Thank you, December! I’m glad to have this thread back and get a chance to discuss things with you all.
I’d like to preface this post by saying that I apologize for it being so long. I also would like to add that Carlisle is my second favorite character from the saga. I find him extremely fascinating considering his background and the choices he has made. I do not see him as the perfect vampire. In my opinion, he does have his flaws and those lay in his choices to change others as well his reasons behind them, hence my question.
As we all know, Edward, Esme, Rosalie, and Emmett were on their deathbeds when they were created by Carlisle. Carlisle, with his own volition, created them. There was no discussion between the other party whether or not he/she would like to join him. In fact, Carlisle has justified each transformation. For the sake of this topic, I will focus on Edward, Esme and Rosalie’s transformations.
For Edward, Carlisle states: “It’s was Edward’s mother who made up my decision” (NM, 39). At this moment, Edward’s mother demanded that Carlisle ‘save’ Edward. We know that Carlisle has been by himself for about 250 years and has contemplated whether or not to create a partner, as Edward describes in TW: “He wasn’t absolutely sure how his own transformation had occurred, so he was hesitant. And he was loath to steal anyone’s life the way his had been stolen” (340) . Carlisle was never the given the choice to be changed, however, he didn’t give his own coven a choice either, as he tells Bella in NM: “After all those years of indecision, I simply acted on a whim” (NM, 41). As we later learn from Stephenie’s personal correspondence, Carlisle acted out of loneliness when he created Edward. Edward should have filled Carlisle’s void. He has gotten exactly what he needed and wanted: a companion who understood who he is, sharing his ideas and frustrations, et al. So why did he then continue changing people afterwards?
Esme failed her suicide attempt when she encountered Carlisle for the second time. She already decided, for herself, to not live yet her choice was not acknowledged. Carlisle had changed her because: he remembered her and “[felt] saddened by the turn her life had taken, Carlisle changed Esme to save her.” (Carlisle's character bio). Yet again, it was Carlisle’s choice: “He didn’t want her to die and so he saved her”. Esme’s transformation can be construed as Carlisle’s desire to have a mate out of physical love, but did Esme want to be his?
Like Esme, Rosalie also wanted to die. She even voiced her opinions aloud and was still denied: “I begged him to kill me. When Esme and Edward returned home, I begged them to kill me too” (EC, 161). When Carlisle, Edward and Esme found Rosalie, she had been brutally assaulted and left for dead. Carlisle took the initiation to change her. Rosalie recalls Carlisle saying, “It was too much waste. I couldn’t just leave her.” Carlisle’s intention for Rosalie was to provide Edward a companion, in essence, to repeat his actions with Esme and again without Rosalie’s decision. It is uncertain that Edward wanted a companion at that time or whether he voiced his desires to have one, yet, the key point here again is that Carlisle decided for Rosalie; to give her another life when she didn’t want one.
What strikes me is that after Rosalie’s transformation, Carlisle states that Rosalie isn’t obligated to stay with him but rather has a choice: “That’s up to her, of course, she may want to go her own way” (EC, 162). What is the purpose of this choice when her other choice was denied? Is her choice to feed on humans or animals that much more important than deciding on whether to live or die? In my opinion, the choice of what they eat does seem to be a higher value than their individual lives. This choice is a substitution for their existence. Each coven member has to decide how to spend their second ‘saved life’. They have been instilled a new kind of conscience, which dictates that killing humans is wrong. Yet why does Carlisle’s decision seen as a saving a person inside of robbing them of their destined path: death? But have they been saved or more importantly, did they need saving? When asked by Bella why he chooses to continue his medical duties, Carlisle states: “What I enjoy the very most is when my enhanced abilities let me save someone who would otherwise have been lost. It’s pleasant knowing that, thanks to what I can do, some people’s lives are better because I exist” (NM, 34). Aside from treating people who are injured in the human sense, how does this transgress to creation? What gives Carlisle the right to create others? Who is he to decide that someone should or should not be changed?
It is arguable whether or not the second ‘life’ of a vampire is a blessing or a curse. Carlisle is still struggling with this concept: “That’s the one part that I’ve done the best I could with what I had to work with. But was it right to doom others to this life? I can’t decide.” (NM, 38). It seems for Edward that it is both. If he wasn’t changed, he would never have found Bella but he would have been rest assured that he had a soul. For Rosalie, it is only seen as a curse, a reminder of things she will never possess. Perhaps for Carlisle, he may see his family members as people who have been taken too soon and he already came to terms what his vampirism meant for him. I just find it hard to believe that after remaining ‘clean’ and alone for 2 centuries that Carlisle had acted on a whim to create others and continued to do so. Maybe he is so lenient to their slips because he realizes how easy it is to give into temptation. However the temptation here is not feeding, but the temptation of creating, which he stopped right after Emmett.
“Darkness will never take me…because I have you. Light of my life, Marissa. That’s what you are.”-
Banner by the awesome, beautiful and incredible Nena!