Alphie wrote:Thank you to December for working on this discussion!
1. What does Bella mean when she tells Jake “I never had a choice”? Is she saying she had no choice about falling in love with Edward -- it was a kind of compulsion like imprinting? Or that her love for him is irrevocable: once she fell in love, she could never love someone else instead? Or does she just mean that given the depth of her passion for Edward there is no real choice to be made here? Do you think she is right about this?
-- I go with option 3. I think that she loves him so that there is no real choice to be made. I absolutely think she is right. Although she cares for Jake very much, I think much of her conflict was spurned by guilt. Eventually, she had to go with her heart, in spite of the fact that she knew that it would hurt Jake, and that that, in turn, would hurt her.
2. Jake tells Bella that Edward was like a drug for her. Do you think he’s right? Is her love for Edward more like an addiction than a healthy emotion?
-- I can see how it would seem that way to Jake. But I don't believe that this is so. I think his perception is clouded by his love for her. I don't see Bella as any different from myself as a teen, or other teens, who believe that the world revolves around the one that they love.
3. What is Bella getting at when she tells Jake that her love for him was overshadowed by something so strong it couldn’t exist in the rational world? Does she think her love for Edward is unnatural, something you could only feel for a mythical creature? Is the idea of two worlds -- the sane one humans think they live in and the mythical one of monsters and magic -- her way of explaining how she can love two people at once?
-- No, I think it is very possible to love more than one person at a time. It happens often in the real world. Not only romantically, but in all relationships. I love my children equally. How? Because they are different creatures who all have different lovable qualitites to them. Bella loves Jake. She just loves Edward more, and differently. More passionately, more absolutely. I think her statement about it being so strong that it couldn't exist in a rational world is more her perception than fact.
4. Jake acknowledges that it is too late now for Bella to be happy without Edward. But he insists that the human life she and he could have had together if she’d never met Edward would have been better for her than the life she will now have. Do you think he’s right?
-- In a way, yes. There are things that Bella will have to give up to be with Edward. Everyone has to sacrifice in relationships, but in this case, one wonders if the sacrifice is too great. To stay human, and be with Edward, will be very difficult. She will age and change while he remains the same. She will remain in danger to some degree (just the association with vampires by a human is a dangerous thing - not counting non-vegetarian friends, Jasper's understandable lack of control, et al.). If she becomes a vampire, she gives up her friends and family. In either scenario, the Cullen family will need to eventually leave town. Bella would need to leave her life to be with them. In either scenario, eventually Charlie and co. will wise up to the fact that Edward is not aging. Bella would either need to reveal the Cullen family for what they are, or go into hiding with them, cutting off ties to friends and family. These are all complications to staying with Edward and, to a degree, Jake is correct. Life with him would be better/easier.
5. Jake tells Bella that he’ll always be there waiting for her if she changes her mind -- even when she’s a vampire. Only a few weeks ago (Chapter 8), he told her that he’d rather see her dead than a vampire. Why do you think he feels differently now?
-- I'm not sure. Maybe Jake was playing mind games in Chapter 8 to try to get her to stay away from the Cullens. It's something like Kindergarten wars... "If you don't let me play with your dollies, I am not going to be your friend." "Tough luck, you aren't getting my dolls." "OK, how about tomorrow. Can I have them then?"
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