Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes|
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TWILIGHT BY STEPHENIE MEYER: STUDY NOTES / BOOK ANALYSIS
We now see that this first paragraph also includes many of the elements of
the novel's climax: the airport and Bella's mother Renee. The "farewell
gesture" of her favorite shirt - which is white, the color of surrender
- refers to her moving to Forks, but also foreshadows her own surrender
to James in order to save Renee.
3.) While she does not look forward to this move, she does take a liking to the gift Charlie gets her:
There, parked on the street in front of the house that never changed, was
my new - well, new to me - truck. It was a faded red color, with big,
rounded fenders and a bulbous cab. To my intense surprise, I loved it.
I didn't know if it would run, but I could see myself in it. Plus, it
was one of those solid iron affairs that never gets damaged - the kind
you see at the scene of an accident, paint unscratched, surrounded by
the pieces of the foreign car it had destroyed. (8)
Bella's ability to see herself in it is the very first sign that she'll adjust
to life in Forks and actually enjoy it by the end of the novel. Further,
in describing how she imagines the truck - invulnerable to harm in case
something violent happens, especially in contrast to flashier, newer cars
from overseas - we get a further glimpse of her own self-image, strong
and impervious to harm. There's also a foreshadowing: while she does come
out quite damaged from her major encounter with a hostile vampire, like
her red truck Bella survives it and the hostile vampire does not.
4.) Despite the truck, Bella feels self-conscious of her appearance:
Maybe, if I looked like the girl from Phoenix should, I could work this to my advantage. But physically, I'd never fit in anywhere. I should be tan, sporty, blond - a volleyball player, or a cheerleader, perhaps - all the things that go with living in the valley of the sun.
Instead, I was ivory-skinned, without even the excuse of blue eyes or red
hair, despite the constant sunshine. I had always been slender, but soft
somehow, obviously not an athlete; I didn't have the necessary hand-eye
coordination to play sports without humiliating myself - and harming both
myself and anyone else who stood too close. (10)
She contrasts the expected image of someone from Phoenix - at least, as she understands it - with her ow reality. She not only emphasizes the disconnect in appearances, but also her lack of physical grace. We not only see the insecurities she'll eventually set aside, but also develop the motif of her clumsiness before she actually reaches gym class.
5.) As her first day of school begins, Bella tries to assure herself:
I can do this, I lied to myself feebly. No one was going to bite me. (14)
Throughout the book, everyday phrases are used that take on a different meaning due to the context of the story. The colorful nature of slang often overdramatizes situations, but in Twilight the metaphoric value becomes literal. While meant innocently here, someone does want to bite Bella by book's end - two people, actually: first Edward, then James.
6.) When she first sees the Cullens she is struck by one thing in particular:
I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly,
inhumanly beautiful. They were faces you never expected to see except
perhaps on the airbrushed pages of a fashion magazine. Or painted by an
old master as the face of an angel. It was hard to decide who was the
most beautiful - maybe the perfect blond girl, or the bronze-haired boy.
The words used to describe the beauty - most notably "devastatingly,
inhumanly" - show the power of this attraction, but also gesture
towards how that beauty is supernatural and even part of their skills
as potential predators of humans. The immortality of these hidden vampires
is hinted at by the comparisons ranging from modern pop culture (fashion
models) to classical high culture (painting by an old master), metaphorically
spanning centuries; further, we find out that Carlisle Cullen, at least,
has been painted by an old master.
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Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on Twilight".
. 09 May 2017