SM - It's Not Edward Bashing..."Ed-Con?" V.2

General discussion about the Twilight Series Universe.
llovetwilight
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Post by llovetwilight »

I wonder if SM really intended to "make" Edward that way? I remember reading that her characters become alive to her... that she knows them so well that when she writes the story, she "listens" to them and knows how they will behave in a given situation. Thus the reason MS was born. So many people misunderstood Edward... she kept thinking to herself "Edward woudn't do that!" and so she began to write Twilight from his perspective. She also said somewhere that her characters do what they do, even if she doesn't like it. Edward's example of this was the leaving in NM. Stephenie didn't want him to leave... but she knew that this is how he would try to solve the issues presented.

Having said that... it seems to me that if Edward were not so overly-protective, the series wouldn't have the same feel. If Edward's character was not so complicated, with him always trying to "save" Bella, protect her, shield her from all things harmful (even himself), then would we really have the same story? A less "controlling", over-protective and self-doubting Edward would not have the same issues with Bella becoming a vampire that our Edward does. If he felt differently about vampires being souless monsters, he might have let James' venom turn Bella in Twilight. Or, if he didn't want her turned in such a violent way, he probably would have changed her soon after, like after the Prom when she was healed (pretty much) and told him that she should change. If Bella had changed at the end of TW, pretty much story over, right? I think I still would have liked that version a lot, but we wouldn't have books 2, 3, and 4!

In the end, I am sure that there are several reasons for why Edward is the way he is. But, I really think that his reactions and views of the situations in this series are central to the direction the series has taken us.
I'm really glad Edward didn't kill you. Everything's so much more fun with you around."- Emmett to Bella, EC

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TrueLove1
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Post by TrueLove1 »

Cullengirl wrote:
He won't see himself as being the monster who will potentially kill Bella if he gets someone else (i.e. Carlisle) to do it for him. I think his ultimate fear besides Bella being changed is that he doesn't want to be held responsible.
I think that is the least of Edward's worries. Alice would have been all for changing Bella long ago because she sees how it will benefit both of them. Edward never tries to get someone else to do it. In fact at the end of New Moon, after the vote, he and Carlisle have a confrontation about it. Edward is furious that Carlisle would do it.

Carlisle explains in the beginning of New Moon, when he is stitching Bella up that no matter who does it, Edward would consider himself responsible. It would be her love for him that drives her to the decision. So, I don't see that Edward is looking to get anyone else to do it. Edward considers it his fault that she wants to take her life away in this way.

Even at the end of NM he has very serious doubts about vampires having souls--additionally he thinks that even if he does have a soul, he's probably already damned because of all the killing he's done. He seems to consider himself, for the most part, a lost cause. He doesn't want Bella to suffer that same possible fate. I never personally get the feeling that Edward is trying to stop her--for himself. He wants to stop her from losing her soul and her chance at heaven like he believes he has. He loves her and wants what's best for her. Even when he starts to have some faith (because of hers) he agonizes over the thought that she will lose her humanity.

These quotes are some of the reasons why I don't believe that Edward is putting himself first here and why I have to disagree:

"You could do so much better, Bella. I know that you believe I have a soul, but I'm not entirely convinced on that point, and to risk yours...." He shook his head slowly. " For me to allow this--to let you become what I am just so that I'll never have to lose you---is the most selfish act I can imagine. I want it more than anything, for myself. But for you, I want so much more. .........If there were any way for me to become human for you---no matter what the price was, I would pay it"

Edit to say sorry-
I didn't see the new question.

December
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Post by December »

Ilovetwilight wrote: it seems to me that if Edward were not so overly-protective, the series wouldn't have the same feel. If Edward's character was not so complicated, with him always trying to "save" Bella, protect her, shield her from all things harmful (even himself), then would we really have the same story? A less "controlling", over-protective and self-doubting Edward would not have the same issues with Bella becoming a vampire that our Edward does.
Here's the thing: I agree that Edward more or less has to feel the way he does for the story to have the plot it does -- and for him to be the character he is. And it's quite true that Stephenie talks as though she hasn't much say in who her characters are or what they choose to do (and I believe her!). My puzzle is more this (and I think I didn't really put this clearly enough to start with): why does Stephenie emphasize the excesses to which Edward's protectiveness drives him? We don't need to hear about these lapses: the story of Eclipse would still have broadly the same shape if Edward never dismembered Bella's truck or tricked her into leaving for the weekend. Those episodes are there for character development (and humour -- forgive me, all of you whose blood simply boils at this, but I found the scene with the engine parts funny).

