Love and Mythical Creatures

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redheadedbella
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Post by redheadedbella »

i agree with those of you who think that Jake and Bella and even Edward know what they are doing. Edward obviously has had a long time to mature from his 17 years. i also believe that Jake has mature more than his 16 years say-between helping his father, the death of his mother, and turning into a werewolf i think he has learned alot. Bella pretty much to care her mother and when she started going out with Edward she was shown a whole new and dangerous life which has made her tons more mature. I have to be honest though when i say that is is probably not very realistic. Most of the character have become more mature supernatural events. sure Jake and Bella were already more mature but vampires and werewolves have made them grow up-like the vulgar language is ugly in maximum ride when your in danger you grow up faster-same idea here. You might be able to fall in love young but getting married at 18 and it lasting for forever is a little unrealistic and even making those choices seems to me unrealistic-while i have never even felt those emotions before some of you might have and it might be true to you but there is a reason this is fiction
Me...curse Bella to be with Jacob...of course not...*runs and hides*

chococat
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Post by chococat »

What's going to happen to them when they finally have forever to be together. It's not fair for us to try and decide whether or not their love will stay realistic because no one's ever had that long to be together.[/quote]

Come on now...when you are miserable a month can feel like forever or vice versa. I don't see the immortality thing being fleshed out in this series.

I do see what you mean about the relationship changing, drastically. But, you must remember it was Bella's unusual mind, perceptiveness and emotional maturity that drew Edward to her long after his violent draw to her blood cooled.

She's smarter than him already--just imagine whst she'll be after.

Gabbie
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Post by Gabbie »

Okay,I'm really,really skeptical about teenage love,however, I do believe that their love is realistic. Bella/Edward and Bella/Jacob.
As most people have stated,alot of it has to do with the fact that they are so mature. Bella's had to look after her mother for most of her life,and she's a bit of an introvert,and I guess-to a lesser extent- a bit of an outcast. But she kind of makes herself that way, she doesn't dislike being different. She's her own person,in her own 'bubble' for lack of a better word. She doesn't connect with people her age, which I can totally understand. That in itself is bound to up her level of maturity. That's part of the reason she can connect with Jake so well, they've both had to look after their parent from a young age, it's something that not alot of kids have to do.
I think Bella knows exactly what she wants. She's not one of these typical teenagers who have a boyfriend for a week and are all "OMGZ I LOVE MY BOYFRIEND!!!!!!!!" and then they break up a week later. :roll:
Bella is different,it's one of her main traits. She's always been different. She always will be different. She's mature than alot of adults-Renee for example.
Same goes for Jake- he isn't a typical 16 year old boy, who tries to 'score' with hot girls or whatever. When Bella attempts to flirt with him on the beach, he seems to be a little awkward which in itself says that he too,is a bit of an outcast. He doesn't get out alot because he has commitments. (Looking after Billy,etc.) He prefers to stay home and build his car and things like that- Ya know? He's a little different,is what I'm trying to get across,haha. He gets to know Bella,they become best friends and he ends up falling in love with her. And visa versa. It's completly rational and logical. It happens all the time with teenagers.
And Edward..well of course he's different.
He's 107 years old to start with,and he's a vampire. Haha.
I know that the love he feels for Bella is real. It's above and beyond anything any of us could ever feel for someone else, and Bella feels the same about him. Their love is supernatural. Anyone could see that it's real. Bella mentally beats herself up for letting Edward 'control' her at the beginning of the book. Alot of girls that age would go and gossip to their friends about it,or write silly little things like 'I <3 E.C.' on their hands, LOL! I think the thought of being in love scares Bella,to start with. Not so much Edward because he spent the last 100 or so years alone. But I think it's obvious to see that their love is most definetly real. Bella wants to give up her life-literally- to be with Edward. That's not just some stupid teenager phase. We all know how mature Bella is, she wouldn't want to do something like that unless she really,truely was in love with Edward.
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Swimchik
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Post by Swimchik »

