Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Twi-Theories Tuesdays: A Matter of Time

This post will contain book spoilers for the entire series. Go Read!

Have you ever stopped to think about the timeline for the series? It was always something I sort of knew about, but didn't think about in depth the first couple times I read the series. The series of crazy and scary events that our dear characters experience take place over a shockingly short period of time. Even more so, when you consider the timeline within the timeline.

The general picture? The entire series takes place in just under two years. Only TWO years. We meet Bella at the beginning of Twilight in January of her 17th year. By the time she is seducing the socks off of Edward by letting him read her mind, it's just after New Years, when she is chronologically 19. And all of that, from Bioward to BellaUberShield happens in that time.

There is huge amounts of down time, too. The summer between the events at the ballet studio, and Bella's fateful birthday party. A few weeks between Jacob's motorcycle shenanigans and note passing, and two months-ish between Bella and Edwards last meadow frolic and the wedding.

Let's see what all they endure. The dates I give here are collected from the books, as well as the Twilight Lexicon's timeline.

Bella and Edward meet on January 18, 2005. Edward disappears for a week, and the day after he returns, we have the incident with Tyler's van (Jan. 25th). Our beautiful boy then decides he's going to ignore Bella for a month. All of February is covered in a single sentence.

Here's where it starts to get crazy. From the blood typing class, to the events in Phoenix, is only TWO WEEKS. The trip to Port Angeles, the meadow scene, the visit to the Cullens, the baseball game.

Let's skip to New Moon. The beginning is just a couple of days, and then we have the poignant "Months" pages (so beautifully done in the movie). Bella "wakes up" again in January, if only barely. We have some time here, the bulk of the New Moon content takes place over nearly four months, as Bella and Jacob bond, have their adventures, getting frantic again as Alice returns and they rush to save Edward in Italy.

Eclipse is always the one that boggles my mind. There's no significant downtime, or uneventful time, it all happens inside of a month and a half, and there is only a couple of weeks in between the end of New Moon and the beginning of Eclipse.

Breaking Dawn, again, a little bit longer, spanning from August to January, but still, what a few months! Wedding, honeymoon, pregnancy, transformation, and preparing for the Volturi's visit. And the emotional journey, the uncertainty of Renesmee's life, the adjustment to vampire-hood, and the shift in dynamics with the wolfpack, and Jacob, specifically.

I take from this a few things. First, how such brief periods of time can affect us so deeply. Life truly is about single moments, and single events. You never know which one of those moments and choices will change the entire direction of your life and set you on a course you never saw coming.

Secondly, it helps me understand some of the emotional turmoil in Eclipse. It's barely been two months since Edward's return, and life hasn't been remotely peaceful. Her best friend, and the man she loves are at war with each other, an entire army of vampires is after her, and she's still dealing with the aftermath of the deep depression she suffered in New Moon. Anyone who has dealt with that knows it doesn't go away, just because the situation appears to be fixed. It's no wonder she is confused, and making choices that might not be helpful.

I'm curious, do you think at all about the time frame when you're reading, is the short timeline as surprising to you as it was to me when I finally thought about it. Do the events seem to overwhelm the calendar?

Also, I would love to hear your ideas for future Twi-Theories you would like to see featured. They can be simple, like this one, or deep and complicated, or a character profile. Leave your suggestion in the comments if you have one.


Bouncy72 said...

Gosh, I never really thought about the timeline before. That is a hang of alot to happen within 2yrs, especially as Edward was away for 9(?) months & then comes back & they start talking marriage...go figure.
Oh well, that was interesting

One Pushy Fox said...

Great post! I didn't think about the timing until I had read through the books a couple of times but I was rereading Twilight one day and I mentioned to DH how unfair it was that E and B only get a couple of days of happiness before all the drama with James starts up.

I think the timing is important to up the drama level and keep things moving, but I agree that our star-crossed lovers get no rest until they get to their happily ever after.

Interesting post idea!!

Desiree said...

