SMDND-Exploring the Theme of "Choice"

General discussion about the Twilight Series Universe.
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amontilado
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Post by amontilado » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:47 am

If Edward were faced now (ie the end of Eclipse) with the decision he had to make in Twilight -- whether to gamble on his self-control and bring Bella to the Meadow -- would he make the same choice? Or at this point would he be completely unable to contemplate taking that kind of risk with her?

It's been pointed out to me that this can be taken two ways:

a) would Edward be able to risk Bella's life again, if he had to do it now?

b) does he regret having made the choice he did and would he do it again if he had the chance to go back and do it all over?

Interesting question, and already answered with such eloquence that I am not sure that my thoughts will add anything!

Our lives are affected constantly by little decisions that can have enormous consequences. Probably it is forunate that on the whole we are not paralysed by knowing that the consequences of our actions are unknowable and so we just do the best we can. I have asked myself If I could step back in my own life and change choices that I made that ended "badly". Mostly I can see that good came about as well as bad, my life would alter unimaginably if I changed my choices so mostly the answer is still no.

It is true that by the end of Eclipse Edward has accepted that Bella can no longer be happy without him, although he still feels that by turning her he imperils her soul. Bella realises that she does love Jake, and that she would have been very happy with him, blessed with children and an easy joyous relationship. Even that knowledge is not enough for her to choose Jake, it is Edward she cannot live without.

If however, she had never become invoved with Edward, if he stayed curt and rude to her, although she was somewhat fascinated with him, I do not believe she would have loved him. Assuming that she didn't died in the accident with Tyler's car she may very well have fallen for Jake in due course. She was immediately drawn to him and very quickly comfortable with him...not something that happens very often for Bella. IF Edward could go back in time, and start again, I believe he would make the choice for her benefit not to be involved with her. I do not think he saw the consequences of taking Bella to the meadow when he did, that if she loved him it would end in her becoming like him or in bereft misery. Now that he does, he will not hurt her by leaving her and he will I think abide by her choice to become a vampire & keep his shooting star in his life...but if he could choose again I think he would decide that the cost to her and her family is/was too high and he would keep his distance. Bella would keep her soul, her family, stay human and find love with Jacob ...Who of course could imprint on another or die, nothing is certain....and it may be this point that might lead him to walk down the same path again. He does know that he will love Bella forever he cannot know that Jake will do the same.

So in the end I am saying I think it more likely than not that Edward would not take Bella to the Meadow, but his attraction to her and his desire to protect her may lead him to the same choices again.
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December
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Post by December » Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:42 am

Stephenie wrote:I hope this doesn't sound creepy, but I think I'm in love with December.
Gosh.

I'm speechless.

And that doesn't happen very often!

I guess it goes without saying how totally the feeling is mutual. (I suppose I have been saying it one way and another for some time on these boards...). But thank you!

And welcome to our thread!....


hey, listen to the sound of my feet leaving the ground....
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Variety
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Post by Variety » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:53 am

I may not have as much to say as some of you, but I bow to your thought-provoking conversation.

Since it's been pointed out so many times that Twilight is all about choice, what I say next will almost seem contradictory. In the prologue of Twilight, Bella says
"I knew that if I'd never gone to Forks, I wouldn't be facing death right now. But, terrified as I was, I couldn't bring myself to regret the decision. When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it's not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end."
Bella being Bella, and Edward being Edward, I don't think the whole story could have ever turned out differently. I think once Bella came to Forks, events were put in motion that would eventually, one way or another, draw them together. I'm not saying it was destiny or fate that they would end up together, jsut that, their characters would have made the decisions that brought them together.

There is an example of a parent knowing what food their children might choose. If I gave my daughters the choice between rice or mashed potatoes, one would choose rice, the other mashed potatoes. I know their preferences. Even if they like both, I know them. So, do I need to offer them the choice, if I already know what they'll choose? Is it fate? No, I don't think so. So, is it fate that Bella and Edward fell in love? No. I think at this point, I know their characters and personality well enough to say that they would have both chosen each other. So, even though they each had many choices to make along the way, I believe that once Bella made the decision to come to Forks, it was inevitable that they would end up together.

I love how SM explained that once she thought about Edward, she knew he would leave Bella. That thought process led to NM. If Edward could go back and do it again, maybe he would, if he had more information at the time. But I think, given his personality, even with more information, he would have thought he had to try and give Bella a chance at a "normal" life. I think he still would have left, even if he KNEW how much Bella loved him.

Maybe, he would have been more inclined to leave, and force her into a "normal" life. After all, he thought he could leave her. It took 6 months or so before he knew HE couldn't live without her.

Sidenote: Since (I believe) it was inevitable that Bella and Edward would end up together, that made it possible for Alice to see Bella as a vampire and part of their family, even before she came to Forks. True, that vision changed a few times, but it returned.

