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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby Renesmee101 » Sun May 24, 2009 11:56 pm

holdingoutforjacob wrote:I hate to be one of those downer critics but I've noticed a distressing pattern in the saga. The strong women, who have a voice and aren't afraid to be heard, are vilified or alone, while the weaker, more classically feminine get their man and their perfect life.

I agree 100% Its one of the main reasons that, while I do love the series as a whole if I don't look too closely at it, when I start really getting into it and looking closely at what I'm really reading, I have to remind myself to unclench my fists occasionally. I'm very into the 1920's feminist movement, so that aspect of the books really gets under my skin. I loved Victoria and Jane because they were such strong women. And Leah's in a whole other orbit when it comes to strength and hootspa (sp?). Bella has never been my favorite female character mainly because of her dependance on Edward. I've always said that if she was truly as strong as she reads the first time through Twilight, then we wouldn't have had over half the social conficts we had in the books.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby edward4ever » Mon May 25, 2009 11:44 am

I have a couple comments that I hope don't cause too much conflict...

The first is about Bella's change and her smooth transition into her new life (skipping the newborn phase). I've said this a couple of times over the last several months on other threads (or, maybe on this one...sometime in Dec...) but I believe that her change was so easy for her because she was born to be a vampire. In face, what I said was I believe she was born a vampire, she just wasn't immortal yet. AND that she was fated to be with Edward for eternity.

-Her skin is pale (even in Phoenix)
-she never fit into any human relationships comfortably except her Mom, but that was as caregiver, not daughter
-she instantly connected with the vampire world and there was nothing that Edward told her about his world that ever shocked her. It seemed completely normal to her.

And the 'hint' that she was going to have an easy newborn existence...
-She could not stand the sight--nor smell of blood!

The second is about the comments about weak women getting all the love and attention from everyone and strong women being left out.
I'm confused a little by that because, speaking of this saga, Rosalie has everything she wants, except a baby--she could adopt like Esme if she wants one badly enough (but now she, and everyone else has Nessie so I think she's fine now). She is a strong woman who can take care of herself, so she has a strong man who treats her right and loves her with all of his heart and soul.

That basically describes any strong female character in any book I've ever read. They don't need men, or anyone, to coddle and protect them so, No, you're never going to see that happening because that is the LAST thing that a strong woman wants. She sees those men as weak (I think) and really wants nothing to do with them. The men strong women seek are strong, capable, independent men, like themselves, who also don't want to be coddled or nurtured by his woman. They have an equal 50-50 relationship, each contributing to the relationship on the same level...whereas weak, or dependent women have a very unbalanced relationship with their men--which works because thats what they are both seeking.

I don't see anybody missing out on anything on both sides of that card. Each is given what they need and want.

Quick note about the Kate/Nessie thing. Someone mentioned that Edward's strong reaction was based on his trying to protect Bella and not wanting her to be upset (that's not exactly what was said but I believe that's the gist)

Edward was acting. He was in on it with Kate. He knew she was not going to hurt Nessie, but he knew that Bella had to believe she was, in order to bring the anger/protectiveness out. He was cautioning Kate about approaching Bella because she is an exceptionally strong vampire right now, and was warning Kate she could get hurt.

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby holdingoutforjacob » Mon May 25, 2009 12:00 pm

Okay, first of all, Rosalie wants a BABY. Esme has the actual maternal instinct of the group, Rosalie wants a bouncing little baby to complete her perfect life. And yes, she does have a man - a wonderful man. But she is written as nasty and selfish and mean. Which she is, but I just find it interesting how SM chooses to portray her strong characters.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby Renesmee101 » Mon May 25, 2009 12:11 pm

edward4ever wrote:The second is about the comments about weak women getting all the love and attention from everyone and strong women being left out.
I'm confused a little by that because, speaking of this saga, Rosalie has everything she wants, except a baby--she could adopt like Esme if she wants one badly enough (but now she, and everyone else has Nessie so I think she's fine now). She is a strong woman who can take care of herself, so she has a strong man who treats her right and loves her with all of his heart and soul.

That basically describes any strong female character in any book I've ever read. They don't need men, or anyone, to coddle and protect them so, No, you're never going to see that happening because that is the LAST thing that a strong woman wants. She sees those men as weak (I think) and really wants nothing to do with them. The men strong women seek are strong, capable, independent men, like themselves, who also don't want to be coddled or nurtured by his woman. They have an equal 50-50 relationship, each contributing to the relationship on the same level...whereas weak, or dependent women have a very unbalanced relationship with their men--which works because thats what they are both seeking.

