Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes

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TWILIGHT BY STEPHENIE MEYER: STUDY GUIDE / BOOK NOTES

CHAPTER 4. Invitations

Summary

In her dream of Edward, Bella in in the dark and the only light came from Edward's skin. She only sees his back, which she runs after but never reaches. Bella continues to dream of Edward almost every night but always on the periphery and never within reach.

In the month following the accident, she becomes the center of attention at the school. Tyler begins to pay attention to her, trying to find ways to make up for the accident and spurring a sense of rivalry with Eric and Mike. No one pays attention to Edward though Bella insists he was the hero of that day. On the first day after the accident she tries to talk to Edward in a friendly manner, but he quickly ignores her and proceeds to ignore her for the following month. This lack of interest pleases Mike.

On the first Tuesday of March, Jessica calls Bella to ask permission to ask Mike to the girls' choice spring dance in two weeks. Bella happily agrees to this, as she has no intention of going; the next day, Jessica is unnaturally quiet and Mike tells Bella in Biology class that Jessica asked him but that he told her he had to think about it, as he wanted to go with Jessica. Jessica then comes up with the idea that she'll be out of town that day, going to Seattle for book and clothes shopping, and tells Mike this. She notices Edward observing her and he speaks to her for the first time in six weeks. After class Edward apologizes to Bella for being rude and explains it's better if they're not friends. This angers Bella, who in the past weeks had come to the conclusion that Edward regrets saving her life; when she tells Edward this, he in turn also grows angry. After school, Eric stops Bella on the way to her truck - which survived the accident, though Tyler's van did not - and asked her to the girls' choice dance. She rebuffs him with her now-established excuse of going to Seattle on that day. As she proceeds to drive off, her car is blocked by Edward in his Volvo; while she waits, Tyler runs out of his used Sentra behind Bella's truck and asks her to the dance. Again she says no. She sees Edward laughing in his car as if he heard her exchange with Tyler.

At home, Bella gets a call from Jessica, now happy because Mike accepted her invitation. Bella further suggests that Angela could ask Eric and Lauren could ask Tyler. Bella is still preoccupied with what Edward said, believing that he didn't consider her interesting enough to be friends. During dinner, Bella asks Charlie for permission to drive to Seattle, who raises concerns about gas stops and Bella being lost in the big city. Bella already accounted for the gas and reminds her father that Phoenix is five times the size of Seattle. Charlie then asks if she would be going to the dance on that same evening, but Bella points out she doesn't dance, making clear her clumsiness was inherited from him.

The next morning, Edward surprises her at the parking lot. Asking about the traffic jam he caused, Bella is angered when he reveals he was trying to give Tyler his chance to talk to her. He apologizes for what he said previously about not being friends, but maintains it was true nevertheless. He then asks Bella if she wants a ride to Seattle on the day of the girls' choice dance, expressing concern that her truck may not make it and will of course need more than a tank of gas. Bella is frustrated at the mixed signals he keeps sending, and Edward continues to maintain that it's prudent for her not to be his friend - but that he is tired of staying away from her.

Notes

The six-week silence between Edward and Bella is in keeping with the romance formula, where the tension is built by a prolonged detente between the would-be lovers and rivals are introduced. The multiple requests to escort to Bella to the dance take on a comedic tone, but also represent a rude intrusion since it's supposed to be a girl's choice. While Edward mocks Bella's predicament, he does not impose on the choice she is entitled to make, instead offering an alternative: accompanying her to Seattle.


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