Hi,Danette! *Waves* I guess I sort of zoned out from everything for a few months. But now I am back to stick around :) I am very glad to hear that we have similar thoughts on this subject matter. I had always liked reading your comments too ^^
I am in full accord with what you have so beautifully said. Everybody commits mistakes as the story proceeds,but it'd be wrong on the part of the reader to judge the character based on those mistakes. For ex: Edward leaves Bella. It was a mistake. That doesn't make him a bad person. The ulterior motive was to protect what he loved the most on earth. Bella hurt Jacob by staying away,yet again the ulterior motive was to keep him from hurting some more in the future. Jacob leaves Bella in New Moon,only to protect her from what he is,from the truth that he thought was too much for her to handle. But these people are not bad. Everyone is noble. When I put down the book,it had thought me so much. To be a better person,to care,to love,to be good and for me a book should leave its reader something good to mull over or teach its reader at least one good thing. Twilight fulfills that.
And its very true that we are all vampires in one way or the other trying get what's not ours or what's wrong. The characters tell us how wrong it is to do that...its beautiful,every part of the story. :)
Thanks for reading my commentary and affirming my words.
I really like how you view the Twilight characters as a sum of Parts...rather than labeling them as "one" black/white identity.....of just "bad" or "good".
I like what you said, Smitha....That everyone is "NOBLE"...and for some that may be a hard pill to swallow. But, I understood that concept....in which all of the twilight characters represents the cross-section of Humanity... Allegoric vampires...reaping and taking from one another....sucking the blood/life of our host/victim. It's a innate factor of all human beings and animals. Survival of the fittest. Except...the difference between animals and Humans...is the ability to 'reason' and make choices beyond our instincts or to protect our own interests. Yes, animals can be loyal(particularly wolves/dogs)...but, I think that loyalty stems from their innate genetic coding to be ''loyal" within a pack...for the survival of their species. A sacrifice...for the greater good of their kind/promoting the survival of their species/genetic material.
Humans have the ability to "choose" to sacrifice their own lives for the greater good of another due to the abstract concept of "LOVE'', caring and devotion to another human being(s).
I think Meyer makes this distinct difference/Parallel between Love/loyalty, innate instincts between animals and humans with the comparisons of the wolf pack/Jacob and Edward/the Cullen Family. I think the wolves represent the “animal” part of our nature; physical, violent, passionate, uncontrolled, the part of "humanity" Bella is rejecting and leaving behind. Humanity is represented by Jacob/Native Americans/wolves and their special culture/relationship/connection with the Earth.
The vampires/Cullens choose their lovers, they control their passion for human blood/instincts. Wolves don’t, they imprint. However, the Cullens represent a highly evolved "vampire" rejecting the feline, predatory animal qualities/innate needs inside them that yearns for blood. All humanity is Born to have primal needs/instincts....yet has the potential to evolve, grow and learn beyond this primal capacity if one chooses too. The human brain is a malleable state and never fixed...and has the capability to adapt/learn until our mortal death.
Jacob represents a Highly evolved "animal" and human wolf hybrid.... an "alpha" who rejects/overrides many aspects of his genetic material/code for the sake of another. He sacrifices his "Pack" and prescribed genetic rules of conduct...to benefit the well-being of Bella, the Cullens and their unborn child/offspring. Jacob still imprints unvoluntarily on baby Renesmee....and ultimately didn't have a choice....due to his animal instinct/genetic code dictating this. HOWEVER....what is different about Jacob's imprint....IS RENESMEE IS A 1/2 Vampire...or "enemy of the tribe" which ironically stimulated the "wolf/shapeshifter" gene inside them. Jacob imprinting on Renesmee promotes a new alliance with the Hybrid/cullen vampires.... potentially creating a whole "new species"....essentially, strengthening their genetic material/existence/survival against the enemy(bad/natural vampires/Volturi).
Another point I would like to discuss is, Carlisle. Carlisle selfishly created Edward and resurrected a family of vampires due to the need of companionship. Carlisle selfishly chose/dictated lives for individuals who had NO cognitive awareness or consent in the process. He rationalized this process...by essentially saying he saved them from mortal DEATH. He is a son of a preacher....knowing he's playing with the hand of God and the fate of his "victims" souls. If Not...then why did he wait so long to create a companion/family for himself...if it was the right/moral thing to do? If he was really saving them from DEATH?
