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Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes

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TWILIGHT BY STEPHENIE MEYER: ONLINE NOTES / PLOT SYNOPSIS

CHAPTER 2. Open Book

Summary

The next day at school is better in that Bella's new friends were paying attention to her. However, it's worse because she is still tired, gets a question in Trig wrong, shows off her clumsiness with a bad accident during Gym volleyball; mostly, though, it was worse because Edward Cullen wasn't in school. Mike shows extra attention to Bella and invites her to sit with him during lunch, which pleases Jessica who also joins him; it is then that Bella sees the other four Cullens but not Edward at their own table. Edward is also absent from Biology, and Bella cannot shake the feeling that she is responsible. She also discovers the Volvo belongs to the Cullen children.

After school she goes grocery shopping, as she requested to take over the cooking for her and Charlie. Coming home, she checks her e-mail for the first time since arriving and finds three increasingly panicked messages from her mother Renee. She writes back her mother to assure her all is fine then reads Wuthering Heights for English. Charlie arrives home for dinner and shares his positive opinions on Mike Newton, Bella's new friend, as well as the Cullen family, who he defends against the gossip of the locals.

Edward Cullen is not in school for the remainder of the week. On Monday after English class, it starts to snow, which delights Mike. Bella is not pleased by the snow, and even less so when she gets hit by a snowball by Eric, who apparently considers Mike a rival. Snowball fights occur and are discussed with great enthusiasm by Bella's friends, and during lunch she sees Edward has returned and with the other Cullens are also enjoying the snowballs. Bella notices Edward looking at her but doesn't know how to react. The snow turns to rain, which ruins Mike's plans for a big snowball war but is a relief to Bella.

In Biology class, Edward introduces himself to Bella, who is shocked that he knows enough to call her Bella instead of Isabella. While they perform their lab experiment, Edward and Bella touch hands, and Bella notices how cold it is as well as an electric current passing through them. She also notices that his black eyes - which she noticed on her first day - were now a different color, a strange ocher. When she asks about this, he becomes evasive. Edward asks why Bella moved to Forks, and she tells him it was so that her mother could travel unimpeded with her new husband Phil, who is a minor league ball player. She is surprised at confessing so much to Edward. At the end of the day she sees Edward, who is staring at her; flustered, she almost hits another car, and suspects that Edward is laughing at her afterwards.


Notes

Wuthering Heights is one of the most well-known classic literary romances, and its dark, gothic mood is in keeping with the tone being set by this novel. The Volvo represents the different, more glamorous lifestyle that the Cullens and their stylish beauty embody; it presents a stark contrast to Bella and her truck, which is plain and clunky and considerably slower. However, as Bella herself observes, the truck is the kind of vehicle that can demolish a Volvo and come out intact - thus symbolizing the damage that Bella can have on the Cullen family, despite their seeming superiority.


CHAPTER 3. Phenomenon

Summary

The next morning, Bella finds the rain from the previous day had turned to ice. She is still wondering about Edward's strange behavior, as well as the seeming rivalry by Mike and Eric for her affection. Once at school she discovers her smooth drive was due to Charlie putting chains on her tires, which leaves her emotionally moved. However, as she stands outside the truck, she realizes people are staring as a van comes hurtling towards her. Among them is Edward, who somehow pushes her out of the way, lifting the van with his hands so her legs wouldn't be crushed. In the aftermath, Bella is stunned and asks how he got to her so quickly; he insists he was standing next to her and when she protests, he asks her to affirm this lie. She notices that Edward's siblings seem angry at him but not concerned for his well-being.

EMTs and Charlie arrive to escort Bella, Edward, and Tyler Crowley, the driver of the van, to the local emergency room. Edward is able to avoid being scrutinized, however. In the ER, Bella meets Edward's adopted father, Doctor Cullen, and when she tells him the lie of Edward standing next to her before the accident, she realizes he's in on the truth as well. Bella asks Edward for the truth in private but he insists that saving her life means he doesn't owe her anything and that she probably got her facts wrong from the concussion. She tells him what she thinks happened, as fantastic as it sounds, but Edward continues to stonewall. Bella finds her friends and father in the waiting room and is appalled to find Charlie had told Renee of what happened. She calls her mother and calms her down. That night, Bella has her first dream of Edward Cullen.

Notes

Edward saving Bella from death is typical of the romance genre formula; variations of this heroism also occur in works such as the novels of Jane Austen, which are referenced later. The fact that nobody else realizes what Edward had done to save Bella is meant to explain subtly how the Cullens can live among humans: people don't notice enough details to detect what is unusual in their lives. Even when they do see something, they don't trust their senses, as Tyler's explanation shows. Bella's decision to remain silent at Edward's request turns out to be a crucial part in her bond with Edward, a secret that leads to bigger secrets shared between the two.


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