So I think we can still ask: why does Stephenie want us to see Edward so often at his most controlling? Kidnapping Bella to keep her from going to La Push certainly reinforces our sense that Edward is desperate to keep her from harm (and as you say, this is the motor which drives the story of the whole series, so it's as well to have it firmly before us all the time). But Stephenie could demonstrate this to us in ways which make Edward seem less...controlling. I mean, imagine Carlisle in Edward's position. I don't suppose his scruples or his anguish would be any less -- but his responses would certainly be more measured.

I guess this brings us back to your original observation: as far as Stephenie is concerned Edward is...Edward. That's actually what he's like, as she sees him in her head, and she isn't going to whitewash it in telling us his story. The arrogance is part of who is is, and we need to know about it.

And of course, for some readers it is not a wholly unattractive trait, even if he sometimes pushes it a little too far. This being fiction and all....


ETA
Truelove -- don't apologize! I shouldn't really have changed the topic; the thought just came into my head and I posted it without thinking.
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StupidxLamb
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Post by StupidxLamb »

December wrote:
Ilovetwilight wrote: it seems to me that if Edward were not so overly-protective, the series wouldn't have the same feel. If Edward's character was not so complicated, with him always trying to "save" Bella, protect her, shield her from all things harmful (even himself), then would we really have the same story? A less "controlling", over-protective and self-doubting Edward would not have the same issues with Bella becoming a vampire that our Edward does.
Here's the thing: I agree that Edward more or less has to feel the way he does for the story to have the plot it does -- and for him to be the character he is. And it's quite true that Stephenie talks as though she hasn't much say in who her characters are or what they choose to do (and I believe her!). My puzzle is more this (and I think I didn't really put this clearly enough to start with): why does Stephenie [A SINGLE LETTER? WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE USE A SINGLE LETTER TO REPLACE AN ENTIRE WORD?????????]emphasize[/A SINGLE LETTER? WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE USE A SINGLE LETTER TO REPLACE AN ENTIRE WORD?????????] the excesses to which Edward's protectiveness drives him? We don't need to hear about these lapses: the story of Eclipse would still have broadly the same shape if Edward never dismembered Bella's truck or tricked her into leaving for the weekend. Those episodes are there for character development (and humour -- forgive me, all of you whose blood simply boils at this, but I found the scene with the engine parts funny).

So I think we can still ask: why does Stephenie want us to see Edward so often at his most controlling? Kidnapping Bella to keep her from going to La Push certainly reinforces our sense that Edward is [A SINGLE LETTER? WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE USE A SINGLE LETTER TO REPLACE AN ENTIRE WORD?????????]desperate[/A SINGLE LETTER? WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE USE A SINGLE LETTER TO REPLACE AN ENTIRE WORD?????????] to keep her from harm (and as you say, this is the motor which drives the story of the whole series, so it's as well to have it firmly before us all the time). But Stephenie could demonstrate this to us in ways which make Edward seem less...controlling. I mean, imagine Carlisle in Edward's position. I don't suppose his scruples or his anguish would be any less -- but his responses would certainly be more measured.

I guess this brings us back to your original observation: as far as Stephenie is concerned Edward is...Edward. That's actually what he's like, as she sees him in her head, and she isn't going to whitewash it in telling us his story. The arrogance is part of who is is, and we need to know about it.

And of course, for some readers it is not a wholly unattractive trait, even if he sometimes pushes it a little too far. This being fiction and all....


ETA
Truelove -- don't apologize! I shouldn't really have changed the topic; the thought just came into my head and I posted it without thinking.
I'm not sure why Stephenie wants us to see that part of Edward, but everyone deals with things in a different way. Maybe it was to emphasize the differences in him and Jacob, to help us to sympathize with Bella's decision making process. She truly did have to choose between fire and ice, and we all know it's much harder to choose between chocolate and vanilla than chocolate/vanilla swirl and vanilla with chocolate swirls (haha, sorry for the ice cream analogy). I already stated my reasons why I think Edward is as controlling as he is, and now these are my reasons for why Stephenie may be emphasizing them so much.