In response to redheadedbella's post, I completely agree with what you said about all of them being more mature than their physical ages. Edward, of course, has his reasons, but in the case of Jacob and Bella, Bella had to nearly raise her mom, and in phoenix she never really had a lot of friends, which would cause a lot of time to spend thinking, which matures the mind. Also, while Jacob is mature, he does appear less so than Bella and Edward, and therein (I believe) lies some of Bella's attraction for him, because she wants (or needs) someone to goof off with. This, I think, helps bring a more realistic quality to the book(and the relationships aside from all the mythical things), because it does show some variety in teenage behaviour, not portraying them all as moody, or overly mature.
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December
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Post by December »

Lindsay1278 wrote:I just think that Bella needs to think about how her relationship with Edward might change if she's a vampire. SM hasn't put as much emphasis on how Bella and Edward's personalities fit together. Instead she's emphasized how they are physically attracted and gone on about how it feels so right for them to be together.
This is quite true, and you are not the first person to point this out on the boards (see for example the recent discussion on the Choices thread. We are in some sense being asked to take it on faith that Edward and Bella's relationship is a true union of soul-mates and not mere romantic compulsion: we are told but not really shown that they have interests in common; if one were to look at this as a real world teenage relationship it would be natural to suppose that it would not outlast the first flush of infatuation. And yes, although it's hard to imagine that Edward won't continue to be fiercely protective of Bella however durable she may become (and we've been given a glimpse in Ec of Jasper's protectiveness towards Alice, no doubt to drive this point home), it will definitely change the dynamic between them. The extraordinary fantasy of the plucky but fragile heroine watched over (and saved from death) by her near-omnipotent and immortal guardian angel is inevitably going to dwindle into something more like an ordinary relationship as the vast disparity between them shrinks. If that were the most important thing at stake here, certainly one would have worries. As Sasha put it a while back on TUGMP, "they don't live together. They don't go through little domestic arguments (no, the plant should go in *that* corner)" -- if they were ordinary teenagers (or their vampire counterparts), one has to wonder how they would weather the domestic frictions of an eternity together.

BUT, this is not realist fiction. As Cheeky wrote earlier here:
My point is that the romance along with everything else "fantastic" in these books (vampires, werewolves etc.) is just that, fantasy....The bond between Bella and Edward is just too strong, too intense to be real.
It is. The supernatural love that ties these two teenagers to one another something only to be found between the pages of a book, though it is an idealization of something some of us may be lucky enough to find in our lives. And Stephenie herself has said so, not just in her many public remarks ("There are no Edwards out there" "He isn't real"), but in the books themselves. (I'm going to be lazy and lift some of what follows from something I wrote a while ago):

At the end of Eclipse, Jake says to Bella "I'm exactly right for you, Bella....I was the natural path your life would have taken...if the world was the way it was supposed to be, if there were no monsters and no magic." And she agrees: "if the world was the sane place it was supposed to be, Jacob and I would have been happy....if his claim had not been overshadowed by something stronger, something so strong that it could not exist in a rational world." Out of the mouths of babes: Bella's love for her mythic true love is fictional: something so strong that it cannot exist in a rational world. No one like Edward is possible. None of our lovers, partners, husbands can ever be as perfect as Edward -- because Edward is a romantic fiction.

But observe please that the way Stephenie has set her story up, this is not really something we should straightforwardly envy Bella. Stephenie does not in fact deal in the gratifications of simpleminded fantasy: we are asked to recognize that this idealized, unattainable love comes with a heavy price. The human joys that come with our mundane, imperfect relationships will never be Bella's. We are all blessed to live in the sane world where marrying a character out of a story isn't an option. We can love our Jacobs, raise families, grow up and grow old with them: experience all the fulfillment of ordinary human life together. And we can that the same time be head over heels in love with the heroes of romantic stories -- because they aren't real!

