Edward Cullen #6

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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:59 pm

Tornado wrote:Yes, but what I am saying is that if she turned into Team Jacob during the course of the books, as some people seem to think, I'm sure she could have provided a different ending if she really liked Jacob better. We know that she was under pressure at one stage to only write three books instead of four. It could have provided a nice, neat ending to book three to have her go off with Jacob and have puppies instead.


As far as I know (December, Alphie,Pel, please correct me if I'm wrong, as I don't have the sources you do *sadpanda*), Stephenie was never pressured to shorten The Saga, only to lengthen it, expand it. It was originally written as two novels; Twilight & Forever Dawn. After the success of Twilight, Little Brown essentially begged her to expand the series into four novels total. As EsmeEcho so helpfully pointed out, there's no way she could just change it. Stephenie has always maintained that she is essentially a biographer for Edward& Bella. It is their story she is telling. The ending was already written. In the expansion, she had to fill in the gaps, go into more detail, but she could not just change the reality of the story. That is where she had the opening to express a little bit of herself in the characters and story.

Tornado wrote:
So, as she expanded the story and was really forced to acknowledge and deal with those aspects of Edward's life and personality that conflicted with her own beliefs and preferences, she started to realize and acknowledge that she wouldn't have made the choice Bella did.


Yes, but she's not Bella. She has said that. She hasn't got Bella's bravery. And what in Edward's life conflicts with her beliefs
So, not only (when she has the opportunity to express it indirectly) do we hear comments that support the idea that she prefers Jacob to Edward, we see it also, as in the examples that we talked about within the text (comments Jacob is allowed to make, actions that go unatoned, etc).

Can you quote me some examples please?


First, let me say that this is all my opinion, how I've seen and interpreted passages and interviews and other information sources. No, Stephenie is not Bella. But, in telling their story, they are her characters. She is their creator. So, in as much as she sees herself as biographer telling their story, she also has to assume some responsibility for who and what they are. She is answerable for it. It's kind of the ultimate dilemma for an author who writes the way she does. The characters she created and loves, rather like our children, may say, do or believe things that she does not believe herself. Primarily, I look at the beliefs she follows as a member of the Mormon Church. She's always maintained that she holds her spiritual beliefs very close. So, those things that might conflict with her spiritual beliefs, she has to reconcile accepting as a part of her characters. In part, I think that is where Jacob really originated. His character allows her to have a source of opposition to those things that might conflict with her personal beliefs, though he's not the only one.

The overarching conflict within the love story is a perfect example. For Bella & Edward to be together, they both have to essentially choose for her to die. She has to willingly give up her human life and Edward has to willingly and intentionally take it from her. This conflicts with most Judeo-Christian belief systems, include the Latter Day Saints. In my opinion, this is why Bella is changed the way she is. Rather than both partners choosing to accept that the only way they can be together is for her to be changed, and willingly choosing that love and future together, it is done as a "last resort", a no-other-option scenario where it is (as with all of the other Cullens) the only way to save her.

If you would like direct quotes from the books, there are so many that reflect, in my mind, Stephenie's preference for Jacob as seen in the latitude he gets to express his bile. The one that always sticks out in my mind is when Jacob tells her he would prefer her to truly be dead than be a vampire. Jacob is never made to acknowledge the hatred and jealousy and inflicted pain of that remark, ever. But, the overall attitude he is never forced to answer for pervades the novels. Jacob is allowed to insult, degrade and torture Edward without ever having to answer for it; his thoughts in the parking lot after the trip to Florida, every reference he makes to Edward or the Cullens as ticks, leaches, bloodsuckers, etc, threatening Edward's life at the wedding, and on and on. But, the few times Edward's thoughts or words are anything other than completely civil, Bella immediately takes him to task about it, dismissing altogether the rivalry that she herself creates and essentially forbidding Edward to experience the emotions that she causes in him.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Esme echo » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:07 pm

Jazz Girl wrote: The characters [Stephenie] created and loves, rather like our children, may say, do or believe things that she does not believe herself. Primarily, I look at the beliefs she follows as a member of the Mormon Church. She's always maintained that she holds her spiritual beliefs very close. So, those things that might conflict with her spiritual beliefs, she has to reconcile accepting as a part of her characters. In part, I think that is where Jacob really originated. His character allows her to have a source of opposition to those things that might conflict with her personal beliefs . . . .