I don't see anybody missing out on anything on both sides of that card. Each is given what they need and want.

This, I just can't agree with. Rose has some of the things she wants. She has Emmett, she has a coven, she has beauty. But thats basically it other than the vampire perks like superstrenght and speed and indestructability (is that even a word?). She doesn't have the things she wanted. She wanted to be able to have children. I have never thought that Rosalie truly wants a child, but that she wants to have the option to have a child if she feels like it. Also, I think that Rose is one of those people who wanted to be able to grow old with the one she loves, not just stay frozen in her 18-19 years old body for all of eternity. Those are the kinds of things that show me in the books that Rose doesn't have everything she wants.

As for nobody missing out on anything, I can't agree. Leah has nothing but her life and her Pack. She doesn't have a lover, the ability to have children, sympathy from anyone but Jacob - and I honestly think that he'll probably go back to thinking about Leah the way everyone else does because now he's Captain Sunshinepants again because of Nessie - and her brother, and as far as we know, she can't even go home because that land is being protected by another pack (if I'm wrong on that one, let me know. I haven't read the 3rd part of BD in a while). So yeah, I'd have to say that one of the strongest female character in the whole series got gyped out of basically everything.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby akire » Mon May 25, 2009 12:25 pm

holdingoutforjacob wrote:I hate to be one of those downer critics but I've noticed a distressing pattern in the saga. The strong women, who have a voice and aren't afraid to be heard, are vilified or alone, while the weaker, more classically feminine get their man and their perfect life.


I don't disagree with you that Leah & Rose were strong characters. But where were seem to disagree is in Bella's strength (or lack thereof). To me, Bella's strength was a lot more subtle whereas Rose & Leah's strength each manifests in more obvious ways. The main thing I wanted to say was in response to this:

holdingoutforjacob wrote:It just frustrates me terribly that Bella, who relies on others throughout the entire series, gets everything she wants while Leah, who suffers so much by herself and Rosalie, who has suffered so much and lost the only thing she ever wanted, but who have both displayed great strength, are left wanting.


Because of the very well developed characters that surround them, it's really easy to forget that we are, in essence, reading the story of Bella/Edward/Jacob. The main reason everyone else is there is to enhance that story & add conflict.That being said I, for one, kind of liked that Leah's story wasn't all wrapped up in the end. I think there could be so much more to it than could be contained in a sub-plot.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby Mrs.Edward_Cullen<3 » Mon May 25, 2009 12:54 pm

HOFJ said something that made me think a little. How SM's strong, and independent characters are portrayed as mean, nasty, selfish and whatnot. And her weaker characters, get absloutely everything they want, when they want, how they want, where they want. It's becoming more true to me by the second. The main protagonist always gets what they want. Well not in all stories, but in Twilight it sure as hell happens. Not just in the female characters (Rosalie, Leah, who deserve much better honestly), but there are strong male characters too who are always framed as the bad guy (Jacob). Leah and Rosalie aren't afraid to speak up, they have their dreams, which is completely impossible to them sadly. But I think SM only did this to show, Life isn't fair. It truly isn't. It sucks. A lot. Sadly for Leah, she'll never get Sam back, or stop being a werewolf. Rosalie will never get the child she's wanted since forever. And all of Jacob's actions are scrutinized and criticized.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby edward4ever » Mon May 25, 2009 1:36 pm

holdingoutforjacob wrote:Okay, first of all, Rosalie wants a BABY. Esme has the actual maternal instinct of the group, Rosalie wants a bouncing little baby to complete her perfect life. And yes, she does have a man - a wonderful man. But she is written as nasty and selfish and mean. Which she is, but I just find it interesting how SM chooses to portray her strong characters.

Rose is nasty, selfish and mean, for the most part, because she's bitter about being a vampire and, therefore, unable to have a baby of her own. I do agree with you that Rose wants a baby, simply because she doesn't have that option anymore (the grass is always greener and all). I will concede on Rose a bit, because she could have been portrayed better because of her strengths, but she wasn't the main character. If she were, I believe we would have seen the better sides of her more.

Renesmee101 wrote:
edward4ever wrote:
I don't see anybody missing out on anything on both sides of that card. Each is given what they need and want.


As for nobody missing out on anything, I can't agree. Leah has nothing but her life and her Pack. She doesn't have a lover, the ability to have children, sympathy from anyone but Jacob - and I honestly think that he'll probably go back to thinking about Leah the way everyone else does because now he's Captain Sunshinepants again because of Nessie - and her brother, and as far as we know, she can't even go home because that land is being protected by another pack (if I'm wrong on that one, let me know. I haven't read the 3rd part of BD in a while). So yeah, I'd have to say that one of the strongest female character in the whole series got gyped out of basically everything.

