The Third Table

Off-Topic Forum for things having nothing to do with Twilight or the entertainment industry

Moderators: bac, cullengirl, una, Nena

Forum rules
Click for Forum Rules

Re: The Third Table

Postby Li'lBit » Fri Oct 24, 2008 6:20 pm

You've got a very good point there, both December and Pubesy. I think there must be something to that thirst that allows them to overcome their feelings of humanity so thoroughly and so quickly. And I think perhaps enduring 3 days of unendurable pain may add to that separation. I know when I'm in pain I feel both less human and less humane, and I can't really claim to have felt any sort of pain compared to that of the transformation. The combination may lead in an evolutionary sense to an *almost* certain filling of that need, and having once given in even if it is horrifying at first, it would become easier and easier.

It's also interesting from the viewpoint that we know it's NOT insurmountable - we have examples of vampires who through sheer will are able to avoid losing their humanity in that first step and others who are able to get it back after years (decades, centuries) of indulging. Since they are unable to reproduce (a full-blooded vampire) can it be considered evolutionary at all - they can't pass their vampire traits on to their children, only their morals and ideals which can be accepted or rejected. So I guess what I'm getting at is that if Bella's preconcieved notions about what being a vampire would entail for her colored her experience so much, would the general newborn thrist be treated differently by newborns if vampire lore prepared them to resist rather than giving them the idea that they were now monsters and there was no other way?
"Sure, [snow] was drier than rain -- until it melted in your socks."
Li'lBit
Wandering Through Town
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: The Third Table

Postby Alcyone » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:15 pm

Li'lBit wrote:I know when I'm in pain I feel both less human and less humane, and I can't really claim to have felt any sort of pain compared to that of the transformation.


I was on Percocet for a week for a splitting headache. And I'm talking about a pain where I could not move my head without literally screaming in pain. (A funny side not is that originally I was given Tylenol with Codeine but that didn't just take the pain away; I also started bouncing on walls. So a different painkiller promptly proved necessary.) I also volunteer in a hospital and, while I usually keep to the NICU, I've rotated through the other wings including the oncology ward. There are people enduring pain just like the transformation, but for months. Metastasis to bone is especially horrifying; there are no words to describe the agony. The pain is such that the Catholic Church allows moral use of radical painkillers even if the use of these drugs shortens the patients' lifespan. This is to keep the person sane. Likewise, illegal drugs such as cocaine are allowed in terminal cases as a palliative measure. And these people are usually already in severe pain treatment like patient-controlled morphine drips. Under such pain, I've seen deeply religious people curse against whatever God they believe in. I've had some scream at me because I happen to be in the room. They rail against the doctors, refuse any form of testing or medication and even become aggressive against others or themselves. To state the understatement of the year, pain hurts. And it is capable of driving people to insanity. It was two hours and I was ready to kill the nurse because she didn't hurry up with my Percocet. Three days and I'm unsurprised their first move involves getting rid of the pain left.

December wrote: Sure, lots of humans have no qualms about eating animals because they are our inferiors, and our natural diet


While the analogy mostly fails, let's go back to a vegetarian vs omnivorous diet. You know how a vegetarian diet is better for you than an omnivorous one? It's not. It's a misconception. If it weren't for meat, our brain would not be the size it is so we probably would not be where we are right now (whether that is good or bad is subject for a different debate). A herbivorous diet entails a very long, very complicated digestive system. Humans needed more energy in the nervous system. We had to get it from somewhere so what did our ancestors do over the course of evolution? They gradually shifted energy from the digestive system to the nervous and, in doing so, altered that system forever. Humans are no longer capable of a vegetarian diet; over the course of millions of years, we've been getting rid of those components. Appendix? Hypothesized that the first child without an appendix will be born around 2050 as their size has been gradually become smaller with each generation. Length of digestive cycle? Shortened so that more energy could be used by the nervous system. Bacteria responsible for breaking down cellulose and thus responsible for allowing most of the plant's energy to be used by the person? All gone. Our diet needs meat; to have a solely vegetarian diet--as in no animal-based products like wonderful, wonderful cheese either--one would end up needing vitamin and mineral supplements because we are incapable of ingesting plants fully. Religious and other moral decisions aside, we need animals. As food. How can we be certain a human only diet isn't the best course for a vampire?

And I'd like my Baby New York medium please. With provencal rice and a nice potatoes to drown in butter.
Image
Set by *cullens & converse | AB Type
User avatar
Alcyone
Has More Hidden Talents Than Aro
 
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:25 pm
Location: Playing foosball with Aro

Re: The Third Table

Postby Ouisa » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:00 pm

december wrote: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.'