I don't believe authors typically feel the need to reconcile the actions of characters they've created with their own personal values. The world is made up of every kind of person; to portray humanity with any sense of realism, an author must present a wide variety of values and motivations. Authors who have deep religious convictions may avoid certain topics, language, or situations, but certainly the differences in story telling would end there.

Jazz Girl wrote:. . . in my mind, Stephenie's preference for Jacob [is] seen in the latitude he gets to express his bile. The one that always sticks out in my mind is when Jacob tells her he would prefer her to truly be dead than be a vampire. Jacob is never made to acknowledge the hatred and jealousy and inflicted pain of that remark, ever. But, the overall attitude he is never forced to answer for pervades the novels. Jacob is allowed to insult, degrade and torture Edward without ever having to answer for it; his thoughts in the parking lot after the trip to Florida, every reference he makes to Edward or the Cullens as ticks, leaches, bloodsuckers, etc, threatening Edward's life at the wedding, and on and on. But, the few times Edward's thoughts or words are anything other than completely civil, Bella immediately takes him to task about it, dismissing altogether the rivalry that she herself creates and essentially forbidding Edward to experience the emotions that she causes in him.

The inequality of Bella's expectations for Edward's and Jacob's verbal treatment of each other has been broached on the boards a lot. I've seen vehement objections on both sides: everything from Jacob never gets away with anything to Jacob gets away with everything. I look at the situation rather differently.

There are a lot of strong personalities in my extended family. Only a few family members share my values. When some who do not share my values sound off, I save my breath -- because speaking up would not change a thing. However, if a family member who does share my values sounds off, I might say something -- because I have influence in that relationship, and my comments may be heeded.

As far as Bella - Edward - Jacob go: I don't think Bella could change Jacob's language by merely asking him to cool it. Jacob would definately blow her off. However, if Bella asked Edward to change his language, he would probably try to accomodate her. Why would Bella knock herself out trying to get Jacob to shut up or change the way he expressed himself? It would be wasted breath.

Jacob did apologize for his I'd rather you were dead remarks in Chapter 8 of Eclipse, and Bella did hold him accountable by shutting him out for a time -- if only a brief time. She had her reasons for not "holding a grudge," as Edward termed it. To sum it up, I think Bella knew when a reproof from her would have weight, and she usually didn't waste energy on fruitless objections over how they referred to or spoke to each other.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:51 pm

Esme echo wrote:The inequality of Bella's expectations for Edward's and Jacob's verbal treatment of each other has been broached on the boards a lot. I've seen vehement objections on both sides: everything from Jacob never gets away with anything to Jacob gets away with everything. I look at the situation rather differently.

There are a lot of strong personalities in my extended family. Only a few family members share my values. When some who do not share my values sound off, I save my breath -- because speaking up would not change a thing. However, if a family member who does share my values sounds off, I might say something -- because I have influence in that relationship, and my comments may be heeded.

As far as Bella - Edward - Jacob go: I don't think Bella could change Jacob's language by merely asking him to cool it. Jacob would definately blow her off. However, if Bella asked Edward to change his language, he would probably try to accomodate her. Why would Bella knock herself out trying to get Jacob to shut up or change the way he expressed himself? It would be wasted breath.

Jacob did apologize for his I'd rather you were dead remarks in Chapter 8 of Eclipse, and Bella did hold him accountable by shutting him out for a time -- if only a brief time. She had her reasons for not "holding a grudge," as Edward termed it. To sum it up, I think Bella knew when a reproof from her would have weight, and she usually didn't waste energy on fruitless objections over how they referred to or spoke to each other.


