Edward and Bella 2

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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby Jazz Girl » Mon May 18, 2009 1:32 pm

December wrote:
HOFJ wrote:Bella's safety and protection were, of course, Edward's main focus. But his need to keep her entire life completely risk free at the expense of her free will - that was selfish. It scared him, he didn't like being scared, and he eliminated the thing that was scaring him.

That's a very lucid way of expressing the paradox of this relationship (and love in general). When two people care passionately about one another, selflessness and selfishness get caught in a kind of reflexive loop. Bella cares more about Edward than she does about her own well-being. She would give her life for him (or just to be with him!). Selfless or selfish? After all it's what she wants more than anything else. As for Edward, Bella's well-being is paramount to him, overshadowing all thought of his own needs. It's all he wants. So is he trying to ensure it for her sake or for his own? To my mind there's no simple way to distentangle the two. The infinite regress of true love -- I want your happiness, because it is my happiness, which is your happiness... -- carries on indefinitely. "More than your death, I fear my own," a character in Dorothy Dunnett's Checkmate says to his beloved, "because you would be left here to mourn."

If Bella is more willing to put her life at risk than Edward is (as you rightly point out, HOFJ, the thought paralyzes him with terror), if he needs her safe more than she does, I'm not sure that whether that makes his trying to keep her safe selfish -- or simply bossy ("I know better than you do what is in your best interest"). Certainly he is trying to get his own way, but bossiness is a different vice from selfishness. And, yes, he is trying to get what he wants (not to be in constant terror) even if it means thwarting her. But most of all he wants it for her. The two motives can't really be extricated.

It's worth noting this same selfish selflessness (or selfless selfishness) underlies the larger issue of Edward's opposition to Bella's becoming a vampire. Tennyo cogently argued long ago (and anyone interested in debates over Edward's selflessness might enjoy reading her Ed-Con thread) that there was a kind of selfishness to Edward's seemingly selfless determination to give Bella up in NM rather than risk her becoming a vampire. Yes, the driving thought behind his decision was "I can't bear the idea of seeing her life destroyed; I'd put myself through anything to avoid that," but it's also "I can't bear the idea." If you will suffer acutely over someone else's pain, protecting them is protecting yourself too. Selfless or selfish?

ETA
Sorry -- for some reason I seem to have missed the last page of posts. Apologies that this is now about 18 hours out of date.


December~ Tis true, too true. The argument over whether Edward is selflessly selfish or selfishly selfless is the very definition of a paradox. He essentially cannot be one without being the other. And, in the end, it will all boil down to how Bella sees him vs how he sees himself. He will always, no matter what, see what he did in turning Bella (despite all the happiness they gain at the end of BD) as the single most selfish thing he ever did, taking her mortality and her life and condemning her to what he sees as life as a monster so that he will not have to be parted from her. Bella will always see it as the single most selfless thing he has ever done, saved her existence and that of their daughter by doing the one thing in the world that he absolutely did not want to do. Hopefully, they are able to find a middle ground, at least in terms of the argument of it.
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby December » Mon May 18, 2009 1:58 pm

Well, the ending of Eclipse leaves us room to hope that they HAVE both begun learning how to accept one another's sacrifices. Edward is determined to give Bella everything she's asked for -- sexual consummation and the life of a vampire, no strings attached -- in part because he can't bear to watch her draw out any further the agonizing leavetaking from her human life. And she gently hands that gift back to him -- though she knows the waiting will be as hard for him as for her -- because she'll let him suffer this with her, as long as she can give him the wedding that means so much to him. And Edward...he in turn accepts her sacrifice because he sees how much it matters to her to do this for him. I think we are meant to believe that even if things had gone according to plan, and the events of BD never happened, it would have been possible for him to deliberately take her life -- and for her to freely give it to him -- and for each to truly accept without reservation the unspeakable gift the other is giving. And live an untroubled Happy Ever After in each others arms....
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby Mrs.Edward_Cullen<3 » Mon May 18, 2009 3:44 pm

December, stated brilliantly. Bravo, bravo.
On the selfless/selfish controversy, every person, every relationship, is at some point and sometimes selfish, and selfless. Edward is selfless and selfish at times. He has both moments. Edward makes sure Bella is safe, and is so anal about her well-being because if he wasn't the core and center of his life, universe, and existence, Bella, would be gone. So it's both selfish and selfless of him to ensure her safety. He does that, so he can have her. Bella as well, has her selfless and selfish moments. That what their relationship is based on. Caring for each other, so they can have each other for themselves. I find it endearing how much they love and want each other that they go to such measures just so they could spend eternity together. It's both self-less and selfish. Every person, is self-less at times, and selfish at others. So does every character in a book. Otherwise, the character is just 2-D and purely unrealistic. Just a figment of impossibility. But Edward and Bella are not both self-less creatures, nor are they selfish, they are both in a good way.

HOFJ- You said something earlier that intrigued me. Your theory can be applied to Edward very well.
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.

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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby diane771 » Mon May 18, 2009 5:37 pm

Hello
Jazz you said. The argument over whether Edward is selflessly selfish or selfishly selfless is the very definition of a paradox. He essentially cannot be one without being the other. And, in the end, it will all boil down to how Bella sees him vs how he sees himself. He will always, no matter what, see what he did in turning Bella (despite all the happiness they gain at the end of BD) as the single most selfish thing he ever did, taking her mortality and her life and condemning her to what he sees as life as a monster so that he will not have to be parted from her. Bella will always see it as the single most selfless thing he has ever done, saved her existence and that of their daughter by doing the one thing in the world that he absolutely did not want to do. Hopefully, they are able to find a middle ground, at least in terms of the argument of it.