I think we are discounting one thing here. I was listening to BD last night and I was at the point where Bella is waking up after her transformation. Bella talks about how hazy her human life already seems. The pain, the physiological changes to her body are so great . Edward even acts like he's not even sure she knows who he is. That's why her "I love you" is so profound, it's not so much a statement of feeling...it's Bella remembering.

Of course we know that Bella is a very special and unique newborn though both her pre-knowledge, choice, special superpowers and love of a coven. Rosalie taught Bella how to hold on to human memories, Carlisle and Edward and Jasper taught her what it meant to be newborn; Bella had a lot of gifts others did not. So the fade might be stronger to them. I think this fading of the memories also assists in the fading of the connection to humanity and the ability to then snack on humanity as much as the painful thirst.

ETA: Cross posted with the Volturi Queen. As always her biology astounds me.
Image
User avatar
Ouisa
Taking over the world and making it pretty!
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:45 pm
Location: Visiting Isle Esmandy

Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:46 pm

Lilbit wrote:And I think perhaps enduring 3 days of unendurable pain may add to that separation. I know when I'm in pain I feel both less human and less humane, and I can't really claim to have felt any sort of pain compared to that of the transformation.

Alcyone wrote:To state the understatement of the year, pain hurts. And it is capable of driving people to insanity. Three days and I'm unsurprised their first move involves getting rid of the pain left.

Well yes, it certainly occurred to me too that the trauma of transformation would put a lot of open water between the newborn vampire and their old life. In fact, it made me think (paradoxically) of the pain of childbirth, and how the intense bonding mothers -- usually -- experience with their newborns probably owes something to the altered state they are in by that stage. In their case it's the cataclysmic formation of emotional attachment rather than dissolution, but it's a similarly life-altering transformation.

But my thought was that it cant hurt the newborn's thirst goes on dominating their life, driving them to a continuous fury of feeding so that they're really habituated to their new relation to humankind by the time they can catch their breath and get their bearings. In the same way that new mothers (to continue this dis?analogy) don't get much chance to sleep, or eat or get their bearings before quite some time has passed, and their infant has become an established part of their new life. So yes, it makes sense that the average newborn vampire is wild to relieve the remnants of the pain they've endured for three days; but this mightn't be enough on its own to carry them the full distance from humanity to ruthless predator, if it weren't repeated, unrelentingly, for a very long time....

About the fading of human memories: I'd rather got the feeling that this often gets overstated in the fandom. That in fact, vampires have few clear memories of their human lives NOT because their memories were wiped out by their transformation, but because their human lives were such a long time ago. Everything from their subsequent (vampire) existence is preserved by their preternatural vampire powers of recollection, but the human stuff just fades naturally with the passage of time -- as humans' memories do.... The exceptions to this being Edward and Alice, both of whom lost their memories through trauma in their human lives....

But maybe I'm wrong about this. Please correct me, someone....
Image
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?”
User avatar
December
Muse of Philosophical Discussion
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:09 am
Location: Putting the "Longa" into Ars Longa....

Re: The Third Table

Postby Variety » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:54 pm

December wrote:About the fading of human memories: I'd rather got the feeling that this often gets overstated in the fandom. That in fact, vampires have few clear memories of their human lives NOT because their memories were wiped out by their transformation, but because their human lives were such a long time ago. Everything from their subsequent (vampire) existence is preserved by their preternatural vampire powers of recollection, but the human stuff just fades naturally with the passage of time -- as humans' memories do.... The exceptions to this being Edward and Alice, both of whom lost their memories through trauma in their human lives....

But maybe I'm wrong about this. Please correct me, someone....

I always understood it like this: A vampire has a perfect memory, as a vampire. So, anything they come across, or learn, etc, as a vampire, they will remember. Human memories, if they recall them soon, they will also hang on to. I got the impression that they lose the capability to remember those human memories. For example, when Rosalie hung on to her memories, they stayed in her mind, and now she is able to recall them. Edward, who was in a fever right before his transformation, never could recall those human memories. So, no, it's not because their memories are wiped out by the transformation, but I don't think they "forget" their human life over time. I think they lose the ability to recall them, but if they have recalled them at any time as a vampire, they will forever remember them. (If that makes sense.)
Image
Where there is great love, there are always miracles. -Willa Cather
User avatar
Variety
Jump Starting Bella's Truck
 
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:52 pm
Location: Hiding from my family so I can read

Re: The Third Table

Postby SparklingDiamond » Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:15 am

Alycone wrote: Religious and other moral decisions aside, we need animals. As food. How can we be certain a human only diet isn't the best course for a vampire?


