Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes|
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TWILIGHT BY STEPHENIE MEYER: BOOK SUMMARY / CHAPTER NOTES
Edward Cullen is as complex a figure in Twilight as Bella, but this is due to his history more than his development over the course of the novel. His growth comes from the same root as Bella's: their mutual love, as unlikely as it is. By falling in love with a human - further, a human who appeals greatly to his predatory vampire instincts - he must regain touch with his humanity. If he hews too close to his vampire being, he would kill Bella by feasting on her blood - as he says time and again, it takes great effort to resist such urges. However, it is worth that his upbringing is rooted in a non-traditional vampire family which has already sworn off preying on humans. Therefore, his ability to love Bella is as much a result of good upbringing as it is from personal, individual emotion. In some ways, this romance is a tribute to the Cullen family as much as to Edward's force of will.
For Edward, like Bella, finding true love is a rite of passage, though one that takes on a melodramatic dimension as he had not previously fallen in love for his near-century life as a vampire. But it is also an act of redemption: he re-discovers his humanity as a result of falling in love with Bella, and thus makes choices that are designed to preserve not only Bella's life but also the quality of Bella's life. Thus, he is in constant internal conflict over whether or not he should continue to be with Bella, lest she always be in danger.
This leads to the key disagreement between Edward and Bella at the end
of the novel: while they both agree that they love each other and want
to be together, they disagree on what is in the best interest of Bella.
Bella places love above all else, which is why she wants to become a vampire.
Edward wants Bella to lead a full life as a human and he is not worth
losing her humanity over; for him, Bella as an individual is more precious
than their love. It is a sacrifice quite similar to what Bella has done
for her mother. In an interesting reversal, then, Bella embodies passion
at the end of the novel, while Edward embodies intellect and logic when
he refuses Bella her transformation.
Jacob Black develops physically in this first novel more than emotionally: he gains a great deal of height over the course of the book, going from shorter to Bella to considerably taller by the end. Beyond that, however, his main role is expository: he passes crucial information along to Bella in two instances - at the beach and at the prom - but in neither case believes what he is saying. In that sense, he remains a child in Twilight - blissfully ignorant, still in need of knowledge. This will change in future volumes of the series.
As this is the first volume in a planned supernatural romance series, the
remaining major characters in the novel don't develop a great deal so
much as reveal themselves over the course of the story. That is, the focus
on character development is the main characters in the love triangle,
and many of the other major characters do not so much develop due to the
events in the story but react to the developments that go on in that triangle.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on Twilight".
. 09 May 2017