CHAPTER 15. The Cullens


Bella wakes to find Edward still there; he reports that Charlie left an hour earlier and reconnected her battery cables, apparently an attempt to keep her at home if she did try to sneak out. She prepares herself in the bathroom and when she returns notices that Edward changed his clothes overnight; he says he left after she was in a deep sleep, and before that she was talking in her sleep. He reports that she said she loved him, which he already knew but was nice to hear; she then tells him she loves him again and he says she is his life now. As Bella eats breakfast, Edward proposes that she meet his family. She asks how much they know and Edward says it's impossible to keep secrets in his family and they were even betting when he'd bring her back to them. Bella asks if Alice saw her coming and Edward is evasive on this point. Edward then advises that Bella should introduce him to Charlie as her boyfriend. She gets dressed for the visit and Edward compliments her, then kissed her, which made her collapse. She can't explain why and stresses it's different from before.

They go ahead with the visit, as Edward drives Bella's track to his home, located in a secluded part of the northern outskirts of town. Bella is awestruck by the house from its outside appearance, and more so by its open, elegant interior. Doctor Carlisle Cullen and Esme Cullen are waiting inside to greet him, and Esme is particularly welcoming. Alice runs down the stairs and kisses Bella on the cheek, while Jasper keeps his distance. Bella notices that Rosalie and Emmett are not around, and pays attention the grand piano in the room. Despite taking lessons as a child, Bella denies knowing how to play and Esme encourages Edward to play for her. He does so beautifully, which astonishes Bella enough that she doesn't notice when everyone else leaves. Alone again, Bella mentions the absence of Rosalie and Emmett. Edward says that Rosalie will come around while Emmett thinks Edward is a lunatic but doesn't have a problem with her and is trying to reason with Rosalie. Edward goes on to say that Rosalie is jealous of Bella, wishing she was human. Jasper kept his distance because Edward warned him to do exactly that, while Esme and Carlisle are simply happy to see Edward happy. As for Alice and her enthusiasm, Edward would only allude that she was her own way of seeing things. Bella asks about a look exchanged earlier between Edward and Carlisle, and Edward says that Alice saw some visitors coming soon, like the Cullens but with more traditional hunting habits; this causes Bella to shiver. Edwards points out how the house probably went against her expectations and proceeds to show her the rest of the house, heading upstairs. At the end of the hall is a large wooden cross, which surprises Bella. Edward explains that the cross belonged to Carlisle's father, an Anglican pastor, and it hung above the pulpit of his vicarage. Bella finds out Carlisle was born in London right before Cromwell's rule, perhaps in the 1640s. His father the pastor persecuted Roman Catholics and hunted witches, werewolves, and vampires. Carlisle was more tolerant by nature but found a coven of real vampires; an ancient vampire tried to run away but was so hungry that he turned to attack Carlisle, leaving him only when other humans attacked the creature. Carlisle knew his father would kill him, so he hid himself and became a vampire. Edward sees that Bella has more questions and leads her by the hand.


Rosalie's reason for detesting Bella is explained, and is actually a variation of what Edward argues in not wanting to turn Bella: that vampirism is not a gift but a curse, and being human is preferred to the immortal hell of being the undead. The prominently displayed cross in the Cullen home goes against the tradition of vampires - however, it isn't an unusual contradiction, especially in stories that consider vampires as biologically possible creatures instead of purely supernatural beings of evils. That is, when a scientific basis for vampirism is sought by the author, the idea of a religious icon causing pain is no longer as believable and thus often jettisoned. However, this does not mean religion can not hurt vampires, as the story of Carlisle and his vicar father shows: vampires become figures of persecution, victims of religious intolerance.

Cite this page:

Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".