Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

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Re: Explorations

Postby andypalmer » Sat May 22, 2010 7:13 am

Openhome wrote:
Jazz Girl wrote:However, in BD, right before she finds out she is pregnant, she finally is willing to live as a human a few more years. She finally understands what the others have said, this change can never be reversed and is literally eternal. At last she sees her humanity as the gift it is, and now that she is willing to accept it, it is taken from her.

Here's where we differ. I don't see Bella's willingness to live longer as a human to be a realization of the magnitude o the change. She finally has an aspect of being human with Edward (... sex) as being, in her mind, as good as it gets, and is fearful that her change will put those feelings aside for a time. It's still all about her love for Edward and her chance to express it and not at all really about "humanity" or anything as profound as that.

I'll even go so far as saying that if Bella had been confident that her physical expression of love for Edward would not only be undelayed but better as a vampire than a human, that she would have been more than willing to forgo the whole honeymoon and gone straight to the change.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Openhome » Sat May 22, 2010 11:32 am

andypalmer wrote:Here's where we differ. I don't see Bella's willingness to live longer as a human to be a realization of the magnitude o the change. She finally has an aspect of being human with Edward (... sex) as being, in her mind, as good as it gets, and is fearful that her change will put those feelings aside for a time. It's still all about her love for Edward and her chance to express it and not at all really about "humanity" or anything as profound as that.

I'll even go so far as saying that if Bella had been confident that her physical expression of love for Edward would not only be undelayed but better as a vampire than a human, that she would have been more than willing to forgo the whole honeymoon and gone straight to the change.


Ah, yes, now I understand. I see what you are saying, and we do disagree, but on a very minor point. Where you see her as wanting to hang on to what she has for the sex, I see as evidence that she finally understands that there will be some things lost to her. After the wedding, we glimpse this as well, NOT that she is willing to stop the change, just that she understands at last that this really is a loss of sorts. My point isn't that she did sacrifice something (much to my annoyance it was exactly the opposite), but rather that she was willing to. She was willing, finally knowing or at least understanding that it would entail a great deal of loss, to continue on. This is the point that is important, she was happily willing to undergo a deep sacrifice because of her love. She didn't know before hand that the change was a breeze and she got everything and more afterwords. In fact, she realized she might lose everything because of the potential monster she held in her womb, but for a new kind of love, she was willing to go on with it.
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Re: Explorations

Postby andypalmer » Sat May 22, 2010 9:00 pm

I do concede that, as she is unsure of how certain aspects of her vampire-self will be, that she is unsure if even after the "newborn delay" things will be as good/that same as what her human body would experience, so does have some fear of "giving something up." It's disputable whether her thoughts here are as deep as "giving up her humanity" but I acknowledge that her thoughts on the subject written in BD are not clear enough for more than speculation.

What other post-wedding thoughts are you referring to (other than the sex thing)? [7 reads doesn't equate to memorization for me :-)]

I consider her post-pregnancy thoughts to be completely separate from her thoughts before. I would even go far as saying that if Edward had known of the possibility of pregnancy that Bella would have insisted upon protection, of some kind. She was no more prepared to be a mother than she was to get married; it was something she didn't feel ready for, old enough for, and was something "other people" did, not her. Just as she accepted and realized that marriage was right for her WHEN she was going through it (and not before), it was the same with being pregnant/motherhood.

I suspect my feelings on the pregnancy/Renesmee are, if not unique, less common. I don't feel that her pregnancy took anything away from her decision, as I consider them independent (i.e., she'd already made the decision but the pregnancy so completely changed the timing and priorities as to render the prior decision almost moot), but do view it as a too convenient plot device.

It's too convenient because it makes some portion of the READERS more comfortable with what they view as giving up her humanity.

It's too convenient because it's the only thing that could have happened to make Rose fully accept Bella's decision to become a vampire.

It's too convenient because it both forces and allows Bella to include Charlie in her new life.

It's too convenient because it so neatly wraps up the Edward-Bella-Jacob love triangle.

It's too convenient because it forces Jacob to become the Alpha he was born to be.

It's too convenient because it's the perfect excuse for the Volturi to make the attack they've been contemplating, which is required for Bella to come to the fullness of her powers.