Oh, yeah I did think about the timeline. And I thought to myself she has my kinda luck!!

If anyone knows how fast things come at you its me. With just experience. Back when I was in college my junior year I got hit with some heavy stuff from everywhere. It was a slap in the face how terribly beyond hard the Nursing program was! it kicked my tail and everyone else's. It was the semester when I was getting into my major classes and clincials. So I was already depressed, stressed out, and anxiety prone!!!! THen....

My cousin found a huge mass in his neck turned out to be a rare form a cancer (T-cell lymphoblastic carcenoma or something like that)(he luckily found it in early stages. went to Houston...Now in remission), we were told my husband and my best-friend's mom was diagnosed w/a stage IV Esophageal cancer and she had 4 months to live, then a week later my dad and his doc noticed a lump forming/growing at a huge rate in his neck had it biopsied(it turned out to be in precancerous stages..), we were having problems w/my son and had to pull him out of private school..was constantly getting phone calls from them having to visit the school constantly(he was eventually diagnosed w/ADHD then Asperger's Syndrome the following year)....then after my dad's diagnoses he was set for surgery...the week before he fell off a roof from a shed he was building. Fell on a laddar broke a bunch of ribs, WENT UNCONSCIOUS (he doesn't know for how long), drug himself to his truck (instead of going to the neighbors for help! stubborn dufus!) and drove himself to the hospital (where he found he had a collapsed lung!!)after he healed they carefully removed the tumor.. though it was a tricky surgery it was attached & intertwined w/some large nerves and blood vessels.

Then,,,Yes I'm not truly finished...This all happened w/in a 3 1/2 - 4month frame time! My father in law a week after my dad fell was complaining of chest pain..rushed him in and it turned out to be a severely swollen gallbladdar (my in-law and father had surgery on the same day and had rooms right across from from each other!) Then when it seemed to start calming down....My 50 yo uncle was having stroke symptoms and they took him in Welp he had two masses in his brain (brain cancer) one the size of a marble the other the size of olive!!! They removed it at the beginning of the next year! He dumpfounded the MDs Cause they thought he wouldn't be able to walk or do and main motor skills because of the location of one of them (motor cortex) Well they didn't attached they were just swimming around and they were able to go in and just pick them up! His surg was done in no time and he was discharged from ICU the very next day!! They never d/c pt's from ICU unless being transferred out or the are going to the morge! He had the year prior found and removed a very agressive melanoma from his back and was on his way into remission...... I know there is something else I'm probably forgetting but those are the main things!! But NO ONE better than ME knows anything can happen and in a short period of time!! and in that time you could possibly lose everything..... A soldier on the news after comming home from war to a home that was dessimated from a hurricane made the statement cause all that was left of their home was the slab and their fam. bible...was "God says he'll only give you what you can handle....I just wish he wouldn't trust me sooo much!"......so the experience has taught me to love harder, take time to smell the roses, don't sweat the small stuff, chose your battles wisely, and pay attention more to my family and loved ones cause you may not see them or be able to be with them ever again.

My best friends mom lived 6months more than they thought. She died the week before my son's 5th birthday and it still haunts me and hurts that she is gone! She was 52!

RaShell said...

What a great post! Frankly I'm ashamed to admit it, but I haven't thought about the timeline that much until you mentioned it... well, besides those doomed 3 single-paged months :) You're right, such monumental events in such short time, wow...

As far as future Twi-Theories go, I do have one somewhat questionable topic... I'm still a little iffy on the whole vampire physiology... I don't "understand" how the whole thing works... The feeding, moving, even sex! So, here it is, for your consideration.

WhyIstheRumAlwaysGone said...

Thank for this really interesting post! I had noticed the really short timelines too, although in New Moon, time seems to really slow down, at least very much so in the book, so that the story seems to stretch on longer than it really does. But on the whole, I've also been always struck by the feeling of rushing time and events- our star-crossed lovers never seem to have a moment of peace and quiet...