Carlisle...knew it was wrong/selfish....so his absolution or atonement for his acts of selfishness and cleansing his abhorred "vampire status/being" was to be a Doctor. Ironically...A healer....one who preserves human life instead of taking it. A vegetarian "vampire"....promoting a lifestyle and instilling his family to reject their genetic/instinctual needs/desire for human blood. Carlisle is bathed or submerged in blood or his ultimate ''temptation" on a daily basis being a doctor. This is Carlisle's penance or daily act of contrition....to remind himself of who he is and what he has done. Carlisle is a Noble character...on the ultimate extreme....facing his 'fears and mistakes' head on....and trying to overcome what he has become and repent for what he has created.
What do you think...Smitha?
Danette,I like how you have expressed that different set of characters in the book represent different human qualities. Its a very interesting analogy. And I agree completely with you when you talk about the change. Every being's behaviour on this planet is not set in stone,everyone has a capacity to change- good or bad changes. What we see in this particular story are the good changes,however painful they are for the person going through that,which helps them grow stronger and face/fight their worst nightmares. I personally feel that it is the main thing that attracts the readers. Jacob growing into a stronger(in all senses),Edward learning from his mistakes,Bella learning from hers are some major changes we see especially towards the end of Eclipse. We also see growth along with the change.
About Carlisle...did he really create two new vampires selfishly? Was selfishness the sole reason? He may not have realized at this point when he is creating them that he was at the beginning of resurrecting a whole new clan of vampires. But what he did,I'd like to believe,was a result of boredom,selfishness to have a companion/friend,obligation of a doctor who is still capable of saving a victim,and the most important of all - Carlisle tells Bella that Elizabeth Mason ordered Carlisle to save her son and also that he saw something pure in Edward's face. A face his own son would probably have had...these emotions may have struck Carlisle so much so that he rushed Edward to his house and turn him. These emotions may have wavered his long-standing judgement about taking away one's soul. But these are only one side of the coin. What you say,Danette,could be a stronger theory. As for your question about why did Carlisle stall so many years before creating a vampire,that is very interesting. All I can think of is that,maybe he hadn't had a strong reason (the ones he had while changing Edward and Esme) to change others. I know DEATH is enough reason. But if he changed one person and saved them from the hands of death,then he'd have to keep changing. No partiality. I know the same rule applies to Edward and other following victims. That could be debated. However,Carlisle is noble as you say.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply...
And I read over your key points...and "one" particular one stood out....and has been a controversial issue for me in the past...
Carlisle's decision to Change Edward due to his Dying mother's request to save her son and take any measure to preserve his life. Did Edward's mother have intuitive/psychic abilities? Did she understand who/what Carlisle was...in fact...a supernatural being? A vampire? And cognitively understood what the good, vampire Doctor was capable of doing for her dying son?
Mind you...Smitha...this is from Carlisle's perspective. We have no real way of knowing..the real voice/intentions of Edward's mother. Like any mother...desperate to save/protect their child...they will say "anything" regarding the perservation of their lives. Did Carlisle take this request too far? Did Carlisle rationalize his decision...by the omission of Edward's mother's words? Do you think Edward's mother wanted him to be a VAMPIRE? Is that really salvation from MORTAL DEATH?
Edward came from a religious background....Death is salvation....and peace with God. This is why Edward has so much dissonance/self-loathing about becoming a Vampire. He questions the status of his soul..because of who he is and what he has done maintaining his vampire status. Carlisle knows this through his own personal life and teachings from his father...that being a Vampire is an "unholy" thing. Carlisle and his father hunted down the very things he "became" and he decided to create despite the consequences to himself/others.
I believe Carlisle acted in "selfishness"...and that is why he waited 360 years to create a campanion/family for himself. He rationalized his decision to change Edward...due to his mother's proposed dying REQUEST.
I think Carlisle's Character represents the Church officials/clergy in Humanity....even very, very "good" people are not absolved of sin, selfishness and fallible decisions. The Apple on the cover of twilight...symbolizes this.... ALL HUMANITY EQUALLY SUBJECTED/CAPABLE of SIN/TEMPTATION....and yet, like you brilliantly stated, Smitha....we are all capable of being NOBLE as well. It's not the sins/mistakes humanity makes(that's inevitable)...it's how we chose to LEARN from those mistakes that makes us capable of NOBILITY.
Edward...submits into his temptations early in his vampire transformation. Like an adolescent, he rebels/rationalizes feeding on the human blood of "murders/bad "people"...that it was OKay!!! He knew it was wrong and went against Carlisle's teachings. Regardless of whom these people were or their intentions...Edward had no right to take their lives. Edward learned...and he stopped his selfish behavior. This is why it was so difficult for Edward to Change Bella....he knew it was wrong. He knew it would be selfish, even if Bella consented to it all. HOW could she possibly understand what she's consenting, to?
