'Edward sees all too well not just the likelihood that this blossoming romance will 'end badly' before it begins, but the impossibility of it ever having a happy ending. But he can't help himself either. This dark undercurrent of danger is woven through and through their love for one another, an inseparable part of who 'they' are together.'
Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you! This is precisely the reason why I have been anti-bite all along. For the longest time, I have felt like I was the only one who refused to say that the Bella and Edward story will be a happy ending. I found the end of their story to be unsettling and bittersweet. Although they will be together for eternity if Bella is transformed, it will only be after a series of sacrifice and pain which Bella will mostly embrace. She is literally giving up everything- her human identity (i.e. being clumsy, blush, essentially all the things that make her Bella), her family and friends to become a different species without any warmth, have abnormal strength, etc. Bella and Edward's journey has thus far not have been easy nor will it ever be even once Bella is changed. One can't not help wonder what will happen with the treaty and Bella's relationship with Jake. Jake beautifully describes this anxiety in the epilogue of Eclipse, which is cleverly entitled 'Choice' :
'She would be different, and I wondered how that would affect me. Would it be the same as if she had died, to see her standing there like a stone? Like ice? When her scent burned in my nostrils and triggered the instinct to rip, to tear' How would that be? Could I want to kill her? Could I not want to kill one of them?'
It is obvious that Edward and Bella view the bite very differently. For Bella it is romantic, absolutely necessary for her to truly be with Edward-a chance to be Superman too. Bella is taking a leap of faith into the abyss with the bite. She has observed the 'romantic and happy' lifestyle of the Cullen family. She has only known them as the 'good' vampires that feast on animal blood only and who value human life. She has faith that she will follow the Cullens' footsteps into their lifestyle. She also has faith that Edward's love, which has protected her from harm in her human life will continue to protect her and keep her in check with her unquenchable thirst as a vampire. Bella knows deep down inside the complications and is scared as she tells Jake:
Eclipse pg. 601:
'I've never been much of a masochist, so I'm not looking forward to the pain. And I wish there was some way to keep him away'"I don't want him to suffer with me, but I don't think there is any way around it...I hope I'll be able to control myself soon.'
Edward, on the other hand, has seen it and lived it all. He remembers how painful his transformation was-a pain that we are told that you are unable to forget. He also knows and experienced the struggle of everyday life to not consume human blood. The frightening episode in the rough draft of Midnight Sun shows how quickly his mind works to satisfy his urge to kill all twenty one members of his class. He feels the pain in his stomach and burn in his throat that he continues to deny in order to be with the one that he loves. With all this in his mind, he is taken aback by Bella who is willing to become what he is, what he loathes, and what he still isn't sure about as he tells Bella in Twilight (pg. 474):
'You don't know what you're asking.' His voice was soft; he stared intently at the edge of the pillowcase.
'I think I do.'
'Bella, you don't know. I've had almost ninety years to think about this, and I'm still not sure.'
*Going to get a little religious here*
Now I can see a parallel between the Bella's possible transformation to the Abraham and Issac story. To me the story of Abraham and Issac is not about the action of sacrificing a son, but rather a test of faith. How strong is Abraham's faith in God? Is it so strong that he will trust in God and sacrifice his son for God's sake? As we all know, Abraham's faith was very strong and did not falter, which is why he was saved from sacrificing his son. In the context of the Bella and Edward's story it becomes the question of how ready is Edward?
All along we have discussed numerous times whether or not Bella is ready for the bite, ready to step into the darkness. I think it is equally important to think about whether or not Edward
is ready for the bite. We all know that physically he is capable, but it gets less clear emotionally. Is he capable to see Bella suffer for three days of continual pain after they cherish that one, ultimate, intimate moment? Can he freely and without any hesitations/excuses to take the necessary actions to change Bella? Or is he counting on a life/death situation to occur to make his decision easier?
It has been my observation that as the series progresses that Edward becomes more human in the context of his emotions. He has become over-protective, able to express his love for Bella, and finally accept that he has become jealous of Jake. All of these stages of emotions are due to his relationship with Bella. Perhaps he fears that he will miss his human side if Bella is changed. Throughout the series, I have always felt a nagging feeling that Edward is not being completely honest with Bella about the vampire lifestyle-whether it is the minute details of the thirst or his connection with Tanya or perhaps it is so hideous that he fears that Bella would be so repelled by it and leave him. It maybe due my over-analysis of Edward's character that makes me thinks this. After all, I am obsessed about the boy.
'Stephenie's books are fundamentally sunny in outlook and tone; there's never any serious doubt whether light will win out over the darkness. (In fact her villains are so unalarming as to be almost unsuccessful). The drama and conflict, as has been often pointed out here, is a character-oriented conflict between good and good: well-meaning, essentially blameless people caught in the net of an impossible situation.'
I find this observation very interesting and acute. If Bella is transformed, she no longer retains her label as the heroine of the story, but rather her role becomes less clear. Again I may be in the minority that views the Cullens to walk the thin line between hero and villain and find them horrifying at times. Yes, they don't kill people, but they did (and for most of them, they killed a lot) in their past life. Yes, they are trying to blend in the human life, but they do so by cheating, lying, and other ways to not draw attention. It makes me cringe to imagine Carlisle working in a hospital, which very ironic-death nursing life, because he has the ability to kill everyone in the hospital. I even find Carlisle, the purest of the Cullens, to be horrifying in his decision to expand his family and not stopping Edward from going through his rebellious years. I wonder if Carlisle had stopped Edward, would Edward still be in an existential crisis.
Note: I'm not debating whether or not the Cullens are moral/immoral. If you are interested in this topic, please go to the Philosophy Thread where it has been discussed numerous times. I just wanted to point out how difficult it is to place the Cullens in a black/white or good/evil paradigm.