Edward Cullen #6

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:28 pm

*clenches teeth and bites tongue*

December~ my apologies. I did consider putting said quote in the invisible, but then forgot as I was going back and forth to actually post it. Thanks for the correction.

Yes, it takes all kinds, as the saying goes. For me, the deepest attraction to Edward comes in his flaws and his redemption. He is deeply flawed. I don't think a one of us would argue that. But, when I see how he battles his very nature to overcome those flaws, to love her the way she should be loved... I honestly cannot remember where the quote originates. But, needless to say, "no, he isn't perfect. But that makes him perfect for {Bella}."
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Esme echo » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:49 pm

I think it's interesting how different people apply what they're reading to their lives. I live in the worlds of the books I read -- while I'm reading -- and some of what I have thereby "lived" does bleed over into my real life; but at the same time, I am able to read stories in fantasy and science fiction settings, accepting a lot of fantastic realities in the books, and not apply it to my life.

It almost seems that some people cannot accept the "realities" of a fantasy world if those realities would be objectionable in their real lives. For example: one of my favorite books is "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlein. It's a delightful book of rebellion against political evil. A central theme in this book is the unique social mores that develop because men outnumber women on the Moon by a great percentage. I can read about clan marriages and other social adaptations with equanimity--because it's science fiction. I don't expect the characters to live my brand of morality. I judge their actions by their realities, not mine.

This is why I am mystified when people hate a fictional character who is doing the best they can in their reality. Or, hate a character who makes mistakes. Or, hate a character who doesn't live life like the reader would. I'm much more interested in why Edward did what he did and why Bella reacted the way she did than I am in whether or not either of them are good role models.

Perhaps what I'm feeling is a desire that readers be open-minded when judging fictional characters : IMO they can only be judged in their own reality, not in ours.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby December » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:20 pm

JazzGirl wrote:*clenches teeth and bites tongue*

(*grin*) Thank you, JG!

And no worries about the inv text. I feel very torn about this myself -- it's been a long time since the drama of MS's release, and its story is clearly part of the thought process for any fan who's read it. (And my own browser makes reading invisible text in situ next to impossible!) But for the sake of the people who want to stay unspoilt, it's still our policy to keep MS quotes off the visible page. Alas.

For me, the deepest attraction to Edward comes in his flaws and his redemption. He is deeply flawed. I don't think a one of us would argue that. But, when I see how he battles his very nature to overcome those flaws, to love her the way she should be loved...

Yep. Me too. I guess maybe there are flaws that some people find beyond forgiveness. And/or they want a more perfect amendment of sins than I require of him. (Because let's face it: Edward makes tremendous progress in the course of his relationship with Bella, but he's never going to stop being a bossy know-it-all....(*grin*).

EsmeEcho wrote:This is why I am mystified when people hate a fictional character who is doing the best they can in their reality. Or, hate a character who makes mistakes. Or, hate a character who doesn't live life like the reader would. I'm much more interested in why Edward did what he did and why Bella reacted the way she did than I am in whether or not either of them are good role models.

Perhaps what I'm feeling is a desire that readers be open-minded when judging fictional characters : IMO they can only be judged in their own reality, not in ours

Well... off the top of my head, two possible reasons why people are bothered by characters' behaviour, even if it makes better sense in their reality than it does in ours. One is, I think, concern about the cumulative effect on our imaginations of lots and lots of similar portrayals. That is: even if in each instance, we can shrug off (say) the portrait of a high-handed romantic hero ("for heaven's sake, he's 107 years old and a vampire!"), if that same type recurs in book after book (each with their own fictional justification), some subliminal expectations about heroes might begin to seep into our consciousness. I'm not very worried about this myself, but I can understand that it really exercises some readers. Another explanation rests on Stephenie's success in making her characters real to so many people. Part of the game of fandom is throwing oneself into the what-ifs, talking about the characters as though they were people we knew, speculating about their motives, their activities off-stage, etc. But precisely because they seem so real, it starts to seem reasonable to assess them the same way we judge people in our real lives, by our own standards of behaviour, morality, taste etc.

Just a thought...



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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Esme echo » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:34 pm

December wrote:. . . concern about the cumulative effect on our imaginations of lots and lots of similar portrayals. That is: even if in each instance, we can shrug off (say) the portrait of a high-handed romantic hero ("for heaven's sake, he's 107 years old and a vampire!"), if that same type recurs in book after book (each with their own fictional justification), some subliminal expectations about heroes might begin to seep into our consciousness.

:lol: When I think about the discussion over in media portrayal of women concerning the aggressive messages coming from film, advertising, and television, this makes me laugh. Where's the outrage over the objectivication of women in the media??

Yes, everyone enjoys their literature [or not] according to their own rules -- and aren't we grateful that we have that opportunity!
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:48 pm

Esme echo wrote:This is why I am mystified when people hate a fictional character who is doing the best they can in their reality. Or, hate a character who makes mistakes. Or, hate a character who doesn't live life like the reader would. I'm much more interested in why Edward did what he did and why Bella reacted the way she did than I am in whether or not either of them are good role models.

Perhaps what I'm feeling is a desire that readers be open-minded when judging fictional characters : IMO they can only be judged in their own reality, not in ours.



