"Explorations" of Bree's Novella

A discussion of the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

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"Explorations" of Bree's Novella

Postby December » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:34 pm

Welcome to Bree's Explorations -- an Annex of the Explorations thread in the Quench forum. I'm setting this up so we can continue our Explorations style of discussion while keeping the original thread spoiler-free for now. For anyone not familiar with that thread, I'm just going to repost the Serious Discussion Thread Posting Guidelines it opens with:


* * * * *
Welcome to the Explorations thread. This thread is called "Explorations" rather than something more specific to leave room for the conversation to go where it leads us -- and maybe also to make a point: This is a thread for EXPLORING our different responses to Stephenie's story, NOT DEBATING them. Long experience has convinced me that the most interesting ideas get aired when people are genuinely interested in exchanging views, trying to explore and understand other people's starting point, rather than defending their own. So no fixed topic, but a few Ground Rules:

1. Courtesy is obligatory. Reread your post for tone before you hit the submit button: things often come out sharper than they sounded in your head. Go the extra mile to be conciliatory: it makes all the difference.

2. This includes courtesy to the author. Intelligent criticism of Stephenie's writing is welcome, and an essential part of the conversation; just be sure you put it nicely.

3. There are no right and wrong views here, just different perspectives. You don't get points for out-arguing other people. If someone else's reasoning doesn't make sense to you, ask them to explain their thinking to you -- don't attack their illogic. Keep an open mind. They may surprise you.

4. We're not here to change each other's views. We're here to understand them -- and explain our own. Please keep that in mind as you write. If we all agreed, think how boring it would be!

5. Respect each other. We all come here with different experience and expertise (whether formal or informal). Be appreciative of other people's and modest about your own. This can be especially important where the ideas of formal literary criticism are lurking at the edges of the conversation (ditto clinical psychology, another discipline with obvious bearing on many TW discussions). An academic perspective can be extremely illuminating, but it doesn't ipso facto trump all others.

6. Have fun! That's what we're here for.

* * * * *


Ok, so I'm going to start by copying in a couple of pages of discussion that recently took off on the Discrepancies thread, starting with a post of mine:


December Wrote:

Well, I was wondering about something different.

The implication of Bree's story is that you can hurt a vampire simply by burning them.

And that seems to me, if not actually inconsistent with what we understood in Twilight, at least a bit of a game-changer. At any rate, it seriously alters our original impression of vampires as these magnificent, impervious, marble inhumans.

Twilight makes it seem as though to harm a vampire you have to have enough strength (or werewolf superpowers) to rip them into two first. Burning the bits was just a way of making sure they're destroyed for keeps. But what Riley reportedly does to Diego, anyone could do. Ok, I grant you it would be hard for ordinary mortals to hold a vampire still; but if fire can do damage to a vampire while they're still whole, well...there must be ways of sneaking up on one with a flame thrower or something. Not saying it would be easy: but once you picture vampires as vulnerable to fire, we're in a different imaginative universe. They're just that bit less divinely untouchable. And I'm wondering why Stephenie chose to do it...

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Re: Discrepancies

Postby dandyvampgirl_13 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:22 pm

Really? I've always thought vampires were vulnerable to open flames. I really don't think you could just catch one on fire, because unless vampires sweat venom or they've drooled all over themselves, there's no venom outside the body to use as an accelerant. Maybe if you caught their eyeballs on fire, or shot flames right in their mouth, that could do damage, but their skin must be fairly impervious until punctured. However, an inferno, like a bomb or getting stuck in a huge burning building, would be enough heat to practically vaporize their bodies. It'd be like throwing metal in a forge, or marble in a volcano. Enough heat would crack anything, by the laws of nature.

I thought Riley ripped Diego to bits first, but maybe I didn't read carefully enough. I was probably glaring at the screen, anyways.

Also, didn't a Cullen (probably Edward) say that the Volturi would sometimes burn vampires whole? Alec would take away their senses, then they'd be lit on fire. That could be possible backup to what you think happened. I would assume the Volturi would tear something off first, or make a small puncture, then lit that, but... it could go either way.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby December » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:30 pm

Hmmm. Maybe I'm just thinking of what we know pre-BD. I don't think there's much mention of setting vampires on fire whole in the first three books.

