Was Edward an idiot to leave Bella in NM?

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twilight_lover27
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Post by twilight_lover27 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:53 am

It depends on the way you look at it..

When Edward left yes Bella was way too depressed to do anything but she put on an act and did fine in school but she also did the one thing Edward didn't want her to do which was think about him. She endangered herself just to hear his voice which was dumb on her part but she felt comforted.

Edward did have Bella's best intrest at heart and he thought she would move on (he probably should've known better though). Also, I think that if Rosalie didn't tell Edward about Alice's vision then Bella and Jacob would be together right now but Edward would've probably come back anyways.

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Post by Forever_Edward_Cullen » Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:28 am

Quickening wrote:Both Edward and Bella underestimate the other's devotion. The events in New Moon make it so by the end, they both know that the other loves them to the point that Edward can't leave again.
That is an excellent point except by the end of Eclipse, I feel like Bella has placed doubt in Edward's mind of her love for him (ie: all of the Jacob drama) after they made strides in their relationship like you said. Do I think he'll leave her again? No. However, I can almost see a hesitation in him changing her more so now because of the fact she has placed doubt in his mind. It is quite sad actually.
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Post by luvedwardcullen » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:02 am

I agree with you that it is sad. Poor Edward watching Jacob and Bella. I was angry with her for that. Especially after she so strongly acts like she is against Jacob after he kisses her the first time. I mean yea, Edward left, but it wasn't to be with anyone else. Maybe Bella is punishing him subconsciously for the horrible way she suffered? I had one breakup like that and I thought I was really dying. I would come home from classes at university and sit in the bathtub and cry for hours. I know there was no way I could have even looked at anyone and I didn't until 2 years later. But at least she chose Edward. And he knows he has to fight to keep her (which does make things interesting).
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December
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Post by December » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:35 pm

So much interesting discussion and I've got so far behind! Sorry about the long, rambling, omnibus response....
LisacullenAZ wrote:In my opinion, spitting on a gift would be more like... if I'd being handed Mr. Right or Mr. Perfect on a silver platter and I turned and said, "No thanks, I don't need him. I don't want to be given anything for nothing, I want to deserve what I get. Plus I don't want to be the lesser half of a relationship, so yeah. I'll pass." That's spitting on a gift. Instead, I believe Edward was more like, "I've been given a gift here that I really don't deserve and I'm actually ruining it by keeping it. I'd better give it up. It's the only decent thing I can do, so I will... even if it kills me."
Ouisa wrote:In this instance we weren't discussing the leaving. We were discussing the lying. To lie to Bella, to so cruelly dismiss and deny his feelings, that's the crime we were focusing on in this part of the discussion. There were ways to give up the gift of love without denying and defiling it.
LisaCullen wrote:I think he tried it, though, didn't he? He tried giving up the gift of love without denying it, but when he saw that she wasn't going to make it easy on him then he went for the big guns.
I suppose I'm partly agreeing with both of you. As Ouisa says, when Edward speaks the lies that take back from Bella everything he has ever given her and repudiate her love for him -- he is doing more than relinquishing the gift of her love; he is trampling upon it. On the other hand, (as Lisa observes) he has no other way to give up that gift: to set Bella free and save her. If he doesn't repudiate her completely, if he keeps any vestige of this precious gift, he endangers it.

At least, that's how it seems to me. There are people on this thread who have a more optimistic view of Bella's nature and believe that Edward was just wrong here: that it would have been possible (or even easier) for her to let go if she knew that he loved her. That she would have mourned him but not been broken by the loss -- and had the comfort of knowing her own worth. And then moved on.

Myself, I'm with Edward -- I can't see Bella ever letting Edward leave her if she thought he still cared about her. She'd comb the earth for him. So it really did come down to the starkest of choices: to save what he loved by desecrating that love in the blackest way possible.

Would it be easier to accept his choice if he had actually been able to save her from himself?
ouisa wrote: At this point in the story (NM Ch. 1) Is he leaving to save her soul or her life? Is there more value to the soul than the life? Edward doesn't think he has a soul. So is it truly a sacrifice to sell his soul when he already thinks it's damned?
I missed this before, reading too quickly. Perhaps I've answered it in a way in my earlier posts, but I guess my thought is: that it is precisely because Edward doesn't believe he has an immortal soul, in the theological sense, that the sacrifice of denying his love for Bella is so colossal. She is his only life and only soul (to paraphrase Bronte); there is nothing greater he could give up for her. And as you observed, he is not just letting Bella go, but trying to annul the love itself, make it as though it had never been. The darkest blasphemy against the only heaven he thinks he will ever know.
Visitor wrote:If someone were looking to harm my child because of something I did . . . if they had threatened and promised to do her harm simply because of her relationship to me . . . and if I had to face that threat and my child's connection to me with her imminent harm hanging in the balance . . . I would lie the best lie I could ever think to lie. I would deny her. I would turn away from her. I would say whatever needed to be said just so long as she was able to live. No matter what the hearing would do to her heart and no matter what the speaking would do to my soul. Because what are false words when the heart is true? And what is there to gain by true words when the utterance of them could mean the complete and total annihilation of ones heart? And maybe it is selfish. Because make no bones about it, harm to my child = my destruction.
Unanswerable, this. Exactly.

Still Betting On Alice wrote:I'd like to answer this from Bella's forgiveness and from our forgiveness...

