The Third Table

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Re: The Third Table

Postby vampman » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:51 pm

Alcyone wrote:

The female members of the Volturi coven apparently have no power. And might as well not have been mentioned for all they mattered.

The kickass females (like Kate. Kate ftw!) are just a step above extras as in seen once, never heard from again. Or they're just mentioned like maria


Alcyone,

I realize that I am a little late to this conversation but, I must point out what nobody else has. Chelsea was part of the Volturi and had powers. Jane was a major player throughout the series and her gift was very powerful. In fact even the Huge male vamps that you refer to that were part of the Volturi would do whatever she asked whenever she asked!
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Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:29 pm

I've never once felt any sense of anti-feminism coming from these books.

I wonder if maybe words like "feminism" and "anti-feminism" are getting in our way here in discussing what appeals to us -- or upsets us -- or simply doesn't bother us! -- in Stephenie's books. Or more generally what attitudes to women we feel comfortable with in a world where until recently women's freedoms have been conspicuously different (and mostly less) than men's. Rather than labelling different values as feminist or anti-feminist, maybe we want to just talk about what we think is helpful or harmful to women and/or conducive to their freedom, and why. These are very worthwhile subjects to discuss, and I think collectively we have pretty divergent views here.

First, in our own tastes and preferences: how we want to live and see ourselves, what we find admirable or pitiable in other women, what we find attractive or oppressive in men. That's not exactly disputable -- though it's interesting to explore each other's views, and try and understand what it would be like to feel differently.

Second, in our our judgements of where the greatest threats lie to women's freedom and well-being: from the remnants of the old, often oppressive norms or from the possibility that new dogmas will replace them. (I'm assuming that we all agree that the ideal is for women to be genuinely free to shape their lives the way they please). In principle, this is a question of fact which can be debated -- but they are very complex issues, with no simple answer that addresses all the different circumstances in which women find themselves.

Our differing views about these two questions will certainly affect how we view Stephenie's books, and whether or not elements of her story appeal to us or appall us -- and whether we think the values they subtly endorse are good for young readers or troubling.

Let's try and share our opinions rather than proselytize for them. I think we can take it as read that most of us here take these issues seriously and hold our views pretty passionately. Respect each other's passion by expressing your own dispassionately. We can learn a lot from each other!
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Re: The Third Table

Postby Li'lBit » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:14 pm

Thanks for the reminder, December! When there's something we all feel so passionate about but come at from different viewpoints we can start sounding a bit self-righteous and preachy without particularly meaning to.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby Alcyone » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:07 pm

vampmadness wrote:I realize that I am a little late to this conversation but, I must point out what nobody else has. Chelsea was part of the Volturi and had powers. Jane was a major player throughout the series and her gift was very powerful. In fact even the Huge male vamps that you refer to that were part of the Volturi would do whatever she asked whenever she asked!


No, they're not. They're Guard members. Don't compliment them by adding them to the coven; they're not that important.

The coven itself is (was) composed of five (six) members: Aro and Sulpicia, Caius and Athenodora and Marcus (and Didyme).


Now, I shall continually edit this post as I respond. But I felt like clarifying that first. The misconception that Volturi and Volturi Guard are synonymous is a pet peeve of mine.

ETA the first!

December wrote:Oh, Alcyone...you're a hard act to follow. Um, bunnies...?


What? You have a problem with bunnies? You prejudiced witch!

Alcyone wrote:You've been brainwashing ouisa. I really don't like you right now.

Hee. I haven't, I haven't.... I just post my implausible readings of these books and she reads them. Same as you, only to different effect. Obviously.


*points finger* BRAINWASHER!

Love IS often bizarre and baseless and arbitrary in its inception -- it's only after time that it becomes grounded in something real.


Can it at least pick someone tolerable?

Ok, I'm definitely missing something here (*grin*). Because...Aro is so NOT humble either. Is it only arrogant adolescents that give you the screaming habdabs? Does it become a less grating trait after the first couple of thousand years? Or is it just something irresistible about that oniony skin, so that his defects of personality are as nothing?


I think I'm not the only one with an onion fetish because you are constantly bringing them up. I have Aro and Lomesir staked a claim on Marcus long ago. Caius still needs someone. You'd make an...interesting couple.

What's missing is that I typically am not annoyed by arrogance (considering how I have an ego the size of Jupiter) unless the other person think themselves above me. Then, I promptly do what I can to shove them back to their--and inferior to mine--level.

Yes, I'm quite mature too.

Returning to topic, it's just a trait that annoys me in Edward. Probably because it's Edward's. Besides, Aro is like Jack-Jack from the Incredibles. Cute, innocent, no one would think something bad who is actually capable of morphing into a demon-like creature. He's adorable. Unlike Edward who is not even tolerable.

So tell me then, what do you learn of his true personality?


