Explorations (**BD2 Movie Spoilers!**)

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Re: Explorations

Postby ringswraith » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:30 am

Ah, but if you constantly bend or break the rules, then what use are they?

And if exceptions are numerous, why are they still exceptions and not the norm?

It's all a matter of perception.

For me it's not so much about suspension of disbelief as "Okay, wait. You told me that X is true- but now Y (which is contrary to X) is too?"
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Re: Explorations

Postby Knives » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:27 pm

I have to agree with Rings here - if you're going to set down rules, either stick to them or come up with a damn good reason why you broke them. Suspension of disbelief is something that both the author and the reader work on together, and setting faults like that open up huge, bleeding cracks in it. Regardless of a reader's enjoyment of a work, that is bad writing, no bones about it. But hey, authors make mistakes, and this is a fairly common one. I'm not about to go howling for Ms. Meyer's blood because she made the oldest error in the book.

Speaking of suspension of disbelief, though, I am somewhat intrigued by Jazz's idea of Carlisle being the first vampire to attempt living without human blood. At first blush, this seems like a perfectly reasonable suggestion, but I'm not so sure. Imagine what a newborn vampire goes through in being turned - attacked by a stranger, weeks or months of excruciating pain, and then awakening to strange hunger. Maybe they feel the urge to feed on their own, or maybe their sire tries to get them to feed on their own, but your average person - emotionally healthy, not completely morally bankrupt - is going to balk completely at feeding on a human, especially given the hyper-realized lethality of the Twi-pire's bite. Most people will try to avoid feeding if at all possible if they don't think they can feed on animals - quite a few will choose to "starve" instead of "becoming a monster". Eventually, someone scared, desperate, or just plain bull-headed is going to fang an alleycat and realize that they can gain sustenance in that fashion, no?
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Re: Explorations

Postby holdingoutforjacob » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:03 pm

Actually, Knives, that doesn't quite add up. And I can prove it with hard science as well as the books!

Okay, first of all it's been mentioned several times that vampires lose most of their humanity when they change. That's Bella's main fear, remember? That she won't be Bella so Edward won't love her anymore? They lose most of the connection to their human lives. I would imagine this would diminish their empathy and compassion.

The thirst is beyond hunger. It's an incredible craving for specifically human blood. It's instinctual. That's mentioned several times as well. Beyond that, a healthy body craves what it needs. If your body is low in Iron, you'll crave foods high in iron. If your body doesn't have those sorts of cravings, that's how you become anemic. This goes for all sorts of nutrients. And it doesn't have to be foods that you've eaten before. I've never eaten meat in my life, but if my protein is low, and I see a commercial for KFC, it'll make me hungry. That's how I know it's time to go eat a peanut butter sandwich! :lol:

I'm not saying there aren't instances where SM makes no sense in terms of her science, but in these particular cases, she's safe.
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Re: Explorations

Postby ringswraith » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:32 pm

The "lose humanity" part isn't instantaneous, however. It's not like they go from human, to surviving a transformation, to a morally bankrupt monster in the blink of an eye. We don't really get to see the beginning lives of new vampires in the series (and Bella's is so anomalous to what we've been told I can't really count hers as an example) but I would wager that this is a process with a length that varies depending upon how "human" the person was in the first place.

Put in other terms, I imagine that a say a priest would take longer to lose his moral scruples as opposed to say a serial killer.
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Re: Explorations

Postby holdingoutforjacob » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:06 pm

mm I'm not sure. I don't think they become a "morally bankrupt monster" automatically, but I do think they lose touch with their human lives automatically. In one of the books they said their former lives become like a distant memory.
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Re: Explorations

Postby vampirenerd » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:21 pm

So...I just typed a whole long answer and I don't know where it went lol.

In my opinion it would make sense that Carlisle wasn't the first or only vampire to automatically abstain from human blood. When Carlisle awoke from the transformation he was completely alone, with no one to tell him what to do or not to do. He retained enough of his human memories to remember what his father had taught about vampires and enough of his humanity to want to not drink from humans. Not every vampire that was ever made had someone there to teach them what to do when they awoke. All the vampire stories we heard in Twilight they all said that after they were first changed their human memories were stronger than they were now. I'm not saying that it wouldn't be extremely hard to abstain from human blood but I also don't think Carlisle would be the only one who could. Like Rings said, someone who was more humane in their human life would be more likely to keep more of their humanity after the transformation. Even if not everyone was able to stick with it, it would seem like there would be more than just Carlisle that attempted it, and probably a few that were able to stick with.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Jazz Girl » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:36 pm

holdingoutforjacob wrote:mm I'm not sure. I don't think they become a "morally bankrupt monster" automatically, but I do think they lose touch with their human lives automatically. In one of the books they said their former lives become like a distant memory.