Bella's:
I see Bella's forgiveness of Edward much the same as I see Edward's leaving. By that I mean completely and totally Bella....She always felt unworthy of Edward'to her he was just confirming what she thought she already knew. Much in the way Edward thought she would be better off without him and could heal. Both of these'such tragic mistakes.
Oh, there is so much to discuss here...and we are just about out of time. But please hold this thought: the question of forgiveness and whether it is an unequivocal virtue -- especially when linked as it is in Bella's case to such issues of low self-worth -- is a really interesting and important one. We will return to it!
Visitor wrote:
Sasha wrote:At first she lived for other people- Charlie, Jake, her mom- because that is who Bella is. But then she did slowly begin to move on. Which, IMO, does not mean her love was at all less than Edward's... it just means she is a stronger person. And same with her being able to fall in love with Jake.
In the end, Bella did prove to be every bit as malleable and flexible as any other human. Because given more time, she probably would have given up and moved on. Making her just as predictable as anyone else. She would have had a normal life and a normal family just like anyone else. And later on in life, if she harbored regrets or sadness about the way her life turned out, then she would simply learn to cope with it just like anyone else.
Well, this is the puzzle of Ec, isn't it? As discussed at length a few weeks ago on Choices and the Jake Effect thread.... After Ec, we have to believe that Bella could have had a good life with Jake. That she's really giving up something precious in choosing Edward -- a viable future and not just the agonizing half-life she endured in NM. (Score one, maybe for the people who argue that if only Edward let Bella know that he still loved her, she would have been able to move on?). And yet...I don't think, Visitor, we are meant to agree with your reading here!

Or at least, we're not meant to think that the fact that she is human and can heal makes her love any less than Edward's. The opposite, in a way: she knows now that she could heal, and move on, and keep everything she is resigning with her human life, and she still chooses not to. How much greater could her love for Edward be? Not to be boring about this, again....(*grin*) But if the strength of love can be measured in the price you're willing to pay for it (I think I hear Tennyo shifting uncomfortably in her seat here....), Edward and Bella are pretty much equals.
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Visitor
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Post by Visitor » Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:49 pm

December wrote:
Visitor wrote:
Sasha wrote:At first she lived for other people- Charlie, Jake, her mom- because that is who Bella is. But then she did slowly begin to move on. Which, IMO, does not mean her love was at all less than Edward's... it just means she is a stronger person. And same with her being able to fall in love with Jake.
In the end, Bella did prove to be every bit as malleable and flexible as any other human. Because given more time, she probably would have given up and moved on. Making her just as predictable as anyone else. She would have had a normal life and a normal family just like anyone else. And later on in life, if she harbored regrets or sadness about the way her life turned out, then she would simply learn to cope with it just like anyone else.
Well, this is the puzzle of Ec, isn't it? As discussed at length a few weeks ago on Choices and the Jake Effect thread.... After Ec, we have to believe that Bella could have had a good life with Jake. That she's really giving up something precious in choosing Edward -- a viable future and not just the agonizing half-life she endured in NM. (Score one, maybe for the people who argue that if only Edward let Bella know that he still loved her, she would have been able to move on?). And yet...I don't think, Visitor, we are meant to agree with your reading here!

Or at least, we're not meant to think that the fact that she is human and can heal makes her love any less than Edward's. The opposite, in a way: she knows now that she could heal, and move on, and keep everything she is resigning with her human life, and she still chooses not to. How much greater could her love for Edward be? Not to be boring about this, again....(*grin*) But if the strength of love can be measured in the price you're willing to pay for it (I think I hear Tennyo shifting uncomfortably in her seat here....), Edward and Bella are pretty much equals.
*Sigh*. You've done it again . . . You have managed to sway me (yet again) from my previously help opinion on this issue. I have no counter argument . . . for now. :lol:
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ouisa
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Post by ouisa » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:06 pm

Wow. This thread has come so far in this short week we have been debating! I know I personally have gone from thinking just "he's a blockhead" to being blown away by the observations of Visitor, December, Cocoa and STEPHENIE!

It really does come down to this last quote of Visitor's
If someone were looking to harm my child because of something I did . . . if they had threatened and promised to do her harm simply because of her relationship to me . . . and if I had to face that threat and my child's connection to me with her imminent harm hanging in the balance . . . I would lie the best lie I could ever think to lie. I would deny her. I would turn away from her. I would say whatever needed to be said just so long as she was able to live. No matter what the hearing would do to her heart and no matter what the speaking would do to my soul. Because what are false words when the heart is true? And what is there to gain by true words when the utterance of them could mean the complete and total annihilation of ones heart? And maybe it is selfish. Because make no bones about it, harm to my child = my destruction.
My first reaction to this was to rebel, to say but Bella isn't Edward's child, she's his lover. But Stephenie herself addressed this idea when she was touring for The Host.
At the signing in Utah someone asked Stephenie:

"do you beleive people can experience the love you discribe in your stories? or is it a fantasy?"

and Stephenie replied:

"you aren't going to like the answer to this question but i couldnot have written these stories before I had my children. They were my first experience with the kind of love that absolutely with out a question i would give my life for. "i had different boys that i fell in love with off and on but i always had a very firm grip on reality. But with my kids I don't any more and that was my experience with, well romantic love is obviously a very differnt thing but to be able to understand that intensity and the way you would do things that are just dangerous for somebody that is when I kind of learned how love feels like that."

So I guess with that quote. Visitor makes her point perfectly.
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December
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Post by December » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:16 pm

Hey, everyone.... As Ouisa said, it's been a fantastic week on this thread. Thank you all for bringing so many amazing perspectives to this question -- and discussing them with such thoughtfulness and good humour!

On to next week's topic: Imprinting...As Good as Human Love?
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