Friday, January 22, 2010

Eclipse Discussion - Chapter 6: Switzerland

This post will contain book spoilers for Eclipse through chapter 7. Go read.

This week's discussion format will be quite a bit different. Unfortunately, life sometimes rears it's ugly head and we have to deal with all those pesky non-Twilight details of life. Amber, Sabrina and I were unable to meet this week for our chat discussion, and Sabrina is still tied up with some family matters. Hurry back to us when you can, Sabrina!

So, today I will be summarizing Chapter 6, with some of my own commentary. Amber will be adding her thoughts as well, and we'd love to hear from you in the comments. We're starting to really get into the heart of the book, and I'm pretty sure you all have something to say about some of the events in this chapter!

We left Bella last week just as she was leaving Jacob and La Push after an impulsive decision to visit. She is now on her way to help her friend Angela with her graduation announcements. As soon as she crosses the boundary line, what appears in her rearview mirror? A shiny silver Volvo with a very shiny, very angry-looking Edward. Oh, Edward.

I remember the first time I read this book, I was nearly as irritated at Edward for this stunt as I was for disabling her truck. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand his good intentions. He feels completely and utterly responsible for her safety. He's still dealing with his guilt over leaving her and when she goes to the reservation, he can't protect her, nor can Alice see her. This makes him more than a little jumpy. Also, despite the fact that he's 107 years old, he's a noob at this whole relationship thing, so he's not making some great choices as to how to handle these issues with Bella. I'm ecstatic that she didn't stop. It might have been motivate out of not wanting to deal with his anger, but I really think it was the best way she could have done it. She's raw from her visit with Jake, and Edward is in the midst of a temper tantrum. It's not a good time for a discussion.

Bella's time with Angela is so good for her. She's in this world of the supernatural, and for a few hours, she just gets to be a normal teenage girl. Angela's "normal" view of the world to, provides us with the concept we've all been thinking though: Edward is jealous. Just like any other human boyfriend would be when his girl spends time with another guy, no matter the nature of the relationship. I'll tell you now, Sabrina, Amber and I have gone on several long tangents in our discussions. How much of Edward's issues are really due to plain old jealousy versus what I said above? I suspect it's a mixture of both. I tend to lean more towards the protective aspect being the majority of it, with a good dose of jealousy making it worse. After all, Edward still questions whether he's good for Bella, to have her move on was part of his goal with her. But, he still loves her irrevocably. It's why he's back, and it's why he's afraid that she will leave him.

This is confirmed to a degree when Bella finally gets home that night. Sure enough, Edward is waiting for her in her room, still quite upset over the events of the morning, I think, though, that anger has given way to worry and fear. I'm generalizing here, so bear with me. Fear and insecurity are not emotions men are comfortable expressing. For centuries it has been frowned upon for a man to show fear. They are taught to suppress those feelings and be strong and brave. The rightness or wrongness of that is a subject for another article, and, frankly, another blog, but I think that's what Edward is dealing with, especially if you consider the period in which he was born. So that fear and insecurity comes out as anger, because anger is an allowable emotion.

I get so proud of Bella for her statement here. She does come out an ask him what his motivations are. He confirms it is indeed solely about her safety. I think, at this moment, he truly believes that, but maybe Bella's words have made him think about it, at least. My pride in Bella is in accepting that, and not dragging out the argument. And then her statement of truth:

"But I want you to know something -- when it comes to all this enemies nonsense, I'm out. I am a neutral country. I am Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures."

You go, Bella. Take that all you "Bella is a wimp and a doormat" haters!

Since Edward missed his hunting trip, a new trip is scheduled for the following weekend with the rest of the Cullen men. Thursday night, when Bella is leaving work, Alice is there to pick her up. She explains that Edward and the guys left early and that the two of them, and Rosalie and Esme were going to have a good old-fashioned girls-night-in slumber party.

Bella believes that almost as much as we do, and Alice fesses up that Edward bribed her with a new Porsche to keep Bella at the house and under surveillance for the weekend. Bella is understandably upset but agrees to play along anyway. Another bad choice by Edward? Maybe. Okay maybe a lot, but we do understand a bit more of where he is coming from. Is Bella right to be upset? Of course she is. Edward may even have a point, and an understandable position regarding keeping Bella safe, but the implications of these actions aren't good for their relationship.