Notice...even at Bella's death bed...Edward waited as a last resort to "change her". He used a hypodermic needle into her heart instead of physically biting her/poisoning her system with his venom. Only when that doesn't work....he desperately bites her on all her pulse points...and she then becomes a vampire. Is it a coincidence that he physically has to "bite" her flesh, taste/suck her blood so she could authentically turn into a vampire? Was Edward doing the Nobel thing by trying to bypass the natural 'vampire' process of biting it's victim/host? Was it less official or omission of guilt if the "change" was done by the "needle" only? Have you ever though of that, Smitha?
I've asked this question several times on this forum...but, I never got the answer I was searching for..., So...I will ask you...Smitha, my wise/intelligent friend: Do YOU THINK THE MOST UNSELFISH AND NOBEL THING EDWARD COULD HAVE DONE....IS TO ALLOW BELLA TO DIE A NATURAL DEATH AND NOT CHANGE HER INTO A VAMPIRE?
Really think about that question....not with your human heart....but, an unconditional one...unbias one... without self-appointed interest/gain. Think about what Edward was fighting for all along....and his beliefs about his and her soul. Did he really save her and did he repeat the cycle...that was done to him and his adoptive siblings? Regardless...If Bella consented to this alternative life or believed she wanted it....did she really?
Think about it...Smitha...
i'll be looking forward to hearing what you think....if Edward was truly Nobel saving Bella from mortal death. For her sake? his sake? Renesmee sake? or all of the above? Or...was the true noble act of unconditional love... to allow Bella to die a mortal death and go with in peace with GOD?(like Edward wanted for her.. all along). WAS BECOMING A VAMPIRE SALVATION OR DAMNATION?
You won't believe it when I say that the thought 'How did Edward's mother know about who Carlisle was?' did cross my mind. I referred New Moon once more and I quote
"'Save him!',she commanded..."
'"I will do everything in my power,'I promised her taking her hand...."
'"You must!',she clutching my hand with enough strength that I wondered if she wouldn't pull through the crisis after all. Her eyes were hard,like stones,like emeralds. 'You must do everything in your power. What others cannot do,you must do for my Edward'.
'It frightened me. She looked at me with those piercing eyes,and for one instant,I felt certain that she knew my secret....'
So here,we are left with no choice but believe what Meyer tells us. And considering your words,the request could have probably been taken in a different way than how it was intended. However,Carlisle felt Elizabeth Masen knew what he was. In that one moment of her death,he felt she just had somehow figured out who he was.How,we do not know since there is no other section of the books mentions Edward's mother in any good detail. And Danette,the general tone of the above conversation sounds very odd to me. The fact that this mother has stressed on 'Your power' just makes me believe that she somehow knew the secret. Again,you say mothers can say anything to save their children in the most difficult times. So considering that maybe she did do that. She did say this 'anything' so save her Edward. All she wanted was for her son to live. So she probably didn't care how he lived. At one point,Edward tells Bella that his mother just prayed everyday that the horrid war would end whilst Edward was planning on joining it. Imagine the state of her mind. She was scared her son would perish in the war and she just wanted him to live. Desperately.
Then there is the question of Edward's beliefs. It is somehow contradictory to me. Often I feel Meyer created a confusion there. Edward's mother wanted him to somehow live,even if he lived a life of vampire and yet up until then she had instilled good faith and morals,ethics and religious beliefs into Edward while he grew up. Do you see how two things clash there? But somehow I believe Edward's mother just said those things to Carlisle to save Edward. I know I know....you may not agree with me on this one here ;)
Danette,regarding How an 18-year old,innocent,inexperienced Bella could have possibly known what she was consenting to...its a mystery to me as well. I have pondered over this endless times. I have to be a bit subjective here; Meyer's creation of this character called Bella has many similar characteristics I relate myself with. There have been so many times while reading the books,I have felt like I'd have acted the same way if I was in her shoes. Bella,as we know,is no normal 18 year old high school teen. Her actions are very mature and not irresponsible. Like Renée says Bella was born middle aged. So based on that,the readers have to just go with the choices she made for herself by marrying Edward,by asking him to change her,by letting go an entirely different life she could have possibly had(happy one or not). But I am gonna let the doubts slip and be certain about one thing : Edward and Bella's love. Its the solid bond we read through out the saga and trusting that bond,we just have to conclude that her future would not have been a nice one if she had moved on in New Moon. (Jake in her future picture is an entirely different matter,altogether). So that love was enough to blind her from seeing the reason. The sun had blinded her from knowledge. She didn't mind even if she killed people in future,she didn't mind if she wasn't going to be herself for a few years of her new life...because she was getting much more in return : Edward for an eternity. Well,what can we say...love is blind.