He could be tolerable. But his worse characteristics promptly take over and pop a cap to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Ah. Interesting. Can you explain this? Pushy and insensitive, I get -- but in what sense is he torturing her?


Maybe torture wasn't the correct term. But it's the only word I'm currently thinking of. Give me some time and I'll find the correct word.

Not sure if we're talking about the same thing here or not. What I had in mind wasn't so much the hurdles to their relationship (predictable) as the seriousness with which -- beneath the fluffy romance -- Stephenie was taking the dark side of her vampires' existence.


Ah, okay. So as not to repeat what you said, I'll just say I agree and move on.

But of course, the story of BD was established before she began to explore those implications in MS, NM and EC....


Which might be partly responsible for some continuance issues. If BD had been published sans Jacob right after Twilight, I may have disliked it less. As it stands in fourth place...eh.

Actually, he made his own abyss. That god complex of his...

Now here you've lost me. How is Edward responsible for that first day in Biology when he nearly falls back into the blackest savagery?


I was actually referring to his Dark Days hunting the scum of humanity. And his decision to only hunt down monsters in an effort to make it more morally/ethically/hypocritically acceptable.

Was it firefly who mentioned he would have been more likeable if he'd snacked on infants too?
It was indeed....

Firefly wrote:
Edward should eat a few babies, start a few wars, massacre a roomful of lawyers... It might improve his character.


I love firefly.

Well, you're a hard taskmaster, aren't you? You want Edward to acquire in a mere seventy years or so the imperviousness it took even Carlisle centuries to develop.


Not seventy years. Seventy milliseconds.

Joking aside, I would have preferred he do it Carlisle's way: through years and years of work and sacrifice. Or by snacking on lawyers. They're blood-sucking parasites anyway.

On the other hand, the appalling strength of will it needed to take Bella's blood from her hand (and then stop) when James bit her seems to me trial enough of his character that I'm happy to grant him a few unfought-for blessings, on down the line.


I'll admit I see your point and will try to bear this in mind when I next snap at him. I still hate him with the fire of a thousand suns.

Or, as had been touched on before, if he simply showed some form of compassion as his family does, rather than sheer selfishness.
Oh I'm getting so confused now...was it earlier on this thread or on TUGMP (or is it a post I'm still drafting?) that I was writing about the fact that there are many roads to virtue -- and if a moral code, rather than naked compassion, is the staff that holds someone up on that stony path, I'm not inclined to cavil.


Earlier on this thread. And that's a good topic for a nice debate, Twilight related or not.

December wrote:Heh. Well. I guess opinions differ.... If you prefer, released. Plucked out of the dark night of his changeless existence and granted love, joy, the ability to see himself for something other than a monster....


*blinkblink* But he is a monster.

I tried to make this shorter. Honestly, I tried....


Suuuuuure.



ETA THE SECOND!!

Ouisa wrote:Marcus' wife had a power yes. She made everyone happy. Little singing birds and glitter and happy ponies.


*gags*

Then, because this wasn't power to the use and liking of Aro, he murdered her.


YAY!

Therefore I think Alcyone's complaint about the Volturi women and their lack of power to be valid.


See? She agrees! She's P-S-MART! PSMART! (Yes, psmart has a silent "p" at the beginning. Like psychology. And pschool.)

Especially if you have read her amazing AB type and met her kick a-- Volturi women.


My girls would so kill their canon counterparts.

It's the preponderance of this violence happening to women with no corresponding violence to men.


Thank you!

I'm pretty sure too that Alcyone is disturbed by the continued trend of violence inflicted by men on women in The Host.


Yep. Especially as in both cases many of the women are close to my age.

There Alcyone was that enough of the dark side for you?


..*wails* IT'S NOT THE PSAME!


ETA THE THIRD! (Dear goddess, this post is turning out to be long)

December wrote:Hmmm. You're not trying to have it both ways here, are you? If it makes women look bad to depict female characters who are brutal, callous or sadistic (Victoria, Jane, Gianna (presumptively)), shouldn't it make men look bad too?


I'm lost. When did I say I have a problem with brutal, callous or sadistic women (where all adjectives apply to my OC baby, Anna)?

Or conversely, make those sadistic women characters look strong? We get to watch Jane torturing Edward (which ought to brighten your day, oughtn't it?)


Very much so, thank you. I still say some more stings either from Jane or Kate would have fixed Edward right up.

But I do take your point about the pattern of Stephenie's preferences. Do you feel the same about the Host? Can you tell me about it without sending Ouisa's nice thread up in flames?


But fire is fun!

Regarding the Host, I could see why there was so much violence being hurled Melanie's/Wanderer's way, but it's still vastly disturbing 1) the amount and 2) how close it hit me. They're not much older than I am and I could relate (with Melanie at least) to a degree. So it made it all very vivid for me. Which made for a highly indignant and PO'd Alcyone.

