Breaking Dawn Preface

Discussion area for all things Breaking Dawn
NovaAlbion
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Post by NovaAlbion »

Please note: Few of these ideas are original to me. However, they are usually found scattered in bits and pieces across the forums. I think that, assembled, they make a persuasive statement about the Breaking Dawn and its preface.

The Preface of Breaking Dawn is a first person narrative and clearly has a point of view. If we can determine who is speaking, it will reveal something about events and relationships that occur in the rest of the book. The preface falls in a pattern with the rest of the series. Recognizing and extrapolating from this pattern also yields additional information. In the preface, the narrator also speaks of the threat of death by the hand of a "beloved". By identifying the narrator and the likely key events in Breaking Dawn, perhaps we can identify this "beloved" and determine the nature of the climatic confrontation.

Who is the narrator of the preface? (Whose POV is this, anyway?)
- Each of previous 3 books, Bella has been ultimately revealed to be the narrator. It is likely, but not utterly certain, that Stephenie Meyer will continue that pattern.
- The narrator speaks of having "had more than my share of near-death experiences ..." There is only one character in the series that is portrayed as a "Danger Magnet" or has had shown a series of near death experiences. The very destructable Ms. Swan.
- The narrator indicates a willingness to sacrifice, or at least yield, their life for their beloved. "If your life was all you had to give your beloved, how could you not give it?" In the Twilight Saga, no one has demonstrated the willingness to risk and/or sacrifice her life for a loved one as frequently as Bella. Yes, others risk their lives and are willing to lay them down for others: The Cullens - they love Edward and fight against the hunter James, Alice loves Edward (and at this point would endanger Bella for Edward) and risks herself in Volterra, The Cullens love Bella and defend her at great risk against Victoria and the newborns in battle. But none have done it as frequently or in such life threatening circumstances as Bella, the only strictly human in the bunch.
- I cannot count Jacob or members of the Quileute pack as potential narrators. Their efforts against Victoria and the newborns were their duty, not an act of sacrifice for a "beloved". While the patrolling was arduous and time consuming, killing Laurent and the battle with the newborns was considered "fun" as well as their duty as protectors. They thought of Bella as "bait", i.e. the draw that kept pulling Victoria back to Forks and La Push. Jacob is unlikely to be the narrator of the preface. Some have wondered if he had imprinted on a vampire, wouldn't he be in danger from his beloved and her "family". I will grant that he might be willing to take major risks for a beloved. However, he is not a danger magnet and cannot be considered as the narrator of the preface.

So, for reasons of series consistency, self description (multiple near-death experiences and sacrifices) and emotional connection, it appears that Bella is the narrator or voice of the preface.

What is the situation? In what part of the story does the preface fit?
In the previous three volumes of the Twilight Saga, the preface always took place in the latter part of the book during the initial stages of the climatic event:
Twilight - James attacking Bella before the Cullens arrive.
New Moon - In Volterra, racing across the plaza as the clock is striking.
Eclipse - Battle by the tent against Victoria and Riley
Breaking Dawn - Potential climatic antagonists include:
- Volturi motivated by numeric/power threat
- Pack motivated by broken treaty/instinct
- Denali clan (relatively unlikely) motivated jealousy and revenge (Irina's Laurent thing)

Bella_Cullen_13, myself and others have used foreshadowing, character analysis, literary conventions and the art of storytelling to infer a sequence of events that are likely to take place in Breaking Dawn. Some of these events include: Announcing the engagement, the Wedding, the Honeymoon, Bella's changing and her newborn phase, developing threat, climatic event(s), resolution, epilogue. (Maybe there will be no epilogue as each of the epilogues have previously been a setup for the next book in Bella's story arc.) There is much debate as to what the developing threat and climatic event(s) will be. I recognize that there are many who doubt that the specific events listed above will take place in the order listed, or even occur at all in Breaking Dawn. This, however, is my best guess as to where the preface occurs in what I consider to be a likely sequence of events.

If the event sequence is, at least on the broad brush, correct, Bella will become a vampire during or prior to the "developing" threat stage of the book. This could add nicely to the dramatic tension of Breaking Dawn. In a race against time, will Bella gain sufficient control of her newborn instincts/vampire special ability in time to help save the Cullens/Pack/Whoever needs saving?

If Bella is the narrator, who is the "Beloved" referred to?
I have broken down the various characters of Bella's acquaintance into tiers based on the intensity of their relationship.
- First Tier - Edward - can't live without, she would put life in danger to protect
- Second Tier - Charlie, Renee - she did put life in danger to protect
- Third Tier - Jacob, Alice, possibly Esme - she made sacrifices for (emotional, behavioral)
- Fourth Tier - Remainder of Cullens, Angela, Mike, Seth, Quil, Embry
- Fifth Tier - Ben, Jessica (?), rest of pack

The tiers are somewhat dynamic. Bella will not risk harm to higher tier member, for sake of a lower tier. With her marriage each Cullen moves up a tier, eventually all become second tier. While we all have a spectrum of relationships, as a practical matter, I would not judge any character below the third tier to be considered "beloved" by Bella.