Bella has to choose: to stay in this life or leave it for the world of fantasy. She can't just put the book down and return to cooking supper, because for her, it is all reality. And faced with Edward in the flesh...well, as she tells Jake, she never had a chance...

The obliterating kind of love that Edward and Bella feel for one another is something we shouldn't expect -- or wish for -- in real life. That much we are meant to understand... But the flip side of that is that it may be a mistake to assess their relationship the way we would if they were real teenagers. Theirs is not a love based in reason or reality. A love that could ever be the basis of an actual relationship. I'm reminded again of the dedication to Eclipse I quoted in the last thread (Are Vampires Dead?): "to my children, Gabe, Seth, and Eli, for letting me experience the kind of love that people freely die for."

Edward and Bella's is the kind of unalterable, irrational bond that ties a mother to her child. When the child's and parent's tastes naturally converge, it's a lovely bonus, but it is basically irrelevant to the love between them. Whether loving your child actually opens you up to their unlikely interests, or you take pleasure in their company without needing to share their fascination with WWII aircraft or bagpipes or trout fishing or whatever, the absence of common tastes just isn't an issue. Romantic love isn't usually like that -- not enduringly -- and this (I take it) is what is bothering the realists in this ongoing discussion. But that is the starting point of Stephenie's story: a love so overwhelming and irrevocable, that -- like a parent's love for their child -- it is something you would unhesitatingly die for. So when one is tempted to fret about whether Edward and Bella will have enough to talk about at the supper table, I think one has to remember that this isn't really the point. Not in this story.

It is certainly true that the strength of this love is in some sense stipulated. How do we know that Bella really loves Edward so deeply that he is worth giving up her life for (however we choose to understand that!)? Well, we can vividly see (as Lindsay1278 points out) how infatuated she is with him, because we see him through her besotted eyes. We have seen in NM how unnaturally distraught she was when he left. Even more important, we have seen in EC just how much she is prepared to sacrifice for him. A joyous human life with a husband she could deeply love, children, a community she already feels at home with, her family etc etc. I think we are meant to see this decision, taken in cold-blood after agonizing soul-searching, as confirmation of the preternatural depth of her love. (And we have been told -- this is fantasy, so the author calls the shots here -- that Edward's love (any vampire's love) is by its nature permanent and deep).

But still...there is a kind of circularity here. If the question is: "does Bella love Edward enough to justify giving so much up for him?", we can't take the fact that she is giving so much up for him as confirmation. Nor can we look for the kind of concrete, little shared moments which we see Jake and Bella's relationship grow out of, precisely because this is not the basis of the transcendent, irrational love Stephenie has imagined for Edward and Bella. And (as has been discussed elsewhere) the evidence of Bella's collapse when Edward leaves in NM is partly undermined by her subsequent realization of how painfully close a life with Jake comes to being a good alternative.

Maybe in the end, we aren't going to be able to find proof that this love is worth the price that Bella will pay, because it's not something that can be demonstrated. And maybe it's a mistake to try, because the strength of that love is axiomatic. It's the premise on which the story stands (or falls). We can examine it here on the threads, and see how undersupported it is in places by the text. But as readers, we accept it, because that's what makes Twilight the story it is....
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dsolo
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Teen love

Post by dsolo »

Wow, Lindsay1278! That was some post. I have to agree with you about the total fantasy aspect of this romance. Of course, Edward and Bella did have that wonderful summer together, during which time they probably did things together that they enjoyed. A little reference to that is Bella's remark about loving to run with Edward, and remembering when it scared her. SM did compare Bella's loss of Edward to the way a parent would feel about losing a child. That is a much stronger bond than a typical teenage crush, and any parent who has ever suffered such a loss would tell you that the wound never completely heals.
While I love reading about Bella and Edward's romance (make that totally obsessed by it currently), I don't know if I have the inner strength to BE in a romance like that. Everything and everyone else becomes peripheral, and much as I love my husband, I don't want to feel anxious the entire time we're not together. Who could live like that?

