1. Chapter 12 is titled “Some People Just Don’t Grasp the Concept of “Unwelcome;’” who exactly does Jacob mean? Is he just meaning Leah? I guess at first I thought he was talking about Leah, and probably Seth. Hmmm... he could be reflecting on Rosalie not welcome in Bella's circle. He could think of himself as unwelcome even as he barges in without knocking.
2. Leah left the LaPush pack to evade Sam, her emotions for him, and to get him out of her head. Joining the pack to which Seth belonged aside, what other emotions might Leah have been feeling? I thought that, of all of his "friends" or at least pack, Leah was the only one who could understand Jacon's heartbreak over Bella. She knows what it's like to not only love someone who's not available, but have to CONSTANTLY be around that person and constantly WATCH them be with the one they love. I think she understands the agony and therefore, has an instinctual bond with Jacob in that way. I think that the scene where she approaches him on the cliff, asking him to stop thinking about Bella because she has to dream about her too, I think deep down, if she could have swallowed her bitterness in that moment, part of her wanted to reach out and tell him that she understood. I think part of her cared for Jacob and that might have had a small part of why she joined his pack as well. I think she was in a world of hurt and confusion-- why was she the only female wolf? Why, with blood lines as strong as hers turned out to be, didn't Sam imprint on her? I think she felt unwanted and unwelcome in the original pack, everyone having to deal with her being female on top of her bitterness, resentment, pain. She knew they didn't want her there. She knew the pack's feelings for her ranged from annoyance to pity. I think escaping to Jacob's pack was a way for her to finally get some peace, search her own heart for answers.
3. Jake postulates that Rosalie might be after Bella and Edward's baby on p. 240. What might Rosalie be thinking for the care of the infant after its birth? Is she interested in being its mother? Does she ultimately wish Bella would die? So often, we see from Jacob's thoughts and Edward's subtle facial expressions and nods- again through Jacob's eyes- that this probably is Rosalie's line of thinking. But I truly think that Rosalie never wished for Bella to die so she could have the baby. Surely she wouldn't have wished that on Edward, not after what happened between Rosalie and Edward in New Moon. She knows that if Bella dies Edward will follow- after all, Rosalie sent him on his suicide mission. No, I don't think Rosalie would ever wish Bella dead. I DO think that she HOPED for a very strong, special bond between her and the child. A GodMother relationship, if you will. Even after the baby is born, she dotes on Renessme but we never ever see a jealous streak between her and Bella, or between her and any of the other females. (There is one jealousy streak but that's a whole different story line.) In fact, when called to action later, she doesn't protest to stay with the baby, but heads out on her mission. I think this tells us that she loves the baby but is not, in fact, as psycho as Jacob and Edward see her in these chapters.
4. Maternal instinct is a very powerful emotion. What do you think Esme might have been feeling as Bella's condition deteriorated? Do you think she was concerned about Bella or the baby? What about Alice? I think that Alice knew it was going to turn out okay, and Esme must have trusted that. Esme, after all, spends much of this time doing the nesting for her daughter in law- preparing the little cottage. We don't see Esme hovering, and although we know why Alice isn't hovering-- the 'headaches'-- we don't really have a good explanation for why Esme isn't hovering worriedly. Of all the vampires, we know her to be the most maternal and nurturing, so the fact that she's not the one nurturing and hovering over Bella should be telling us something.
5. Rosalie’s newfound attachment to Bella provides for interesting interactions between Rosalie, Edward, and Jacob. What type of alliances may be forming in light of Rosalie’s attitude? Well, obviously, she gives "the boys" a common enemy. At the same time, you would think Edward could be a little grateful that she can do things like take Bella to the bathroom for him!
6. Why didn’t anyone, besides Bella or Rosalie, ever ponder that perhaps the fetus could just be a baby? Why did everyone else accept it as fact that the baby was evil? THAT is a VERY good question.... Was it because the stories were such a strong part of their collective history that it became a blind faith in that history that the baby would be evil? Was it because the others could see what it was doing to Bella and they were so resentful that they projected other emotives onto the baby? ... the thing is.... they are a houseful of strong, gifted vampires, in a semi-alliance with a growing pack of fierce werewolves. What evil could a BABY do that they wouldn't be able to physically stop or manage or control? They obviously have a lot of fear attached to assuming the baby was evil.
7. Esme has always been concerned about Edward finding his 'other half'. What thoughts might be running through her mind at the prospect of the Cullen family losing Bella?You know, there are a few spots in this story where Esme seems to be missing. In my mind, maybe I need to go reread it, she seems to be in the background, in the kitchen, or upstairs, or out. I don't know if this was intentional by Stephenie or if her role in this story was to be strong but silent, or if it was just an oversight! Maybe Esme's way of dealing with everything was to keep her hands busy by helping-- finding clothes, cooking loads of food, getting the cottage ready. From personal experience, when people around me are going through hard times, I reach out to try to help with all the mundane chores so they can concentrate on what they need to to get better. Cooking their meals, babysitting kids, running errands if they need little things.... perhaps this is how Esme shows her nurturing love, by taking care of the little things. Perhaps she can't bring herself to sit down and think about the loss of life if they lose Bella, the baby, and Edward. Perhaps she can't bring herself to think of how empty her house will be if things go badly. Perhaps she and Alice are clinging to the fact that Bella will be one of them, which means that everything HAS to end well.