I do understand the idea of acknowledging the futility of arguing with someone about their attitudes and language. However, to me, it's the difference between making the request about a certain word or topic that might make you uncomfortable and making the request that the person respect your partner and family. For her to let everything he said, repeatedly over and over slide, all of his insults, all of his name calling, every bit of hatred and disrespect, while expecting Edward to immediately change his attitude, was essentially a slap in the face. It's one thing to say, "I'll accept that we don't see eye-to-eye politcally and just tune you out." It's wholly another to say, "It's okay to insult my partner and my family."

Yes, she ignored him and yes, he apologized. But, he also told her that he wouldn't change, that she had to accept him bad attitude and all or not at all. What he did spoke much louder than what he said.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby December » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:49 pm

Gah, so much to discuss and I have to go to supper! For now just wanted to reply to this:

Jazzgirl wrote:As far as I know (December, Alphie,Pel, please correct me if I'm wrong, as I don't have the sources you do *sadpanda*), Stephenie was never pressured to shorten The Saga, only to lengthen it, expand it. It was originally written as two novels; Twilight & Forever Dawn. After the success of Twilight, Little Brown essentially begged her to expand the series into four novels total.

I don't have the sources Pel and Alphie do either (!), but I guess I was thinking of Stephenie's remarks at the Chicago BD signing (transcribed on the Lex here):

"When I first started working with an editor, I had Twilight and I showed them what I was working on for Forever Dawn and they said ‘you know, we’d really like to keep Bella in high school for a little bit longer, develop that more, keep it more YA.’ And I said ‘Ok, there are some interesting stories to do in there. I first started working on it and they said ‘we’d just really just like it to be three books, and end with Eclipse. Can you make an ending that you’re happy with?’ And I said ‘no, I can’t make an ending that I’m happy with.’ This was a very hard fought battle and I was fighting for Nessie the whole time. She was a character that I was not going to allow her to be destroyed. She had to exist. So, she was in my Forever Dawn."

As I understand it, at the time LB originally took TW, they signed up Stephenie for a three book series. As the writing of NM and EC progressed, she realized that she wanted four books to write the story she wanted -- and ultimately they caved.

The Twilight Moms interview Esme Echo quotes seems very much to the point here: "I can't change it--to me, it's more like history than fiction. This is simply how it went down". That's exactly how BD has always felt to me: a story didn't quite fit onto the place Stephenie found herself by the end of EC -- only it was too late to alter it, because by then its events weren't really up for revision: they'd been in her head for so long they'd hardened into stone-cold, immutable fact.

Jazzgirl wrote:The overarching conflict within the love story is a perfect example. For Bella & Edward to be together, they both have to essentially choose for her to die. She has to willingly give up her human life and Edward has to willingly and intentionally take it from her. This conflicts with most Judeo-Christian belief systems, include the Latter Day Saints. In my opinion, this is why Bella is changed the way she is. Rather than both partners choosing to accept that the only way they can be together is for her to be changed, and willingly choosing that love and future together, it is done as a "last resort", a no-other-option scenario where it is (as with all of the other Cullens) the only way to save her
.
Oh yes oh yes oh yes.... You have absolutely put your finger on it. This is the other half of the puzzle Corona started on in the Explorations thread a few weeks ago. Something I'm struggling to put together at the moment without coming up with a post that's 70 inches long!!! Really hoping to get my thoughts about all this into something coherent soon....
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Tornado » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:22 pm

Since everyone's posts are so long, I'm answering them one at a time, so forgive me if some issues are dealt with by other people. It's just easier than reading everyone's posts and then trying to remember who said what when.

