don't think she would be dead in the spiritual sense, but I think Edward had strong questions about this. Also choosing to be a vampire seems morally questionable at best, when you want your love to not end up in Hell ... and we know how overprotective, overcautious Edward is.
He tends to avoid the slightest risk to Bella - I'm sure sometimes he's thought about just wrapping her up in bubble wrap.
Yes, certainly in Twilight he is like that. That's why he leaves at the beginning of New Moon. But in my mind, the scene in Volterra is the beginning of the end of this belief. And he didn't believe in any afterlife for vampires, not even hell. Carlisle says in his conversation when he's stitching up Bella, "Edward is with me up to a point. Heaven exists ... so does hell. But he doesn't believe there's any afterlife for our kind. You see, he thinks we've lost our souls."
So Edward does not believe he will go anywhere when he dies. So even thinking that he might be in hell with Bella is a sign of a change in his thinking. Maybe there is an afterlife for his kind. I think, more than a reference to the fact that he thinks Bella committed suicide, this is where his comment "maybe this is hell" comes from. I'm sure at that stage, while he is now considering the afterlife as a possibility, he thinks hell is where he would end up. I think that's why there's a question in it ("maybe
this is hell"). He's not sure. He thinks that's where he'd go, but he can't believe Bella would be there. But just the fact that he is considering an afterlife for himself is a step forward for him, because prior to this, he didn't expect to go anywhere.
smitten_by_twilight wrote:It is odd, isn't it? It took me a while to notice, and I was pretty upset, because it really changes it substantially. How I interpreted it was (a) he has a soul after all, (b) because his throat is still on fire from her scent, and he still lusts for her blood, which is the part where I wrote dot-dot-dot, he thinks it must be Hell, and it's kind of a side note that Bella would be in Hell because she committed suicide, and (c) the moviemakers inserted this line as a speedy way of summing both Edward's reaction to meeting Bella again, and Bella's line which I think is in her bedroom with Edward at the end of NM, where she says something along the lines of "Not that it matters. If I have you, I don't need heaven." (This might have been Eclipse.) See how Bella is willing to gamble on Heaven, as long as she gets Edward, and Edward is only willing to risk her soul through vampirism because he sees the greater harm of either suicide or lifelong misery if he doesn't? Also, she deliberately trapped him with that vote at the end of NM, really taking the decision out of his hands.
It would be interesting to know what SM thinks of that line. I think that the "heaven" line is a summation of what her dialogue in the books suggest, and that is that they are in an afterlife together, and because Bella is there, although he thinks he belongs in hell, he is contemplating heaven because he can't imagine her anywhere else, in spite of her apparent suicide. But it would depend whether that was one of the things she approved of, or something that just ended up in there.
I do know that Chris Weitz seemed to run everything passed her. He even phoned her when they were filming the scene where Edward's face cracks in his fight with Felix to check that that was something that could happen. Given his desire to stick to the book and interpret it correctly, I really can't imagine him including something like that without at least running it past her.
The line about Bella not needing heaven is in New Moon, just after she's told him that he doesn't believe he has no afterlife. And although she has trapped him in a sense, you've got to remember that, at this stage, he is bartering an offer to change her himself. I can't imagine him doing that if he was totally against the idea. I suppose he may realise at this point that it's inevitable, and perhaps he is just buying time. But if that's the case, why the offer of marriage? I do not believe for a moment that he makes that offer to delay her. He may be pleased that it does delay her, but it's a serious offer.
So I believe that Bella is right in suspecting that hope in an afterlife, both for him and for her, is in him, he just doesn't realise it until this point. He still wavers, though, as we see in Eclipse ("I know you believe I have a soul, and I'm not totally convinced on that point"), but it is something he's considering. And I believe that, by the time we get to the end of BD, he's a convert.
smitten_by_twilight wrote:Maybe Bella is SM's way of introducing modern, forgiving, loving spirituality to Edward, and bringing him to a more optimistic place.
smitten_by_twilight wrote:Conservatively, yes. (Purgatory for conservative Catholics.) I think this is where Edward starts off. Remember, he believed that he lost his soul because he was turned into a vampire - he didn't even do anything. Well, until the murders. But he clearly believed that he was soulless just by virtue (odd context for that word to pop up in) of being a vampire.
Yes, but that's loss of soul, rather than hell as a destination. And that would have just been because of the traditional belief that that's what happens to vampires. The reality (if I can put it that way!), as with most things spiritual, is more complex than that, and I think that's something he comes to believe as the books go on.
smitten_by_twilight wrote:Bella's definitely much too simple for this. But she seemed to have caught onto the part about love. Maybe this is why she never sees the Cullens as soulless monsters ("you could never be damned" to Carlisle - movie I think. Something similar in book?) Because they are so loving, they must have redeemable souls.
With Edward I think her belief comes from the fact that she can't imagine someone as wonderful as him not going to heaven. I think it stems more from her love of him as a person than because he is particularly virtuous (although I guess it could be argued that that is one of the reasons she loves him).
That quote is from the movie. In the book she comments to herself that she can't imagine anyone, deity included, who would not be impressed by Carlisle. It doesn't really go as far, but Bella doesn't have much of a spiritual belief system anyway.
*sigh* Another thesis without much of a cohesive point. I haven't even thought this much about religion at least since I went through pre-Cana (don't ask but more than 15 years ago). But it's really fun thinking about this stuff with you guys!
There's nothing like a good, indepth conversation!