I agree with what you are saying but don't you think that a person who really is selfless will never see that trait within himself?r
Dark Knight; you do come up with some wild idea's it would make an interesting book . But down to the basics, what a person thinks and what he does about it, are two separate issues

You don't like my military concepts, ahhh come on, the conquest of women and the conquest of territory have been the male occupation for a few milenium now... Such sweat dreams are made of these...
Well to most men they are just dreams :) to Edward they could have been reality, so goes the story of wanting something that you can't have, is so much more interesting and alluring , than something that is in your grasp at all times. So keep the women waiting and Edward does, and Bella she didn't have a clue, and you must remember Edward too, was also a virgin for 90 yrs, so all that tension building up inside. His selflessness in hurting Bella has to be applauded, because no man I know would ever be able to control his desires for as long as Edward does. 8-)
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby holdingoutforjacob » Mon May 18, 2009 8:25 pm

I think we can, in all fairness, classify him as a selfless person, because his selfishness is never EVER simply for his own gain, there's always some selfless under-motive leading him to a selfish act, as in the case of Bella in New Moon. Does that make sense?
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby diane771 » Mon May 18, 2009 10:08 pm

holdingoutforjacob wrote:I think we can, in all fairness, classify him as a selfless person, because his selfishness is never EVER simply for his own gain, there's always some selfless under-motive leading him to a selfish act, as in the case of Bella in New Moon. Does that make sense?



Yes that is a very good point HOFJ
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby The Dark Knight » Tue May 19, 2009 3:33 am

ringswraith wrote:The Dark Knight: Tread lightly with the sexist comments, please.

You don't like my military concepts, ahhh come on, the conquest of women and the conquest of territory have been the male occupation for a few milenium now... Such sweat dreams are made of these...


That just makes it sound like just because they're not male, they don't know better than we do. And I disagree with that kind of sentiment.

Regarding your distinction between fear and caution: That's a mighty fine line. Why are you being cautious? Because you're afraid of something, typically- if you don't do X, Y will happen, and Y must never happen.

All that being said, I'm not sure if I should be amused that people think Edward's being selfish for keeping to himself (i.e., not going out with the ladies) for all that time. I would think it is you guys and gals who are being selfish by asking him to "play more." ;)


Humm, Sexiest comments, well, I don't see it as a sexiest comment, rather a common point of view of history that is well documented. Truth will out...

Actually there is a vast difference between fear and caution. Let’s see if I can better explain; fear trigger involuntary responses like 'Flight or Fight." The person who lets fear control them has given up the ability to have rational thoughts. Whereas, the cautious person still retains the ability to determine what course they wish to take. In life and death this margin is often the deciding factor who lives and who dies. So, in my book there is a vast difference. If you feel differently please give your thoughts.

As for being one of the selfish ones, I can live with that. If it makes the ladies happy even for a little why, the world is a better place for it. I have seen some of the comments on the Edward list that have been made… ringswraith, talk about racy. That’s ok I don’t mind them…have fun on the new thread that December built for those comments…
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby ringswraith » Tue May 19, 2009 11:50 am

The Edward list? Are you referring to the RP as EC thread? Yeah, we've kind of been kicked out from there. :lol:

And I know what you said is true, but in the context of the discussion it comes out as if you're putting down women. That's why I made that comment.

Yes, fear does provoke the "fight or flight" response. That's natural. But take it the other way around- instead of reacting to a fear stimulus, you're being proactive to prevent the stimulus from happening. Kind of like making sure a gun is empty- chamber included- before cleaning it, because you don't want to accidentally shoot something (or someone). To me, it's still a form of reaction to a fear; perhaps not on the same magnitude, but still a fear.

I suppose that all sounds very generic to you- I don't have the experiences you do. :)
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby diane771 » Tue May 19, 2009 2:29 pm

Actually there is a vast difference between fear and caution. Let’s see if I can better explain; fear trigger involuntary responses like 'Flight or Fight." The person who lets fear control them has given up the ability to have rational thoughts. Whereas, the cautious person still retains the ability to determine what course they wish to take. In life and death this margin is often the deciding factor who lives and who dies. So, in my book there is a vast difference. If you feel differently please give your thoughts.
The Dark Knight


Well your definition of fear and caution is quiet plausible, but does it include the fact that you could be both at the same time?
I say that yes, you can: example suppose someone fearful of something, and they go about overcoming that fear, but there is the caution still there when they try to overcome that fear. Edward was in fear on losing control in an intimate way with Bella, his fear is based on the thought of maybe really hurting her or even killing her. These thoughts to Bella seem to be irrational to Bella, yet Edward letss this fear control his actions. That is the fear way of looking at your defintion of fear

So then the cautous, would be Edward knows how strong he is wants to be with Bella in every sense of the word but needs to feel that this will be a well thought out choice that he will not regret. So he seeks out more information about it before he proceeds with it , and weighs the deciding factors like, is this going to work or is Bella going to die if I try? Then he makes a cautios desicion based first on fear and then on caution.
So your vast difference in fear and caution doesn't seem to be necessarily true and I do not believe in the case of Bella and Edward that it applies. So goes your theory Dark Knight on Bella and Edwards intimacy.
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Re: Edward and Bella 2

Postby holdingoutforjacob » Tue May 19, 2009 9:32 pm

Rings. Use some common sense, man!! Why would she be putting down women by saying that men have manipulated and conned and forced them into submission for years?? That was definitely a dig on the male race, my dear masculine friend!!

Also, it was true. I did an entire term paper on it last year for my social studies class.... lord did I have a lot to say!!

And, to address the point of Edward being selfish by not seeing the ladies.... anyone ever see Russell Brand do his bit on the Jonas Brother's purity rings???
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