Also, character development is important. It helps us to see Edward not so much as a 107 year old vampire with all the experience and knowledge that a person could ask for, but more as a 17 year old teenager in love for the first time, dealing with about a million things at once. That is how Edward delt with his stresses, and though it wasn't wise, I think it makes sense that Stephenie would create him to react a certain way when things go wrong. In his case, he's controlling at times
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LisaCullenAZ
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Post by LisaCullenAZ »

TrueLove1 that's right - don't apologize! I'm glad you didn't see the new question because I don't ever want to miss out on any of your insightful posts

:)

And I agree - Edward doesn't want Bella to become a vampire because he doesn't want her life to end. He doesn't want her to loose anything. He isn't afraid of his own guilt. He's afraid for Bella.

As for December's question: I'm not sure whether SM made him controlling, or whether it's just the way she imagined him in that first inspired dream of hers. If Edward started out this way in her mind or in her dream, then she probably just built his character from there. For example, I know she's said before that when Edward left in New Moon, it was really only because "that's what Edward would do." Not that SM made him leave.

But why controlling, of all things? Well, I'm going to get eaten alive for saying this, but...

Perhaps it's because, the way Edward does it anyway, it's one of the lesser evils in a guy? Do you think it just might be a more forgiveable flaw than the many others we find in men? Hear me out -

I know I'd be much more willing to forgive a guy for loving me too much than for ignoring me and taking me for granted. I'd find it hard to overlook if he was inattentive, or if he thought me lucky to have him because he's just so dreamy and perfect and rich. You know?

I'd rather have a guy worry too much than not worry at all. Sometimes I even find it endearing when my husband worries too much. And when it becomes annoying, I can easily forgive him because I know he only has my interest at heart.

In a PERFECT world you would have a guy who could find the happy medium. But then what kind of boring book would we have here?!
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lovesvampiresANDwolves
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Post by lovesvampiresANDwolves »

LisaCullenAZ wrote:Perhaps it's because, the way Edward does it anyway, it's one of the lesser evils in a guy? Do you think it just might be a more forgiveable flaw than the many others we find in men? Hear me out -

I know I'd be much more willing to forgive a guy for loving me too much than for ignoring me and taking me for granted. I'd find it hard to overlook if he was inattentive, or if he thought me lucky to have him because he's just so dreamy and perfect and rich. You know?

I'd rather have a guy worry too much than not worry at all. Sometimes I even find it endearing when my husband worries too much. And when it becomes annoying, I can easily forgive him because I know he only has my interest at heart.

In a PERFECT world you would have a guy who could find the happy medium. But then what kind of boring book would we have here?!
Lisa, I completely agree. Although I was never super frustrated with Edward, I hadn't ever thought of it this way! It makes complete sense though. I mean, whether an author forces flaws onto their characters or those flaws seem to happen naturally, all characters must have flaws. If they didn't there would be no need to write a story about them. So, since Edward HAS to have flaws, at least they are the kind of flaws that are more easily forgiveable because of his intentions.
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Post by Visitor »

Personally . . . and StupidxLamb has already hit upon it . . . but I think that Jacob's character is the reason Edward became so much more over protective (because controlling sounds sooo harsh 8) ) in Eclipse. The way I see it, Jacob was designed to be Edward's natural foil. The Hatfield to his McCoy. I think that Jacob's existence in the story is two-fold. First, it's to give Bella another option. Second, it's to give the readers another option.

When I go back and re-read a lot of the stuff that was written after TW came out, one thing is consistent . . . just about everyone seemed enamored with Edward's character. Young girls in particular tended to view him as the 'perfect' guy. Incapable of making mistakes. But after NM, Edward's appeal is knocked down a peg and some people's opinion of him change . . . mostly for the worst. Then there's Eclipse, where his faults are broadcast at a fever pitch. December, I think you are correct in noting that this change is purposeful. I think that once SM sat down and realized where Bella's story had to go (since family and friends would no longer be the only ones reading it) she must have realized that Bella HAD to have a second option. Insert Jacob :o !