Jazz Girl wrote:
As far as I know (December, Alphie,Pel, please correct me if I'm wrong, as I don't have the sources you do *sadpanda*), Stephenie was never pressured to shorten The Saga, only to lengthen it, expand it. It was originally written as two novels; Twilight & Forever Dawn. After the success of Twilight, Little Brown essentially begged her to expand the series into four novels total. As EsmeEcho so helpfully pointed out, there's no way she could just change it. Stephenie has always maintained that she is essentially a biographer for Edward& Bella. It is their story she is telling. The ending was already written. In the expansion, she had to fill in the gaps, go into more detail, but she could not just change the reality of the story. That is where she had the opening to express a little bit of herself in the characters and story.


While it's true that Little Brown did originally ask her to expand on the saga, this was because they preferred a high school focus, rather than a shift straight to adulthood and pregnancy. However, they were still keen to stop at three books. At the time, books that went beyond a trilogy tended to have their sales drop off in subsequent books. This is a quote from SM's website: "I'd also like to write the alternate ending that I once considered for Eclipse, back when I was under pressure to end the series at three books. I'm looking forward to writing these both up, but don't hold your breath; it's going to be a while." you can read it here: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/ecl_faq.html It's in the answer to the last question, about extras from Eclipse.


Jazz Girl wrote: The overarching conflict within the love story is a perfect example. For Bella & Edward to be together, they both have to essentially choose for her to die. She has to willingly give up her human life and Edward has to willingly and intentionally take it from her. This conflicts with most Judeo-Christian belief systems, include the Latter Day Saints. In my opinion, this is why Bella is changed the way she is. Rather than both partners choosing to accept that the only way they can be together is for her to be changed, and willingly choosing that love and future together, it is done as a "last resort", a no-other-option scenario where it is (as with all of the other Cullens) the only way to save her.


I am a committed Christian myself (largely of Baptist heritage, and conservative) and I don't see any conflict here at all. Bella is still alive in one way (as in still walking and talking), and can still die one day. Admittedly it's less likely, but it's still entirely possible. I really don't get that there's any kind of conflict that she has with it. Also, as some of you said earlier, she had Breaking Dawn essentially worked out in Forever Dawn before she went back and expanded the other three, so she already knew that Bella was going to become a vampire.
I believe that, if she felt any tension between the scenarios she created and her faith, that she would have had trouble writing in the books at all, especially in relation to the fact that vampires drink blood, which was originally commanded against in the commands that Moses gave the Israelites in the Old Testament. The fact that she continued, and even tried to publish these books tells me that she got over these problems (assuming she had any with them) fairly early on.
Seeing the books through a Christian filter is very interesting. The Cullens come across as very "Christian" vampires, i.e. they are denying their nature for no more than a moral belief, which is what Christians try to do (or should be trying to do) every day. So the Cullens (certainly Edward and Carlislse, anyway) seem to have inherited this morality. I see a lot of that in the books. Certainly in the terms of the death aspect that you raise, I honestly don't think that would be something that would worry Christians as much as some of the other stuff in the book.

Jazz Girl wrote:If you would like direct quotes from the books, there are so many that reflect, in my mind, Stephenie's preference for Jacob as seen in the latitude he gets to express his bile. The one that always sticks out in my mind is when Jacob tells her he would prefer her to truly be dead than be a vampire. Jacob is never made to acknowledge the hatred and jealousy and inflicted pain of that remark, ever. But, the overall attitude he is never forced to answer for pervades the novels. Jacob is allowed to insult, degrade and torture Edward without ever having to answer for it; his thoughts in the parking lot after the trip to Florida, every reference he makes to Edward or the Cullens as ticks, leaches, bloodsuckers, etc, threatening Edward's life at the wedding, and on and on. But, the few times Edward's thoughts or words are anything other than completely civil, Bella immediately takes him to task about it, dismissing altogether the rivalry that she herself creates and essentially forbidding Edward to experience the emotions that she causes in him. [/color]


I certainly agree that Jacob oversteps the mark - plenty of times. This is what I mean when I've said (and I can't recall whether I said it in this stream or another here, so I'm sorry if I'm quoting something you might not have read!) that his story is incomplete for me. I believe he's a good guy, and I think now he knows the Cullens better, he's realised how wrong he was, and would probably be sorry how far he went, although not sorry for the reasons (to save Bella's life) he did what he did. I feel that hearing him discuss this with Edward would be helpful to resolve their relationship completely.

