Thursday, December 17, 2009

Eclipse Discussion: Chapter One, Ultimatum

Welcome to the first official chapter of our Eclipse discussion series! Chapter One is up, and you can start to see the lines drawn for Team Edward and Team Jacob. It's so hard not to jump ahead and bring up things in later chapters!

As a recap, Chapter one begins with a note, passed between Jacob and Bella as they both try to deal with the consequences of the resolution of New Moon. Charlie lifts Bella's grounding punishment, with some caveats, he wants her to see her school friends and Jacob, and not be so wrapped up in Edward. Bella and Edward are applying to colleges all over the nation, and we see the tension that is created with the love triangle start to emerge.

Kerry: Ok, so chapter one, how was it to read again?
Sabrina: It was... frustrating.
Kerry: why do you say that?
Sabrina: Well, it bothers me to think of poor little broken-hearted Jacob, pining away...
Amber: I almost hate to move away from New Moon
Sabrina: oh? why?
Kerry: awww poor puppy
Amber: for one thing, I don't want to go back into Jacob's pain right now
Sabrina: No really! I mean, I wonder if he's thinking that he might have to kill her!
Amber: the note kills me
Sabrina: I'm sorry Team Bella!
Amber: the crossed out lines and the eventual statement of the truth
Sabrina: Yeah, me too. He can't even be mean to her in a note. He just can't.
Amber: that they do miss each other, but it just doesn't change anything
Kerry: the notes are very telling. I love that he just crosses out the thoughts, but not enough to actually obscure the previous thoughts
Sabrina: That is particularly odd. It's like, he wants her to know what he's thinking, but he also wants her to know that he doesn't want to say it.
Amber: I think this was more a case of he wanted to get it over with... he just wanted to get an answer written out and send it back to her
Kerry: but why not simply use a different piece of paper, or tearing off the other parts?
Amber: like he said, the more he thinks about her, the more it hurts
Sabrina: I just think he didn't have it in him to ignore such a desperate plea.
Amber: because, he's a teenage boy, he could be very tired from running around in wolf form, and it's just more effort to change pieces of paper. Maybe he wanted her to know, maybe he didn't. I think it's more likely a device that SM put there for the reader, to let us know Jacob's state of mind
Sabrina: Oh, I get... you are saying he was so impatient to get it over with that he really didn't bother to really erase what he said?
Kerry: Jacob is definitely torn in his loyalties here. He has an obligation to his people and specifically to the rest of the pack. And he's loyal to Bella.
Sabrina: Well, he's sorta loyal to Bella. I mean, at this point, I think he's trying to let it go.
Amber: I don't think he's trying to let go