If I were a despot...

If? (*grin*)


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Re: The Third Table

Postby pubesy » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:50 am

ouisa suggested i re-post this question into this thread from the TUPM thread, so i am.

Is the reason for a newborn's thirst to part from seeing themselves as "like a human" and for the newborn to make the transition from seeing humans as "people" to seeing them as "prey" easier?
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Re: The Third Table

Postby Ouisa » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:38 am

Thanks Pubesy!

A little background: So on TUGPM we were revisting the question that how can a non-vegetarian vampire consume humans when they them selves was human in the past. After all humans eat cows, but they were never cows themselves! Pubesy came up with this excellent theory, that perhaps whatever or whoever created this predator we call vampire designed the vampires with the extreme bloodlust of a newborn in order to force the separation from the past human life. I think it's a very interesting supposition. I'm glad she posted it here for people to read and comment on.

I sadly don't have time to compose my thoughts on the idea, but I plan to post later tonight!
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Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:00 pm

pubesy wrote:ouisa suggested i re-post this question into this thread from the TUPM thread, so i am.

Is the reason for a newborn's thirst to part from seeing themselves as "like a human" and for the newborn to make the transition from seeing humans as "people" to seeing them as "prey" easier?


I think the thirst is there for many reasons...but that, I agree, is probably the main reason. They would need to be equipped for survival. Just as they grow attractive to humans, to lure them. Actually, everything that happens to them in the transformation is basically to allow them to better snack on humans.
I wonder if a normal newborn vamp (normal meaning unprepared, as Bella was) even looks at humans as humans. I mean, all the Cullens had Carlise guiding them and helping them to resist humans...but without a Carlise telling them, "No, Bad!" when they start chomping on people, are they even aware of what they're doing? Hmmm...
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Re: The Third Table

Postby Li'lBit » Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:53 pm

I really hadn't thought of it in that light. I kind of equated it to my own newborns, who were famished every 2-3 hours for the first few months. It seemed to be all they really did, eat and sleep, and newborn vampires can't sleep so it just leaves eating! But it's interesting, because their food source is overwhelmingly dictated to them. The smell of human blood opposed to other blood is so overwhelmingly appealing. Humans like a variety of flavors, but the vampires source of food isn't really varied at all (okay, different flavors of human blood - but that's more like eating different kinds of apples, but always only apples). If they are designed, they are designed to be predators of humans unlike other predators in the food chain who will feast on a variety of prey lower on that food chain.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:28 pm

Li'lBit wrote:I really hadn't thought of it in that light. I kind of equated it to my own newborns, who were famished every 2-3 hours for the first few months. It seemed to be all they really did, eat and sleep,


i thought the same thing too...
A newborn human, though they have no control over motor skills...can, after just a few minutes of being born, can scoot up it's mothers body to nurse.
They can smell their mother 20 ft away...
A newborn, if left alone, does what's neccessary for survival...so a Newborn Vamp probably does the same. It needs to survive...also it probably helps it survive a little better...doesnt eating more human blood make them stronger? So older vamps wont pose as much of a risk to them as well...
anyway, I hope I make sense..I'm getting sleepy and a headache...:(
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Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:33 pm

Well, I think the puzzle here is trying to imagine how vampires so quickly lose all sense of the, well, humanity of the people they feed off of. What it's like to stop seeing then as another person, whom it would be barbarous to murder, and see nothing more than supper. I mean, we can wave our hands and say "it just happens; it's part of the process of transformation" -- but it seems more satisfying to try and imagine how. Three short (if painful) days earlier, your life was made up of human loves and affections: friends, neighbours, family -- what could shred those feelings so completely that you'd have no compunction about killing any of them? Not just in the frenzy of a moment (as Stephenie says, thirst can make vampires literally crazy for relief): but as an assessment made in cold blood that these people are just part of the food chain, now. Sure, some people are the type who look around them and say "hey, I'm all-powerful now, and that makes the people I used to know dirt beneath my feet", but most of us aren't. And vampires seem so like us, morally and emotionally. Sure, lots of humans have no qualms about eating animals because they are our inferiors, and our natural diet -- but humans haven't recently BEEN animals; haven't loved and worked and lived among animals. You might expect there to be some kind of psychological mechanism for the vampire's transition from their old sense of self to their new one.

I guess it seemed to me it serves a kind of almost evolutionary function, if the newborn's frenzy is so unrelenting that by the time they're able to stop and reflect on their desires, months or years of blindly feeding have made them pretty well inured to the horror of how they live. It gives them time to reconceive their relation to the humanity the feed on -- and ensures that they go on to survive, instead of recoiling as Carlisle did and trying to kill themselves. (Ok, I know it's hard for them to stop surviving, but you see the thought...).

Hmmm. Are you sure you wouldn't rather this convo stayed on TUGMP, Ouisa?
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