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

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

Post by Tennyo » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:24 pm

Welcome to 'It's Not Edward-Bashing' ' , also known as 'Edward-Controlling?' version two, the continuation of the original thread found here: http://archive.twilightlexicon.com/view ... sc&start=0

Originally this thread was called 'Signatures' , and after Eclipse came out, it became 'Edward-Controlling? Yes. Manipulative? Let's go.' because I felt the question had been answered in the affirmative by both Bella and Stephenie Meyer herself. But since the thread spent such a time as 'Edward-Controlling?' I felt it best to let it be known as that, or 'Ed-Con?'

So, what is this? It's basically a character analysis thread, focusing solely on the flaws of Edward Cullen. I started the original in response to what I felt at the time was an alarming trend in the fandom to call Edward 'perfect' . I won't lie to you; I personally don't like Edward. But does posting on this thread mean you have to dislike him? Of course not! Post as long as you're comfortable with hearing about what people perceive are Edward's 'flaws' and go ahead and defend him if you feel the need.

Since Edward is a very beloved character, any discussion over him is generally a bit delicate, so I would like to put down a few thoughts I put together from experience with the old thread:

1. This is a debate. Not an argument. Please be civil to each other, even and especially when opinions differ radically. Just because you and the other poster disagree doesn't mean a personal vendetta. There are several posters I regularly disagree with that I consider close friends.

2. This part is a given, but I'll say it anyway. Posts should never have personal attacks in them. Example of an attack: 'He's not your boyfriend, why do you care?' or 'How can you hate Edward?' Tone also comes through. It's best not to make your replies definitive, and try to be careful with making it known that this is only your own personal view.

3. There are several words we were not comfortable with on the last thread that should be made known here. These should give you some idea of what we feel is appropriate or not, even if there are words not listed here that shouldn't be used lightly either.

The first and foremost-'abuse' . We never accused Edward of being abusive-in fact the word only showed up when the regular posters were being accused of the accusation. 'Abuse' is a very strong term, and it's better to leave it alone unless you absolutely have the information to back it up using it. This also goes for "rape", "incest" "molesation" and any other words that imply something that causes severe emotional and/or physical scarring in the real world.

Similarly, 'control freak' . Many people use this term casually, but some only apply it to a person who has serious psychiatric problems with their need for control. Also, handle with care. And finally, 'Bashing' .

'Bashing' implies to me, at least, attacking someone or something with absolutely nothing to back you up. For instance: 'I HATE EDWARD HE SUX!!!!!' That would be a bashing post. While I do sometimes refer to defaming Edward as 'bashing' , it is purely tongue-in-cheek. If a post is well articulated and/or thoughtful, it is not 'bashing' .

5. This is not a bashing thread. If you dislike Edward, please post why you do. Please don't just come in with the aforementioned, 'I HATE EDWARD HE SUX!!!!!' Or, conversely, 'HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY HATE EDWARD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!!!' You want to defend Edward, please go ahead. Just don't come in hurling aggression.

6. I understand that many characters make mistakes, especially in Eclipse. However, this thread is focused on Edward. Feel free to use other character's actions to contextualize a situation, such as, 'Yes, Edward talked about writing Bella's signature, but she didn't seem very bothered by it. So I don't see what the big deal is.' However, trying to negate his actions with another character's, like: 'Sure Edward took a part out of Bella's car, but she KISSED another guy!' Please no.

7. Please keep in mind that Stephenie Meyer herself has been known to read this thread, so it's even more (if that's possible) necessary to be respectful.

Geez, look at all those rules! I got carried away' well, as I'm not a mod; they're all requests, especially 3-7. I hope we can have just as wonderful, respectful conversations as in the last thread!

And here's a new (well, old, but worth discussing again) topic to start on. Fitting that it's actually the one that the very first post was about:

We now know that Edward did send Bella's application off to Dartmouth, and it very much looks like he both sent a bribe and forged Bella's signature to do it. Was he right?
Last edited by Tennyo on Fri Sep 07, 2007 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by PEL » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:11 pm

Ok this thread is officially open for business.

When last we left the previous thread, our most recent discussions were regarding Edward visiting Bella's room and his ability to hear people's thoughts.

Carry on as you were. Open debate is fine, but remember to attack the ball and not the player.

Also please do read Tennyo's post on terms like "abusive", words are powerful tools. Let's not use ones with deep, life-scaring, implications lightly.
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Post by jenni_elyse » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:14 pm

Sasha wrote:And yet going into her room while she is asleep is an invasion of privacy. I personally see my room as my sanctuary, and I would feel violated if someone came in uninvited. Then again, I am not Bella. But to me, the reasons *why* he came in are not as important as the fact that he did, in fact, go in. Without Bella's knowledge or permission. To watch her sleep. Nowhere near as much of a violation as rape, but still.


I agree with you completely. If anyone ever came into my room without my permission, I would feel very uncomfortable. I understand why he did it as he was still torn between liking her and killing her being a vampire and all. But, I would still have been very angry. But, as you said so eloquently, I'm not Bella and I'd probably not be running around with vamps either...