This is an interesting thought. However, in terms of the books, I don't know that there's anything to back this up. The Cullens seem just as strong, if not stronger, than the rest of the vampires. Strong both physically and mentally. I would even consider them mentally stronger than those around them. It has even been insinuated by the other vampires (Garrett?) that the possible reason for them to coexist in such a close family bonded group is because of their lifestyle and food choice. Yes, the Volturi live in a group, but I don't know how bonded they are as a whole.

December wrote: So yes, it makes sense that the average newborn vampire is wild to relieve the remnants of the pain they've endured for three days; but this mightn't be enough on its own to carry them the full distance from humanity to ruthless predator, if it weren't repeated, unrelentingly, for a very long time....


I would have to agree with this point. I think there is a combination of factors that distances the newborn from humanity, the newly found thirst being a possible factor as well as the pain that some of you noted. Pain definitely makes you capable of crazy things. As Alcyone pointed out, if you've ever been in intense pain before you realize that you're acting like someone that no longer resembles yourself. However, when the pain is over, most people are capable of going back to their normal selves. But for vampires, a small remnant of that pain carries on. I can see the first instinct being to quelch the last of the pain. But like December says, it's the continued cycle of this that slowly creates the divide between the current self and the former self.

I also think relationships have a big part to play in this distance. The Cullens have managed to retain a great deal of their humanity, as seen in the respect that they share for human life. (Yes, I know some of them have slipped up, I'll get to that in a minute :) ) They have emotional bonds to several of their own kind. They have a reason to choose to stay connected to their own humanity because they see it modeled in their father/leader. So, partly, I believe it is a choice to stay connected to one's humanity, if given enough reason to do so.

Secondly, I posted this on the TUGPM thread. I believe that the state of the person prior to transformation also plays a key role in at least the ease of retaining humanity. When I say this, I'm thinking of Bella. Before she was transformed, she had everything that she desired and even a little bit more than she had realized she desired. At the point of her transformation, she was whole. Her human life was fairly complete and satisfying for, satisfying probably being the most powerful her. So, when she turned to her vampire self, she was left with no unfinished business from her former life, so to speak. She was already satisfied. So, she didn't need human blood to satisfy any holes that were left from her human life. Thus, her thirst was managable.
Last edited by SparklingDiamond on Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
User avatar
SparklingDiamond
Wandering Through Town
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:03 pm

Re: The Third Table

Postby pubesy » Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:02 am

while i agree the pain and the un-quench-able thirst serves as a mechanism for newborns to come to terms with their new food source, i also believe it acts as a barrier between humans and vampires.

When a human is changed into a vampire, and the 3 days of severely intense pain has subsided, if the vampire (oops i just wrote fanpire there by accident :D ) did not have the incredible burning sensation, and was able to "think clearly" it would be understandable that they would want to continue some aspect of their human life. The intense burning desire for blood, blood and nothing else prevents them from
a) having the ability to think clearly enough consider what they have "lost" from the transformation ie friends, family, a future etc
b) If they are able to attain moments of clarity (i believe they would) the intense, uncontrollable thirst at the smell of blood would prevent the newborn from going near their human loved ones for fear of killing them (or if they did try to make contact, the newborn would not be able to maintain control, and would kill them.


I guess in a way, it also helps with maintaining the secrecy of vampiredom too!

Bella never really broke ties with her human existence, like all other vampires do. since bella did not have the thirst associated with newborn status, she still desired to meet, and have a relationship with her father (thus risking the secrecy of vampiredom). this should not have been able to occur, because bella should have been so consumed with thirst that she forgot about her human past, or when she did have moments of memory, the thirst and her predatory instinct would have prevented her from contacting and meeting with her father.
when the newborn period ended, the human memories would have faded (but not completely) and the pain of loosing her human family would have been less intense.

oh and also, as mentioned, the thirst

c) preventing them from trying to resist the "natural" state of their diet. ie - they are unable to take a moral stance against their diet, they cannot elect to become vegetarian (unless with the help of another vampire). It also prevents them from "half-draining" their victims.
d) it is "supposed" to be a mechanism to prevent intermingling with humans and vampires, even after the newborn period has subsided.

(any others?)
Team Switzerland - Thanks for the sig Alysha
Image
adultes lexiconum recipientes nuntiis singulis
User avatar
pubesy
Teaching Eric Social Graces
 
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:37 am

Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:05 am

Alcyone wrote: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.