Leah is just a teenager. She has all kinds of options at her disposal. She could imprint on someone some day and then get everything she wants. She absolutely does NOT have to stay a werewolf. If she stops changing, she will revert back to being completely human--and therefore able to have children (plus, I don't think it says anywhere that she can't have children as a werewolf--I could be wrong on that, but don't they imprint so they can procreate?). She believes that she became a werewold because she can't have children, but we don't know that for sure (do we?). She doesn't have anyone else's support right now because, like Rose, she's bitter about her break-up with Sam and let's everyone know just how bitter. When she gets over her pain and moves on, I think she will be more likeable BECAUSE she's a strong woman.
Also, Leah can absolutely return to Sam's pack, Jacob mentioned this, I believe in part 3 (Bella's story) in BD when he and Bella were talking about him going wherever Nessie goes. But, I don't think she wants to right now because of how she feels about Sam.

One more thing...'indestructibility' is indeed a word! :D Except that it is t-i-b, not t-a-b.

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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby diane771 » Mon May 25, 2009 2:01 pm

The book was based I think on first love. which very rarely comes truely havppy ever after in the real world
But I still point out again that Alice and Rosalie are strong and Leah is also. Bella is weak until she turns. but Stephenie also shows the weaker sides of men too. Such as in Jacob and Edward, so I do think it balances out. No man would ever love someone and let them treat them the way Bella treated Edward and Jacob. So I think as the story developes so does the characters and their own weakness and strenghs. HOFJ who is the strong woman that is vilefied as you stated. I just can't see where you got that. Leah sufferring came from Sam imprinting but doesn't that show us that first love doesn't always turn out right as the case of Bella and Edward? Alice is not vilied or Esmee they are strong in the book. So maybe I missed the examples of the women being vilefied so if you can let me see where it is. Rosalie was a product of her time, and never progeessed beyond that but with Emmett. The humans were not vilefied>
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby amethyst » Mon May 25, 2009 5:51 pm

holdingoutforjacob wrote:It just frustrates me terribly that Bella, who relies on others throughout the entire series, gets everything she wants while Leah, who suffers so much by herself and Rosalie, who has suffered so much and lost the only thing she ever wanted, but who have both displayed great strength, are left wanting.

I just don’t agree. Bella never asked to have a child, to have Charlie and Jacob in her life, to have a strong gift etc. I feel that her choices; Bella chose to marry Edward knowing they will never have the potential of a child, Bella chose to become a vampire knowing she will never see Charlie, Rene or Jacob, Bella chose to become an immortal with the full knowledge that she will be a wild newborn. . . Those were all very strong choices, but the choices themselves never actually did change. Bella didn’t expect nearly all that were given to her. The outcomes of her hard, brave, and strong choices was what had changed. She was rewarded with a child, with Jacob and Charlie in her life, with a strong gift, with a husband and a life that would have forever . . . I, personally don’t find anything unfair or unjust about things turning out better than you had hoped for.

Rosalie has more than she has hoped for (before Renesmee) too. She has Emmett. He’s the only reason vampire life is more than bearable for her. And she has a wonderful family as well. After Renesmee was born, notwithstanding the fact that she’s not her biological mother, to a degree she experienced motherhood through her. And I feel she was absolutely content and happy by the ending of Breaking Dawn. That is more than enough for me.
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Re: Bella Swan Cullen #2

Postby holdingoutforjacob » Mon May 25, 2009 6:47 pm

Hmm amethyst, I think you've missed my point a tiny bit.

These aren't flaws in Bella. She can't control these things. But they bother me about the books as a whole, about the story as a whole. They tend to make me dislike Bella, but they aren't her fault. I am criticizing SM's writing style more than I am Bella.

Rosalie, while important to the story, was used by me simply as an example. Rosalie is an example of a strong woman in the books who was painted for so long as the "bad guy" and as selfish and mean. My entire point is that the strong female characters all have something "wrong" with them. Leah can't have kids and is heartbroken and angry and alone, Rosalie is mean, Victoria is a bad guy....

I'm noticing another trend. These are all the women who stood up to Bella about her actions.....

Rosalie time and time again, Leah in BD, Victoria for getting her mate killed....

Alice has never stood up to Bella, and her character is "allowed" to be both strong and well-liked.
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