And here I thought I didn't have much to say. Oh, well. This thread has brought it out. Thanks, all, for your comments.
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llovetwilight
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Post by llovetwilight » Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:35 am

Variety wrote:Bella being Bella, and Edward being Edward, I don't think the whole story could have ever turned out differently. I think once Bella came to Forks, events were put in motion that would eventually, one way or another, draw them together.
Wow, now this is interesting! I am attempting to wrap my brain around the part I highlighted...

It makes sense, doesn't it, that despite any differences in the choices made from the original version of TW, that Edward and Bella would somehow make alternate choices that would see them ending up together?

Imagine that at the end of that 6 week period Edward didn't decide to "let the chips fall"... I can't imagine that he could have ignored her much longer or that another "danger magnet" moment wouldn't have made their paths cross again.

Unless Bella chose to move back to Az and Edward stayed in Denali... I think that the connection they had (almost instantly) was a strong enough bond to eventually lead them to choices that would bring them closer to one another.

PS- I am so happy about our new little thread!!! :wink:
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 echo1 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:49 am

llovetwilight wrote:
Variety wrote:Bella being Bella, and Edward being Edward, I don't think the whole story could have ever turned out differently. I think once Bella came to Forks, events were put in motion that would eventually, one way or another, draw them together.
Wow, now this is interesting! I am attempting to wrap my brain around the part I highlighted...

It makes sense, doesn't it, that despite any differences in the choices made from the original version of TW, that Edward and Bella would somehow make alternate choices that would see them ending up together?

Imagine that at the end of that 6 week period Edward didn't decide to "let the chips fall"... I can't imagine that he could have ignored her much longer or that another "danger magnet" moment wouldn't have made their paths cross again.

Unless Bella chose to move back to Az and Edward stayed in Denali... I think that the connection they had (almost instantly) was a strong enough bond to eventually lead them to choices that would bring them closer to one another.

PS- I am so happy about our new little thread!!! :wink:
I too am so very happy about it. I want to squeeze it and love it and pet it!!!

As for the thought that they would have crossed paths regardless...I too find my thoughts leaning in this direction but I can't shake that if we do go this route, we are headed into fate territory. Fate would put Bella in front of a speeding train or whatever calamity she would next encounter that would bring Edward to her. Variety I know you say it's not fate that they chose each other but wouldn't it be fate making the paths cross and presenting them with the choices? Or, thinking out loud, you're saying that Bella is Bella so she will always make the choice to go look at the shiny object on her tires. And Edward being Edward will always make the choice to save her. I am making the assumption that the only way their paths would continue to cross is by Bella putting herself in peril.
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Post by December » Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:55 am

Wow. So much great stuff to catch up with. I'm going to start from where I left last night. So bear with me.
Sorghey wrote: One more thought. I think Edward, no matter how noble, found his one weakness in Bella (which I think is what makes him so sexy--a practically invincible vampire overcome by a human girl).
I love this thought! And I think you are so right. Inch by reluctant inch he finds himself giving ground, partly because he is coming to realize (for all the reasons everyone has been talking about) that Bella's love for him is as deep and permanent and transformative as his is. But partly also because he loves her so helplessly. I think it remains the case that if the chips were really down, the nobility would win out over the weakness (that's the way with heroes, you know...). But it is that vulnerability which makes him such a perfect romantic character.

Visitor wrote:. Because I believe that Edward abhors what he is so much and is so saddened by Bella's willful desire to give up everything and become what he is, that he would settle for just seeing Bella plain happy (even if it's not 'as happy) if simple happiness did not require her to forfeit her own life.
Well this is the issue, isn't it? Because Edward clearly does feel that it is abhorrent to be a vampire: something hideous you wouldn't wish on anyone. You know, I used to think this was just some kind of hang-up of Edward's -- because as Stephenie tells the story (which is really to say: how Bella sees it) -- vampires like the Cullens just seem like these beautiful, quasi-divine immortals with one small kink to them. Bella's point of view is so dominating that we never stop to think through the realities: what it's like to sit in a crowded school cafeteria listening to the blood pulsing through the veins of every person around you, and a part of your mind is always -- always! -- urging you just to give in and feast on someone's blood until you have killed them. The fact that the Cullens heroically resist this bloodlust doesn't stop them from feeling it -- or from being revolted by the the fact that they feel it. Once you break away from Bella's mindset enough to think this through, Edward's self-loathing and his deep reluctance to let Bella become as he is doesn't look ridiculous at all. I wrote at great length about this revelation a few weeks ago on another thread -- much too great length to repeat here! But if anyone finds what I've said unconvincing, I urge them to go read what I posted there. Link.

So then the crucial question becomes -- and I think I'm repeating myself here -- Does Edward feel that the love that he and Bella share is so precious to him that it outweighs the horror of being a vampire? Or if he could undo the past and reclaim the normal human life he lost in 1918, would he do it -- and give up Bella?

And you know, I'm pretty sure the answer is no. I think that even knowing as clearly as he does what it means to be a vampire, Edward would give up his humanity to be with Bella -- as unhesitatingly as she is giving up hers. Which is not, we have to recognize, the same as easily or blithely or without qualms -- for either of them. But I think he loves her with a passion that transcends even the ordinary immutability of vampire love, and would think any sacrifice well worth the cost, to be with her. As long as being together didn't do her any harm.
Echo1 wrote:Hmm, I think we just succeeded in convincing me that New Moon needed to happen.

