I believe it is quite a large misnomer that Edward or Bella's love grew stronger from his leaving. Through Edward's leaving he didn't grow to love Bella more (you can't get more then infinite love), you can say that he realized how much she loved him...but not that either of their love expanded because of the leaving.
I agree, Cocoa. Bella and Edward's love was already amazingly strong and Edward's especially could not have been improved upon at that point. I DO think the relationship
got stronger, though... in the sense that they were able to go further on the path of understanding one another and (this is a huge one for me) that his leaving -- and Bella's subsequent meltdown -- helped Edward in understanding that changing Bella is the only way to go at this point. His leaving was a huge contribution to his acceptance.
Bella went after Edward. And once she did that, Edward would have been five times more callous than any one could claim him to be if he simply let her save his life, let her express the depths of her love for him, and then leave her . . . again. So personally, I think he did the right thing. He put the ball in Bella's court. He didn't say, "Great, you love me too? Good. Now I'm your boyfriend again and that's that." What he said was something more along the lines of, "Even though I love you with all my heart, if YOU have moved on, just tell me and I'll understand." He didn't force himself back into Bella's life, he was granted entry. He can't be blamed for the doors that Bella decided to open.
Very nicely put. I agree with you here. And I appreciated that reaction from Edward, I thought it was consistent with his character that he would not just assume his former position in her life. That was, again, very swoon-worthy.
Just wanted to comment quickly on the "denying the Holy Ghost" comparison...
I share your beliefs, Ouisa
. Yes, it's an unforgivable sin to deny such a powerful thing as a testimony when you know
you've felt its truth before. I also agree it's an extreme comparison, but I can see where you're pulling it from. The "spiting on a gift" bit was something I can understand. But I don't think that's what Edward did here.
In my opinion, spitting on a gift would be more like... if I'd being handed Mr. Right or Mr. Perfect on a silver platter and I turned and said, "No thanks, I don't need him. I don't want to be given anything for nothing, I want to deserve what I get. Plus I don't want to be the lesser half of a relationship, so yeah. I'll pass." That's spitting on a gift. Instead, I believe Edward was more like, "I've been given a gift here that I really don't deserve and I'm actually ruining
it by keeping it. I'd better give it up. It's the only decent thing I can do, so I will... even if it kills me."
That's my two cents, anyway.