7.) The two Cullens she singles out in this first encounter are Rosalie,
who comes to resent her, and Edward, who she encounters next in Biology
I couldn't stop myself from peeking occasionally through the screen of my
hair at the strange boy next to me. During the whole class, he never relaxed
his stiff position on the edge of his chair, sitting as far from me as
possible. I could see his hand on his left leg was clenched into a fest,
tendons standing out under his pale skin. This, too, he never relaxed.
He had the long sleeves of his white shirt pushed up to his elbows, and
his forearm was surprisingly hard and muscular beneath his light skin.
He wasn't nearly as slight as he'd looked next to his burly brother. (24)
There is a mix of both admiration and fear in Bella's description of Edward:
on the one hand she sees the aggression which should instill fear in her,
but she also cannot help but admire his physicality and strength. Later,
readers will realize that what Edward is feeling is not anger but the
temptation he feels as a vampire situated next to his perfect prey, Bella.
She does not want to believe she is responsible for this behavior, but
the fact that she is actually proves how important she is to Edward.
8.) The different world she inhabits from the Cullens is highlighted
in the parking lot when she sees what car they drive:
As I waited, trying to pretend that the earsplitting rumble was coming from
someone else's car, I saw the two Cullens and the Hale twins getting into
their car. It was the shiny new Volvo. Of course. I hadn't noticed their
clothes before --I'd been too mesmerized by their faces. Now that I looked,
it was obvious that they were all dressed exceptionally well; simply,
but in clothes that subtly hinted at designer origins. With their remarkable
good looks, the style with which they carried themselves, they could have
worn dishrags and pulled it off. It seemed excessive for them to have
both looks and money. But as far as I could tell, life worked that way
most of the time. (32)
The Volvo is symbolic of the heightened class status of the Cullen family,
as it stands out compared to all the other cars in the parking lot. In
comparison, the meager class standing of Bella is highlighted by her ancient
truck. There's also the speed that the Volvo can achieve, which will be
shown in later scenes and be comparable to the inhuman speed of vampires;
humans are like the old red truck, which is painfully slow in comparison.
Bella keeps an eye on how stylish the Cullens are, but notes that even
fashionable clothes are mere adornments - like the wealth - when the Cullens
possess such beauty, declaring any added gifts "excessive".
This notion of excessive gifts is repeated when Edward and then Alice
discuss the full range of abilities that vampires possess, all to overwhelm
9.) On a fateful morning, Bella considers the different Forks boys
she must handle:
Driving to school, I distracted myself from my fear of falling and my unwanted
speculations about Edward Cullen by thinking about Mike and Eric, and
the obvious difference in how teenage boys responded to me here. I was
sure I looked exactly the same as I had in Phoenix. Maybe it was just
that the boys back home had watched me pass slowly through all the awkward
phases of adolescence and still thought of me that way. Perhaps it was
because I was a novelty here, where novelties were few and far between.
Possibly my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic,
casting me as a damsel in distress. Whatever the reason, Mike's puppy
dog behavior and Eric's apparent rivalry with him were disconcerting.
I wasn't sure if I didn't prefer being ignored. (54-55)
There is an unexpected difference at Forks as she attracts the attention of
two boys, whereas she had no boyfriends in Phoenix. This highlights her
innocence in romantic matters and inability to read the subtleties of
such situations, never mind being able to use her feminine wiles (which
she feels she does not possess, anyway). She attributes this sudden interest
to the novelty she provides as the new girl appearing mid-school-year,
but also the fact that her fellow students had not seen her grow up. Faced
with the obligations that come with being popular, Bella misses her previous
10.) Soon after, she has an abject lesson in how anonymity can work
sometimes, as she is saved by Edward when Tyler Crowley's van almost runs
into her. However, there is one discrepancy to the situation:
I wondered to myself why no one else had seen him standing so far away, before
he was suddenly, impossibly saving my life. With chagrin, I realized the
probable cause - no one else was as aware of Edward as I always was. No
one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful. (69)
Without fully realizing it, Bella muses on how unobservant humans are, especially
with the vampires in their midst. That said, she also understands the
romantic impulses in her own close observation of Edward, as "No
one else watched him the way I did." The fact that no one else can
appreciate Edward as well as she can is then mourned in jest as "pitiful"
- as if Edward is a work of art that deserves to be enjoyed by everyone.
11.) Edward later asks to drive her in the Volvo to San Francisco,
arguing that driving in the truck would not be wise:
"The wasting of finite resources is everyone's business." (83) This
shows an admirable environmental awareness on the part of Edward, but
has added meaning for the Cullen family: as vampires, they are sharply
aware of the ecosystem they inhabit, especially as they hunt wild animals
to keep from preying on humans.
12.) The next day, when Edward asks Bella to sit with him for lunch,
he gives an unusual answer:
"Well..." He paused, and then the rest of the words followed in
a rush. "I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well
do it thoroughly." (87)
That it "followed in a rush" indicates not only that Edward has
been waiting to say this, but also that it has the ring of truth. The
idea that Edward is "going to hell" for being with Bella may
seem insulting to her at first, but as she later learns, it isn't meant
as a slight on her but as a test of the temptation he was going through.
His hell is desiring Bella not only romantically, but also as a victim
for his vampire instinct. As for the overall sentiment, it reflects the
aphorism of being "in for a penny, in for a pound" - that is,
if one is going to take a risk, one might as well take full advantage
of that risk and go all-in. Edward is willing to bet that being with Bella
will be beneficial enough that the danger it poses for himself and his
family is worth it.
13.) Bella muses on how time has passed since she arrived in Washington:
And I was thinking about how disjointedly time seemed to flow in Forks, passing
in a blur at times, with single images standing out more clearly than
others. And then, at other times, every second was significant, etched
in my mind. I knew exactly what caused the difference, and it disturbed
She contrasts the "blur" of time rushing quickly against the time
when "every second was significant" - a kind of slow-motion.
She knows the reason for it, without even stating why - Edward and his
interaction with her - but is not completely comfortable about that. This
again shows a reluctance to read the subtleties of her interaction with
Edward, to see it for the conflicted love he is learning to feel.
14.) Part of this is because she does not fully understand her potential
paramour; however, may questions are set aside when she meets and speaks
with Jacob Black, who tells her the story of the Cullens being vampires:
"So you see," Jacob continued, "the cold ones are traditionally
our enemies. But this pack that came to our territory during my great-grandfather's
time was different. They didn't hunt the way others of their kind did
- they weren't supposed to be dangerous to the tribe. So my great-grandfather
made a truce with them. If they would promise to stay off our lands, we
wouldn't expose them to the pale-faces." He winked at me. (125)
Jacob falls into the horror tradition of Native Americans who pass along legends
of monsters which bear a greater amount of truth than is usually believed.
However, he goes against that tradition in that he does not actually believe
these legends themselves, but instead sees it as his tribe - and particularly
his father - giving in to backwards superstition. This is what allows
him to tell Bella, and even joke about how the Quileute "wouldn't
expose them to the pale faces" - which is exactly what he does, but
again seems insignificant to him since he does not believe the story,
as the wink at the end of the paragraph indicates.
Cite this page:
Mescallado, Ray. "TheBestNotes on Twilight".
varLocale = SetLocale(2057)
file = Request.ServerVariables("PATH_TRANSLATED")
Set fs = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set f = fs.GetFile(file)
LastModified = f.datelastmodified
response.write FormatDateTime(LastModified, 1)
Set f = Nothing
Set fs = Nothing