Oh boy...I am gonna be honest and say I never thought of Edward and the hypodermic needle of venom. I have wondered why he never really just bite her directly but when you put it that way...I think I have to agree with you that Edward was just trying to bypass the sin(?) he was committing. That's a brilliant observation,Danette!
As for your question,immediate answer that popped into my head was YES. As per his original plan(the one he contemplates as he sits in her rocking chair in her bedroom after Port Angeles incident) he was supposed to let her be human and die old and follow her. That would have been the right thing to do. If Bella was a different person,if she was the one who didn't want to become a vampire and yet loved him,that's how probably the story would have gone. His love for her made him selfish and didn't let her die naturally and wanted her all to himself for an eternity. And whats more,she begged him to take away her humanity (no pun intended).Edward being Edward cannot resist giving her whatever she asks,so he changes her. So I can say without thinking twice the noble thing on his part would have been to leave her human. But I don't see how well that would have gone down with her...but from Edward's POV,my answer to your question is 'yes'.
But...if Edward had acted nobly,unselfishly,rationally without being influenced by her choices,requests,demands would it have done her good in the long run? Was Bella the kind of person who could digest it and carry on her life with Edward staying human? Given that Bella's life was fairly void of any religion at this point in her life,would she care if Edward was giving her a shot at humanity,a shot at finding salvation? At this point in her life. Would she really be happy? Normal at the natural life Edward was allowing her have?
How are you?
Sorry about the delay in my response to you....I'm a busy, busy Mom...(as I know you're busy as well)...and thanks for allocating the time to compose your intellectual replies/ideas.
My thoughts have been with "you"..Smitha and composing a proper response to your commentary.
I would like to thank you for stating I inspired you to think/write...that is an amazing compliment. But, Smitha...that feeling is reciprocal....and your feed back has equally inspired me!!! This is what I strive most for on this site...give/take correspondence. I don't seek to have my ego elevated...or complete 'agreement' from others....but philosophical conversations...layered with ideas/thoughts that provoke enlightenment/understanding and critical thinking. I hang my "ego" at the door....because I will never presume I know everything...or can't be taught something new. So thank you..Smitha....for your courage to exercise your thoughts without "fear" of being ridiculed or attacked for your beliefs...whether you're in agreement with me/others or not!!!!
Yes...Smitha...Meyer created many paradoxes within the twilight series...and that is why we are HERE discussing them. The Twilight saga...is anything but a frivolous teen romance or a bubble gum sweet indulgence. Why was this forum created if so? If the material is so simplistic.....why are we here discussing some very ethical/moral issues heavily embedded within the story's foundation/themes?
So....Smitha...Really the core of twilight's themes/moral/ethical issues lies on the shoulders of the "reader'' interpreting these character's behavior's/motives.
Smitha...What you and I declare as Noble behavior....may not be recognized by others. What Meyer may view as noble/just behavior for her characters...may not be in universal agreement from her readers. Did Meyer intentionally create such ethical/moral dissonance for her characters and for us readers to ponder/evaluate for ourselves?(it worked for me)...(ha).
So....I do question Carlisle's intentions to create "Edward" as his first MALE companion after 300+ years of abstaining from this selfish urge. And justifying his intentions....by receiving the mother's consent to take any measure/devise possible to save her dying son. The question remains Was Elizabeth Mason desperate? Or was she in fact intuitive/psychic....and understood what she was asking of the good "vampire" doctor to "give" her son immortality? Did Edward genetically receive his mother's telepathic/intuitive psychic abilities? Where these inherited/existing telepathic abilities/gifts enhanced when he became a vampire?
Or...was Carlisle justifying his decision to create a 17 year old dying boy a vampire...a victim against his will? And why did Carlisle choose a male companion, first? Naturally... a Woman would be an a ideal mate/companion? Is making a young person, a malleable "vampire" saving them from Mortal death considered "noble" or the ideal ?
The paradox in Carlisle's decision/rationalization is CONTRADICTORY....because...becoming a vampire is a fossilized, stagnant existence. Rarely does the vampire "change'' or grow beyond it's cognitive/emotional age, status and experiences when they were changed. Hell for a young person is to retard/limit emotional and physical growth. Edward was literally entombed within a narrow time-frame of his own experiences/maturity.
