“Twilight” chapters 3-5.
Ok…I kinda like Bella at this point. Edward…kinda creepy in that “he might be full of shit or he might also torture kittens in his bedroom” way.
Bella is showing a little bit of spine. She argues with Edward and gets irritated with his annoying and erratic behavior. She is in many ways a teenage girl. She ignores and is irritated by the three boys that do like her and is instead fascinated by the one show seems mildly aware of her existence. However, even in the little bits of temper and independence we see they are always tempered by her looking into Edward’s eyes. The language involving her is very passive, especially the sentence where she reports to finally being “released” when Edward looks away. After Edward saves her she realizes that something is not right and attempts to get him to admit it. He plays dumb and questions her judgement. Unfortunately, Bella goes from a girl smart enough to realize she’s getting played and to pick up that Edward’s dad, her Dr. is aware of something, to assuming that he’s mad at her and regrets saving her. Not a very rational reaction from someone who was unwavering in the truth and strong in her anger the day before.
Three major things stuck out to me in these chapters, two I’ve been able to square away with the whole he’s a vampire thing, even if i feel there is something far more malevolent about them beneath the surface. The other I can’t and I don’t like it’s inclusion or Bella’s reactance to it
The first major event is the car accident, or lack thereof. Bella is almost hit by a car in her school parking lot but Edward manages to save her by Hulk smashing the car or something. The only thing is noone sees him so it just looks like Bella managed to jump out of the way relatively quickly. But of course Bella is the epitome of girl in distress who can barely put one foot in front of the other without taking out herself and any nearby small children. So Edward is needed to save the day and fuck with her head just a little bit more by trying to make her think she’s crazy when she acknowledges he moved to quickly and was too strong to be normal.
The second event is the lunch that Bella and Edward share. You know, the lunch with giant red flags all over the place. Edward starts the whole exchange off by admitting that he knows the right thing to do is to stay away from her but he doesn’t care. I get that this is supposed to be all romantic and “Romeo and Juliet” and whatever, except that he is refering to the fact that she COULD DIE. He drops his little hints that he’s dangerous and Bella believes him. Then he ends the conversation with telling her that if knows what’s good for her, she would not be his friend. It’s a rape apologists dream conversation. “He told her he was dangerous, He can’t be responsible for his actions even though they’re HIS actions and he knows damn well she could/will get hurt. The stupid bitch was warned, she could of walked away..wah wah wah, men have no control, her skirt was to short”
The final thing was probably the area that pissed me off the most. I was willing to cut the lunch some slack and admit that since Edward is a vampire you would argue that he’s obviously not the most moral person in the world. That’s a fine area to explore if it’s done well. But when Edward physically drags Bella to his car that is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. He is physically over-powering her, she is scrambling to keep her footing and doesn’t doubt that he would drag her along the ground if she fell. Anyone who has ever been dragged against their will can tell you it is not exciting and romantic it is terrifying. She also acknowledges that if she tried to run away she would not be able to escape him. You know who else has experiences like that? The women I met when I worked at a Domestic Violence shelter.
I know I’m still in the beginning of book but I think my biggest problem is the fact that Vampires are supposed to be dark and twisted, their bloodlust is supposed to be thinly veiled sexual aggression, they are supposed to be questionably ethical and damaged. The problem here is that it’s been candy coated into some cheap teenager romance where they get all the damage with none of the reality. That is where there is a dangerous combination in my opinion. Also, the message that Bella wants theman who is standoffish and strong and self-assured and not fawning all over her instead of the three guys who apologize for their behavior, are overly respectful and attentive and ask her to dances is a basic support of the typical Man-Woman dynamic which most of us would agree is pretty fucked up.