Fun Despite the Depth! TUGPM Take Three

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

Cocoa wrote:Playing with Tennyo's argument alittle. I find this facinating, could you can lump Edward into the same catagory as a vampire who say...has a thing for Pregnant women and only dines on them? This vamp too would be selective dining.
I figure selective dining is selective dining. Give it human morals and we say that Edward's eating "bad guys" is slightly less wrong than the vampire eating pregnant women. But it's still choosing who lives and who dies, and not just getting a meal because you're unbearably thirsty, which I would find more understandable.

This actually is related to something I've been thinking about...I notice that when the newborn army is springing up, there are no (once again operating on early morning memory, feel free to correct) deaths reported of children. Some of these deaths are the newborns themselves, and it's understandable not to want kids in Victoria's army. On the other hand, many of tehse deaths are solely the newborns having a meal.

So why abstain from children? Rationally I would say it's because they don't contain enough blood, or maybe your scent has to "ripen" or something before you smell really tasty. But perhaps there is some vestiges of humanity in vampires that sees the killing of children as vile, and when faced with the choice, even a REV will take the old guy over the little kid (do I think that they never eat children? No, but I think maybe if they have a choice they won't).

I'm not bolding this question because the other discussions are ongoing, and I'm not entirely sure my information is right here. Maybe some kids did get killed and I overlooked that part...
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cullengirl
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Post by cullengirl »

Cocoa wrote:
Playing with Tennyo's argument alittle. I find this facinating, could you can lump Edward into the same catagory as a vampire who say...has a thing for Pregnant women and only dines on them? This vamp too would be selective dining.
Essentially, yes. They both are selective on who they prey on, however, it's very easy to detect who is pregnant vs. who is about to do evil.

I hate to bring up Rice, but I think this whole debate is the crux of Interview and the tension between Lestat and Louie. It's the struggle of doing the right thing vs being true to your nature. How can you deny what you are?

In terms of the Twilight..is Edward only a monster period? Can he be anything else? IMO, no matter how hard he tries he will always be seen as a monster by the very fact that he's a vamp. He can try over and over to prove himself wrong, but the truth is once a vamp always a vamp. The telling scene about this is when Edward finishes off Victoria-beheading, et. al. He turns to Bella and asks her if she is afraid of him. This scene is his reminder of what he truly is. There is no escape for him.
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llovetwilight
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Post by llovetwilight »

firefly wrote:If others can stop bad guys without killing them, I fail to see why Edward can't.
But "getting bad guys" is not his motivation, it is a bi-product. "I'm a thristy vampire" is his true motivation. And if he is thirsty for human blood he might a well choose to drink the blood that will help protect innocent humans, right?


amoredward wrote:
"And I just got a funny picture in my head. Edward, wearing a cheesy super-hero costume walking into the police station with a bad guy all tied up..." - This is too funny!!!
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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Post by Edwards_Bella »

Some people have compared the choosing of Edward's prey to choosing to eat free-range chicken to be more humane. I only thought of this because somebody mentioned children but now I sort of imagine it as Edward choosing to eat Steak rather than Veal. I have heard many of my friends argue that it is wrong to encourage eating veal because the calves never had a real chance at life. Edward refuses to prey on the innocent and children because they haven't had enough chance to experience life. Hope that makes sense.

The more I read the arguments back and forth the more I am actually seeing Rosalie's murders as worse than Edward. Yes she was being a vigilante, but Edward was a sustenance hunter. Rosalie was more like a sport hunter, killing and not using any of the animal she killed. I almost think I would feel better if Rosalie had chosen to drink their blood.
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Post by ouisa »

Tennyo wrote: This actually is related to something I've been thinking about...I notice that when the newborn army is springing up, there are no (once again operating on early morning memory, feel free to correct) deaths reported of children. Some of these deaths are the newborns themselves, and it's understandable not to want kids in Victoria's army. On the other hand, many of tehse deaths are solely the newborns having a meal.

So why abstain from children? Rationally I would say it's because they don't contain enough blood, or maybe your scent has to "ripen" or something before you smell really tasty. But perhaps there is some vestiges of humanity in vampires that sees the killing of children as vile, and when faced with the choice, even a REV will take the old guy over the little kid (do I think that they never eat children? No, but I think maybe if they have a choice they won't).

I'm not bolding this question because the other discussions are ongoing, and I'm not entirely sure my information is right here. Maybe some kids did get killed and I overlooked that part...
I believe the deaths listed in the newspaper are the meals of the newborns, not the newborns themselves. The deaths are reported based on finding bodies. And well the newborns keep their bodies. In the second news article we do hear mention of bodies and missing persons. I think at that later point the newborn "deaths" are getting noticed.

I do think it is interesting that we never hear of a child being eaten. In other vampire stories, children are often seen as a delicacy. I think your lower blood volume is a good guess for Stephenie's vampires.
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December
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Post by December »

cullengirl wrote:The telling scene about this is when Edward finishes off Victoria-beheading, et. al. He turns to Bella and asks her if she is afraid of him.
Thinking about this scene just made me realize something: I actually find it very hard to invoke my real-world moral judgements in thinking about these books, because the events in them are so fantastically outside what I hope I'm likely to encounter in my life. Like Bella, I found it funny that Edward would think he seemed frightening here. He's a superhero who has just rescued his girl by finishing off the evil villainess. Blam! Pow! Kaboom! That's not scary, it's reassuring. But more seriously, I can't imagine what I would feel if I were actually threatened by sentient monsters and watched my boyfriend efficiently behead them. Would he seem monstrous? Would it seem like murder? Would I just be so relieved? Would I already be a basket case by this point in the drama, so this would only tip me over the edge into full-blown Post-traumatic stress? (Probably). I admire those of you who are able to bring clear intuitions about the real world into your reading of these stories. Myself, I find the issues they raise fascinating, but I have trouble reconciling the judgements I make within the frame of the story with my real world views. Does anyone else have this difficulty?
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echo1
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Post by echo1 »

