1. During this chapter, Bella (and Aro) notice silent and one-sided conversations between Edward and Alice. By analyzing the facts in the rest of the chapters, can you surmise the content of these communications?
Alice is telling Edward everything she knows, showing it as it happens, as well as her guesses why - in the hopes that Edward can use her visions and the thoughts of everyone else to try to find a way out.
2. Can you explain how Aro's behavior is deceptive, based on what we know of the Volturi?
He pretends to be so nice... And yet how fiercly protective of their city they are and the lengths they'll go to suggest that somehow, niceties are not his biggest priority. The fact that he had the rest of the guard out all over Volterra, waiting for whatever Edward might do? And how he sets Gianna and the humans up; Bella's well-being only stretches to his curiousity. Besides that, Aro can be as pleasant as he likes in public - he is in charge, even Caius and Marcus, so called equals, obey him - everyone else worships at his feet and obeys his every nod of the head. He didn't get that position by being everyone's best friend. He just knows how to lull people into a false sense of security.
3. Compare and contrast Aro, Marcus and Caius. Which one is most frightening? Why?
On the surface, Caius is the most frightening; Marcus certainly isn't, because he doesn't care at all about anything (though that attitude alone is a bit scary), but Caius is loud and angry and quick to jump the gun. Alice already skipped out him having a talent when she told Bella about the Volturi, so he must have some kind of personality trait that earned him the place in the top 3 of the Volturi - frightening on it's own. Deeper down, though, Aro is the most frightening - because he manages to control the entire crowd of vampires and keep them all civil, and meanwhile he pretends to be so nice, so you don't even know what he's truly capable of.
4. Aro considers Edward not drinking Bella's blood a waste. Edward sees it as a price for an unimaginable opportunity. How do you explain this difference in opinion? How does this contrast the lifestyle choices of the Volturi with that of the Cullens? How does it contrast the individual character of Edward and Aro?
It's the difference between red and gold eyes, I guess; Aro is all about humans as a life source, whereas the Cullens are more evolutionary if you like, treating humans LIKE humans. Aro doesn't even think to ask Bella if he can read her thoughts until Edward tells him to - humans to Aro are solely food. It shows exactly how powerful the thirst is, which puts the Cullens in an even better light; and shows a much more animalistic side of the so called civilised Volturi. As far as character goes, it stands as a continuing tribute to Edward's; we always knew how much he loved Bella, obviously he sees it as a worthy price, not drinking her blood in exchange for having her with him. Aro, on the other hand, stands as a tribute to Carlisle's theory that refraining from human blood creates a bond; Aro highlights how vampires could be easily split by human blood.
5. Aro says that Edward reminds, him of and angrier Carlisle. He also indicates that he believes Edward has even more self-control than Carlisle. Edward disagrees. With which evaluation do you agree? Can you find support in the text to defend your opinions?
I actually agree with Aro here. Edward looks up to Carlisle and wants to be like him, and so over time has come to resemble him; yet he's not quite there with Carlisle's calm nature, because he doesn't possess that much compassion or patience. It's just him; no matter how much he tries to be like Carlisle, he'll always be angrier. Yet he does have more self-control; Carlisle has an amazing amount to be able to be around human blood and be all but immune, even with Bella's at the start of New Moon; but Edward comes across this mouth-watering girl and not only refrains from drinking her blood, but stays glued to her side pretty much constantly; kisses her and hugs her and watches her sleep as WELL as even being able to suck venom from her blood and keep her alive. It just tips Carlisle's self-control, because it's quite possible that Carlisle wouldn't be able to be as constantly, physically and emotionally close to a human like Edward is to Bella.Or if he could, there's just no evidence of it. Edward has restraint over his passion and lust as well as bloodlust. Edward just about trumps.
6. Stephenie has told us that Bella's immunity to certain vampire powers; including Edward's, Aro's and Jane's abilities; Is because she has a private mind. Explain what you thought this meant the first time you heard it. How did you think it worked.
I thought she was just kind of secretive like that; like she could keep her thoughts from Edward and Aro because she was private, going along with the whole self-sacrificing thing as a personality trait of Bella's. As for Jane, I figured that the pain wouldn't be physical, just mental; that she'd somehow draw from memories to create as much pain as possible, and seeing as Bella kept her mind closed off, Jane couldn't get in. I never dreamed it would be everything it was in Breaking Dawn, though.
'Out of nowhere, she was perched on Jasper's back, her lips at his neck.
Jasper chuckled, shaking his head. "You truly are one frightening little monster."' ~APPC~