I’m about 50 pages into “Twilight and I’m starting to develop impressions of the characters, although the only one who has any semblance of personality is Bella.
I have heard two impressions of Bella, one that she is incredibly weak and whiny and one where she is incredibly strong and is actually in control of the relationship. My impression….at times I feel she’s incredibly stuck up and am afraid that Meyer’s has partially designed this attitude so that she can be brought back down to earth in relation to her feelings for Edward. She’s mildly scornful of the town of Forks and everyone else who attempts to have fun and include her. She hates the snow, agrees to go to the beach to be “polite” and rapidly writes both Mike and Eric off pretty quickly. I am not saying this is all in all a bad thing and she obviously has other issues going on with her mother and father which have not quite been explained. I once wrote a paper in college about Ovid and the Metamorphesis and his view about women. I used his stories to support the idea that Ovid believed that women needed to be loved and without love they would be destroyed or unhappy always. There was special scorn and pain for women who shunned love from certain men because they weren’t “good enough” and were quickly taught a lesson. I could be reading too much into it, but I am quickly getting the feeling that Meyer’s might also support this belief. Bella is antisocial and isolated and not concerned with boys that are obviously concerned with her. I wonder if her complete fall into a relationship with Edward is Meyer’s making a point that women do need a male relationship to be complete.
Her first two interactions with Edward are included in the first two Chapters. His anger at her during their first class together is interesting. There’s nothing like a brooding boy to get the hormones pumping and at the very least it keeps him in Bella’s mind and affects whether or not she will go to class based on how she perceives his attitude when he returns to school. As I understand it, Edward cannot read Bella’s mind and this is supposed to reflect his anger. 1. This shows someone who has gotten used to his abilities and is not happy when they are not useful or someone else is not impressed. It has a stench of attractive man who does not know how to react when someone is not impressed with their looks/money/car/intelligence.
The second meeting is interesting. She is determined to show off her smarts and is rightly upset when the professor assumes that she did not help. (of course, we can neutralize the threat of the smart female by constantly reminding people that she’s done this lab before). He is very determined to figure her out and constantly offers statements instead of questions about how she’s feeling. Bella immediately falls into stereotypical girl when faced with self-assured, conversation controlling teenage boy. She proceeds to tell the story of how she ends up in Fork, what the deal with her mom is and how she feels about life. Something that has not come up once to the reader even though we’ve been traveling in her mind exclusively. Instead, it takes Edward to allow us to learn the situation and Bella’s true feelings, not Bella herself.