I'm all for happy endings, but that single "event" so neatly wraps up so many threads that it left me a bit flat, from a literary perspective. That said, I like the "sequel" possibilities :-)
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Re: Explorations

Postby Jazz Girl » Sat May 22, 2010 11:21 pm

Andy~ Ahhhh, the Deus Ex Machina strikes again. So, you aren't a fan of the convenient machine of the gods to come along and tie everything up into one nice little bow-covered package?

I would, quite honestly, say that I don't believe your feelings towards Renesmee are neither unique, nor less common. In fact, most fans I have talked to regarding Breaking Dawn and Renesme feel some form of that same argument. The whole thing was just too HEA for them and Renesmee is the root of all that bloody happiness, isn't she?

In the end, I agree with many of your statements about Renesmee and her effects on the story itself. After all, didn't a portion of this very conversation begin because of my very statement about the way Bella was turned slightly cheapening Bella's acceptance and love BECAUSE OF RENESMEE?

But, at the same time, I think you might be handing Renesme just a little too much power. For one thing, I don't care how extraordinary the child is, nothing on Earth or in the heavens has the power to truly make Rosealie accept Bella's decision. I would go so far as to say Ness might possibly make Rose hate Bella more than ever. But, what can she do about it? Bella literally now has exactly everything Rose ever wanted. She has a beautiful baby. She has a wonderful, loving husband whose entire world quite literally revolves around her (and who I would add as an aside was supposed to love Rose). She has the love, respect and adoration of the entire family, including Rose's own husband. And, she's become a beautiful, powerful immortal creature WITHOUT suffering (at least outwardly)any indignity, pain or grief. Oh no. Rose is what she is; a powerfully vain creature who despises those who have more than she does. She might play the doting sister and aunt. But, it is not because she's given up her jealousy or vanity. It's because she's very smart and very calculating. She gets nothing from continuing to show her disdain for Bella and her choice. But, if she plays nice, she gets to experience, at least peripherally, the same kinds of joy. I'm not saying Rose is a bad person. No, just that a leopard doesn't change her spots.

I also can't credit Ness with Charlie's presence in Bella's new life. I think, once they realized how smoothly Bella's transition went and how easily she was adapting to vampirism, she would have made attempts to keep Charlie in her life regardless. Ness' presence (or should I say Jacob's idiocy caused by Ness' presence) merely hastenend the process.

The uber-convenient resolution to the Jacob problem was another thing entirely. I think that has always been Ness' dual purpose. Ironically, where her mother was the root cause of much of both Edward's and Jacob's strife, contention and angst, Ness' was conceived and born to end all of it. In Ness, Jacob found his purpose and soul mate and realized exactly why Bella was never his to begin with. And, Edward was gifted with the one thing he knew was denied to him but that, secretly in his heart of hearts, always craved. But, in my head, that is a kind of double edged sword. Or, at least, she is for me. As a reader, I always felt cheated out of a true resolution, both for myself and for the characters. We know the decision that was made and most of us whole-heartedly support it, celebrate it. But there will always be just the tiniest piece of me that feels like there should have been more to it. They should have had the ability to stand in a room together and to put every love and every hurt on the table, to apologize to each other and say, "and here's where we go from here..." Then again, maybe I'm too much of an optimist in thinking that that would be a possibility without deteriorating into an all out war.

I think, in the end, the question I always come back to in all of it is what is wrong with happily ever after? It is, more than anything else, the number one complaint I always hear from readers, fan and anti alike? Why is it so wrong that, in the end, Bella & Edward and Jacob all get exactly what they want, need and wish for? Why is it so anticlimactic that the battle is more one of brains than brawn and not a drop of blood is spilled? In a world where way too many people are unhappy and where way too much blood is spilled, where's the wrong in a little peace and happiness?
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Re: Explorations

Postby andypalmer » Sun May 23, 2010 3:23 pm

I actually have no problem with the HEA; I would just have preferred a more difficult path to get there. I'm not even upset with the lack of combat at the end (and as a guy, you'd expect different, eh?), I would just have preferred a more challenging path to get to the end, a more complex story with sub-plots that resolve some of the issues rather than them all being wrapped up so neatly as part of the primary thread.

