December, it isn't that I can't exactly see it, it's that it is an entirely different story. The battle scene in the movie allows you to glimpse what is missing from Breaking Dawn the text, which is the awesome POWER of sacrifice and heroism. It's one thing to say someone would do this in a particular situation, and it's another thing to have them actually do it. This is one thing that the medium of film has over the text, in that the vision battle actually works for the film. I don't think it would have worked nearly as well for the book.
Somehow, even though this vision isn't real, the film makes it so. I don't know how to explain it, I thought it would come off cheesy.
Three moments from Edward: 1) him and Nessie sitting at the piano, and 2) him holding Nessie at Christmas (and happy!), and 2) him and Carlisle the night before the battle.
[Book Bella says it's like her heart has grown larger to be filled with love for both Edward and Nessie. We don't quite see that this has happened for Edward as well in the book. The film makes that clear and real. Didn't Kayla say once that Nessie was for Edward? The book doesn't make that clear, the movie does.]
It's bizarre, the film often works better than the text for this last part of BD. Things like subtle changes to the imprinting reveal scene make it much better than the book. I'm not going to say the film is perfect, but it can be very surprising what things actually work in it. Bella manhandles Jacob, she is genuinely angry, things have changed for her. Bella holds Nessie, by herself. Jacob does reach for her but Bella doesn't give her up. Small changes but things finally work now.
Nessie is great here too. She is Edward and Bella's child in this, not the special unique snowflake from the book. I found her treatment in the book irritating, but she is simply adorable in the movie.
[Irina sees Nessie when she leaps high into the air to catch a snowflake in the palm of her hand. Was that a BC inside joke?]
There's a sequence starting with an altered discovery of the J. Jenks note. It initially seems to be a let down, but this segues into Bella returning to Charlie's and seeing Edward and Nessie (happy!) there while it is sinking in that Alice doesn't believe Bella or Edward will survive. This in turn goes into Bella packing the survival bag for Jacob and Ness with money and their passports, and Alistair seeing this all and having words with Bella. This is why Alistair leaves. This is all nicely done, scenes blending from one to the other with purpose and impact.
That's really all I wanted to say, is go see the movie.
Rambling on, though, I'm going back to Bella's dream in those opening paragraphs of NM, which is simply a statement of fact concerning their situation. Edward wants to keep Bella human. Bella knows this. Bella will grudgingly accept it and (she believes) will grow old. Nessie is not going to tolerate that fate, but only Stephenie knows that at that point.
So, without the paper cut, they get married and Bella gets pregnant and neither one of them are ready for the consequences. At least they're not ready in her new imagining of the expanded story.
I would say Edward's path is harder, but more straightforward. Stephenie has to work him and prepare him so when the time comes he will follow through and bite.
Bella's path is somewhat easier but a lot more complex. In my opinion, it isn't just that Bella finally comprehends the price she must pay and decides to pay it. She finally comprehends the price Edward will pay, yet still demands it of him. Jacob is the choice for both Bella and Edward, he's the potential "out" for both of them. Bella finally owns this decision which is directly related to Edward's greatest fear, that Bella will regret becoming a vampire at some point. Bella finally comprehends the full scope of her epiphany in NM, that yes, Edward loves you, and he really loves you THAT MUCH, and he actually had very good reasons for what he did, and he STILL doesn't want to do this, but Bella is going to push forward anyway.
Anyway, I like that theory, it makes sense, at least to me. Edward has to bite and Bella has to ensure the best outcome of "no regrets", so she has to completely own that decision, both sides of it. Bella telling Edward to stop the lovemaking in the meadow makes a lot more sense. Knowing what she is going to ask of him, she is going to do everything possible to make it easier for him, and thinking of it this way I can see for the first time she really means it when she tells him that his soul is far too important to her (whereas before this subject was more of a joke with her). It isn't just a cheesy line she uses knowing it will work with Edward, she is finally acknowledging the moral issues involved. She will do everything she can for him, because she knows this is going to hurt him (for a while), but she is going to demand it anyway.
That just makes more sense to me. If Bella comprehends the price she must pay, her life, she must simultaneously comprehend Edward's misgivings and the price he must pay as well, the sacrifice of his conscience. It's Bella's owning both sides of that price that sets the stage for the optimal outcome and averts the potential disaster, regardless of where SM takes it from that point. Bella no longer needs Edward to bite her as a demonstration of his love, she already knows it. She will never blame Edward for biting her. She knows this and intends on proving it to Edward in due time.
And now, rambling some more. I can see where this is all needed, even though Stephenie knows from the very beginning that Nessie is going to sprout up. As SM was working her characters she was working her fans as well. I couldn't say if that was intentional or not, if she was deviously leading everyone down the primrose path. I really don't know.
But then she had to do that regardless of Nessie. Edward has to bite and Bella has to fully own it, and both have to proceed as if the sacrifices and suffering that comes with everything is actually going to happen.
I have to go, but I want to make clear, I DO see your point, and I do see the potential POWER of that alternative story that was never written.
It's ironic that it took a movie to actually demonstrate the power in SM's final story, as written.
Wow. Maybe the bottom line is as prosaic as that. We just wanted Breaking Dawn to be written better, whatever the ultimate story arc ended up being. I hate putting that down in print.
I'd be willing to bet (again) that you would say if she had chosen that alternative path, then the power of that story would have naturally flowed out and wouldn't need a movie to show it. And, I'd have to agree. The movie demonstrates that something was missing from the book.
"It will take an amazing amount of control,” she mused. “More even than Carlisle has. He may be just strong enough…the only thing he’s not strong enough to do is stay away from her. That’s a lost cause.”