SMDND-Exploring the Theme of "Choice"

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

The fact that there's a danger of him imprinting makes this that much more real and hard to ignore and in a weird way, to me, actually emphasizes the human aspect of the kind of relationship Bella could choose to have.
I love how you phrased this, Cats on Mars. It's so true. Isn't this the risk that we all take when we give ourselves over to love? However, with Edward, we're led to believe that is not the case, that his love would be forever. That's one of the reasons why Edward is so alluring. The promise of forever is more of a fairytale in today's world than reality.
Cocoa
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Post by Cocoa »

Something you will all be interested in I think:

http://www.twilightlexiconblog.com/?p=1039
the vampire girl
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Post by the vampire girl »

Bella knows perfectly well what she is giving up for Edward at this point-- not only her life, her family, not only her control and literally her life, but now she can see excactly not only what she will lose that she already has, like Charlie and Renee, but she sees the life she could have led with Jake. She sees everything see could have, and how happy she could be, as opposed to the misery of being a vampire. But she still chooses Edward, despite all of this. About how she said she never had a choice, yet the whole plot of the book is essentially about her choosing Edward or not, I feel like her love for Edward was unavoidable. That said, Bella did have a choice, very early on, to acknowledge that she loved Edward, or to do what Edward thinks she should have done, and what would have been healthier for her, which was to ignore Edward, to stay away from him, and move on, which she probably would have eventually. She had a choice, and she made it. What happened next, once the choice was made, was the only thing that COULD happen, and in a sense Bella will pay for that choice the rest of her existance. It quiet literally cost her her life, her future. But it is a price she not only has to pay, but she is willing to pay it for Edward, because her love for him is that strong. The effect of her choice was so strong, she didn't have a choice but to folow it, to follow Edward. And I think a part of her wishes she hadn't made the choice to go with Edward, so she could stay with Jacob. But her love for Edward will never let her, so she doesn't have a choice.
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TwilightT
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Choice

Post by TwilightT »

I think you are right, the vampire girl. Well said.

Bella does see what she is willing to give up as she chooses Edward, and, yes, a small part of her does seem to wish the choice could be Jacob. True love must prevail, though right? Bella and Edward are soul mates.

When my husband was reading Eclipse, he said, "Uggh, sometimes Bella makes me crazy. What is she doing?" He hurt for Edward during some of Bella's escapades. I did, too. :)
Visitor1
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Post by Visitor1 »

[quote="the vampire girl"]Bella knows perfectly well what she is giving up for Edward at this point-- not only her life, her family, not only her control and literally her life, but now she can see excactly not only what she will lose that she already has, like Charlie and Renee, but she sees the life she could have led with Jake. She sees everything see could have, and how happy she could be, as opposed to the misery of being a vampire. [/quote]

But would she truly have been all that happy by choosing Jacob? It appears Bella truly believes (and so does Jacob) that choosing Jacob would be that happy, idealistic, "easy" life. Jacob says so ("It would have been easy, effortless," or something like that) and Bella agrees ("I saw it all" -- meaning that happily-ever-after white-picket-fence scenario with the two little children and Charlie and Renee with them -- "and I want it bad"). Therefore, I can only assume Stephenie agrees that choosing Jacob would have been choosing human life, etc., and it would have been easy and wonderful. (And you, too, seem to think that's the whole point of the Jacob-as-a-soulmate storyline -- life with Jacob would be wonderful, easy, picture-perfect).

But to me, I don't see where that's at all correct, where Stephenie has set that up in the first two books to be a realistic "human life" choice for Bella. I can't see where her life with Jacob -- in the situation they find themselves in now -- would ever be that happy human scenario she sees and he believes. Had she fallen in love with Mike or Tyler or some human guy she met in college, then yes, she may be giving up that happily-ever-after HUMAN type of life for Edward. But I can't see it in this case, and that's why I struggle so much with this being such a hard -- or even a realistic -- choice for her.

