Knives wrote:Edward is essentially selfish. Yes, he protects Bella from harm, but everything that they do as a couple is on his terms. He dictated where they'd live after they got married, when Bella got turned, by whom she got turned. He controlled every kiss and every intimate encounter - he even attempts to dictate whom she can and cannot see! Do these sound like the actions of a selfless being? I don't believe they do.
I respect your opinion, but my view is somewhat different, Knives. All your exampes can be interpreted differently in my opinion. Edward didn't dictate where they would live after they got married. He wanted her to go to college as a human experience. For her... And so he bought a house nearby Dartmouth just in case she decided to go. He would never force her. And he would go live in Antarctica with her. And when things took a different turn..His family gave them a house. Again..No one is forcing Bella to live anywhere.She could say that she wanted to live in a tent, and Edward would comply.
He didn't control who she was turned by. He accepted that she would have Carlisle to it. Edward simply put in some conditions if he was to be the one, because he wanted to stall the process. And he had every right to do that. He shouldn't be forced to do anything he didn't feel comfortable with. He didn't want her to be a vampire, because he didn't want her life to be like his. A selfless act.
He controlled the kisses and intimate encounters for safety reasons. We cannot take the fact that Edward is a vampire out of the equation. He had cravings for her blood. It took all of his selfcontrol to resist. So of course he had to be in control of kissing her. Bella obviously couldn't control herself while kissing him, so that forced him to always be the one to end the kiss. And Bella couldn't see the dangers involved in them making love. So Edward was forced to be the one to resist. Again, these are all selfless acts where Edward is concerned with nothing more than Bella's safety.
He did try to stop her from seeing Jacob. But that was also for safety reasons. Not for himself. The pack was his one enemy, of course he wouldn't want his girl to hang around with someone he saw as dangerous. That does not make him selfish in my opinion. So my opinion still stands. I see Edward as essentially selfless.
holdingoutforjacob wrote:I was thinking about Edward's selflessness and I had a thought.
It seems to me that Edward's selflessness is, in a way, a vehicle with which he combats his nature, which he believes is a monster.
Think about it - vampires kill innocent human beings to satisfy their own thirst. Does it get more selfish?
I think Edward sees being selfless to a fault as being the way to counteract his vampirehood.
Now, I'm not saying it's an act AT ALL If he weren't a fundamentally selfless person, he wouldn't feel the need to override his selfish instincts. But to be selfless to the extent that amethyst describes, to the point where not only does it hurt him but it begins to hurt other people, is not a form of selflessness that occurs naturally.
That's an interesting thought, HOFJ. I do think he was trying to make up for the inherent monster in him, by being the best person he could be. And finding Bella allowed him to give all his care and love to someone. But I see the performance of these selfless acts as highly unconscious. In his own view, he was selfish. So if he was in a way trying to counteract the monster in him, I don't think it was something that he was aware of. I see this selflessness as something so deeply rooted in his personality.