Physically, who can kill Bella?
At the point in the story where the preface is likely to occur, Bella is changed into a vampire, either newborn, or at least somewhat "stabilized". This means that no mere humans represent a threat to her life. This means, that in the preface, there are only two groups that are capable of harming Bella. They are:
- Other vampires
- Werewolves

I remove Edward from consideration. I can think of nothing that would make him "want" to kill Bella. He has, in fact, consistently demonstrated that his primary interest is her safety. Yes, at this point, he is certainly capable of killing a vampire, especially a newborn, it has become against his nature to do so. Besides, with her new durability, Bella could endure the moment or two it might take Edward to think about what he was doing.

The only two times that there is even the remotest possibility of Edward's being a threat to Bella occur in the story prior to when the preface occurs. These events occur during the honeymoon.
- It remains possible for Edward to "lose control" during marital relations and unintentionally kill Bella. If this were to occur, Bella wouldn't have the time required to philosophically muse about near-death events and being killed by one's beloved. She would have other things on her mind. It would be more like, "Ow!" and she died.
- It also remains possible for Edward to "lose control" while changing Bella if he can't stop drinking, if his thirst and the taste of her blood overwhelm him. However, he was able to stop drinking in Twilight and his control has only gotten better since then.

We can also eliminate from consideration all the vampires that Bella would not give her life for: Volturi, nomads, Denali clan, all Cullens, except Edward and, perhaps, Alice.

And, we can eliminate the werewolves that Bella would not give her life for: All except Jacob.

So, we have eliminated as candidates for "beloved" everyone except Jacob, Alice and, possibly, Esme.


So, Who Killed Roger Rabbit?
Edward - probably not, both marital relations and changing will occur too early in the book to be during the initial stages of the climatic event.

Alice/Esme - I've wracked my brain and can't come up with a motivation for which Alice or Esme would "kill" vampire Bella. The only two scenarios I can figure is if, as a newborn, Bella was going to disclose the vampire secret by her out of control behavior, and thereby endanger their whole family or if Bella's "special ability" was uncontrolled and a direct threat to Edward and the rest of the Cullens. I rate these as highly unlikely.

While Edward might get taken by surprise by her "power", he wouldn't let her be that out of control. We also have to account for, at least a little of, Bella's own will to be responsible. Remember to, the Cullens have done this before (Edward, Esme, Rosalie and Emmett).

This leaves Jacob as the sole candidate for the position of a "beloved" who would have the ability to kill Bella. Bella is concerned about Jake's reaction to her vampire self. I wasn't able to find the spot where she thinks about, or even discusses with Jacob, his reaction to the vampire Bella. Jacob is also very, very worried about his reaction to Bella the vampire, especially his instinctive reaction. Yet, from what we have seen, Jacob has been (Breaking Dawn, Chapter 1) "trying not to think human, you know. Just going with his instincts."

So, what we have in the preface is Bella's thoughts as she approaches some sort of confrontation with Jacob in the latter part of Breaking Dawn as the climatic event draws near.
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Bella_Cullen_13
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Post by Bella_Cullen_13 »

NovaAlbion wrote:There is only one character in the series that is portrayed as a "Danger Magnet" or has had shown a series of near death experiences. The very destructable Ms. Swan.
I think Bella is really the only one who fits the description given in the preface & the voice.
NovaAlbion wrote:What is the situation? In what part of the story does the preface fit?
In the previous three volumes of the Twilight Saga, the preface always took place in the latter part of the book during the initial stages of the climatic event:
Still agreeing & if it fits my theory (that the preface is taken from after Bella has been changed) then it will be the climax of the story.
NovaAlbion wrote:Bella_Cullen_13, myself and others have used foreshadowing, character analysis, literary conventions and the art of storytelling to infer a sequence of events that are likely to take place in Breaking Dawn. Some of these events include: Announcing the engagement, the Wedding, the Honeymoon, Bella's changing and her newborn phase, developing threat, climatic event(s), resolution, epilogue. (Maybe there will be no epilogue as each of the epilogues have previously been a setup for the next book in Bella's story arc.) There is much debate as to what the developing threat and climatic event(s) will be. I recognize that there are many who doubt that the specific events listed above will take place in the order listed, or even occur at all in Breaking Dawn.
I think that Bella as a newborn will contribute significantly to the threat in the climax. I personally think that the events listed will be in Breaking Dawn. (Especially the changing because many people think that this will not be in the book. I think that if you think the wedding will be in the book, the changing will because they are supposed to happen relatively close to each other.)
I think the whole book will stretch out over about a month or more.
NovaAlbion wrote:If the event sequence is, at least on the broad brush, correct, Bella will become a vampire during or prior to the "developing" threat stage of the book. This could add nicely to the dramatic tension of Breaking Dawn. In a race against time, will Bella gain sufficient control of her newborn instincts/vampire special ability in time to help save the Cullens/Pack/Whoever needs saving?
I really dont think that the Cullens or the Pack will need saving. I think that it will be more of a personal conflict between Bella & something/someone else.
NovaAlbion wrote:If Bella is the narrator, who is the "Beloved" referred to?
I think the beloved is Jacob. In my theory of the preface, Bella is already changed.
When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options.

How could you run?

How could you fight?

When doing so would hurt that beloved one?
Jacob, as a werewolf, has an instinct to kill vampire (mentioned in the epilogue of Eclipse, how he wondered how it would feel to see her standing there, like stone, her heart crystalized. The burning smell triggered the instinct to rip, to tear.). Now assuming that Bella is changed & is seeing Jacob, Jacob hasnt mastered his control. He is amazing at it, but everyone makes mistakes.

What if he was trying to kill Bella?

Notice she says 'How could you run? How could you fight?' - Not, 'I couldn't run. I couldn't fight.' which would say that she couldn't physically run or fight. The question proposes the idea that she physically could outrun him (like a vampire) & could put up a fight (like a vampire). But she loves him.
NovaAlbion wrote:This leaves Jacob as the sole candidate for the position of a "beloved" who would have the ability to kill Bella. Bella is concerned about Jake's reaction to her vampire self. I wasn't able to find the spot where she thinks about, or even discusses with Jacob, his reaction to the vampire Bella. Jacob is also very, very worried about his reaction to Bella the vampire, especially his instinctive reaction. Yet, from what we have seen, Jacob has been (Breaking Dawn, Chapter 1) "trying not to think human, you know. Just going with his instincts."

So, what we have in the preface is Bella's thoughts as she approaches some sort of confrontation with Jacob in the latter part of Breaking Dawn as the climatic event draws near.
I agree with most of what you said, that it basically has to be Jacob & a vampire Bella.

The bit in the epilogue of Eclipse when Jacob is talking about how it would feel to see Bella standing there, like stone, her heart crystalized, the sweet scent burning his nose triggering the instinct to kill, to rip, to tear... I think that may have been foreshadowing.

We know that Jacob is a farely controlled wolf, but hasnt mastered it & in New Moon, we saw how fast he could phase.
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Bri53
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Post by Bri53 »

Nery nice post, NovaAlbion. You have some of the best theories, you really hit every angle.

The only thing I have to mention is that it could still be Edward. I agree that Edward would never intentionally hurt Bella, however, as the story is fiction, Stephenie has the freedom to introduce to things. I think we should take into account that there are other vampires in the twilightverse who's powers we don't know. There is a possibility that someone (Alec?) can do mind control. Though other than that I agree with you completely, Bella is a vampire and the threat is most probably Jacob. If it isn't Jake though, it has to be Edward and he must not be in his right mind.

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Post by texas_girl »

NovaAlbion you amaze me. that was one of the best posts ever. it completely summed up and analyzed everything so well.

i'm with you, it really only make sense from what we have to go on that bella has been changed and jake is the one she's facing. i think it's going to be really interesting when we all get the book and find out how far off or right on we all were.
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My theory

Post by vidhi_cullen »

Okay, so this is what I think the preface means.

Bella has been turned into a vampire and when Jacob sees her, he is unable to control the hatred that has been continuously bubbling for the Cullens. This is the last straw.
So he loses control and tries to kill Bella. However, Bella is a new vampire meaning she is exceptionally strong so she can't defend herself wwithout hurting Jacob. If it was Edward, he probably could because he's so old and he has more experience and control. Yet Bella is a young vampire and she is more trouble than help.
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Post by speedyturtle20 »

Okay, here is my theory. This is my first post, guys, so please be nice. Just see me through.

Assuming NovaAlbion was correct about the order, events, etc. (that Bella is talking about Jacob in the preface and it will happen after she's a vampire and at the climax of the story), here is what I see happening. Of course, parts are debatable, and I always love hearing your ideas (they helped me arrive here after all :D).

Please note that the wedding has already happened, they have "tried", Bella is a vampire (where the quote on the Eclipse Special Edition cover comes in), and that they have moved away from Forks, probably to a remote house in Alaska, possibly visiting the Denali clan and making nice with them.