What makes you think that Edward thinks himself above you? (*grin*). Or more to the point, that Aro doesn't?

December wrote: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.

Ok. Made any progress on this one yet? (I really am curious what you're getting at here).

December wrote: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.

Now I'm pretty lost. Are we agreeing or agreeing to disagree? And what about? (In other words....Tag, you're it! Your turn to take a stab at articulating what the hell we were talking about...)

December wrote: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.

Well yes...we'd gone a long way down a different path the time BD came out. But I'm confident that anyone imaginatively limber enough to write your kind of fanfic should be able to set the story of BD in its proper place in which case...maybe one can make one's peace with the fact that it isn't terribly continuous with the books it wasn't ever designed to be continuous with?....

December wrote:
December wrote:He comes so close to returning to the very bottom of that moral abyss of inhumanity which the Cullens have painfully pulled themselves up from. And is instead drawn upwards to reclaim his humanity to an extent that transcends anything he could have dreamt of.

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.

Sorry about the Russian Doll nested quotes here -- just trying to get this straight. I don't think we're disagreeing here, are we? My point was just that Bella's effect on Edward's life stretches far beyond their romance: her arrival in Forks nearly drags him back into the depths of the vampire's savage way of life: -- an abyss he'd thought he'd left behind forever. Yes, he reverted to it willingly during his Dark period -- but the abyss itself is not exactly of his own creating but simply there, waiting to receive every vampire who falters in the struggle against his dark urges....

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.
December wrote: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.

Well, in a universe of continuous flux, thank God for a few unchanging verities!

But I still don't see why Carlisle should get moral credit for having been in this game for several centuries longer than Edward. Those years and years of work and sacrifice came upon Carlisle gradually; I don't suppose anything he attempted in his first hundred years of existence compares with what Edward's has faced in his time with Bella. Each has been set a different test, and passed it with full marks. Was Carlisle's the more severe trial? I'm not sure we know enough to judge (except on the a priori basis that he's Carlisle, after all -- and Edward is (ugh) Edward...). Unless you accept Alice's assessment in MS: that keeping Bella alive will demand a self-control of Edward that even Carlisle wouldn't be capable of.

Which perhaps raises a TUGMP-like question: if Edward has been blessed with phenomenal self-discipline, is that to his credit or does it actually diminish his achievement when you compare it with someone like Carlisle who has had to struggle for so long? If virtues make acting virtuous easier, should we in some sense discount them? Do the fearful (for example) deserve more admiration than the brave for facing danger -- or is the fearlessness of the brave itself admirable?

December wrote: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.

It is. I'll add it to the crowded list of things topics we're accumulating on TUGMP!


.
Image
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?”
User avatar
December
Muse of Philosophical Discussion
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:09 am
Location: Putting the "Longa" into Ars Longa....

Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:16 pm

December wrote:
About the fading of human memories: I'd rather got the feeling that this often gets overstated in the fandom. That in fact, vampires have few clear memories of their human lives NOT because their memories were wiped out by their transformation, but because their human lives were such a long time ago. Everything from their subsequent (vampire) existence is preserved by their preternatural vampire powers of recollection, but the human stuff just fades naturally with the passage of time -- as humans' memories do.... The exceptions to this being Edward and Alice, both of whom lost their memories through trauma in their human lives....

But maybe I'm wrong about this. Please correct me, someone....



I thought they lost their memories because, as Vampires everything is so crisp and clear that their human memories seem hazy and unfocused. Then after time the haze slowly dissipates into nothing if they haven't tried to recall them as vampires.


I just keep remembering through BD Bella describing her human memories as fuzzy, because her senses hadn't been as sharp as a human...so all of those memoreies are less vibrant and detailed.

Which perhaps raises a TUGMP-like question: if Edward has been blessed with phenomenal self-discipline, is that to his credit or does it actually diminish his achievement when you compare it with someone like Carlisle who has had to struggle for so long? If virtues make acting virtuous easier, should we in some sense discount them? Do the fearful (for example) deserve more admiration than the brave for facing danger -- or is the fearlessness of the brave itself admirable?


Isn't in 'Eragon' Where Saphira says, "without fear there would be no courage'



ps what the heck is TUGMP
Image
User avatar
MRK
Fishing with Charlie
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:02 pm

Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:28 pm

MRK wrote:ps what the heck is TUGMP

Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings thread.

(I can't spell...).
Image
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?”
User avatar
December
Muse of Philosophical Discussion
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:09 am
Location: Putting the "Longa" into Ars Longa....

PreviousNext

Return to Flight to Phoenix

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron