Love and Mythical Creatures

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Post by chococat »

I call BS on any claim that the depiction of Bella falling in love/being in love is unrealistic.

Aside from my husband not being a vampire...our first couple years together (ages 17-18) were very similar. I count myself very lucky to have found that type of love so young...but it was that intense. To be separated physically hurt us and the power of our love filled our lives to the point that it was everything to us. We were each everything, the whole world, to each other.

There was no choice involved--our love was a force of nature that we both were victim to.

That's one of the reasons I love these books--it takes me back to the time in my life when learning that the one I loved loved me back was like winning the lottery. better even.
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Post by L.Smart094 »

:shock: This is a little tricky and took me a couple minutes to think of my answer.Stephenie makes Bella and Jake act pretty more mature than most teenagers. Bella, i think realizes everything that will happen if she gives up humanity.She realizes all of the possible outcomes.But,I think that shes mature enough to know that she wants to be with edward that this is true love that they have.Now jake on the other hand is difficult.Hes also mature for 16,but then again he may only really really like bella because of his werewolf side.I didnt figure out if he imprinted on her or leah or someone though.But,even though he is a werewolf, im pretty sure he liked bella before.
So,i think bella knows what shes doing,but im not really sure on jake. To me this is realistic.again to ME this is.
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Post by Casper55x »

I think that it is a hard thing to say. I mean first of all we are talking fictional characters, but at least Bella could be real. I agree with the fact that she, Bella, is mature beyond her years due to taking care of Renee, but she is still young. I have lived through the teenage years and realize now that what I thought was love, wasn't. However, if I had met my soulmate, as Bella, I believe has, in Edward then you can't fight that.
As for she and Jacob..I think that is a confused kind of love. Trapped somewhere in comfort and rebound. I think she probably is capable of loving Jacob, but I think she maybe confused with the love and not actually be in love with him. She went to him at a very difficult time when Edward left and she may have transferred some of her feeling for Edward to Jacob and thus got confused. Jacob is also playing mind games with her, like most 16 year old boys, and making it more confusing. I think and hope that she ends up with Edward...who from what I have read into the books seems to be the right choice...her soul mate.


Edward, The PERFECT man: Youthful body...mature mind.
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Teen love

Post by dsolo »

I really think that Bella and Jacob are portrayed realistically. Remember that Jacob and Bella felt comfortable with each other the first time they met at the beach. Jacob's reaction to Bella is seen through Bella's eyes, but it's obvious that he's attracted to her. Bella is so used to seeing herself as a klutzy, boring bookworm, that she's unable to see herself as attractive. She has never dated, and possibly never even been interested in a boy. If Edward hadn't been mythical, but a human boy that she fell in love with, her reactions would probably have been just as intense. Look at Charlie, still in love with his first love nearly 20 years later. Bella seems to be the kind of person who is going to fall in love very intensely and stay in love. If Edward hadn't left, she would never have been interested in Jacob as anything except a friend. Jacob might have wanted more, but Bella probably wouldn't even have noticed.

re: December's post about the day to day interactions in a relationship - I agree, those are the things that strengthen bonds. The early days of a romance are usually the most intense. You spend all your time talking about everything, learning about the other person and exploring feelings. We see a little of this with Bella and Edward, but truthfully that kind of detail would only be interesting to the parties involved. We do see some of it in their interactions, especially in Port Angeles and the meadow. One thing that comes through about their relationship in "Eclipse" is how much better they have become at reading each other's faces and emotions. Bella will notice slight changes in Edward's eyes or posture, etc. Some of this comes with learning to read his body language and some by learning what his reactions are to different situations. SM doesn't have time to give us every obsessive detail, that's what fanfiction is for (LOL). I'm laughing because I've been reading various fanfictions for years, but never had the urge to write any until the Twilight saga. I'm glad these boards exist, so I know I'm not the only one obsessing.
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Post by Cheeky »

I think I'm going to have to disagree with everyone when they say that Bella is "mature beyond her years". Bella doesn't seem that mature to me. Smart? Helpful? Yes. But that doesn't necessarily mean that she is more mature then the average seventeen/eighteen/nineteen (soon to be twenty) year old. She might be a little more mature than her fellow classmates in Forks but's nothing really extreme. I think it's more to do with her personality and less to do with her maturity level.

So do I think Bella is different? Yes, she's definitely abnormal compared to the rest of the human race. But mature? Maybe but again there's nothing about her behaviour in the books that makes me think she is significantly more developed than your average young adult.

If anything, I think the books have shown the opposite.

I think that the fact that she is so ready to leave her human life behind and opt for the life of a Vampire is an example of Bella's serious lack of insight and immaturity. Bella has only seen one side of the story, she see's the glamourous, beautiful, strong side of being a Vampire but fails to look at all the consequences (that maybe, just maybe immortality isn't all that it's cracked up to be)

And then on top of it she looks at herself and sees something weak, plain, and undeserving of the kind of love that Edward as bestowed on her (which could also be taken as another sign of immaturity on her part). She doesn't think she's good enough for him and always seems baffled by his attraction to her.

Why do you think Bella is so averse to gifts?

I mean, I'm sure Bella already feels like her relationship with Edward is out of balance. And she thinks that Edward has already given her way to much by just being with her. So accepting gifts and praise would probably make Bella just feel even worse about herself.

And Bella thinks that she can fix all of this by becoming a Vampire, so she can become equal to Edward. She longs for the day when she can be beautiful, angelic and strong.

Don't you see? Bella has serious self esteem issues.

And Bella see's her life as being the only thing she can give.

But what about her love? Isn't that enough? We know that it is for Edward but why does Bella feel like she has to give more than that? Why isn't it enough to give herself totally and completely to Edward, as a human? Why does she have to give up her life, her very being, her essense, and her nature? Why must she give up her family and her friends?

Is this what it means to be truly in love? Or has Bella just not lived long enough to fully comprehend the consequences of giving up life, itself.

I've asked these questions before in many other threads but still havn't gotten any answers. TBH, I'm quite clueless about the whole thing myself.

(edit: Wow, I just noticed how many spelling mistakes I had in there. Hehe, was late and I was tired.)
Last edited by Cheeky on Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by critical »

A cheer for you critical. :)

I've just re-read the part in Twilight where Edward first stays the night (with Bella's knowledge). They're so cute while they're laying in bed, talking about, well, you know. :oops: The are much more like normal teenagers having an awkward conversation about how far they've gone, or are willing to go, for love or lust. Even Edward, with his 107 years of "experience" isn't quite willing to say the word sex. It's actually a sign of maturity that they're even talking about it at all ... but the whole setting of the scene, lying in the dark, not having to look at each other, not saying expressly what they mean, is so innocent. It's lovely.
The 107 year old teenager :lol:

To put it simply, yeah they're physically and mentally mature in their own ways, but emotionally, they're in as much of a limbo as any teenager is. For this reason, it is teenage love. Swimchik is exactly right. We'd much rather romanticize Edward/Bella than Jacob/Bella, for the simple fact that it is love we know can't reasonably exist.

Edward's her drug and Jacob her sun. It amazes me exactly how much we're positioned socially and culturally to accept the unattainable over the feasible.
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Debate Question

Post by iReadTwilight4fun »

I definately think that Bella and Edward are ready to get married and are mature enough to get married. In my point of view they really already are married. They are both fully committed to each other and really don't ever leave each other's sides for more than a couple of hours. So it isn't as big of a deal for them to be getting married as it would be for other teenagers to be or as big a deal as Bella makes it out to be in her own mind. Honestly, I just see it as making it official rather than anything changing.

As for Jacob, even though a lot of people percieve him as also being mature for his age I think he still has a lot of growing up to do. The mere fact the he didn't imprint on Bella proves that eventually he will fall in love again. The fact that Bella was able to sort out which one she couldn't live without proved that she knows exactly what she wants. There is no doubt in her mind. Edward'd willingness to do whatever it takes to make Bella happy is, to me, the ultimate symbol of true, true love. Jacob still hasn't seen much other than Bella so I agree that he is only infatuated with her.

For other teenagers I really believe that it depends on the pair. If they are totally devoted and already seem like they are married and are willing to be selfless for each other than I say sure, it's possible. If they are just dating for a long time and figure the next step to take is marriage than I say no, it's not. I believe that there are no age limits on love, it can come at any time and in may forms. You really just have to know when its true and when it is infatuation. And for that you just have to know. Thats really what I think.
. Twilight
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... Eclipse
.... Breaking Dawn
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Post by December »

Cheeky wrote:Why do you think Bella is so averse to gifts?

I mean, I'm sure Bella already feels like her relationship with Edward is out of balance. And she thinks that Edward has already given her way to much by just being with her. So accepting gifts and praise would probably make Bella just feel even worse about herself.

And Bella thinks that she can fix all of this fix by becoming a Vampire, so she can become equal to Edward. She longs for the day when she can be beautiful, angelic and strong.

Don't you see? Bella has serious self esteem issues.

And Bella sees her life as being the only thing she can give.

Gosh. What a powerful way of putting this. This is certainly Edward's fear: why he goes to such lengths in Ec to relieve Bella of any sense of obligation towards him or guilt about her feelings for Jake. Why he says that allowing her to become a vampire to be with him will be "the most selfish thing I will ever do". The idea that Bella would as you say give up her life, her very being, her essence, and her nature...her family and her friends for his sake is a terrible one, not just to Edward but to us as well. For her to give her life to him as a gift because she wants to make him happy, because she thinks it's all she has to give.... You are right to shudder at the thought.

But I don't myself think that's what she is doing. Yes, she is "giving up her life for Edward" -- it's a phrase I've used again and again on these boards -- but I meant something else by it, something that I find much easier to accept -- and perhaps you would too. Let me explain....

You can give up something "for someone" as a gift, the way you give your sandwich to someone who is hungry -- for their sake. But you can also give up something "for something" as an exchange, the way you might give ten pounds for a slab of fish in the market -- because it's what you want, because it's what that fish is worth to you. It seems to me that Bella is giving up her life "for Edward" in the way you give ten pounds for a fish. Not for the sake of the fish, but for herself -- because it's worth it to her. More than her human life, her family, her friends or the children she could have, she wants to be with Edward. And she can see that over the medium run -- not next year or the year after, but sooner or later -- that will only be possible if she becomes a vampire (or he becomes human). In a way it isn't a selfless act at all but a supremely selfish one. "You may be be brave enough or strong enough to live without me if that's what's best. But I could never be that self sacrificing. I have to be with you. It's the only way I can live." Ec p.610. Her life is not a gift to Edward, but the price she must pay to be with him. If there were the slightest doubt about this in Edward's mind, he would never countenance changing her.

In this sense, there is a genuine disanalogy between the love of the mother who would give up anything for the sake of her child and the love that impels Bella to so something as insane (Stephenie's words*) as give up her humanity for Edward. The mother who would die for her child isn't thinking about her own wellbeing, and Bella is. On the other hand (as has been discussed before on TUGMP and other threads), there is a reflexiveness to love which makes it very difficult to separate selfish and unselfish wants: Bella wants Edward's happiness as much as she wants her own (and vice versa). So it's not purely for the fish either. Perhaps the best way of seeing her sacrifice is neither as a gift to him nor as the price of her own wants, but as an offering to them, to the love that binds them together. A gift laid down, yes, but for a still greater gift received in return.

Does this make it any less powerful a measure of the magnificence of their love? Not to my mind....
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Post by Twilightobsessive »

December, your posts have really reassured me on the entire Bella+Edward relationship (Though, in actuality, there was nothing to be reassured about! :D).

So thanks! Your posts are very deep and meaningful. I enjoy taking the time to read the debate, too.

Personally, I think Bella and Edward's relationship is not teenage love because of all the reasons stated in this thread.
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Post by whitequeen@heart »

i think that, although they are teenagers, they have a lot of maturity to make those kinds of decisions. whether they make the right one is up to them. in contrast, most regular teens lack that amount of maturity. some do have it, but they are few and far between. all in all, i chalk it up to experience. bella and jacob have experienced quite a lot for their age while a lot of regular teens just haven't.
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