To me, the choice between Jacob and Edward is not a choice between "human" life and life as a monster, it's a choice of choosing to remain human but remaining associated with/connected to the monster/magic/mythical creatures world or choosing to join the world of mythic monsters by becoming one herself.

And she's already faced that choice -- and utterly rejected it. EDWARD offered it to her. That was the basic conflict in both Twilight and New Moon -- she wanted to be a vampire so she could stay with Edward forever, he wanted to stay with her, but wanted her to remain human. There were all sorts of ramifications to that choice, but she said it was totally unacceptable to her.

But now, she seems to long for that same scenario when JACOB offers it to her, and that's why I struggle with accepting it. Yes, there are many tough things to face in actually choosing to become a vampire and going through eternity at age 17/18 with a thirst for human blood. But she has already spent two books rejecting the stay-human choice, but now we spend another entire book -- most of which is focused on Jacob this, Jacob that, where Bella is far more concerned with Jacob's feelings than with Edward's -- just so she can reject that same choice again. But since this one involved rejecting it from JACOB (who is a monster, but still human enough to be able to die at some point down the down), the same choice she's had before is now surrounded with a halo of perfect happiness. I have so wanted to be a part of Bella and Edward addressing the issues that her becoming a vampire entail, since she seemed to have sealed the deal in New Moon. I wanted her to truly consider what that choice entailed (which in some ways she finally did in Eclipse) and for she and Edward to really get down to the nitty-gritty of communicating their beliefs and needs and such to each other (which they did a very little bit of), so that both of them could be sure of, and for the most part comfortable with, her choice. There are so many things she and Edward need to consider, think about, talk about (and they definitely need to learn to communicate better). I guess I just hope Breaking Dawn won't be more constant Jacob angst and will be more of Bella and Edward addressing each other's beliefs, hopes, fears and what it will take for them to have that happy and fulfilled life in their "forever."

Anyway, my view of the "choice."

Picking Jacob, she's still going to have a secret to keep about monsters/mythic creatures. She will still be associated with a whole bunch of mythic creatures that HATE the other mythic creatures that she's associated with. I can't quite see Jacob being as understanding about visiting vampires as Edward has been about visiting with werewolves (after his initial, and proven to a certain extent correct, concerns for her safety), one of whom had let her know he loves her and wanted her to choose him and who had kissed her without her permission, then tricked her into kissing him again. Edward is to the point that whatever Bella wants, whatever makes Bella happy, Bella gets. Jacob has no such attitude -- can you see him saying, "Oh, gee, you want to go visit this leech you were deeply in love with -- and are STILL in love with -- and his sister-leech, who you love like a sister, in a place where I can't go without breaking a treaty, and be in the midst of five other bloodsuckers at the same time -- oh, sure, Bella, off you go, any time you want to. Have fun!" Yeah, that's really going to happen. Sam hates the Cullens (blames them for him becoming a werewolf, for his breaking all his promises to Leah, and for him disfiguring his true love), Leah hates the Cullens, Paul hates all vampires. All the werewolves -- except maybe Seth -- hate all vampires. Now, that's going to be a wonderful, peaceful, happy environment for "Bella Switzerland," who I would assume would still love Edward, Alice, Carlisle, Esme, et al. And as for control -- Sam can FORCE his will on the rest of the pack. Jacob HAS to do what he says, and the rest of the pack HAS to do what Sam and Jacob say, so if, say, Seth wants to be friends with Edward, but Sam (or Jacob) doesn't want him to be in contact with Edward, Sam can actually order Seth to have no contact with Edward and Seth would have to obey. So Bella would be in an environment where someone other than herself has complete control over her husband (or whatever they would be to one another).