Brava, EsmeEcho. Brava! My mantra, whenever I address those questions about The Saga and the characters is always, "You cannot divorce the preternatural from the story. It should not ever be done" But, it's not just The Saga, not just Edward, Bella, Jacob and Leah. Unless you are reading non-fiction, there is always some aspect or many aspects that are totally non-replacable that will effect the plot, characters, and action of any story. If you change those circumstances or situations, than you change literally everything about the story. The Hunger Games Trilogy is a perfect example. I do not hate Katnis or Peeta or any of the other characters for their actions, for how the think or feel or react in that world, because it is in that world. Within their reality, what they are doing, how they are feeling, makes total and complete sense. Do I agree with their actions? No, I don't. Even in that world, I can say that I wouldn't agree with things that are done or said. But, I don't hate them. I think that is the most frustrating aspect of being a fan of The Saga, when I come up against someone who tries to break down the novels using principles from our reality.

December wrote:Yep. Me too. I guess maybe there are flaws that some people find beyond forgiveness. And/or they want a more perfect amendment of sins than I require of him. (Because let's face it: Edward makes tremendous progress in the course of his relationship with Bella, but he's never going to stop being a bossy know-it-all....(*grin*).

Gee, thanks Emmett!! :lol:


December wrote:Well... off the top of my head, two possible reasons why people are bothered by characters' behaviour, even if it makes better sense in their reality than it does in ours. One is, I think, concern about the cumulative effect on our imaginations of lots and lots of similar portrayals. That is: even if in each instance, we can shrug off (say) the portrait of a high-handed romantic hero ("for heaven's sake, he's 107 years old and a vampire!"), if that same type recurs in book after book (each with their own fictional justification), some subliminal expectations about heroes might begin to seep into our consciousness. I'm not very worried about this myself, but I can understand that it really exercises some readers. Another explanation rests on Stephenie's success in making her characters real to so many people. Part of the game of fandom is throwing oneself into the what-ifs, talking about the characters as though they were people we knew, speculating about their motives, their activities off-stage, etc. But precisely because they seem so real, it starts to seem reasonable to assess them the same way we judge people in our real lives, by our own standards of behaviour, morality, taste etc.

Just a thought...


Definitely an argument that I can understand. No matter how hard we try, wrapping our collective head around all the factors that effect social norms and those things that effect social consciousness is still nigh on impossible. So, accordingly, we want to try to limit those things that might skew negatively. However, I think white-washing and Disney-fying the world, making it a place where everything is both honkey and dorey and there is never any bad to address and everything is black and white, good or evil, hinders us more than it hurts us. If we do not have an example of a flawed hero, someone we love whose actions infuriate us or even scare us a little, how do we learn to address those things when reality, that very typical and regular reality, rises up and smacks us square in the face? That is actually an unintended consequence of Edward's character that I absolutely love. He, for me, is such a wonderfully useful teaching tool because I can hold up his actions and use them as a catalyst for discussion about appropriate vs inappropriate behaviors and reactions too. Yes, everything Edward does IS understandable within the fantasy Twiverse, but it doesn't mean you can't examine it outside of that context in a responsible way.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby December » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:29 pm

Jazzgirl wrote:If we do not have an example of a flawed hero, someone we love whose actions infuriate us or even scare us a little, how do we learn to address those things when reality, that very typical and regular reality, rises up and smacks us square in the face? That is actually an unintended consequence of Edward's character that I absolutely love.

Yes indeed. Ironic that this is conversely another criticism frequently raised against Edward: that his idealized perfections create unrealistic expectations of lovers and love which real life boyfriends can't possibly meet. The poor boy is simultaneously too perfect and too flawed. (I remember some hilarious discussions of this with Firefly back in the day on EdCon). Of course that view is not really as contradictory as it sounds: it's legit for someone to find Edward's perfections bogus and his flaws unforgivable; but the parallel shapes of the two arguments gives a certain piquancy to the disagreements between swoony and crowbar!
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Esme echo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:46 pm

This morning I was reflecting on my favorite "Edward moments" -- they all come in the last half of Breaking Dawn. There's a reason for this . . . During the rest of the Saga Edward is consumed by fear. He's never relaxed and free from the worry that "the reason for his existence" is safe and secure. His fear impelled him to do many ill-judged and desperate things. If vampires could get ulsers, I'd bet Edward would be a prime candidate!

My favorite Edward moment is probably when Bella gets back from making document arrangements with J. Edward greets her lovingly, knows she's hiding something from him, deliberately lets it go, and trusts Bella to do what's right. He obviously considers her his equal and accords her the respect and consideration that bodes well for an eternally blissful marriage! To me, the difference between Edward pre-Bella's-transformation and post-Bella's-transformation is striking. I like the post transformation Edward much better! Fear is not a pretty thing.

Jazz Girl, I agree with your comments concerning the Mockingjay series. I cheered when Catniss took her final shot--frankly, it made the book for me!
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:06 pm

EsmeEcho~ I agree. Those few moments of Relaxed&Happy Edward, those glimpses that we get throughout are my favorite moments. It's honestly what makes me wonder about the man sometimes. I just want to shake him and say, don't you feel that, feel the difference when you are together like that? But, overthinking Edward always makes his return. He just needed some time and someone to show him that he has the right to enjoy his life and be happy.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby LateToTheParty » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:55 pm

Edward has I think the same arrogance of any 17 year old, this coupled with his belief that very little can hurt him will undoubtedly in his stone like personality be difficult to shake off. Having waited a long time before I would think of reading MIdnight Sun having now done so I think it is fair to say that Edward believes that he is doing the right thing.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Esme echo » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:49 am

I agree, LateToTheParty; even though Edward makes mistakes like anyone else, he has a great deal of integrity (well, except he's a very smooth liar! ... and engages in criminal behavior ...) and lives by high principles (except when he doesn't!).

BTW, welcome to the Lex! I hope you enjoy your time here!
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