I do not agree that Jacob's behaviour nor his unrepentant attitude is an indication that SM prefers him to Edward. He's a character every bit as strong as Edward, although different from him, and this means that he can only act in accordance with that character. He's self righteous and impulsive, as well as immature and narrow minded. So his actions spring from that. There is no reason to believe that SM favours him simply because he's allowed to say things like that. In fact, the mere fact that Edward remains so polite and controlled in the face of it, does, in my mind, demostrate how much nicer a person he is, something that it not lost on most fans. If she supports Jacob's view so much, why didn't she make him a bit more sympathetic, and not so antagonistic? She's made him so one eyed that it's difficult for most people to accept his point of view. which is hardly a sensible thing to do if you're trying to make the audience agree with him.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby December » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:48 pm

Tornado wrote:This is a quote from SM's website: "I'd also like to write the alternate ending that I once considered for Eclipse, back when I was under pressure to end the series at three books. I'm looking forward to writing these both up, but don't hold your breath; it's going to be a while." you can read it here: http://www.stepheniemeyer.com/ecl_faq.html It's in the answer to the last question, about extras from Eclipse.

Yes indeed. Another relevant Stephenie quote. There were rumours about that ending, though none I'd consider 100% reliable.

I have to say that I agree with JG that it seems to me that the morality of Bella's choice did worry Stephenie even though that was the story she wanted to write (at least initially!). She's said repeatedly (afraid I'm writing in haste here; maybe someone else can find the reference for me?) that if you want to know what Stephenie thinks, look at Edward's views. I think Edward's qualms about taking Bella's life bothered Stephenie too -- it's almost as though in NM and EC we're watching her systematically work through her reservations about the destiny she's chosen for her heroine, so she can be at peace with it. I will just add that I agree with you that one can be Christian without finding Bella's choice troubling; it depends in part on how one chooses to view vampires (undead immortals? sparkly superheroes? carnivorous alternative species?) -- and Stephenie certainly leaves room for many different interpretations (I don't think her own view here was 100% stable!). But certainly many Christians (and Muslims) are troubled; and to my mind, the evidence suggests that Stephenie is one of them.

Sorry to be so telegraphic; have to run at the moment!
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby corona » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:06 pm

Uh, well, I have actually started to develop comments concerning the religious/moral implications, but it is just too depressing. I think SM was wise not to discuss it too much, but I think both of you are right that those issues weighed more in SM's mind that she let on. And it's possible it weighed a lot more.

Let me state for the record that, while I might make the case for why someone concludes that SM loves Jacob more than Edward, I actually prefer to think that Edward maintains a special place in her heart. Trying to figure out SM's connection with Jacob and why the events played out in BD they way they did, however, start leading me down a different path that I don't like.

In my opinion, and very, very briefly using the religious template of Faith, Hope, and Love:

Carlisle's and Edward's Faith (belief systems) are destroyed when becoming a vampire. They both believe in God, but realize there are no more guarantees. Carlisle manages to hold on to Hope (desire for the afterlife) by continuing to do his best and serve mankind. Edward forms a new Faith by believing vampires are either damned or eternally destroyed when their existence ends, which essentially removes all Hope from him. Both still have Love (selflessness).

[By the way, you can only go so far discussing this in a religious context, because these issues with vampires don't exist. However, we have to play along, and I think SM was right in bringing them up, even though you have to leave things at a fairly shallow level within the story.]

Bella has no Faith or Hope to speak of, but she has abundant Love. By the end of New Moon, she informs Edward she doesn't need Heaven as long as she has him. Romantic? Yes. Does she cross a line though? I have to say that I cringed when she said that.

Carlisle's soul status is looking good.

Edward's soul status is mixed. If he truly believes he will destroy Bella's soul, then he must stay away. SM's reference to his "weakness" may refer to that problem. Edward does have the seed of hope planted in him, however. Whew.