Yay! One more reader at peace with these books....
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echo1
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Post by echo1 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:12 am

(which is really to say: how Bella sees it)
I just want to say that this is the exact reason I need these threads so much. It is so very difficult for me to see past the way Bella sees it. I just don't have that imagination to even realize I NEED to look more into the story sometimes. So I just want to say thank you to everyone that participates in these threads, I really appreciate you guys helping me to push my boundries!!
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Post by LisaCullenAZ » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:24 pm

December wrote:
Hmm. I guess the question is: if some genii offered Edward the choice to go back to 1918 and pick up his mortal life from the point where it ended -- would he rather remain a vampire and have Bella? (Question for Stephenie, anyone?). I think the answer is probably yes. In which case, he should think the same for Bella. But are we 100% certain the answer is yes?
Oh, I'd say the answer was YES. Knowing what he does NOW I can't imagine that he'd rather have his human life and loose Bella. Which is exactly what BELLA is feeling about her human life right now.

But I am like you, December, I can totally aquit him of beating himself up. Poor guy.

But I'm glad at least that he is beginning to realize - now that things have gone the way they have - the best road ahead is the one for them to take together. Like what he told Jacob in the tent. It's the best option now. Even though it tears him apart! AH! Edward's pain is MY PAIN! :lol:

About New Moon: Some days it is actually my favorite in the series. We get to see Edward going through such a vast range of emotions. And I love to see the mourning that Bella goes through, proving that this love is not just a silly teenage romance.

Another favorite part of New Moon for me: That part near the end (in Volterra)
Bella: "Oh Edward, is it really sick for me to be happy right now?"

Edward: "I know exactly what you mean. But we have lots of reasons to be happy. For one, we're alive."

Bella: "Yes, that's a good one."

Edward: "And together."
I love that he allows himself to be grateful for this. I love that he fights for her later, in the bedroom, when she asks him not to kiss her (fearing that he will only leave again) and when he asks if she's moved on, and Bella answers "no"... and he responds, "That's all I needed to hear."

I hope that this ^ will become something Edward can really believe in and hold onto. Something that will help him understand more fully Bella's love for him. I hope that, truly,all he'll need to hear is Bella saying, "The way I feel about you will never change. Of course I love you - and there's nothing you can do about it!"


Can I just say that Edward's ability to learn is one of the things I find the most endearing and attractive about him? I know I've said it before. But the fact that he is flawed and that he tries to overcome... *swoons* Oh, Edward!

Oh, and THANK YOU to Stephenie for dropping by. We've been wanting a discussion like this for a long time, and your input is very much valued. And yes... we are all in love with December. ;)
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Post by shammakins » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:48 pm

December wrote:If Edward were faced now (ie the end of Eclipse) with the decision he had to make in Twilight -- whether to gamble on his self-control and bring Bella to the Meadow -- would he make the same choice? Or at this point would he be completely unable to contemplate taking that kind of risk with her?

It's been pointed out to me that this can be taken two ways:

a) would Edward be able to risk Bella's life again, if he had to do it now?

b) does he regret having made the choice he did and would he do it again if he had the chance to go back and do it all over?

Answer either one that interests you (or both!).
I'm going to answer these as A and B, because I think each question has its own strong answers.

Firstly, I'll say this. Edward has grown CONSIDERABLY during the three books, which can be seen, most notably, through his absense in "New Moon." He has admitted to Bella that he was really taking a gamble, going to the meadow with her like he did in "Twilight."
So for A I think that Edward would not make that sort of risk again, considering the fact that he really didn't know if he was strong enough not to feed off of her at the time. His connection with Bella is stronger than ever now, post-Victoria/James/cliff diving, something he probably couldn't have ever predicted when he took her to the meadow. He has been given reminders over the course of the books how fragile Bella really is, something he may have only been acutely aware of in the beginning. (Or just willing to ignore.) I don't think he's willing to take those chances anymore, especially after "losing" Bella (or thinking he did) with all of the confusion of "New Moon."

The second question, B, I think is considerably more tricky. I think he realizes what dangers he was putting Bella in, but that moment he shared with Bella in the meadow was so pivotal for their relationship, I don't think he would take the memory away. Plus, it added a "place" for them, that is truly theirs, the can always share. I think he may be able to recognize how selfish he was being and all, but he wouldn't necesarily not have that moment to share with Bella if he could do it all over again.
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Post by LisaCullenAZ » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:49 pm

Sorry, double post I know. But I just had to say something more.


Stephenie wrote:
I still get interesting comments at signings about Bella's unrealistic (and anti-feminist!) meltdown in NM. Many readers can't imagine how she could not pick herself up and go about her business after a week or so.
Reading this just made me want to declare: Needing someone is not weakness!

To love so intensely takes a lot of strength. To give of yourself so completely is a rare and beautiful thing. Just had to spit that out. ;)
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