the creator....then it may make a little more sense to why BD was a package of unrealistic perfection, in it's highest form....

Whether Meyer was deliberate in her approach or  it was crafted on a subconscious level....(which most creativity is grounded in both experiences)....I believe BD Bella is a reflection of Meyer herself, reaching her ideals/ self-actualization in the  "now" and rewarded in the after-life. This is all based upon LDS/Mormon theology that they are perfected in death...and REWARDED for their good choices, sacrifices and benevolence here on earth.

JJ, Bella got it all....because of the Path she chose when presented with specific obstacles...she chose the righteous, unselfish path. (for the most part, she's not infallible and prone to sin due to human nature).

YOU SAID: JJ....

1) Bella will have to give up Jacob. -- Turns out not to be true.

she didn't have to give up anything, he wasn't her destiny anyway...she had to figure that out through her individual "growth" experiences/choices.

2) Bella will have to give up her parents -- She keeps Charlie, but loses Renee.  (not sure how they are going to explain that to Renee why she never gets to see Bella but Charlie does.) 

This is symbolic for parental acceptance and unconditional love for our children..regardless of the choices they make in adulthood..it's their choices and parents have to learn the painful lesson of respecting those choices even if we don't agree with them. Rene has always given Bella freedom, too much freedom, and not enough parenting/guidance....so it wasn't a significant transition for  Bella's relationship with Rene. But, I agree, JJ....Meyer didn't explain how Bella would never see her mother again.???

3) Bella gives up the future of having babies of her own. - Turns out not to be true. 

This is very significant to the whole Mormon/LDS believe mixed with Christian theology about REDEMPTION/SACRIFICE/ATONEMENT. Bella and Edward were rewarded for their sacrifices/unselfishness. Renesmee was a reward for their choices, and was meant to be or destiny as God intended. A "miracle" presented in the most impossible circumstances...and that is what "faith" and unconditional love is all about. Personally, I think Bella getting pregnant is the most significant part of Meyer's story...from a love/romantic perspective and also from a spiritual one. Especially from a LDS point-of-view, where the union of marriage isn't sealed or attained to it's highest level until they have children. A baby is a physical representation/miracle of their love.

4) Bella will be a newborn with a powerful thirst for human blood and uncontrollable. -- Turns out not to be true. 

Again...rewarded for her choices in denying/over-coming her innate, selfish(in-born) impulses and behavior. Bella, Edward and Renesmee are revolutionary....making changes and re-writing history. They are giving birth to whole new species of vampires(symbolic for humanity), over-coming their sinful natures...and choosing to behave against their DNA for a greater cause. Alliance/peace with the wolves...and a high order of an evolved species.

This is a classic case of good against evil, man vs. man and man vs.himself and man vs. nature.

Give me your thoughts....

love, Danette

Ps./

its nice to hear from you, JJ...I've missed you!!!:)

 

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