Bella's soul status isn't looking pretty. There is always abundant love, but no contemplation of the true eternal. In fact, she pretty much dismisses thoughts of it.

By the end of Eclipse, little has changed, although Edward's hope seems to have improved. Bella has realized what she must give up materially, but that's it. This isn't helping Edward, because while his soul status might be improving, Bella is still unwittingly asking him to destroy her soul. The fact that it is untrue is irrelevant, as long as that is still what Edward believes or maybe mostly believes. That "frozen in time" event is getting pretty near, and if Bella will not contemplate those issues, then she likely never will. On the other hand, if Bella DOES truly contemplate those issues, then she would have to come to the same conclusion as Edward and either stay human or continue to stay with Edward. Soul destruction? No. Soul damnation? Likely. ***Brain Melt Imminent***

Go to Plan B. Or actually, go to Plan C. Eclipse was actually Plan B, but that didn't work. Save Bella through the ultimate act of love by having her ready to sacrifice her life for her child and husband. That's a good plan, because love is all she has. Save Edward by having him save Bella's life. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Bella and Edward are saved through the back-door heathen method.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Tornado » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:21 pm

The idea of heaven and hell presented in the book is very basic ("good" people go to heaven, "bad" people go to hell). However, this is fair enough. This is not a story in which she is trying to preach gospel, so to speak, although it clearly gets in there. The fact that her family of vampires choose (and it is a choice) not to kill humans is testament to that. However, the issues of whether or not the vampires are damned is something that I believe she handles in New Moon. Carlisle's conversation with Bella suggests that SM believes that vampires are capable of redemption. Of course this is still the "good" people, "bad" people model, but that's what we're dealing with here.

However, the books as a whole suggest a slightly different aspect, or perhaps a deeper one. Vampires kill humans. That's what they're designed for, that's what appeals to them. However, the Cullens believe this is morally wrong, so they try not to do it. This parallels Christian morality. Christians believe that it is wrong to do certain things that other people think is very natural: have sex outside of marriage, seek vengeance for a wrong done to them, hate their enemies, that kind of thing. These a very natural human responses. Christian beliefs, however, say that these are not acceptable responses. They may be natural, but that equates to a desire of our "natural" state, which the Christian believes is a sinful one, and which we are supposed to resist. This is the same kind of stand the Cullens make in resisting what is natural to them - killing humans - and deciding to kill animals instead, although it's hard.

These kinds of beliefs and Christian parallels appear from the first book onwards, so I believe that SM sorted the majority of this out fairly early on. For a Christian to write about vampires, who have been associated with demons, is not common (as far as I know!) and I can't see her trying to publish even the first book if it was an issue for her. I believe this is one of the reasons the Cullens reflect Christian values so much in the way they live. It's her way of "redeeming" them, but I can't see it as being an issue for her as late as in book three and four. I believe it would have been dealt with, in most respects anyway, before she made the decision to publish Twilight. It would have been an issue more then than later, when the books were accepted, especially since a lot of Christians have embraced them.

In spite of the unchanging state of SM's vampires, she does say that change is still possible, although it doesn't happen a lot. I think it's still possible for Bella's beliefs to deepen. SM has said in a couple of interviews that Edward's do. He starts the books as a pessimist, but by the end of it has turned into an optimist. This is another thing that makes me think how much she cares about him. He develops a lot in BD, but unfortunately, owing to the size and scope of the book and all the other things that are happening, it was impossible for her to fit that in. Jacob changes too, but he was left unfinished for me, as he hasn't yet officially been reconciled to the Cullen family (i.e. we haven't heard an apology or statement from him saying that he realises that they are good people). So I think that in some ways Edward ended the books on a more positive note than Jake did. We can see his new found optimism in refusing to say goodbye to his wife and daughter, because he believes that they can't be stopped at this point, and the final scene when he gets to read her mind is, for me, a perfect closure to his growth as a character. However, after the imprinting, Jake's character development pretty much stops, as far as we can see, anyway.