Yes...Edward was capable of acquiring book knowledge/learning...HOWEVER....it would still be interpreted/viewed from his limited, 17 year old mentality/understanding. This is why he could repeat high school over and over....because his Mind/mentality is stuck within that place. This is the consequence of never aging....or defying mortality....the natural progression of life...and acquiring new experiences, through the cyclical process of life.
Physical aging is the right of passage or evidence of learning, evolving and progression through time. The vampire defies this process...and Carlisle knew he was denying Edward and his other created family members of the natural aging process and 'progression' in time. Ironically, the dichotomy is Carlisle Robbed Edward of life and "purpose"/hope....when he turned him into a vampire to 'save' him. Life is not living...without progression, change and purpose....it's just existing.
OH...Smitha....this is why I asked you the question about Edward allowing Bella to die a natural death....would be the most Noble/unselfish act he could do. YOU ARE THE FIRST PERSON TO AGREE WITH ME....SMITHA!!!! You understood the underlying contradiction in it all. Many focused on his final 'decision' to change her was to honor Bella's choice/destiny...or Renesmee would be Motherless if Edward allowed Bella to Die a human death. TRUE...but these are "human" conditions/reasons traded for a unnatural existence...defying the natural processes of life.
I think Meyer painted two worlds/realities....and the vampire world appears all perfect on the surface....wrapped in a nice neat bow....but is it really? I think the reality of this alternative/supernatural existence boils under that glossy surface...and has many strings attached.
I think many readers thought the ending of Breaking Dawn was too perfect and without conflict/consequences. But, when the reader sees the fine print...Meyer clearly illustrates via Carlisle/Rosalie/Edward's characters...that existing for eternity as a vampire doesn't come without obstacles.
Bella is the 'first' of the Cullen vegetarian/vampire family...to consent to this alternative lifestyle/supernatural existence....but, due to her limited age/experiences does she fully understand what the consequences will be for her choices. Bella did get insight into the possibility of mortal death when choosing to give birth to her 1/2 breed immortal child while she was still human. Bella faced her own mortality/death with more acceptance than Edward due to his limited vampire mentality/reason of living being rarely and permanently altered by his love for Bella. Edward couldn't cope or mentally adapt to the thought of losing Bella. So...I think Edward chose to ultimately change Bella....for his own salvation....not necessarily for her best interest or his newborn child's.
Now...we know...Bella sub-existed/adapted without Edward in her life...in new Moon. But, Edward nearly Killed himself....when he thought Bella was dead. Becoming a vampire only intensifies LOSS and Pain...with the inability to adapt, change or evolve their emotional status or state of being. Meyer made this the ultimate tragic flaw of being/becoming a vampire....and evident in characters such as Victoria, Edward, Marcus...who couldn't recover from the loss of their focal point/meaning in life.
SO...Smitha...what would happen if Edward or Bella died while existing as vampires? would Bella off herself without Edward in her eternal, immortal existence? Would Edward...knowing his past behavior, indicate his inability to cope without Bella? Or does Renesmee shift this priority or purpose for living beyond for each other?
In my opinion...if Meyer writes a 5th book...these are the issues or consequences she could expand upon within Bella's choice to become a vampire....and will she really be happy just existing for eternity with Edward? Maybe....religion or spiritual enlightenment may enter in Bella's thought processes and will be one of her permanent life shifting experiences as a vampire. Will Bella be enlightened one day that she may have been too young to fully understand/comprehend all that she gave up, when she impulsively made her decision to become a vampire instead of remaining human? Will Bella someday realize how she tortured Edward physically with her blood and the amount of control he exhibited for the sake of preserving her human life/experiences?
As a vampire, will Bella empathize with Edward's amount of ''control" to make love with her while human, to honor her wishes? How she tempted him with her human blood/body and the nobility/honor he exhibited in not submitting in his/her desires? Will Bella understand what Edward compromised in himself/moral fiber...to honor her request to change her into a vampire despite his reluctance/protests?
For me...Smitha....it would have been a much more romantic story/premise if Bella remained human....and their unique relationship endured through old age, sickness, vampire enemies/conflict and natural death....:) and Maybe Jacob still looming in the foreground. Just a.... "Maybe"....but then....we wouldn't have these great issues to discuss or to determine if these Characters acted with noble intentions or not?
I hope to hear from you later....sorry so long....and I hope my ideas were coherent....and not a long-winded, blob of boring words!!!