Tennyo wrote:We now know that Edward did send Bella's application off to Dartmouth, and it very much looks like he both sent a bribe and forged Bella's signature to do it. Was he right?


Well, sometimes I think Bella needs a little push because she's unsure of herself. However, if he did, indeed, bribe the school to let Bella in over someone else, that was definitely wrong. She shouldn't be given preferential treatment just because she "knows" someone. (That's one of my biggest pet peeves--it's not what you know, it's who you know.) However, if Edward only helped persuade the school to let her in after the deadline, then that's more gray for me.

I do think he should have consulted her before just doing it. I think he needs to give Bella the chance to do things rather than just doing them himself. Bella will never grow if everything is done for her. But, I guess he may have been thinking, "Better to be forgiven than to ask for permission" (not that that excuses his behavior).

Wow! :shock: I sound like I'm contradicting myself... :?
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Post by smithie » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:10 am

jenni_elyse wrote:
Sasha wrote:
Well, sometimes I think Bella needs a little push because she's unsure of herself. However, if he did, indeed, bribe the school to let Bella in over someone else, that was definitely wrong. She shouldn't be given preferential treatment just because she "knows" someone. (That's one of my biggest pet peeves--it's not what you know, it's who you know.) However, if Edward only helped persuade the school to let her in after the deadline, then that's more gray for me.

I do think he should have consulted her before just doing it. I think he needs to give Bella the chance to do things rather than just doing them himself. Bella will never grow if everything is done for her. But, I guess he may have been thinking, "Better to be forgiven than to ask for permission" (not that that excuses his behavior).

Wow! :shock: I sound like I'm contradicting myself... :?


Yes, Bella lacks confidence sometimes and needs a little push, I agree with you there. My issue, however, is that I don't think forging someone's signature is a push. Well...actually it is a push...he's pushing her out of the way and running away with her life. :wink: You're spot on jenni_elyse, Bella needs to have the chance to do things for herself. She's a grown woman...that's old enough to take control of her life and too old to let someone else make her decisions.

So, here's the issue that gets really snarly...who's to blame? Edward definately is being very naughty...he needs to knock it off. But what about Bella? I am normally extremely hesitant to blame people who I perceive to be the victims (for lack of a better word) of manipulation/overbearingness/take your pick, but in this case, does Bella bear the burden of asserting her rights? I say yes, but I'm going to qualify it. Bella should be a bit more forceful...after Edward announces his intention to forge her signature she never vocally denounces that action. She should have, BUT (here's my qualification) that doesn't remove all blame from Edward. Forgery is A) illegal and B) extremely rude and disrespectful. It really doesn't matter what his intentions were...those two facts do not change.

Regarding being in Bella's room...that is also an illegal and rude action. Normally I would say that Edward is quite respectful of Bella, but every once in a while he does something in the name of love that is totally out of line. Remember folks, many atrocities have been committed in the name of love throughout history...its not a valid excuse. The end doesn't always justify the means, and sometimes its not the thought that counts.
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Post by KrisT » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:16 am

I just joined and avoided the previous thread (seemed a bit volatile), but I'd like to give this a shot.
Most of the things Edward does I just see as part of his character. Even though he's been around 100 years, I often still see him as a 17 year old who just found his first love. I know I did all I could at 17 to be around the boy I liked....
Was it over the top for him to be in Bella's room? I don't think it was for him. He's used to reading people's minds and seeing their vulnerable sides and personal thoughts. Since he couldn't read Bella's, he did the next best thing. He probably thought it was less intrusive (or at least I do). I also think he's too much of a gentleman to do anything pervy, maybe that's why I'm less bothered by it. It just seems like the natural course he would take.
As far as forging her signature, well, heck, all the Cullens do this kind of stuff. it's how they live the life they do. Is it ethical? Well, technically, no. But it allows them to be "vegetarians". He's very used to this lifestyle and probably thinks nothing of it. Anyone else, human, who has the money and not the grades knows the way you get into a good school is a nice little bribe. People do it all the time. Again, not excusing the morality of, just examining his motivation.

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Post by CatchingCove » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:22 am

smithie wrote:Bella should be a bit more forceful...after Edward announces his intention to forge her signature she never vocally denounces that action. She should have, BUT (here's my qualification) that doesn't remove all blame from Edward. Forgery is A) illegal and B) extremely rude and disrespectful. It really doesn't matter what his intentions were...those two facts do not change.


I've been trying (unsuccessfuly) to keep up with the previous thread. So imagine my relief when there was the fresh slate of a new one. YAY!

I generally agree with your entire post, smithie but I'm quoting the part I have thoughts on: I'm not sure Edward ever actually announced he was going to forge Bella's name. When he said, "I sign your name better than you do", I took it a teasing line, which made the fact that he actually did it so surprising (okay, shocking). But when you talk about Edward being guilty for forging the sig because it's wrong and disrespectful. Well, the Cullens live by forgery. For Edward this is second nature. It's not a defense...but you take into account his manic need for Bella to have a life (which is part of his overreactive nature), forgery doesn't merit enough of an obstacle for him to even pause.