Read the rest after the jump

Kerry: Me either. Here's a thought...The wolves share all their the rest of the pack knows of his dilemma over Bella
Sabrina: ... right....
Kerry: You know when you go to your friends, and they all give you advice, and it all makes you try to go with the advice...but it's not really what you think...and in the end, you just say what's on your mind..that's what the notes sound like to me
Sabrina: Interesting take.
Amber: nothing he says makes it any better. I think that's why he keeps crossing things out, because there just isn't anything that he can say to change anything. Okay...I think we can move on from the note.
Kerry: This is the book where I really start feeling sorry for Charlie too
Amber: we see some real...effort from Charlie here
Sabrina: And it's so funny. More than any other character in the books, Charlie is always Billy Burke in my head now.
Kerry: Definitely
Amber: Oh yes. I don't mean that Charlie didn't make an effort before, but you see him trying really hard to connect to Bella here.
Kerry: I mean, the poor guy, he doesn't even entirely understand what all has been happening with Bella. But he's making an effort to be a good dad.
Sabrina: ... and that spaghetti just sounds truly disgusting.
Kerry: haha..such good sports of them both to actually eat it
Sabrina: The jar in the microwave is just downright hilarious.
Amber: I think it's telling that he wants to "soften her up"
Sabrina: It's a testament to what a softie Bella really is, because I think I would've been pissed off!
Amber: Hey, he was trying. Frustrated maybe, but not angry
Kerry: I think she saw it as he was trying too...
Kerry: Charlie is never one for big conversation or even the idea that he was attempting dinner was significant enough to get her attention,
Amber: I agree completely
Sabrina: I have to say, on my first reading, I was surprised at the outcome of this conversation. I was expecting a "Please dump Edward" plea.
Amber: I think by this point he's past thinking that there's any hope to a "please dump Edward" plea
Kerry: He tried that in New Moon, and she threatened to move out. He doesn't want to alienate her, so he's willing to at least be civil, if barely, to Edward for her sake.
Sabrina: True, but the whole setup seemed a little much for the, "You are no longer grounded, but be balanced" speech. Guess it was just me.
Kerry: I think the set up was to soften her up for the Jacob portion of the discussion. Charlie is under the impression that it's Bella avoiding Jacob, rather than the other way around.
Sabrina: Yeah, and I get that... it just seemed a little much to me.
Amber: Well, it is Bella avoiding Jacob, but only because of Edward
Kerry: Which honestly irritates me about Jacob and/or Billy, whoever is propagating that piece of misinformation. Bella has been trying to get a hold of Jacob.
Amber: I agree Kerry, Billy totally knows what's up. She's been calling him but he won't take her calls.
Kerry: Knowing Bella. she was pretty desperate to talk to him if she's involving Charlie and Billy.
Sabrina: But you'd think logic would suggest, since Bella is the one who sent the letter, that it would be obvious that she's trying. You'd think Charlie, being a police officer, would catch on to Amber: I got the feeling this wasn't the first time a letter had been passed, but I could be wrong.
Kerry: This is his daughter though, and parents are often blind. Especially when it comes to what we might what for our children versus what they want.
Sabrina: I'm almost afraid to ask, but what do you guys think of the college applications?
Amber: why are you almost afraid to ask?
Sabrina: Oh, because I'm pretty sure we're going to all heavily disagree on this one.
Amber: I think it's Edward being Edward, trying to allow as many options for the future for Bella as possible
Sabrina: Eh, it irritates me. I always feel like he has little regard for her feelings.
Kerry: I think he's desperate to find options for her, that maybe if he keeps finding these opportunities, she'll find something she's interested in enough to want to at least wait.
Amber: I think that's exactly it, but I think it's because he's been around for over a hundred years and he has a better grasp of what she's asking for
Sabrina: So, like dangling a carrot?
Amber: I don't think it's at all like dangling a carrot. I think he really thinks she could make another choice. Edward notoriously underestimates her feelings for him.
: I think he's trying to distract her, but I don't think it's a disregard for her feelings. I think he's honestly trying to prevent her from becoming a monster, since he still views himself as such..
Amber: I agree
Sabrina: Yes, he always underestimates her feelings for him, that we certainly agree on.
Amber: I think he just wants her to make what he sees as a better decision.
Kerry: He also says that the Cullens' have been following the murder reports in Seattle for a few weeks, deducing that it's a newborn vampire. This has been going on since they returned almost, and the decision that Bella will be changed, so the feelings are very raw for him.
Sabrina: Good point.
Amber: As much as he loved her, Edward never wanted her to become a vampire. At this point, he was still sure that he could find a way around it
Kerry: I need to swoon over Edward for a minute...
Sabrina: lol... ok
Kerry: The whole sniffing of the wrist greeting totally made me melt the first (and every) time I read it.
Amber: oh definitely. I think that part is very telling. The pain of her scent means something totally different to him now. She's real, she's alive.
Kerry: Exactly, it's the first glimpse of how that's changed for him. It's actually one of the things that I like in the romance parts of these books, very simple, very chaste gestures that are incredibly romantic to me.
Sabrina: I can totally get behind that idea, actually.
Amber: oh wow, I'm amazed! ;)
Sabrina: I don't think it matters which leading guy you are talking about, I like that the romance has a sort of old world innocence about it.
Kerry: Edward wins in the romance department. Sorry Sabrina.