re: Rose. The way I see it, Rose's vanity aside, Rose disagreed with Bella's decision because she was voluntarily giving up everything human (read: everything Rose missed) to become a vampire. Renesmee's "birth" changed the circumstances of Bella's change from a voluntary surrender of humanity to an "existence saving" exercise, not too indifferent from that of the rest of Carlisle's "immediate family." Even though Bella went into it voluntarily, she held off the change, even risked its success, in order to prioritize "her humanity" (in the form of "delivering" Renesmee) over vampirism. In my view of Rose's admittedly shallow mind, if there was a "right" way to become a vampire, Bella did it. Being Rose, she's not going to lose some aspects of jealousy and envy but I can't think of anything that would have gained Bella more acceptance in Rose's eyes than what occurred.

re: Charlie. I believe that Renesmee impacted the relationship in two important ways. 1. timing - due to Jacob's relationship with her daughter, Bella was not able to leave so certainly hastened the relationship (and also caused Jacob to do his part to speed things up). 2. distraction - I can't discount the impact Nessie had on Charlie in the transition; I think it would have been more difficult for Charlie without Nessie there, more difficult for him NOT to focus on the changes to his daughter. After all, the "miracle" of his grand-daughters very existence, not to mention how special she is, makes the physical changes to Bella seem minor in comparison. Without Nessie, I see Charlie having a very vocal period of blame and anger (toward Edward, even perhaps Carlisle), but understanding at some level that the changes are connected to him having an amazing granddaughter makes them more easy to "forgive".
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Re: Explorations

Postby andypalmer » Mon May 24, 2010 8:28 pm

A bit off the current topic, but I thought I had that I wanted to get some feedback on (as in, it kinda makes sense to me, but I'm really curious what others think); a true, "exploration" so to speak.

In the sequels thread, I posted an idea of Nessie having Jacob's baby, right before her "end-of-growth" period. Now, aside from whether that would be an interesting story or not, after posting, I've had some thoughts about vampires and procreation.

From the perspective of procreating the species, one could argue that both male and female vampires have that ability, via their venom, of procreating, as in, creating more vampires. Male vampires, in addition, have the surprising ability to mate with humans and create offspring.

With hybrids, however, things are different. We can surmise from BD that male hybrids have the venom and female hybrids do not (it's admittedly a small sample size, but all we have). We also know that the venom of male hybrids is able to create vampire life.

- Should we assume that male hybrids, inheriting the ability from both species, have the ability to procreate with humans?

- With the females, however, it seems much more open. They don't have the ability to create full vampires, due to their lack of venom, but what about a more human style of procreation? Do we surmise that a small window exist between their accelerated puberty and their end-of-growth period that they are able to bear children as a human would? Or do perhaps they retain some ability for childbirth after their end-of-growth, assuming that while frozen in time they have some natural cycle, though perhaps a far less frequent one? Does having a heart and bloodflow allow for that possibility?

- Based on count of chromosome pairs, human-vampire hybrids should not have to deal with the infertility that the offspring of horses and donkeys do (mules) , as that is caused by an odd number of chromosomes (total/2 = odd number), though following this argument any vampire/hybrid or human/hybrid offspring would suffer from that problem (though contrarily, based on this argument, shapeshifters and humans would have the issue and obviously don't).

So overall, it's a bunch of pure speculation. As for me, I *think* / *feel* that female hybrids have some childbirth capability; I am curious what others think?
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Re: Explorations

Postby December » Thu May 27, 2010 4:06 am

Gah! Lots to reply to here. Will try and get back to this over the weekend -- v. busy time this week.

As for vampire hybrid genetics, I totally understand, Andy, that you'd like to invite the people here to contribute to that other discussion. I'm going to suggest that if this does blossom into a new convo, I'll move it to the thread where it belongs, as it's really taking us a bit far from the themes of this thread. Don't mind leaving your post here for now though, as a lure to anyone else interested in the question.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Openhome » Thu May 27, 2010 4:18 pm

I would love to return to the topic at hand, that of Renesme's effect on both the story line and the characters' personal resolutions within the story later. I hate it, but I'm pressed for time, though I really do want to add to some thoughts on it.

Andy, this whole scenario has been discussed (ad nauseum for some) in the Science of Twilight thread. I would love for you to go look it over and add your two cents to the discussion there.
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Re: Explorations

Postby cullengirl » Sat May 29, 2010 1:21 pm

Hello, I was invited and directed to this thread by December and Openhome. I've enjoyed your discussions immensely in this thread so far and wanted to add my two cents or more *grins* to the current topic, which I've struggled with ever since Breaking Dawn (BD) was released.