And Bella would NEVER be able to be equal to Jacob with this choice. She wouldn't be choosing "human" (as in, human with another human) she would be choosing to be Lois Lane all her life to Jacob's Superman. Again, this is a choice she utterly rejected when Edward begged her to take it with him, to remain human and grow old and live a human life, but now she seems to think -- and Stephenie seems to be confirming -- that making that choice, as long as it was with Jacob and not Edward, would result in a white-picket-fence ideal existence. Jacob would always be the one who was stronger, faster, could heal incredibly fast, etc. He can read the minds of the rest of the pack wherever he is, when they are in wolf form, and they can read his, meaning no secrets at all from every member of the pack. BUT, Bella is not a part of the pack, so she's on the outside looking in again -- they all know everything there is to know about each other, about what's going on, and she will know only what they choose to tell her -- and even Jacob can't tell her everything, because if Sam says you don't mention such-and-such to Bella, they can't (and Sam doesn't like Bella). So, Jacob is more or less indestructible and fairly omniscient when it comes to the pack, while she's still a fragile human on the outside looking in.

And, she's a fragile human among more or less indestructible monsters who are not growing older, while she is. Jacob may not start to age for many, many years (after all, Edward, at least, has said he would stay around Bella, "watch over" her and be ready to step in in case something happened to Jacob or Jacob imprints, for all Bella's life unless she actually orders him to stay away, and Alice would want to visit, so there will be vampires around, so Jacob is likely to keep phasing for a long time to come, so therefore, he doesn't age ... explain THAT to Charlie after about 20-30 years -- and you're right there where he is, no excuses about not being able to come home to see him). Besides, Bella is a vampire magnet (smells really good) and vampires obviously pass through there quite often, so again, Jacob is likely to be phasing for some time to come. So, he stays young, she grows older. And she is always the helpless one, the one who can't help, the Lois Lane who needs protection and rescuing (unless she takes the "third wife" role), while Jacob would always be the Superman one, to protect and rescue.

She found that an unacceptable situation with Edward, but now thinks it'd be great with Jacob? She would enjoy sitting home with Emily and cooking for the pack, worrying incessantly, while Jacob & Co. go off to patrol, fight, whatever. And it would mean Bella more or less spending the rest of her life in La Push (boy, I can sure see Renee visiting her a lot -- Renee loves Forks so much). And those two little children, well, THEY may be werewolves, although Bella never can be, so again, she's the outsider while they may be "in the (monster) loop." Is she going to be satisfied with that? And then, she'll grow old and die (perhaps quite young, if she keeps riding motorcycles without a helmet or decides to pull a third wife scenario). Her children may remain teenagers for years -- and be taught about vampires by those who hate them. Between that and their natural instincts, they could one day destroy Edward or Alice or any of the Cullens.

So, where is the ideal human life? I can't see how she can believe she could live an ideal human life when she would still be involved in both sides of a mythical creature war. That's not "human" -- that's still "monster" life.
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Post by Bkwrm »

Thanks, Visitor1!

Again, I don't understand why so many people think that Bella would have this *perfect* life with Jacob. Aside from the danger of his losing his temper and hurting her, the possibility of werewolf babies, the probability of him imprinting on someone else someday... (3 out of 10 is NOT an insignificant number)

I really, really do NOT see Bella as being happy stuck in La Push for the rest of her life, cooking dinner with Emily every night. No travel, no college, no fun, no adventure - just duty to the Pack, night after night, after night.



However, I *think* that Bella's vision was of a life with Jake *without* the werewolf problem. No magic, no vampires, Edward dead of Spanish flu in 1918... no werewolves.

She and Jake might actually have had a future in a world where he grows up instead of demanding she commit to him 'now, dammit!' at sixteen years of age. Where they could choose to live in another place instead of being stuck in La Push.


