Many thanks to December for her help with this one! Remember - answer these as if you didn't know what happened in Breaking Dawn!
1. What is Bella weeping for during that long night of mourning? Is Jake at the forefront of her mind or is she grieving for the humanity she is giving up? Do you think Edward knows what she is mourning over? What are the “adjustments” Bella has made which allow her to move on in the morning?
I think she's crying for the life she could have had. The one where, like Jacob said, her life took a natural course and Edward didn't come back.. She knows that she loves Jacob, and the good thing to do would've been to accept that path, but the right thing to do was to follow her heart, and that was to stay with Edward. He does know. But he mistakenly thinks she's crying for Jacob. He still doesn't want to believe that she really chose him and immortality when she could've done the human thing and chosen Jacob. She herself said he had known worse pain, and believe me, if she had chosen Jacob, there'd have been a bigger hole in her heart. The adjustment she made - she accepted that she had made her choice, and she knew who she couldn't live without.
2. Why does Edward suddenly change his mind in the meadow? Is his about-face a response to what Bella has been saying about their wedding plans? What does it have to do with Bella’s grief the night before? Is his reaction disproportionate?
He changed his mind because he wanted Bella to marry him because she wanted to.
Again, he misunderstood her. She does want to marry him, but because she loves her parents, Alice and her friends, she's willing to sacrifice her happiness to appease theirs. It could seem that he said no because he felt guilty about her choosing him over Jacob. Again, Edward does not fully understand Bella's love for him. As long as she gets to be with him, that's all she needs, she'll take it whatever he'll give it.
3. Why does Bella insist on waiting and doing everything as they planned? Does she feel differently about marrying Edward now? Or is she just determined to do things correctly? Which considerations do you think weigh most heavily on her: eg. saying her goodbyes, giving Edward the wedding he dreams of, having a care for his soul, committing herself publicly to him before becoming a vampire....or any others you can think of?
She realized what Edward meant about her doing things his way just because she wanted to make sure her family that she was leaving behind didn't think she'd forgotten them; Renee & Charlie would've been destroyed if she'd gotten married in Vegas, I think it was better she was upfront about it. Then again, she believes that Edward does belong in heaven, she sees the good in him he refuses to acknowledge. She understands his reasoning about protecting his virtue (I always laugh when I think about Edward still being untainted, I'm proud of him!) and if that's the one thing left that will assure his place in heaven, she won't jeopardize that. I think she takes all of that into consideration, foremost saving his soul, then making the wedding something he would always be proud of - remember he said he wants it to be formal (and legal) so the world would know they belonged together. And she wanted that last human feeling of being with Edward before she was immortal, and if the only way he would do it is if she were married to him, aside from her fear of marriage, that one legal drawback was not going to stop her.
4. Who do you think is actually right about what would be best for them here, Edward or Bella?
Dare I say both?
From each point of view, Bella knows what she wants, and she's stubborn enough to stand by her decision to go and get it.
The same is said for Edward, he's stubborn and in control enough to stand by his decisions.
But they also share a flaw: he can't resist her and she can't resist him.
5. The last chapter of Eclipse doesn’t leave us with the upbeat feeling you might expect when a book ends with its hero and heroine planning their wedding. Does the faintly elegiac note on which it closes make sense? Did it bother you? Did it make you worry whether Bella had made the right choice?
Actually, the way Eclipse ended, Jacob thought he'd lost his love. He wanted to be alone, he wanted to run away from the pain, the hurt, the betrayal, the responsibility. Even if we hadn't known he would've come back, it played out the way it should. I wasn't worried. Bella had made the choice that was right for her and her heart. If she'd stayed with Jacob, she'd hurt Edward more. Look at it this way - she could deal with the pain of Jacob's hurt, but she couldn't survive with Edward's heartbreak.
.:: why try and fit in when I was born to stand out? ::. ..and then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.E<3B