To preface my post, I will say that I'm still very cranky about BD because I feel it was not a satisfying conclusion to the TW, NM, and EC series. All the questions that we, as readers and for Bella, that have been asked are not answered or IMO, not valued. I know that the results of BD was always on Stephenie's radar and that was how she wanted Bella and Edward's story to end.

The existence of Nessie is very hard for me to swallow and accept. My first reason why I don't like Nessie is because she's just downright creepy and I still don't understand how she can exist in the first place. I've read Stephenie's explanation as well as attended the signing in Chicago where she explained the 'science aspect' of her existence. It still doesn't make sense. Edward is dead- there's absolutely nothing living in him. His heart no longer pumps, he doesn't breathe in air in his lungs, and therefore how can he have living sperm? I don't want to digress from the topic above and I know this has been argued incessantly on other threads, but it's one of the things that irks me.

My second reason for disliking Nessie is that she all too nicely wraps up almost all of conflicts of the Saga just as Andypalmer pointed out. I would like to add a few more things to his list above:

*Nessie's purpose is the reason why Bella and Edward needed to get married first before Bella was changed into a vampire.
*The birth of Nessie caused Bella to change into a vampire.
*Nessie is the reason why Bella retains her humanity.
*Nessie is the reason why Jacob gets to still love a part of Bella and be part of Bella's life.
*Nessie is the reason why Bella gets to be the mother that she always wanted.

In regards to Rose, I think Bella was very clever to use Rose as her shield. Rose was the ideal candidate in saving Nessie- it was the one thing she wanted from life that she never got. I don't see Rose and Bella's relationship changing though. In fact, I see Rose disliking and resenting Bella even more. How can this human marry a vampire and have the ability to have a kid? I do agree with Jazz Girl that Rose does get to vicariously be a mother to Nessie.

[quote=Jazz Girl]Why is it so wrong that, in the end, Bella & Edward and Jacob all get exactly what they want, need and wish for?[/quote]

My answer to your question is: There is nothing as long as their some hardship that each character faces and overcomes. The characters need to sacrifice something in order to have a HEA. There needs to be a balance. IMO, Bella doesn't get to suffer at all:

1. She doesn't suffer the burning thirst of humans like the Cullens and the new born vampires.
2. She retains her human memories and gets to include Charlie in her 'secret life'.
3. She still has Jacob.
4. She gets to have a family.
5. She becomes beautiful, strong and develops a superpower, which ironically or not is able to deflect everything.

Through the first three books, Edward tries to explain every which way that he can that being a vampire is not all that it's hype up to be. Actions has consequences. True, you can argue the following:

1. She's been in near death situations 3 times in her life.
2. She will eventually lose her human memories.
3. Nessie will grow older at an exceptionally fast pace.

BUT, these were the things that Bella was already prepared to losing. When she wanted to become a vampire, she didn't think of her family and her friends that she was losing. She singularly thought of eternity spending with Edward. I guess what I'm trying to say is this: if being a vampire brought all this happiness, then what was the big deal? Why did we need the emotional roller coasters of NM and EC?

Where Edward is concerned, I think he deserves a happy ending after suffering through the pains of hating himself and coming to terms of his identity after a century plus years. As for Jacob, I don't think this was an appropriate happy ending for him. Jacob was never given an alternative to Bella. He never had a choice. Nessie allowed Jake to love a part of Bella, which ironically is again shared with Edward. As a reader and a fan of Jacob, I much preferred him to be out of Bella's grasp, but still be in her world. I don't feel like Jacob has ever been independent of Bella, which I believe cheapens his HEA.
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Re: Explorations