(I really wish New Moon had included a hot HUMAN guy for Bella to befriend instead of another supernatural creature.)
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Post by Sasha »

Bkwrm wrote:Aside from the danger of his losing his temper and hurting her, the possibility of werewolf babies, the probability of him imprinting on someone else someday... (3 out of 10 is NOT an insignificant number)
As opposed to the problems with Edward (being DEAD, no babies, and the possibility that she and Edward won't be the same when she is changed) these don't seem so significant.
I really, really do NOT see Bella as being happy stuck in La Push for the rest of her life, cooking dinner with Emily every night. No travel, no college, no fun, no adventure - just duty to the Pack, night after night, after night.
Really? That seems like exactly what Bella would want to do. To me, she doesn't seem like the kind of person who likes adventure... at all. She deals with it, sure. But does she like it?

As for the other claims... travel... it doesn't seem like Bella loves to travel, at least not enough to miss it. And just because Jake lives on a res does not mean he can never, ever leave it. Even werewolves get vacation time! Especially when the Cullens move on. No college? Why not? Jacob can surely wait 4 years. It's not like either of them would rush towards marriage. No fun? Well. That's subjective, isn't it? It seems like Emily and Sam have plenty of fun to me *wink*.

Bella seems like a duty-oriented person. I think she would love an organized life. And there's no saying there would even BE a pack once the Cullens left... they're the ones who caused the mutation BOTH times, remember?

She and Jake might actually have had a future in a world where he grows up instead of demanding she commit to him 'now, dammit!' at sixteen years of age. Where they could choose to live in another place instead of being stuck in La Push.
Well... he's not, really. Asking her to commit RIGHT NOW, that is. Edward's the one pushing for marriage. As far as I can tell, Jake just wants Bella to not die!

(I really wish New Moon had included a hot HUMAN guy for Bella to befriend instead of another supernatural creature.)
Amen to that! Maybe in Breaking Dawn? (*ducks flying tomatoes*)
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Bkwrm
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Post by Bkwrm »

Again, who says Bella *wants* babies? She's lived her entire life taking care of other people already.

(Rose is the one who wanted 'babies'; like a lot of young women, she may or may not be thinking of the reality of children. )

Jacob leave La Push. I don't see it. I *do* see him as the 'get the little woman barefoot and pregnant as soon as it's legal' type. Sorry, my opinion.

And imprinting is a continued danger; the fact that Jacob could watch Sam break Leah's heart, see Quil imprint upon a *two-year-old*, (not to mention, see Emily's scars) and still insist that he is the BEST option for Bella...
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Post by Sasha »

Bkwrm wrote:Again, who says Bella *wants* babies? She's lived her entire life taking care of other people already.
Being with Jacob doesn't mean that she'd have to have children. I can't actually see Jake or anyone else forcing that on her. So, in that case, werewolf children would not be an option anyway.
Jacob leave La Push. I don't see it. I *do* see him as the 'get the little woman barefoot and pregnant as soon as it's legal' type. Sorry, my opinion.
Really? Interesting. For me, I can't even see Jake and Bella getting married until their mid-20's (if she had chosen him, that is). He's only 16, after all... I doubt he has even thought seriously about EVER having kids at this point. I think Edward is more of the bare-foot-and-in-the-kitchen-wife type. I mean, Jacob already has Emily doing all the cooking!
And imprinting is a continued danger; the fact that Jacob could watch Sam break Leah's heart, see Quil imprint upon a *two-year-old*, (not to mention, see Emily's scars) and still insist that he is the BEST option for Bella...
Sure. But "imprinting" is a problem for all couples, if you think about it. We just don't call it that. But how many human couples have split up because one or the other was cheating, or fell out of love, or fell in love with someone else.

And, again... when the other option is death... yeah. The slight chance of Jake imprinting sometime in the future IS the better option (IMHO).
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Post by Bkwrm »

Oh, please.

Cheating on your spouse is a CHOICE. You choose to follow through on an attraction; to let it grow into infatuation and love. You don't HAVE to follow through.

Imprinting is not a choice. It's gravity.


Bella doesn't see becoming a vampire as death. She sees it as a new life with Edward. It's her *choice*.
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