Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes|
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TWILIGHT BY STEPHENIE MEYER: LITERATURE ANALYSIS / SYNOPSIS
17.) The relationship between Edward and Bella soon enough comes to
a head, as they prepare for an important day together:
I intuitively knew - and sensed he did, too - that tomorrow would be pivotal.
Our relationship couldn't continue to balance, as it did, on the point
of a knife. We would fall off one edge or the other, depending entirely
upon his decision, or his instincts. My decision was made, made before
I'd ever consciously chosen, and I was committed to seeing it through.
Because there was nothing more terrifying to me, more excruciating, than
the thought of turning away from him. It was an impossibility. (248)
The word "pivotal" is a distanced, intellectual term - it is balanced
in turn by the more visual and visceral image of their relationship being
"on the point of a knife". Finally, there is the last image
of balance where they would "fall off one edge or the other"
- whether it's falling in love or plunging to one's doom, there will be
a sudden change as a result of this coming decision. However, Bella has
already made her decision of being with Edward and she was "committed"
to this choice; so the true choice falls upon Edward and what he wants,
as she admits. In a way, she is placing herself into the traditional role
of a damsel in distress, waiting for her hero to swoop down - or for the
vampire villain to take advantage and feast on her blood.
18.) When the two go on their special hike, Edward finally reveals
what happens when he is in the sun:
Edward in the sunlight was shocking. I couldn't get used to it, though I'd
been staring at him all afternoon. His skin, white despite the faint flush
from yesterday's hunting trip, literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny
diamonds were embedded in the surface. He lay perfectly still in the grass,
his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating
arms bare. His glistening, pale lavender lids were shut, though of course
he didn't sleep. A perfect statue, carved in some unknown stone, smooth
like marble, glittering like crystal. (260)
The beauty of Edward rises to a completely new level: Bella can't help "staring
at him all afternoon" as his skin sparkles "like thousands of
tiny diamonds", a reminder of both his ability to dazzle women and
of the affluent life he leads. When Bella first saw the Cullens, she likens
them to works of art - now she does so again, calling Edward a "perfect
19.) After this, Edward describes to Bella why he is attracted to her
as a vampire:
"You see, every person smells different, has a different essence. If
you locked an alcoholic in a room full of stale beer, he'd gladly drink
it. But he could resist, if he wished to, if he were a recovering alcoholic.
Now let's say you placed in that room a glass of hundred-year-old brandy,
the rarest, finest cognac - and filled the room with its warm aroma -
how do you think he would fare then?"
We sat silently, looking into each other's eyes - trying to read each other's thoughts. He broke the silence first.
"Maybe that's not the right comparison. Maybe it would be too easy to turn down the brandy. Perhaps I should have made our alcoholic a heroin addict instead."
"So what you're saying is, I'm your brand of heroin?" I teased,
trying to lighten the mood. He smiled swiftly, seeming to appreciate my
effort. "Yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin." (267-268)
The analogy chosen by Edward is purposely provocative: first that of an alcoholic, then that of a heroin addict. The pause between the alcoholic and heroin addict comparisons has the lovers looking into each other's eyes, which may be why Edward heightens his analogy in such a manner. Edward essentially confesses his helplessness to Bella, albeit in a clever way that flatters her - she is more than desired, she is needed by him in an overpowering manner. Further, she isn't just a random victim and he isn't just a random vampire - they are meant for each other on a very specific way that deals with each of their essences. Bella tries to "lighten the mood" as Edward has difficulty trying to convey his feelings to her, has difficulty getting in touch with his humanity, as much as he wants it for her sake.
20.) Soon after, a very different analog is called upon:
"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb...," he murmured. I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word. "What a stupid lamb," I sighed.
"What a sick, masochistic lion." (274)
Note that Edward earlier described how he liked to hunt down mountain lions; now he describes himself as a lion, with all that it entails about ferocity and pride and its regal nature. There is also an echo of the Bible in this phrasing, or rather a popular mis-quoting from Isaiah 11:6 about "the lion sleeping with the lamb". The actual passage reads, "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them." The notion is that a peaceful, blessed union - a Godly union, one may even claim - is achieved when predator and prey are united... or in this case, are in love. However, they both see the absurdity of their situation, as seen by how they describe their respective animals.
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. 09 May 2017