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Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes

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TWILIGHT BY STEPHENIE MEYER: BOOK SUMMARY / CHAPTER NOTES

CHARACTER ANALYSIS

Renee Dwyer

Renee Dwyer does not develop much as a character: she is a self-involved character who loves her daughter but is also preoccupied with her marriage to Phil Dwyer. This is the case at the start of the novel, and is gestured towards at the end of the novel when Bella lets her leave the hospital to take a call from Phil.

Charlie Swan

Charlie Swan starts out unsure of how to treat his role as an everyday father to Bella, having only been there for her during brief vacations. We get some hint of his development as an active father over the course of the novel: he becomes increasingly aware of Bella's needs, as well as growing more protective of his daughter. When she mentions she is dating Edward, he is briefly protective; after she runs away to Phoenix and has her "accident", he becomes even more protective. In this way, we see him becoming more comfortable about his renewed role as a parent.

Billy Black

Billy Black does not develop as a character. His main role is to show the tension between werewolves and vampires, more specifically between the Quileute tribe he represents and the Cullen family that he does not trust. He is a sympathetic character, as seen by the truck and the concern he shows for both Charlie and Bella; however, like the Montagues and Capulets of Romeo & Juliet, his partisan view of the world would not permit a match between Bella and Edward, who seem too different to be allowed together.

Emmett Cullen

Like the rest of the Cullens besides Edward, Emmett Cullen stays in the background until two-thirds into the novel. His opinion of Bella goes through a clear change: he begins as one of those who wants her killed after she places the Cullens in jeopardy, then accepts Bella's importance to Edward despite not understanding his brother's non-predatory attraction to a human. From there, he becomes the one who seeks to change Rosalie's mind about Bella and even develops a surprising admiration for Bella when she comes up with a plan to throw James off her trail.

Alice Cullen

Alice Cullen's character has a major development in her back story over the course of the novel: Edward reveals that Alice has no memory of her life before becoming a vampire. At the climax of the story James reveals that he knew the vampire who changed Alice and that she had spent her time in an institution before that. This information does not change her personality, however: she is seen as an effervescent and friendly person who takes an immediate liking to Bella when she is welcomed into the Cullen family.


Carlisle Cullen

Like Alice, Carlisle Cullen's back story shows how he developed in the past but does not indicate any changes during the course of the actual events in the novel. Along with Bella, readers learn that he was born in seventeenth century London and changed into a vampire because he continued his intolerant father's crusades against such perceived evils as Roman Catholics, vampires, and witches. He hated becoming a vampire but believed he could remain a moral, compassionate being - in part, by refusing to prey on humans. His history from there emphasizes the conviction of those beliefs, but also the loneliness he felt by going against his vampiric urges - enough so that he began turning others into like-minded vampires in what would eventually become the present-day Cullen family.

Rosalie Hale

Rosalie Hale is developed as a character only in that her dislike of Bella is made clear. Beyond that, she is kept to the sideline of the story since she does not want to interact with Bella and Bella is the novel's narrator.

Jasper Hale

Like the other Cullen children, Jasper Hale starts off as a beautiful cipher in the story, kept at a remove from all humans. Edward reveals that Jasper is able to influence people's emotions, and this comes into play when Bella finally meets him formally: Edward first keeps him at a remove from Bella because of his relative newness as a vampire; however, he uses his ability to keep Bella calm when they escape to Phoenix. He comes across as a sympathetic character, and one who also takes a liking to the human in their midst.

Esme Cullen

Esme Cullen is developed in only one dimension: as the maternal figure in the Cullen family, the mother for the adoptees and the love of Carlisle. She reveals that, as a human, she had a baby who died within days of being born, which adds a layer of tragedy to history. And she is welcoming of Bella, as what she wants most is the happiness of Edward.

Laurent

Laurent appears in the last third of the novel but does have one major plot twist and a change of heart. That is, he initially presents himself as the leader of his vampire pack as a ruse established by James. When it's made clear that James will have to be dealt with by the Cullens and most likely killed, he chooses to leave his pack and travel to Denali.

James

James does not develop as a character, except in revelations that expose exactly how clever and manipulative he can be. First he has Laurent pose as a leader; then he throws Carlisle and Emmett and Edward off his path; he tricks Bella to come to him with a ruse involving her mother; and he prepares to videotape her death so that Edward would continue to chase him. However, all this cleverness and trickery does him no good, as he dies at the hands of Jasper and Emmett.

Victoria

Victoria appears late in the story with Laurent, but remains a background figure throughout the rest of the novel. She becomes a more central character in the Twilight saga in later volumes.


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