Esme echo wrote:We'll have to agree that we don't agree on this topic. I don't get the feeling that Edward is a tortured soul, suffering from a constant, unwelcome barrage of mental noise (please forgive the hyperbole!).
Another reason I feel the way I do is that when Edward was first changed, he didn't even realize he had this extra ability. It's true that he wasn't around a lot of people at that time--being a newborn!--but hearing Carlisle's thoughts was not the least bit odd, and apparently wasn't making him nuts.
Perhaps fans are considering this gift in light of how we--as humans--might feel about something similar, but Edward is a vampire, with a vampire's mind . . . which has all that room to think of lots of things at the same time! Read again how Bella felt about all the room in her head after her transformation was complete, then consider how Edward might regale unwelcome mental noise to the back of his consciousness--the same way Bella was able to shove her thirst to the back when she was . . . distracted.
I think you have a point about Edward's ability to shove things aside or to the back of his mind on one hand. But... it's a bit more complicated than that I think. Just like the thirst they experience never truly goes away, Edward can't ever truly block everything he experiences as a mind reader.
I also don't see where either Carlisle or Edward thought that Edward's ability wasn't odd. In fact, I believe that Carlisle was quite surprised. As was Edward... and I'm sure he found it very unsettling along with all the other heightened senses he was suddenly experiencing. However, as you mentioned, at the time it had just been the two of them. When Edward first woke up and realized he had this capability there was only the mind of his sire, a good and compassionate man by all accounts, there to be heard.
Lastly, another thing that I thought of is this: When Edward decided to use his gift to try and hunt humans, but do so in some kind of moral way, he found the despicable thoughts he was exposed to overwhelming even for him. Even if there was room in his mind to push the thoughts he heard aside, I don't think that they impacted him any less. Sure, at some point he learned to tune most of it out, but don't forget that it was the vial and disgusting things he saw in the minds of his victims that led him to give up hunting humans permanently. By then, his opinion of humans had already been formed and no matter where in his vampire brain he shoved what he'd seen and experienced, he could never forget.
So... I personally think Edward was a little tortured. If only because of the not being able to forget part, and not so much the daily exposure to high school students that he chose to ignore.
Great discussion y'all... nice to see the forum active again!! Ginnie