Something happens that pushes Jake over the edge in his hatred of Edward (maybe seeing Bella as a vampire). Somehow, the Volturi discover Jake and find out about his relationship with Bella (maybe they come to check on Bella's humanity and find this out then), as well as that he's rambling in Canada. They send someone to find him, where they convince him to help them in taking out Edward Cullen and his family—all except for Bella. He agrees to help them, in return for their guarantee that Bella and the pack will not be harmed and he can be with Bella afterwards. (They don't tell him they want to take Bella for themselves and plan on taking the pack out later--they're getting too powerful.)

This, of course, prevents Alice from seeing what happens after they make the decision to look for him. So the Cullens freak out and talk with Sam and the pack. The wolves tell the Cullens what happened when the Volturi found Jacob, but don't know anything past that, as he hasn't returned to his wolf form since then. (Or, if Alice can't see their decision about Jake, Seth sees it and tells Bella and Edward). Jake, they feel, has betrayed the pack so they agree to help the Cullens. The Denali clan joins them and they prepare to fight, armed with Bella's power of protection.

A very short time later (the Volturi don't want the wolves to get too worried about not hearing Jake's thoughts), they arrive. *Insert preface*. Jake and Edward fight; Edward (somehow) fatally wounds Jake; he lives just long enough to make amends with Bella. Then the fight wraps up (the Volturi didn't think the pack would side with the Cullens and didn't know about the Denali clan's allegiance either), ending with the deaths of three of the major Volturi players: Aro and Caius (vulnerable in and of themselves, without their guard) and Jane.

In the Epilogue, I see one of two things happening: either Bella and Edward are going back to Forks to visit Charlie or they are starting their first day of high school together. Either way, we are told what happened since the battle: Demetri has filled the void left by Aro and Caius' deaths and has a power-sharing/peace agreement with the Cullens, and various other tidbits to wrap up the story.

Oh, and Jake doesn't really have to die; I just see that as more likely.

Let me know what you guys think!

Edit--Sorry, I had another thought...
Maybe the Volturi tell Jake they can change Bella back to human or something like that, if he can't stand her as a vampire

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Post by debussygirl »

Okay, so I have no idea if this has already been stated or not, I just kind of breeze through reading some stuff, but what if Bella's not fighting anyone? What if she's sacrificing her life for Edward or Jacob? I don't have the Eclipse Special Edition (why would I need it when I already have a copy of Eclipse and I'll end up buying BD at midnight? :roll: ) so I read it once over a month ago at B&N so I may be wrong on this. My theory is that the Volturi have captured her "beloved" and want her to come. If she sacrifices her life then they'll let him go. So when she says, something like, "how could you run? how could you fight?" means that if she just wants to die and get it over with so they'd let Edward/Jacob go. If she did fight or run away, even though with her new vampire skills, they would hurt her "beloved". Then of course the Cullens and wolves will come busting in and kick the Volturi's behind out of Forks!
It's a kind of sketchy theory since I just came up with it, and I don't have a handy dandy EC special edition to work out kinks, but that's basically the raw outlines of my theory of the preface now.

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Post by a little obsessive! »

it makes sense for the preface and book to be in Bella's pov, but one word really jumps out at me when i read the preface- "beloved". Bella's never used that word and it's actually a word used in the olden days (AKA Edwards human days), therefore it makes me think that the preface is Edwards pov. In the past 3 books he's called Bella his beloved and this could be a suttle hint that SM is giving us....
"I'll be back so soon you won't even miss me. Look after my heart-- I've left it with you." - Edward Cullen Eclipse

I'm "Switzerland" in the whole whose better for bella, Jake or Edward. I think they'll both be a good match for her, but i do believe in the end she'll marry Edward.

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Post by runswithvampiressss »

when i first read the preface i thought Bella was talking about Edward turning her into a vampire. But as i thought about it more i began to wonder if Edward really was killing her. I couldn't see Edward wanting to kill Bella so i was thinking that maybe when Bella is a young blood thirsty vampire she kills someone she loves. Edward would know she wouldnt want to live with herself after that.
I also thought maybe it was Jacob trying to kill her because its his instinct to want to kill vampires
My last guess was that maybe it wasn't even Bella talking in the preface. Maybe it was someone else. The person uses words like "beloved" ... words that don't sound like bella would say.

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Post by ShopGirl3876 »

I just of thought of something, and its probably not going to make much sense since I am very sleepy, but here it goes:

Let's say Bella is the narrator of the preface, but what if she's not talking about herself? What if she "sees" it happening to someone else, ie., Jasper-Alice, Rosalie-Emmett, Sam-Emily?

She "interperts" a lot of things in her head before she knows for sure.........what if this is another plan for battle, and she mistakes it for something else and jumps to her usual conclusions? Since we have never had a preface before, what if we're jumping to the wrong conclusions already. Maybe the editors had them put that as a marketing tool?

Sorry if it doesn't make sense...........it made sense in my head. :P
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