Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eclipse Book Discussion: Chapter 4: Nature

This post contains book spoilers for Eclipse through chapter 4. Go read!

Nature means a few things, similarly related. The world around us, the balance between predator and prey, the whole circle of life thing. (I got you singing, didn't I?) It can also mean...just who we are. Ourselves deep down inside.

Chapter 4 begins with some understatement.
Amber: I find it hilarious that the first line of this chapter is "I was having a bad week."
: Bella is stressed out.
: How very appropriate!
Bella is still in that horrid place of waiting for something bad to happen. It's a lot of waiting, with big things hovering on the horizon. Victoria is still on the loose, and her change to vampire life is mere weeks away. She does try to convince the Cullens to change her sooner, in an effort to provide some help, but they are not concerned over the seven of them being able to handle Victoria.
Sabrina: It's so odd to me that the Cullens think it's silly that she's scared.
: they've lost the perspective of being a human in this situation.. Sabrina: Maybe they've been practically invincible so long that they've forgotten what it feels like to be vulnerable
: they' thinking there's 7 of them and 1 Victoria, as long as they keep Bella away, it'll be fine
: and I think they're just so confident that they can protect her, the fact that she lacks that same confidence confuses them.
A minor scene in the chapter, but a great metaphor for the story. I want to take time to talk about the magnets.
Sabrina: What a lovely visual allusion to Edward and Jacob.
: Definitely, it was a good metaphor for reconciling Edward and Jacob in her life
: and I love that they're her favorites, the big strong ones
Amber: "The last two magnets - round black utilitarian pieces that were my favorites because they could hold ten sheets of paper to the fridge without breaking a sweat."
The Cullens, with the exception of Alice, leave the following weekend to hunt. When Bella finds herself with some unexpected free time, she seizes the opportunity to go visit Jacob, figuring a split decision would allow her to cross the boundary before Alice could reach her.
Amber: Okay, so we get the note from Edward in this chapter, one of the famous quotes
: Sweetward!
: Yeah, I have to admit that's pretty sweet.
: Such a romantic!
: And, actually very practical. He worries for her when he's gone. He thinks it might help. I like it.
: it's some of that old-fashioned romance often do people write simple love notes anymore?
: very true, and Edward is definitely an old-fashioned romantic
: True. Now it's love Facebook statuses instead :)
So, Bella goes to La Push. We get to see the true friendship between Bella and Jacob here. Despite the weeks of avoidance and disagreement, they are genuinely happy to see each other, and easily slip into a friendly conversation. Inevitably though, the conversation needs to turn to the issues at hand. Bella explains her reconciliation with Edward, and Jacob tells the story of the events that happened while Bella was in Florida.
Kerry: so Bella and Jake hash out some of their feelings on their separation
Sabrina: It got pretty ugly occasionally, but she did set him straight on a couple of key points.
Kerry: I like the conversation about why Edward left, that even Jacob couldn't fault him for that
Sabrina: And as Jacob understands more, so do I.
Amber: He can't fault Edward for leaving when it was all about protecting Bella
Sabrina: Funny in a way, irritating in a way. Insulting her decisions is probably not the best way to get her to change her mind.
Kerry: I don't think Jacob knows any other way though, and he's trying to rationalize it to himself. and it's easier to think it's the looks or the money, than to accept that she just really loves Edward
Amber: I don't think he's doing it to insult her, just to draw some comparison. "What does he have that I don't?'
Sabrina: Open mouth, insert paw.
Sabrina: He was just really tactless in going about it.
Kerry: Well, that's Jacob. Jacob has never been very tactful
Sabrina: I suppose he understood that he is home to Bella, and he doesn't understand how anything can compare.
Wait a minute, which one of us is Team Jacob, here? No really, I've said before that my favorite thing about these books is the humanity of all the characters. They all have their quirks and strengths and weaknesses, and we all can see them.

Jacob and Bella hash out some of their relationship, and Jacob struggles to see what Bella sees in Edward. The symbolism of the chapter title is brought out in a great metaphor by Jacob. The description of an eagle, a powerful predator circling the sky with a fish in it's talons. Predator and prey, exactly as nature intended them to be. He's equating this to Edward and Bella, a similar metaphor that Edward used with Bella once. Bella makes a joke, and that brings us back to the discussion above, but the underlying sentiment is that things don't always have to be a certain way. That with effort and love and acceptance, anything is possible.

We conclude the chapter with a look into Jacob's heart. His true case for Bella's life, and her life with him.
Sabrina: I find it so interesting that Jacob sees his condition as natural.
Amber: I think he defines it as natural because it's born in him
Kerry: and he wouldn't have changed if the vampires hadn't been around
Sabrina: Bella's remark about being stuck with Mike was hilarious. Poor Mike!
Kerry: but really...I think it's why Edward gets so annoyed with Mike. Mike isn't a bad guy
Kerry: He's just....normal
Amber: I think it's interesting here to that Jake makes a distinction between normal and natural. He tells her he never claimed to be normal
Amber: and as he points out, that doesn't apply to Bella either
Amber: when he tells her at the end that he feels human, I just break.
Jacob and Bella's conversation will continue in the next chapter, so we'll return to it next week. Share with us your feelings on the reunion and the symbolism of the "Nature" reference.
Sabrina: Can I just say that I'm very disappointed at the lack of Charlie in this chapter?


Desiree said...

Again you guys hit on good points. I love why & how she escapes. Even telling herself she'll call Alice later, to put off the ramifications of her choice...I know I'm slightly ahead, but I love this quote, "I'm a chicken through and through."

As far as the love notes my husband & I always do that to each other. We make it a point to do things like that. He'll just IM me out of the blue to say I luv u and I've snuck lil love notes in his bag for work. I've even stuck a post-it note to the inside of the dash in his car. It doesn't seem like much but it means so much more to both of us. Its the meaning behind it. I'm not much into IMing at all and w/our new techno world. In the rush of getting things done and going off to work it makes them/you feel good you know they are thinking of you literally; Gotta find someway of keeping the romance alive. So yes its romantic. Everytime he left her a note my heart swelled and made me think of my husband and I.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted you all to know that I've really enjoyed your book talk. I wish we could open it up to a chat because I'd love in on it = ) I need to go reread this chapter before I comment. Thanks guys for helping the wait doable!!