There are points in the books where certain points of view are favoured over others, but I don't think this is a sign of favourtism so much as just where the story was heading at the time. Just because Jake gets to mouth off at the Cullens frequently doesn't mean he is expressing SM's opinions, especially since he becomes clearly more reconciled to them in BD (although not completely, as far as I'm concerned, anyway). And why should his opinion be taken as representing SM's viewpoint more than any other? Should the fact that he gets to constantly abuse Edward seriously be taken as a sign that SM favours Jake?

What about Bella's viewpoint? Her POV is the one we hear the most. It would be the only one we hear, if it wasn't that the middle section of BD needed to be taken away from her because she couldn't experience the indepth parts of the story while she was suffering in the pregnancy. So, if anything, SM is trying to speak the most through Bella, and this is her opinion of Jake over the course of the books:
* he's a nice kid she'd like to be friends with
* he helps her when she's struggling after Edward disappears
* he is very important to her
* he is going through some difficult stuff
* he is in pain
* he says things that make her angry
* he is obnoxious
* he is self-righteous
* she loves him, but not as much as Edward
* she values him
* he belongs in her life
* he helps them
* he is against her having a baby
* he would do anything for her
* he is someone she can rely on

Here is Bella's view of Edward over the course of the books:
* he is beautiful
* he is perfect
* he is far more than she deserves
* she wants to give up everything to be with him
* she can't live without him
* she must be special because he does love her, and can't live without her
* he is her greatest love
* she still wants to give up everything to be with him, even though she knows she has another option that is good
* she doesn't believe he is capable of hurting her
* she wants to have his child so much she is willing to die
* she does give up everything for him

As our main narrator, I think her opinion is likely to be SM's overall one, and Edward comes across better than Jacob in the course of all four novels. Bella's sacrifice, which SM still persists with, I consider a sign that Edward was worth it.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Jazz Girl » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:15 pm

In the end, the only person who can truly answer this question is SM herself. And, it is the one question she has refused point blank to answer. Just as everything with The Saga, we all have our interpretations of various bits of evidence. What I may read one way, others read a completely different way. Signs that point to one conclusion for one person are mere coincidences or set facts for others. Do I believe that Stephenie ever lost her love for Edward, discarded him? No, not at all. I think Edward is and always will have a special piece of her heart. I think, in the end, my issue with Stephenie has been the same issue I've had with Bella all along. If Edward is truly the love of your life and the one you choose to spend your eternity with, than he should be the one who gets all the benefits of your doubt, every strength of your support, every word of your defense. In a way, I always felt like Bella only loved Edward conditionally until she was changed, and that hurt my heart. I could never reconcile the double-standard that existed between Edward & Jacob. So, I see that double-standard in the way that Stephenie addresses Edward as well. The only conclusion I can come to, then, is that, while Bella chose Edward, Stephenie would have made a different choice. It's a personal belief, and one that I know many do not share. I agree that there is powerful evidence to the contrary. But, in the end, if you are not the most vocal and consistant champion of your character, if you cannot find it within yourself to defend their actions and point of view, than you've given up on them a bit. I completely believe Edward was worth it. I just don't completely believe that Stephenie believes it.
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Re: Edward Cullen #6

Postby Tornado » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:32 am

The choice of accepting Edward, with all the stuff that goes with being a vampire, would be an extraordinarily difficult decision to make. I wouldn't think less of SM, or of her feelings for Edward, if she honestly said she wasn't brave enough to do it, especially since that makes it an issue of the difficulty involved in that choice (in giving up family, etc), rather than that Jacob is preferable as a person. I don't think it devalues Edward or gives Jake a superior position. In fact, I think it's telling that she let Bella make the opposite decision. She's honest in saying she wouldn't be brave enough for that, if this was a real situation, but she makes Bella brave enough for it, because she believes Edward deserves her. She is his reward. She makes Bella do what she probably wishes she was brave enough to do.
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