December wrote:
cullengirl wrote:The telling scene about this is when Edward finishes off Victoria-beheading, et. al. He turns to Bella and asks her if she is afraid of him.
Thinking about this scene just made me realize something: I actually find it very hard to invoke my real-world moral judgements in thinking about these books, because the events in them are so fantastically outside what I hope I'm likely to encounter in my life. Like Bella, I found it funny that Edward would think he seemed frightening here. He's a superhero who has just rescued his girl by finishing off the evil villainess. Blam! Pow! Kaboom! That's not scary, it's reassuring. But more seriously, I can't imagine [A SINGLE LETTER? WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE USE A SINGLE LETTER TO REPLACE AN ENTIRE WORD?????????]what[/A SINGLE LETTER? WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE USE A SINGLE LETTER TO REPLACE AN ENTIRE WORD?????????] I would feel if I were actually threatened by sentient monsters and watched my boyfriend efficiently behead them. Would he seem monstrous? Would it seem like murder? Would I just be so relieved? Would I already be a basket case by this point in the drama, so this would only tip me over the edge into full-blown Post-traumatic stress? (Probably). I admire those of you who are able to bring clear intuitions about the real world into your reading of these stories. Myself, I find the issues they raise fascinating, but I have trouble reconciling the judgements I make within the frame of the story with my real world views. Does anyone else have this difficulty?
Amen! Right with you on that one.
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Post by silly_bella »

CatchingCove wrote: The hitch in my brain in forgiving Edward is that you can't prosecute someone based on their thoughts. Acting as judge and jury based on what's in someone's head is absolutely a 'god complex', but a sloppily maintained one. Our brains are private places. While most of us use them for generate good in the world, there are those that plot. And Edward cloaking his desire for human blood with justice based on intent is not only unjust, it's sinister.
What I don't understand is the assumption that Edward was basing his actions on intent. Everything I have read or heard is that Edward stopped people in the act of violence or after they had already committed a violent act. Not before. I've heard Stephenie's comments on a number of occasions, and this is my understanding.

As for Edward being a vigilante. In at least one case, he is. last November in Nashville, Stephenie briefly mentioned Edward's first meal. It was vigilante justice, no doubt, because it was not just a meal.

However, in other circumstances, for his regular meals, Edward was simply a predator feeding off another predator. In Africa, lions eat cheetahs if they catch them. (I watch too much Animal Planet.) Look at it this way -- Edward is a top of the food chain predator. And remember, predators taste good to Edward -- that's why the Cullens, even in eating animals, prefer predators like grizzly bears and mountain lions. Perhaps human predators taste better than other humans? Regardless, Edward's intent is a meal, not justice.

Does he feel better about eating people who are predators?
Probably.

Do we feel better about him eating people who are predators?
Most of us do.

Does eating predators make eating people acceptable?
No.

Does it make feeding off humans more acceptable than a vampire who eats random people?
Yes. It's a shade of grey, but not as black. Refer to the free range chicken argument.

Does it make it easier for us to forgive him when he comes back into the fold as a veggie vampire?
Yes, for most of us. But he is probably his own harshest judge.

Does Edward have a God-complex?
Undoubtedly. Stephenie said so. Of course, keep in mind that he judges himself with that same God-complex.
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silly_bella
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Post by silly_bella »

cullengirl wrote: In terms of the Twilight..is Edward only a monster period? Can he be anything else? IMO, no matter how hard he tries he will always be seen as a monster by the very fact that he's a vamp. He can try over and over to prove himself wrong, but the truth is once a vamp always a vamp. The telling scene about this is when Edward finishes off Victoria-beheading, et. al. He turns to Bella and asks her if she is afraid of him. This scene is his reminder of what he truly is. There is no escape for him.
Interestingly enough, I have the Cullens and Bella debating this in fanfic. Here's what I used as a basis for the argument:

The following definitions are from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

mon·ster (mŏn'stər) Pronunciation Key
n.

1. a. An imaginary or legendary creature, such as a centaur or Harpy, that combines parts from various animal or human forms.
a. A creature having a strange or frightening appearance.

This would be appropriate for the Cullens. They are mythical creatures, after all.

2. An animal, a plant, or other organism having structural defects or deformities.

The Cullens, defected or deformed? *snort*

3.Pathology A fetus or an infant that is grotesquely abnormal and usually not viable.

NA

4. A very large animal, plant, or object.

Maybe for Emmett.

5. One who inspires horror or disgust: a monster of selfishness.

This is where all the argument lies. But humans can inspire horror or disgust. Adolph Hitler. Charles Manson. Ted Bundy. Jeffrey Dahmer. I think most would agree that they are monsters.

So the question becomes: Does being a monster by the first definition of monster automatically make you a monster by the fifth definition of monster?


And a little etymology, to point out the difference denotation and connotation:

The simplest root of the word, the Indo-European base, men, means to warn. It appears in Latin as monere, again, meaning to warn. It's the same base you find in premonition or admonish or even monument. One could even argue that at its very core, the word monster is more of a guardian who warns of danger than anything else. that would be denotation. The connotation is far more sinister.

And yes, honestly, I did write that argument, complete with teh definitions and etymology, into a fanfic. I am such a geek.
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firefly
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Post by firefly »

Tennyo wrote:So why abstain from children?
Well, it's distasteful. (Tee hee. Puns!)

Edward should eat a few babies, start a few wars, massacre a roomful of lawyers... It might improve his character.
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