HulloGrrl
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Post by HulloGrrl »

I'm going to agree with December's post. Those are great observations, especially on the "supernatural" nature of the love between Bella and Edward.

I couldn't have said it better myself! :D

December
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Post by December »

Dsolo -- You're quite right that I've put my thought in its most extreme form. It is suggested to us that Bella and Edward have concrete interests in common (books for example): they haven't been spending every minute we don't see them (not just over that first summer, but in the months since they returned from Volterra), just gazing besottedly into each other's eyes. Not all the time, anyway (*grin*).

On the other hand, Stephenie (or her editor) has made an artistic decision to pare down what we see of Bella's life to an bare minimum: her obsession with Edward fills the canvas to the point that not only is the rest of her inner life squeezed out of our view (the thoughts and hobbies and interests that presumably occupy her mind when they are apart) but even when they are together, almost nothing tangible from the world outside their relationship seems to impinge on it. Where is the small stuff that makes up the texture of real life -- the conversations about poetry or pop stars or the annoying way that car seats stick to you in hot weather? Carefully omitted from the narrative so that nothing distracts us from the "tense little bubble" (as Bella herself describes it) of their relationship.

I think we are meant to take it as given that Bella does have tastes and interests of her own, and that these are woven into the actual fabric of their life together just as one would expect. Indeed we know she does: we have been witness to two and a half days of catechism in which Edward quizzes Bella minutely about her likes and dislikes, her interests, her old life in Phoenix -- but we never hear the answers ourselves! What we see and hear and feel is the pure distillation of her obsessive preoccupation with Edward.

And you can see why Stephenie has done this: not only would those kinds of concrete details dissipate the intensity of the moment, they would make Bella more of a particular individual than serves her purpose. This is a very archetypal story; Bella is a sort of Everyman (or rather, Everygirl) whom every reader can identify with (and in fact Stephenie has said in some Q&A that she deliberately left both Bella and Edward's appearance relatively under-described for just this reason).

Something lost and something gained: the paucity of descriptive detail certainly intensifies and even exaggerates our sense of how completely Edward has become Bella's whole life. Perhaps even signals to us, subliminally, the trade-off that she is preparing to make: all the richness and variety of human existence in exchange for the static ecstasy of an eternity of true love. On the other hand, it deprives us imaginatively of the day-to-day confirmation of the thousand ways in which (we are presumably meant to understand) these two lovers are entwined, mind, body and soul. But if it does, as I said before, perhaps it doesn't matter. Because in the end, that is not the important thing about the love they share. This is an idealization, a distillation, an abstraction, a mythologizing of perfect love, and its intensity is its point...
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beautiful_in_blue
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Re: Love and Mythical Creatures

Post by beautiful_in_blue »

I do believe love like Edward and Bella's is realistic, though it is hard to find. I've heard the same excuse from parents over and over "you're too young to know what love is!" How would they know? Bella is eighteen she is legally an adult. Age has really nothing to do with this but Bella is more mature than your average teenager. Renee even said in the first chapter of BD that she was never a teenager. She's like a 30 year old trapped in a teenager's body. I do believe she knows what she wants and she knows that she loves Edward. If she didn't truly know that she loved him, do you think she would be willing to give up her mortality, her life, for him? How many people would be willing to make such a commitment as such, if we lived in a world like that? Or even in our world how many people are willing to commit? As for Jacob, his feelings for Bella are very strong, so what if he's 16? We're here to love passionately no matter what age. Jacob's old enough to understand what love is and so is Bella :D
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Post by avenlea »

I have 5 words for this:

when you know, you know.

& to add on to that, even if it might change in the future, you have to make those mistakes in life.
you only have one chance to live vicariously.
you don't want to be hasty, but you don't want to be too careful.
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