Then she must have realized that in order for Jacob to have a fighting chance with Bella (and her readers), Edward would have to become . . . less. Therefore, Jacob took on all the positive traits and characteristics that Edward lacked. Warm vs. Cold. Soft vs. Hard. Funny vs. Serious. Young vs. Old. Dark (skin tone) vs. Light (skin tone). Light (attitude) vs. Dark (attitude). Fertile vs. Infertile :wink: . Laid Back vs. Over Protective. None of these differences can be a coincidence.

Think about when NM came out. And even Eclipse. SM spent a great deal of time taking up for and seeking favor for Jacob's character. She has been very vocal in pointing out to the young girls enamored with TW Edward that he is far from perfect and is not even a character rooted in reality (it has become a TW-verse mantra that Edwards do not exist, but Jacobs do). Because, smart woman that she is, she knew where her story was headed. She knew what Bella would soon discover . . . that Bella would fall in love with two people. And how could SM have sold such a story without making the other option (i.e. Jacob) at the very least . . . viable. So viable Jacob became, while Edward, (who remained amazing) became a lot less perfect.

And llovetwilight, I agree to an extent with what you said about SM writing her characters the way they are even when she doesn't agree with their actions. And I love that she does that! But I also believe that 'who' her characters are and how she needs them to react, are somewhat one in the same. She said it herself . . . she wrote Eclipse because she needed Bella to take the time and think about the decision she was making. So, were Bella's actions in Eclipse the result of what Bella would have done, or were they the combined result of what Bella would have done plus what SM needed her character to do in order for her message to come across? Personally, I think it's a brilliantly creative combination of the two.

I say all that to say, Edward needed to be imperfect for the story to be believable. And it works because he is (imperfect) and it is (believable).
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Post by amontilado »

Lisa~I agree with you. I would far prefer a husband who loved me enough to worry about me, somebody for who me partnership was important to him that he tried to keep me safe.

I see Edwards level of protectiveness as a device to show how important Bella is to Edward. Without her he has no interest in existing at all. He struggles with the fact that he him self and his whole world place her in real danger & that because of him she intends to give up his own life.
He sees himself as a monster & he has struggled to overcome his thirst for her blood, but still has to struggle against not hurting her with his strength and speed. He loves her more than existance [I was going to say life itself but for Edward that doesn't fit :wink: ], yet if he endangers her, how can he trust the other monsters?

Bella ans Alice both refer to Edward's over protectiveness, so we can be sure that SM intends us at this point to see Edward in this light. Whenever she steps in with information it is to assure us that Edward has no malice, only love, that he REALLY does fear for her safety with the werewolves and with good reason.
However, in Eclipse, we need to see Bella making a real choice, she needs to freely understand her choices and what becoming a vampire will entail. To give her a real choice, Bella must spend enough time with Jacob to realise that she has an alternate future, that she does love Jacob. To me it is fairly early in the book that Edward stops trying to prevent Bella from seeing Jacob and accepts that it must be her decision.
Controlling [to me] implies a level of control because you can, a man stopping a woman doing something for no other reason that being the boss of all things, and wanting his word to be law, with or without a reason.
It still doesn't necessarily make it right, but Edward [to me] never controlls for the sake of it...he doesn't try to interfere with anything he doesn't see as dangerous. His aim is to keep her alive, safe, human and to give her time to make choices.
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Post by Tennyo »

I'm not getting into this but I notice that we are at 70 pages and 100 isn't that far off from here. PM me if you have a topic you'd like to start out with (I'm tapped) for version three and if there's more than one submission I'll try to be as objective as possible when choosing.

Also, I've decided to name thread three, "And His Stupid Pretty-Boy Looks...! Ed-Con V.3". It comes from what I imagine Jacob usually thinks of Edward.
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Post by LisaCullenAZ »

Also, I've decided to name thread three, "And His Stupid Pretty-Boy Looks...! Ed-Con V.3". It comes from what I imagine Jacob usually thinks of Edward.
:lol: Nice, one Tennyo.

I liked Visitor's explanation of oposites between Jacob and Edward. To me that just emphasized the fact that there is no such thing as the perfect guy. It's like, pick your poison woman! You can have this guy with these issues, or you can have this guy with those issues. :wink:
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