Bella calls Jacob (include requisite snide comments from Jacob here) to cancel their plans for the weekend, and leaves an angry voicemail for Edward. It's then that she asks to go to bed, thinking she'd have to camp on Edwards couch or floor. But, of course Edward wouldn't make her sleep on the couch. He's provided a gigantic bed for Bella's comfort. This fills our little fangirl hearts with gleeful anticipation, but all it does for Bella is tick her off even more. In a fit of spite, Bella hauls the covers off the bed and sleeps on the couch anyway. Yes, spite. It really was nice of Edward to get the bed for her to sleep on, so she would be comfortable staying there, even if the reasons she's staying there are a little shady. But Bella loathes him spending money on her, and she thinks a bed is unnecessary (Oh Bella...), so she's a bit piqued and rebellious. The chapter closes with a knock on the door. It's Rosalie, of all people, and she's asking to speak with Bella alone.


That sums up chapter 6. Next week we'll discuss Chapter 7: Unhappy Ending. In the meantime, leave your thoughts on this chapter in the comments. What do you think of Edward's reaction to Bella's visit? Is he worried? Jealous? Both? What other mistakes is he making? Could Bella have handled any of this situation better?

We're also exploring some options for future discussion. A few have asked about opening up the discussion so that our readers can participate directly in the conversations. We will be considering that over the next little while and will let you know.

Also, please do not forget to tune into the Haiti Relief Telethon tonight. It will be on most major networks in the United States, and many other countries are also broadcasting it. Check your local listings for channels and times. Any donation you can make will go a long way, even if it's just a few dollars. Several members of the Twilight crew will be participating, including Rob, who will be hosting from London. Anna Kendrick and Tinsel Korey have also agreed to assist.


Desiree said...

This is one of my fav Chapters!! Bella tellin Jacob previously her seeing them as just jacob just edward, but esp. Edward what for "I am switzerland!!"

Boy, what wouldn't I have done to be a fly on the wall when Alice told Eddie about Bella....wooo wooo. I for sure would've like to seen/heard his perspective at that moment & when he was persuing the idea of crossing the line to come after her. I could just see him pacing back and forth.

Well, we do find out in a latter chapter how ol' Eddie feels about when Bella goes away to play (I'm sorry kinda cheesy but...) He is new to this relationship thingy Yes he feels insecure not only from the fact He can't be w/her when she's there, Alice can't see what would happen, & he can't read her mind...So he worries....Her safety YES most definitely. He loves her & of course we know her history & her attraction for danger. But OH yes, jealousy does rear its ugly head & that's another major part. He can't read her mind, & whose to say what/how Jacob maybe influencing her.?.. I mean we do know how she is a push over for the guilt trip (as of course we know jacob has been using & abusing that w/her)

I can see why she's upset about the kidnapping. I prob would've done the same thing..sleep on the couch & call & leave a nasty message.

Scarlet Charlotte said...

I began re-reading the series before New Moon, Twilight first and then NNM after I saw the movie- after which I was trapped in the Twiland vortex until I had devoured Eclipse and BD within a week. Point being, it's somewhat fresh.

I was a bit conflicted during Eclipse. NM was my least favorite book, mostly because I could not accept and would not be able to handle Jacob interfering with Bella and Edward. The over protective nature of Edward in this chapter seemed, like you mentioned, a mixture of anguish, guilt over leaving her in so much danger (without knowing of course), and a smidgen of jealousy. I found the sleep over thing and the following her thing to be what you might expect of Edward, he did find/follow her in Twilight in Port Angeles right? I think when she goes to Angela's he's angry with her for pushing the boundaries that put her in danger since she alone is not the best judge. I find her reactions to him somewhat ridiculous. Their are times when SM portrays Bella as wise beyond her years and other times she seems like a child...meaning that at this point Bella should know that the connection they have transcends anything humans can achieve right? So, if your connection is that strong and Edward looked like hell in Italy- what's the big whoop? I think I wouldn't have minded Bella REALLY pushing the limits to express her own anger if she has any...which I know is childish but seems more plausible than just being indifferent and ignorant.

Holy ramble! It's late. Look forward to chapter 7.

*Please forgive me if I mixed anything up from the deleted/character development on SM's website.

Anonymous said...

I am so enjoying your chapter by chapter break down. Keep it up!