Postby andypalmer » Sat May 29, 2010 9:19 pm

Cullengirl. Thanks for the detailed post. Lots of things to reply to; I've tried to just quote the key parts to keep the post length down.
cullengirl wrote:The existence of Nessie is very hard for me to swallow and accept...SNIP... My first reason why I don't like Nessie is because she's just downright creepy and I still don't understand how she can exist in the first place. I've read Stephenie's explanation as well as attended the signing in Chicago where she explained the 'science aspect' of her existence. It still doesn't make sense.
I do get that on some level, but I read SO much fantasy that I'm more than willing to suspend my reality meter for a good story. My only request is that the "science" be internally consistent so would expect that similar occurrences be similarly handled. For a "pseudo-science" response, I could go with, "As vampire venom is capable of changing the DNA of human tissue, one could argue that the "sperm venom" is capable of reacting with human egg tissue to create a hybrid form of life with a unique DNA signature." It's all made up anyway :-)
cullengirl wrote:My second reason for disliking Nessie is that she all too nicely wraps up almost all of conflicts of the Saga just as Andypalmer pointed out. I would like to add a few more things to his list above:

*Nessie's purpose is the reason why Bella and Edward needed to get married first before Bella was changed into a vampire.
I have to strongly disagree here. Nessie had nothing to do with them getting married, but had everything to do with the basic morality of not having pre-marital sex. SM is Mormon (as am I) and that's a pretty strongly taught value in the LDS faith.
cullengirl wrote:*The birth of Nessie caused Bella to change into a vampire.
How? It was Edward's venom that did that, just as it would have if Nessie had never happened. The pregnancy/birth impacted the timing and urgency, but without it, Bella would still have been changed.
cullengirl wrote:*Nessie is the reason why Bella retains her humanity.
How? Do you think that Bella would have had less humanity than Carlisle or Edward after the change if she hadn't had Nessie?
cullengirl wrote:*Nessie is the reason why Jacob gets to still love a part of Bella and be part of Bella's life.
Agreed (didn't want you thinking I was being a total naysayer :-) )
cullengirl wrote:*Nessie is the reason why Bella gets to be the mother that she always wanted.
What evidence is there that Bella *wanted* to be a mother at all, prior to actually being pregnant?

I agree that Nessie is Deus Ex Machina as much as the next guy, but even I can't dump the entire plot on her tiny head :-)

cullengirl wrote:...SNIP... IMO, Bella doesn't get to suffer at all:
1. She doesn't suffer the burning thirst of humans like the Cullens and the new born vampires.
I am personally convinced that this is entirely due to the fact that she knew what she was getting herself into BEFORE she was changed. To everyone else, the urge is completely unexpected and with each kill, a new vampire loses a bit more of their humanity. Bella had been warned about the thirst and was therefore able to "brace" herself for the urge.
cullengirl wrote:2. She retains her human memories and gets to include Charlie in her 'secret life'.
Well they all retained their human memories; I'm not sure what point you are trying to make there... I agree on the 2nd part (and partially blame that on Nessie).
cullengirl wrote:3. She still has Jacob.
Nessie's fault :-)
cullengirl wrote:4. She gets to have a family.
Yes, but not having one isn't something I'm convinced she would have seen as suffering so it's more of a bonus than a "removed pain point"
cullengirl wrote:5. She becomes beautiful, strong and develops a superpower, which ironically or not is able to deflect everything.
Pretty girls become beautiful vampires and all newborn vampires are strong. Yes, her power becomes a superpower, but the Pawn to Queen metaphor is a primary theme of BD (and she's still useless against Jasper's power...)
cullengirl wrote:I guess what I'm trying to say is this: if being a vampire brought all this happiness, then what was the big deal? Why did we need the emotional roller coasters of NM and EC?
NM was needed more for Edward's sake than Bella's; he needed to be convinced that he couldn't live without Bella and that changing her was necessary. EC was about making sure Bella was sure in her decision to join Edward. She is, after all, still going to have her human memories fade eventually, she is still going to see her parents die while still "young", she is still going to have to travel in the incognito live style of a Cullen. Heck, she'll still probably have to attend high school another few dozen times.
cullengirl wrote:I much preferred him to be out of Bella's grasp, but still be in her world. I don't feel like Jacob has ever been independent of Bella, which I believe cheapens his HEA.
I get this to some extent, but this way, Jacob gets to be with an equal; he doesn't have to worry about harming her as Sam harmed Emily. Renesmee is in many ways the perfect mate for Jacob - an equal and one in which he can forever be with while actively shapeshifting; unlike the old chief, he won't bury three wifes through his longevity. Yeah, it's a DEM HEA, but is also the ultimate reward for Jacob being the best best friend a running-with-vampires girl could have asked for.
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