You remember correctly. Every one of the Cullens talks about the fact that their memories of their human lives are fragile, fuzzy at best. They have to focus and work very hard to recall the human moments at all. They fade quickly, lost behind the imperfect recall and senses of a human. But, losing touch with their human lives and memories is much different than losing their humanity itself. SM herself tells us that one of the primary ways they are able to retain their humanity, ie their compassion and empathy, is because of their diet. Abstaining from what boils down to cannibalism enables them to retain who they are. It's an easy bit of reasoning, in my opinion. In military training of any kind, soldiers (those who must be able to kill) are first taught to see their enemies as different from themselves, less than them. From the standpoint of a vampire, who already knows that they are stronger, faster, smarter than the humans, add to that that humans are their source of food, and how easy would it be to completely lose touch with who you used to be. By eliminating that bit of superiority, it forces, in a way, vegetarian vampires to remain on a similar playing field of sorts with the humans, making it easier for them to retain those characteristics.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Openhome » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:46 pm

Thank you Jazz, well said.

When Bella is changed, with all the foreknowledge and self-control that she had, she very nearly took down humans when she simply sniffed them. I have had several experiences of dealing with addicts, both recovering and active, and when something appeals to you so entirely, it is unfathomably hard to resist. I cannot tell you how much respect I have for those who are able to fight their addiction. I can't even pass up Oreo cookies.

Having said that, if a human wakes from the burning to a new and disorienting world in which there is a substance so intoxicating that it is nearly impossible to resist, they will try it. Especially if they are shown how and then praised by their maker. It might shock and dismay them at first when they see that they have killed a human, but the quenching of the thirst would be enough for most to ignore their previous beliefs and give into their new needs.
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Re: Explorations

Postby Jazz Girl » Tue Mar 30, 2010 3:41 pm

Openhome wrote:Having said that, if a human wakes from the burning to a new and disorienting world in which there is a substance so intoxicating that it is nearly impossible to resist, they will try it. Especially if they are shown how and then praised by their maker. It might shock and dismay them at first when they see that they have killed a human, but the quenching of the thirst would be enough for most to ignore their previous beliefs and give into their new needs.



I've oftened wondered about this part of the phenomenon, honestly. Carlisle awoke with no one to guide him. But, he also awoke with an at least partial understanding of what he was, what the burn might be. But, he staunchly refused to give in, willing to waste away rather than give in to his instinct. When he turned Edward, he was there to guide him, a process made at least slightly less daunting because of Edward's gift. When Carlisle changed Esme, Rosealie, and then Emmett, he had each of the previous to assist him, to help work with each new addition to the family. There was always someone to help him in guiding the newborn. We know what Jasper's life was like, molded into a lethal hunter from the very beginning, rewarded for inflicting violence. From Jasper's stories, this was the way in which newborns were created and "raised" in his area.

But, what of Alice? Taking what we hear Jasper, Carlisle and James say about what might be the "normal" change process, it seems to me that, under "normal" circumstances, a vampire might decide to turn a human and then will stay with them and guide them until maybe they decide to part ways. But, Alice is denied that. She is denied any understanding or insight at all about what she has become. She awakens alone after three days of torture with only her gift to guide her. But, truly, how much help could that have been. Alice's visions are extremely subjective. While the presence of a vision of Jasper and the Cullen's in her future a full 40 years before they even come close to crossing paths, it certainly smacks of a little bit of fate. Fate had already made the decision to join Jazz and Alice and make them Cullens. (Let's move from that supernatural assumption, because otherwise there are waaaaayyyyyyy too many questions about what decisions had already been made that brought the lovers and the family together.)

But, in the meantime, what did Alice see or experience that made it possible to resist her preternatural instincts? What reinforcement did she get to support vegetarianism vs cannibalism? How did she follow that almost impossible of paths on faith alone that these crazy pictures in her head would somehow and some day come to be reality?
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Re: Explorations

Postby Openhome » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:55 am

Actually, I kinda wrote about that...
My story Singularity is about Alice from the time she went into the assylum until she met Jasper (28 years in 160 k words). You can see how I depicted her change here.
*Side note*I am really looking forward to Bree's story to see if I got it right. :D

My take on Alice was that she didn't abstain, at least not at first. She was able to see the humans around her with her visions, and this kept her from attacking entire towns. What stopped her was a vision of Carlisle and Edward hunting. It was the visions that showed her the human's lives that made her feel compassion for them and not want to destroy them. I would LOVE (pitiful begging here) to see what you think of it.
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