EDIT: So now I completely agree with KrisT :)
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Post by smithie » Fri Sep 07, 2007 12:37 am

Hmmm...I see your points on the necessity of forgery for the Cullens. I guess all I can say is that in my mind there is a difference between producing some documents so you can enroll in high school (an action that doesn't hurt anyone as far as I can tell) and forging your girlfriend's signature (which infringes on her rights).

The problem with arguing this is that it all comes down to ethics (as you discussed KrisT) which are a pain in the butt to argue anyways...debating rights is easier...Did Edward infringe on Bella's rights? That's a much more debatable question than is it ethically correct to forge documents (an arguable question).

Also KrisT, I think your insights about Edward are very interesting and thought provoking. I think you're right...Edward visiting Bella's room while she slept wasn't bad/out of character/etc for him. He wasn't doing something intentionally that he thought was wrong...he thought his actions were defensible. I do still think, however, that if the Cullen's are going to interact with humans, they need to play by the human rules. That excludes visiting people's rooms while they are sleeping without permission... :wink: Oh, and for what its worth, I don't think Edward was doing anything pervy either...he's a gentleman at heart.

Oh, and Catching Cove, I definately took it as a declaration of intent. I could be wrong though...I never thought of it as a possible joke before! See, its good that we're discussing this...new thread, new people, new perspectives!
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Post by amontilado » Fri Sep 07, 2007 1:58 am

It's funny how much easier it is to reply on a new thread, even though I know the old one is still actually there...!

Edwards mind reading I was surprised at people who see it as an active violation. Edward doesn't enter or force his way into minds, he just receives signals, like a radio. I think it contribes to his sometimes pessimistic outlook, as he must come across a lot of Jessicas, whose thoughts are ugly. It must be perplexing, confusing, refreshing and appealling to come across somebody that he cannot read, and as he is overwhelming attracted to her, incredibly frustrating.

entering her room at night, without her knowledge At the time, in the book, I wasn't much bothered by this, except feeling for Bella's mortification about what she might have said in her sleep. However, while I do agree with others that he was no doubt a gentleman & presumably intended no wrong, in real life if I woke up and found a guy in my room [no matter how attractive I found him] I would be frightened and upset. IF my admirer though was someone who went "bump in the night", if I was prepared to deal with that, it may seem part of the package....

Forging Bella's signature I did find that patronising [and yes, technically illegal] At this point of the story Edward is still trying to spin out Bella's time as a human. He is trying to ensure that she will not have any regrets. [He has spent many decades hearing Rosalie's after all!] He looking at the bigger picture here, but I don't think it gives him the right to make decisions for her. But in the end, it is going to have to be a mutual choice where they go to college [If they go to college] [Although] IF Edward decides he is going to Dartmouth, Bella would go to....although the reverse is also true, I believe Edward would follow Bella's lead too. I think he just wants her to be tempted sufficently to delay her change...but I still think she has the final say.
As for the bribe, I agree with the previously raised point, it is ok if it just gets her application looked at, but not ok if it bumps somebody else off the list.
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Post by NeonDaisies » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:04 am

On the matter of Edward forging Bella's name on the college applications, I have two thoughts.

1) Yes, that's a bad thing to do. It is borderline controlling because what he's trying to accomplish - or what it seems like he's trying to accomplish - is to bewilder Bella with a bevy of choices that she doesn't want but that he deems as better than a life as a vampire. He seems to think that he can force her to choose a human life if he illustrates every other choice in the world that she can make other than choosing him.

2) This behavior is only borderline controlling behavior because Bella is not going to feel obligated to go to college just because she gets accepted to one. Edward could offer all the bribes he wanted - heck, he could ensure her a place at Harvard or Yale - but Bella's not going to go unless she feels like it. He is forcing choices on her, but he's not going to trample her spirits to the point of making a choice he deems right - a human choice. He tried that once when he lied to her and left her in New Moon. The results were disastrous to them both.

As for whether his forging can be ignored on the grounds that it's a fact of life for the Cullens, that's like arguing that the lesser of two evils isn't still evil.

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Post by LindsAy » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:12 am

Tennyo wrote:
We now know that Edward did send Bella's application off to Dartmouth, and it very much looks like he both sent a bribe and forged Bella's signature to do it. Was he right?


To me... I guess it depends on what you meant by "right." It wasn't legal and was a little patronizing for him to send it without her permission. But I think it was right in Edward's "I'm doing it for your own good," way.

But Bella called him out on that, and I don't think he ever would have tried to make her go by any means. He just wants the best educations for her, so he sent it off as a favor to her. I sort of thought of it as the way he always tries to buy her expensive things, though she protests.

Bella could (much later, if Bella goes vamp) really enjoy Dartmouth, and be grateful Edward got her in. And if she didn't for some reason, I think Edward would whisk her away to wherever she wanted.

I can understand why people have an issue with the signature thing, it's just never been that big of an issue with me. I'm sending in my apps soon, so if Edward wanted to extend that favor to me I wouldn't mind one bit. :P

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