Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

General Discussion on the Twilight Universe

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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby Ouisa » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:13 am

I think that is a really interesting question!! I really would love to ponder and discuss it more!!
I would like it to get the attention it deserves. I think this would be an excellent topic for the Third Table thread It's more topical for what the adults there have been discussing. TUGPM tends to move kinda slower than some threads. We have a lot going on questionwise right now that I think people are still ruminating on and posting about and I don't want to get those topics or this question lost in the shuffle.

Perhaps one of the mods could merge it over or you could repost it?
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby MRK » Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:58 pm

ShadowNIN wrote:
I agree with you and feel that these vampires do have souls and can go to heaven because they did not chose to become a vampire. Of course, this puts Bella's soul in question since she actually made the choice, even though she was dying at the time she was transformed. However, I also don't feel Carlisle's soul is in danger because he only changed people who were dying. But does that fact make his soul more or less safe? Can one earn back a soul, if it is lost, so-to-speak, by doing good?


Actually, would Bella's soul be in jeopardy? She (at the time of her transformation) was resolved to die for the life of her child. Every heartbeat could have been her last. She would not let them change her. Now, I know she knew they would attempt to change her to save her...but she had no idea if it would happen or not.

shakespeare wrote:I would say that they aren't more immoral than us, which is one of the reasons why I don't easily accept that the Cullens are "good" vampires. Examining this from a purely logical viewpoint, predators have an extremely important role in an ecosystem. Removing them often causes more harm than their kills. In some ways, nature does not merely give them a right to prey on humans, but also a duty to kill us.


So the vamps are the sharks of the human world...interesting...
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:11 pm

"Is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?"

"Let me get this straight -- I'm the baby seal, right?"

"Right." He laughed, and something touched my hair -- his lips?


TW p.308
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby MRK » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:15 pm

December wrote:"Is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?"

"Let me get this straight -- I'm the baby seal, right?"

"Right." He laughed, and something touched my hair -- his lips?


TW p.308


LOL Thanks! but is she calling EDWARD A WHALE!!!! I mean, she should have said--"I'm the anglefish, right?"
Anyway, I hadn't thought about that quote until you just posted it... :)
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby ShadowNIN » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:19 pm

MRK wrote:
December wrote:"Is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?"

"Let me get this straight -- I'm the baby seal, right?"

"Right." He laughed, and something touched my hair -- his lips?


TW p.308


LOL Thanks! but is she calling EDWARD A WHALE!!!! I mean, she should have said--"I'm the anglefish, right?"
Anyway, I hadn't thought about that quote until you just posted it... :)


Not just any whale, the killer whale! By far the coolest whale of all IMO. :mrgreen:
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby December » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:31 pm

I don't know...to me the analogy between vampires and orcas seems pretty straightforward (*grin*). Sleek, self-contained and dangerous.

If nobody minds, I'd like to go back for a moment to an exchange betweern Shakespeare and Ouisa from a while ago, because I think it's germane to so many of the discussions we've been having here and on other threads lately.

Shakespeare wrote:
Ouisa wrote:I think one difficulty inherent to this lexicon culture and those of us who post frequently is that the characters are so real to us. Edward, Carlisle, Bella...they all live, breathe, and love in our heads. It's one of the true gifts of Stephenie's writing. But the downside is often we impose reality upon them and look at them as we would our the people we experience in daily life. Thus, Edward turns into the bad boyfriend we know who is controlling, Carlisle has a god complex.....truly some of these traits would be less than desirable in our friends and neighbors.
I disagree. The antis discuss these issues frequently, but we don't feel that the Cullens are realistic. Quite the opposite. Carlisle can be a symbol, but that shouldn't be his entire function as a character. He needs to bring human qualities to the story. Stepping out of his character to transform people into monsters destroys a lot of his purpose in the story.

I have to say, I don't think we exactly think of these characters as realistic. I mean, they are pretty obviously stylized -- and in fact Stephenie has said that she deliberately left Edward and Bella underspecified to allow readers to imagine them how they liked. What Ouisa was getting at (I think?) was that the power of Stephenie's storytelling -- and that includes the potency of the archetypes she's playing with -- makes these characters begin to seem very real, even if they are largely creations in your own head. (Not to mention the way too much time spent in the fandom begins to erode one's sense of exactly who is real and who isn't! Are you a character I'm reading? Is Ouisa? Am I?). The point is not so much the realism of the writing as the wackiness of the fans, that when discussing these books, we can sometimes confuse what we could be happy with as fantasy and what we would accept in real life -- in a way that we'd never confound the two ordinarily.

Now for some of us those two may be pretty similar anyway: we probably all differ in how easy we find it to park our real-world judgements at the door when reading -- or if not to jettison them (who does that entirely?) at least relax them enough to be seduced by the Stephenie's perspective. Or to simply surrender ourselves to the imaginative pleasure of entering into the characters' POV. This may be one reason why one reader will want to say "my God, how can you stand so-and-so!" and another wants to reply "lighten up; it's just a story."

