I understand Jacob's intentions, but it's my opinion that he was slightly annoying throughout most of Eclipse (any snap, hormonal decisions that I repeatedly make aren't excusable just because I'm young, after all). Like I said, Jacob being more than human doesn't reduce the fact that he still has a basic humanity at his core. Why can't vampires be exactly the same if you try to perceive the world from their perspective? Due to the complexity of their existence, many vampires understand emotions much more than any human possibly could.
That’s the backbone to why I dislike Jacob so much in Eclipse, and in truth parts of New Moon and Breaking Dawn. He has no boundaries, no limits and at times very little dignity when interacting with Bella. His alleged “saving her life” on his part was motivated by no more than self-interest, so I can hardly attribute altruistic motivations to them, as others would.
I would have to disagree with you one thing, even though I should mention that everything you ever wrote (in the Bella Swan thread, and this one) I absolutely agree with. However, I find it a bit hard to agree that Jacob made Bella’s and Edward’s relationship and Bella’s decision to be with Edward forever *stronger* (you mentioned this in a previous post). After New Moon, I find it hard to believe that Bella’s decision to become a vampire could get any more profound or any more stronger. It just isn’t possible. So regardless of the realization that she is in love with Jacob, it did no more good to her relationship with Edward any more than it did to Jacob.
To end this post on a more positive note: I should mention, that a few days ago as I was spending much too much time inside of my head, I realized that there are a few things that I actually admire about his character. For one, his security and confidence. And the fact that he doesn’t hold back and suffer in silence when someone hurts him. I also made the connection with “Yaqub” and “Jacob”. Jacob is the English version, while “Ya’qub” is the Arabic version. And I simply was in love with the Arabic version and its pronunciation, now the English version is a favourite name of mine.
And now that I am thinking of Jacob’s name -- does anyone find it coincidental that Jacob was a prophet (as far as I know, in both Islam and Christianity). And In the books his role was to deliver a message and present a choice. I am not trying to bring up religion or anything. Far from it
. I just thought this connection is very interesting.
Honestly, something that I admire about Edward's character is his representation of restraint. Wanting someone so badly and yet repressing your deepest passions for the greater good is fascinating. Conversely, Jacob indulges when it comes to his passion, and he's not afraid to externalize it. I think that makes him slightly reckless, since many of his actions with Bella are seemingly dictated by hormonal smugness. I would absolutely agree that he's not too mature when it comes to forgoing self-interest, whereas Edward seems to be encouraging
his love's relationship with Jacob during the events of Breaking Dawn, despite his own romantic aspirations. As far as Jacob's age is concerned, I've always considered that this was Edward's first relationship, too. He spent his entire existence, both human and vampire, as a loner with no true grasp of love. That he was around some of the most beautiful immortals imaginable (the Denali sisters) and still expressed no interest is telling.
However, despite my firm belief that Jacob is not Bella's true love in the world of Twilight, he is
still the truest friend that she could possibly have. A lot of his actions in New Moon solidified the relationship between Edward and Bella, since he was responsible for furthering the series of miscommunications that led into Edward's little confrontation with the Volturi. This then resulted in Bella's ultimate epiphany: Edward's love for her was profound, and he would not be leaving. Struggling with the idea of receiving love without sacrificing morality presented a choice that she still rejected, showing her dedication to Edward transcended our definitions for humanity. Jacob represented this choice rather poorly at times, but ultimately rejecting what could have been a smoother road was a supreme testament to Bella's courage by acknowledging another choice...and still taking the hard way. Sometimes, what's right isn't necessarily easy.
Some fans argue that Jacob had little self-interest, but a lot of his actions were
motivated by romantic selfishness. He wanted Bella to choose him. He wanted her to love him. He knew that he was her most meaningful connection to humanity, and he exploited this advantage as much as possible in order to claim her heart. He even tried to imprint on her, which was rather deluded, in my opinion.
Do many prophets in spiritual texts deliver their messages with self-interest as a motivation? I'm not sure about that, to be perfectly honest. Jacob was unswervingly sure about the superiority of humanity, despite the fact that he isn't exactly human himself (and yet he still retained his basic humanity, like the Cullen coven). Bella didn't think that the Cullens were superior, since they had a profound respect for human life. She just believed that they were right
for her unique life.
Jacob was just a bit too preachy at times.
You know, one of my disappointments with Eclipse is that Edward was barely able to defend himself, save for the tent scene. One of his best responses to Jacob in the entire book would have to be, "You see, Jacob, you might leave her someday. Like Sam and Emily, you wouldn’t have a choice. I would always be waiting in the wings, hoping for that to happen." I was waiting for a satisfactory reply after Jacob's "not even a person" line about Edward.
Persistence is a good thing, but not when it's hopelessly blind. I strongly believe that Bella was challenging herself in each book, from struggling with the choice that Jacob represented to discussing life as a vampire with the Cullens. As Alice noted, she was a rare human who had so much mental preparation before the transformation. If Bella wasn't emotionally ready, then she wouldn't have been so controlled as a newborn immortal with her adoptive family. Furthermore, Stephenie has even said that she could easily imagine Bella interacting with other humans under the care of Carlisle, to an extent that would allow her to attend college and start taking night classes.