Sabrina: In a traditional sense maybe, but alot of Jacob's gestures are romantic in their way.
Amber: Therein lies some of the differences in the two that tend to lean in Edward's favor sometimes. Edward has a lot more experience. He lived through a lot of romantic eras, even if he hasn't participating in the romance. Jacob is doing this all for the first time.
Sabrina: Very true. I think Jacob's bungling is pretty cute, though.
Kerry: it does give Edward a distinct advantage over poor Jacob..
Amber: Jacob is cute and endearing. Edward is more suave, more practiced, more patient.
Kerry: here's the touchy discussion: Edward's "no Jacob visitation" rule.
Sabrina: Yeah, that's touchy.
Amber: I understand why he makes the rule. He's doing what he always does, he's trying to protect Bella, and as much as I love him, he is again, thinking that he has perfect knowledge of the situation and that he always knows what is best.
Sabrina: I understand that he is trying to protect her, BUT... a rule? She might be a great deal younger than him, but it is her life to live, after all. For someone so focused on her humanity, he wants her to live it on his terms.
Kerry: I will say he's being a jerk about it. I always thought that the root was fear for her safety. He can't be there to protect her on the reservation, so he'd rather she didn't go there at all.
Amber: Edward is used to knowing everything
Kerry: He totally thinks he knows better than her, both from an age and a 'monster' perspective... I'm not at all saying he's right...he's really stepping in it here...but I also understand why he's doing it.
Sabrina: It seems like she might be more responsive to a request rather than a rule.
Amber: he reads minds, his sister sees the future. Her spending time on the reservation creates the unknown. He can't be with her to monitor Jacob's thoughts and Alice can't see what's going on.
Sabrina: I actually understand, and I think Bella does too... but he has to understand that this is the consequence of his actions.
Kerry: There's this misconception about these books that Edward is perfect. He's not. He's very flawed, as is everyone in this book. He is absolutely going about this issue the wrong way, and I love that Stephenie lets him for a while. There's also, I think, a misconception that Bella is a softie and just caves to him...and she doesn't. Even just in this little discussion here, she's firm in her stance that she will be talking/seeing Jacob again.
Sabrina: Maybe, but, she's always too easy on him. What the three of us admit are flaws in Edward, I don't think she would ever see. For, although we see that he's not perfect, I don't think the idea that he's not perfect ever crosses her mind.
Amber: she makes her own decisions, she loves Edward, and she thinks he's physically perfect, and perfect for her, but she's her own woman. I disagree, She knows he's not perfect. He's stubborn, and she definitely knows that. He makes mistakes, he left her.
Sabrina: Well, even in this first chapter, she doesn't blame him at all for leaving. Not at all.
Amber: we're beyond that by the first chapter
Sabrina: Well, I just got the impression from this chapter that she never did.
Kerry: I don't think she did...not in the sense of "blame" anyway. she still hurts over it, but she knows what his motivation for it was...she also accepts her own responsibility for the choices she made while he was away. they may not have been an issue if he had stayed, but they were still his choices. She forgives him, but actions still have consequences, and Edward's consequences are that Jacob is part of her life now.
Amber: Edward realizes that Jacob being in her life is a consequence. I don't think he's above using the fact that Jake is a werewolf as a convenient reason to keep them apart. Jacob was there for Bella when Edward failed her miserably and he's very aware of that.
Sabrina: Yeah, and (please don't have a heart attack) but he's acutely aware of that because Jacob was being a jerk.... hmmm.. was that in New Moon, or later on in Eclipse? I don't remember.
Kerry: Both, Sabrina. Jacob is not above exploiting Edward's mind reading ability by thinking things on purpose.
Sabrina: I remember. I'm looking forward to the space heater scene :):):) Sometimes I think that exploitation is funny, sometimes I think it's incredibly rude. I'm still very anti-Edward after New Moon at this point. Later on I don't mind him so much, but right now I'm still mad.
Kerry: I think you're supposed to be a bit, especially being left with Edward being all a jerk and possessive and controlling at the end of this chapter. I was certainly a little thrown by it, and I think it's definitely the big indicator of his imperfection, as well as his humanity, because jealousy is a very human emotion.
: At this point, couldn't Edward's reluctance to let her go to the reservation have quite a bit to do with the fact that there is at least one newborn vampire running around? Not only is he worried about her being with the wolves, he's worried about what else could get to her when he and Alice are blind to her surroundings.
Kerry: Maybe, and Victoria is still out there. hence his reluctance to let her go somewhere he can't be..
Sabrina: Well, surely all the wolves could take on one newborn. Wouldn't Edward know that?
Amber: That would require him trusting the wolves.
Kerry: and the whole "if you want it done right..." mentality
Amber: well, think about it too...who has Edward learned to trust? No one outside of his family. They've been able to rely on no one.
Sabrina: That's a very good point.
Amber: I really don't think he means to be a jerk
Kerry: A whole pack of wolves that still haven't taken down Victoria.
Amber: I just think that it seems that way. The way he's handling it is jerky, he doesn't even really trust Bella.
Kerry: He's definitely being a jerk
Amber: The tree to the forest comment. He really underestimated her and her feelings
Sabrina: It's really condescending.
Kerry: I think it's more the cliched "No I love YOU more..." type thing? That's essentially what they're doing there. They both believe they have the stronger feelings.
Sabrina: I always hated that. Maybe it's just me.