Of course there's the further question: whether there are views you think it would be downright creepy to allow yourself be seduced by. That it's ok to kill people if you're a vampire, say; or that it's ok to dictate your sexual relations with your girlfriend; or that a limitless capacity for forgiveness is saintly rather than sick (thinking of the Host here...). I'm guessing that some here would actively resist suspending our own beliefs about these things, and find the idea of other people being seduced -- even between the covers of Twilight -- alarming.... While some of us (*grin*) are much more alarmingly pliable....

And now for something completely different...

I've been thinking more about Rosalie. It's odd really that more isn't made of Rosalie's remarkable strength of will. In a sense she is both the most impressive and the most morally troubling of the lot: the only one who has deliberately murdered, rather than succumbed to temptation -- but also the only one whose self-control, apparently, is Carlisle's equal. Though I guess Edward is actually pretty similar. Like Rosalie, he has never killed except by intent (and has chosen pretty similar victims -- men who some would argue deserved death). His self-control has been as flawless as hers -- and yet has deliberately chosen to kill. Though his murders (unlike hers) were in some sense extenuated by the vampire's general excuse: he was tired of being in pain. Hers of course had their own justification....
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby ShadowNIN » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:01 pm

December wrote:I've been thinking more about Rosalie. It's odd really that more isn't made of Rosalie's remarkable strength of will. In a sense she is both the most impressive and the most morally troubling of the lot: the only one who has deliberately murdered, rather than succumbed to temptation -- but also the only one whose self-control, apparently, is Carlisle's equal. Though I guess Edward is actually pretty similar. Like Rosalie, he has never killed except by intent (and has chosen pretty similar victims -- men who some would argue deserved death). His self-control has been as flawless as hers -- and yet has deliberately chosen to kill. Though his murders (unlike hers) were in some sense extenuated by the vampire's general excuse: he was tired of being in pain. Hers of course had their own justification....


That's an interesting observation. I never really thought much about Rosalie's strength of will. But you are absolutely right, she is very similar to Edward, if not more controlled. I wish SM would have gone a bit more in depth with her character. It would have been interesting to see her as a newborn. That and I'd love to know how she got involved in cars! ;)
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby MRK » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:21 pm

December wrote:
And now for something completely different...

I've been thinking more about Rosalie. It's odd really that more isn't made of Rosalie's remarkable strength of will. In a sense she is both the most impressive and the most morally troubling of the lot: the only one who has deliberately murdered, rather than succumbed to temptation -- but also the only one whose self-control, apparently, is Carlisle's equal. Though I guess Edward is actually pretty similar. Like Rosalie, he has never killed except by intent (and has chosen pretty similar victims -- men who some would argue deserved death). His self-control has been as flawless as hers -- and yet has deliberately chosen to kill. Though his murders (unlike hers) were in some sense extenuated by the vampire's general excuse: he was tired of being in pain. Hers of course had their own justification....


It's been my personal observation that there are usually two avenues for victims of crimes such as Rose lived through...They generally rise above it or drown in it.
Maybe Rose felt the need to be morally stronger than her attackers. It would make sense. Why would she inflict on someone the same pain she had inflicted onto her. With Carlise as her moral compass, I think it helped her stay on track.
She started to drown in it when she got revenge....but she overcame.
Her story breaks my heart...
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby SparklingDiamond » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:22 pm

That's a really interesting observation, December.

Unfortunately, I think one of the reason's that we don't get much on Rosalie, or the fact that she isn't given a lot of credit has to do with the reader's perceptions of characters that you were speaking of in your post. Many reader's seem to have zoned in on her less than perfect characteristics, shallowness being the main one here. But why? Because she's beautiful and she knows it? Is this some kind of crime? Sometimes it bothers me that when women take pride in their appearance, they become shallow, as if this is all that makes up a character.

I think you've brought up a really strong point that her deeper qualities are overlooked. Even in BD, I feel like people suspected her of foul intentions when she was being so watchful over the pregnant Bella. Readers, even Edward at times, assumed that she cared nothing for Bella, but only wanted the baby for herself. Yet, what evidence was there of this in the story? She really gets a bad rep.
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Re: Twilight Universe General Philosophical Musings

Postby ShadowNIN » Mon Oct 27, 2008 10:30 pm

SparklingDiamond wrote:That's a really interesting observation, December.I think you've brought up a really strong point that her deeper qualities are overlooked. Even in BD, I feel like people suspected her of foul intentions when she was being so watchful over the pregnant Bella. Readers, even Edward at times, assumed that she cared nothing for Bella, but only wanted the baby for herself. Yet, what evidence was there of this in the story? She really gets a bad rep.


Very true. I even caught myself thinking about her ulterior motives for helping Bella. But after reading it again, I realized, motives or not, she was the only one who supported and protected Bella. She was there for Bella when no one else was. She was doing what Bella wanted. I think that is very important to her character. Sure, she wanted a child more than anything else, but does that make what she did for Bella wrong or evil? I guess we will never know why she did it....
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