I have to say, I got the impression that Riley was talking about undetached vampire parts.

Gavagai.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby JustMe44 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:42 pm

December you have a good point. While reading Bree Tanner I remembered (although post-BD) when Bella was waiting on J. Jenks in the restaurant to obtain her illegal documents, she was mesmerized by the fire and thought about what it would feel like to put her hand in it, etc. That was a scary moment for me because the way I understood it the venom is very flammable, but on p. 667 it says "I stood by the fire to wait, holding my fingers close to the flame to warm them a little before the inevitable handshake," so I suppose it has to make actual contact with the skin.

And as for Diego's death as awful as it is.. p. 105 says that his legs were torn off and the other stuff was just burned off slowly. ::winces::
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby December » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:09 pm

Exactly. Burnt off slowly. Very different from torn to shreds in titanic conflict with other marble titans and then incinerated for good measure. Just seems a lot less...majestically invulnerable.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby MiVidaLoca » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:37 pm

December wrote:Hmmm. Maybe I'm just thinking of what we know pre-BD. I don't think there's much mention of setting vampires on fire whole in the first three books.

I have to say, I got the impression that Riley was talking about undetached vampire parts.

Gavagai.



So did I. I got the impression the parts were taken off and burned, I don't know though, but SM said in one of the Correspondence on this site I believe, that like if they were in an explosion or something it could hurt them. She said good luck on an average person though being able to get one up on them.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby Openhome » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:23 pm

I remember that as well, that SM said that they were flammable, almost incendiary. If a vamp wasn't being held down, though, they would be able to put out the flames. When Aro mentioned that humans were almost capable of destroying them, this is what I envisioned -- that modern incendiary devices could possibly destroy a vamp. Really, that fact alone is the only thing, I think, that keeps the vamps at bay. Sure, you want an unsuspecting herd, but really a big enough group of vamps could control a large city fairly easily. I know this would lead to endless war, but that isn't reason enough to keep from simply keeping huge breeding populations around. However, if, if, vamps have this one weakness, their form of kryptonite, then the whole secrecy thing makes a lot more sense.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby dandyvampgirl_13 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:59 pm

Its like Bugs Life! The grasshoppers were only in control as long as the ants didn't think they had weaknesses and could stand up to them. After that, Hopper and his gang were so easy to take down.

I would assume the Volturi has done research on exactly how flammable vampires are, but they prefer to keep it to themselves- like Victoria and Riley not telling the nweborns about the sparkling, if normal vampires don't know that they could spontaneously combust (not that they could really do that, but it'd be cool) it's a secret the Volturi holds over their heads- a weapon.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby Seeker-Mar » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:59 pm

I pictured nuclear weapons when Aro was talking about weapons that could possibly destroy a vampire. But maybe he meant less extreme weapons as well. Anyway, it's still the same question. Does enough heat = goodbye vampire. Maybe like was said it would start by igniting their eyes first and then spread?

Maybe Victoria was able to burn off poor Diego's bits because she had already pulled off his legs. Could she have used the venom from his legs to ignite others parts.

Or maybe she sucked on his fingers one by one and coated his parts with her own venom! The sadistic monster.
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Re: Discrepancies

Postby andypalmer » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:07 am

I would guess burning napalm, if you could get it on a vampire, would kill one. I suspect that they could make it through "standard" fire relatively unharmed, as long as they were not "bleeding venom" but also suspect that more extreme heat would damage their outer "stone-like" skin and set their venom alight. So, humans armed with flamethrowers, incendiary grenades, and the like would be a threat, albeit only in numbers - vampire super-speed is a potent weapon.

Plus keep in mind that these are weapons that humans have designed without vampire-slaying in mind. If a war were to occur, within six months we'd have:
- white phosphorous rounds for guns (high heat)
- napalm filled bullets (think the UV or silver-nitrate bullets from Underworld)
- gyrojet weapons (think guns with bullets an inch or more in diameter, designed to hit harder and with bullets that could hold napalm or some other substance)

A bunch of guys spraying automatic fire at a vampire are going to hit with some of those bullets; if any individual bullets can get the fire going, the vampire would be in trouble.
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