Real life cut our discussion a bit short, but we had pretty much covered the chapter. What do you think? What was going through Jacob's mind with the notes? What do you think is truly on Charlie's mind? Are you mad at Edward? How do you feel he's handling the situation?

Let us know in the comments, we always want to continue the discussion there. Then be ready for Chapter Two next week!


Desiree said...

Charlie I think is trying to get to know her his own way. Especially since in previous books he always said.."I leave you alone too much." With all the trouble she's gotten into and the more serious looking relationship...I think the dad instinct is starting to kick in. He knows she's about to graduate...possibly leave, And of course you know he is totally biast towards Jacob. Jacob is the "known", Edward is the "unknown". So, he's being "grumpy" & some what protective for her choice of Edward who Charlie doesn't trust/know plus I think its the no body is good enough for my daughter....except the "trusted/known" family of Black. Plus It seems (maybe I'm reading into things a lil too soon but he does mention this later) If he nudges her in Jacobs direction he doesn't have to worry about her leaving him?..? With Edward there is the increased possibility of the UNKNOWN, and Edward having the ability to take Bella away with him next time or them having no real ties in FOrks and her leaving leaving....away from Charlie.

As far as Edward refusing for her to see Jacob, I agree that part of it is the fact that he won't be able to see/know of her, also they just came back together after him thinking he lost her (as he says), so the overprotectiveness is understandable considering her prior death defying schnanagins and accident prone death/monster magnet self, plus as you brought up the whole Victoria is still able to try and come after Bella (wolves aren't doing there part well enough..etc. etc.), & BIG part of it, the jealousy, knowing full well that Jacob is trying his darn-dest (as we find out later) using a guilt trip on Bella to get her back to him. So Eddie's weighing the pros and cons; and its whatever he's able to live with cause we know how good her judgement can be...
Jacob and the notes. I think he's not excepting her phone calls because look at the note. He's mad and maybe if he talks to her on the phone he'll say things he'll regret, of course..(hence the crossed out lines). Hearing it directly from someone's mouth is more harsh than a note. A note or the note seems less personable less real. Its just a letter/note, not someone speaking directly to a person. He wants her to know how he feels but he can't or doesn't want to say it directly...It would mean more, make it more real? This goes back to what I said before about being too harsh. He doesn't want to hurt her any more than he has to, and "make or force" her to choose. So he plays the puppy dog card (I could just see his pouty big lips and big eyes w/a tear, that would make any woman break down and come crawling back). No doubt he misses her, but he is using the guilt trip on her...anything to get her to come to him...and away from Eddie boy. (I'm a lil bit of Team Switz & love both Jake and Edward's characters...but I am more Team Eddie...sorry Jake :(

I hope this makes sense, cause what I'm thinking and what actually comes out from my brain through my fingers onto the page can sometimes be lost somehow in translation .

Looking forward to the discussion next week!

Bouncy72 said...

@ Desiree, no you totally made sense :)
You guys are so observant, I honestly never notice all these little points. I really want to read this along with you guys, but I lent my copy to a mate who is taking FOREVER to read it :(
I can't really remember the look, but I think I just thought Jacob was underlining stuff & just being messy in the notes (but I'm not sure)
I love Charlie, & I did feel sorry for him parenting a very strong willed Bella, I loved him making the effort (& huge mess) of a meal :)
I have to be honest. I REALLY am trying not to be biased, but I can't seem to view Jacob (or Bella actually) fairly - Think I'm to deeply intrenched in Edwardy love *sigh*

LN Mommy said...

I know I'm late to the party, but I have to comment on this anyway as I just finished reading this chapter in the last couple days (I also just found this blog in the same time frame). I am a very strong Team Jacob, however, that didn't occur until my second time through the series. (I'm currently on my fourth.)

Trying not to jump too far ahead, but this book is hard for me because at times, I find myself hating both men (boys?) in Bella's life, along with Bella herself. It's just such a hard situation. But even before I was Team Jacob, Edward's possessiveness and bossiness annoyed me to no end. He left her, and she made a new friend, a very good, close, important friend, and now that he's back, he expects her to just drop this friend? That's not fair at all. I don't care if Jacob is a werewolf or if werewolves are "unstable". Bella was with Jacob during the most difficult and unstable time of his transformation, and he always maintained enough composure around her.

Anyway, to go straight to the question, I think that part of Edward's reluctance is the fact that he doesn't trust anyone but himself to keep Bella safe, even though he thanked Jacob at the end of New Moon for keeping Bella safe, but I also think it's jealousy. He's jealous of the connection that Bella and Jacob have forged, and I think he senses the feelings that Bella has not realized she has yet. However, I'm not convinced that Edward is fully aware of his jealousy.