Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eclipse Book Discussion - Chapter 12: Time

This post will contain book spoilers through Chapter 12 of Eclipse. Go Read.

Time. It is probably the most precious commodity. It's something we never seem to have enough of. It can define our entire lives. And a very appropriate title for this chapter.

We begin with a silly moment from Alice, ominously announcing her vision of a graduation party for Bella.The moment is humorous. Bella's reluctance to parties. Alice's cryptic gratitude for her graduation present. And a favorite line of mine, from Edward:
"Amazing," Edward muttered. "How can someone so tiny be so annoying."

Alice laughed. "It's a talent."

Why do I picture the chick from the Progressive insurance commercials there?

Anyway, the point of this discussion is that the reality of her impending change finally hits Bella. While I don't doubt her desire to be changed in this moment, her focus finally shifts for a moment. No longer is she just thinking about forever with Edward, but forever without Charlie, Renee, or Jacob.

Sabrina: Not to mention that she's worried about Edward's condition
Amber: I don't think she's focusing so much on that at the moment.  It's the reality of what the change means, she reminds him that Carlisle promised he'd change her after graduation.

The conversation that evolves between Bella and Edward here is truly one of my favorite moments in the entire series. More, even, than the leg hitch, so you know I mean business. We start to see into Edward's mind even more. First, is his insistence on putting off her change. Finally, we see through him a bit, because the argument is not about her soul, or being a monster. He simply wants her to have a choice. Something none of the rest of the Cullens had. Bella has the opportunity to fully choose her future, and he wants her to make that choice for the right reasons. And fear is a poor reason.

They continue to open up. "You don't want me to become a vampire." says Bella. And we hear the truth from Edward. "I want it more than anything, for myself." His fears of endangering her life and her sould are compounded by the utter selfishness he feels for wanting to change her. To take away that which he treasures, what he wishes he could have had. A human life.

Amber: but it's all just "if only's" because of Carlisle's choices.  That's not the life that Edward would have had. That's his life had the Spanish Influenza not taken him; that option was taken away before Carlisle met him.
I wonder if that's something Edward had ever considered? How much, though, are we consumed by what we don't have, or what 'might have been'?

Edward follows up Bella's concern with his own: "You don't want to be my wife."
Bella explains her concerns, and shows  her age a bit. A teenager is still looking for their role in the world. haven't seen where the specific stereotypes blend into unique stories.

Sabrina: And she really doesn't want to disappoint Renee.
Amber: although...the girl is dating a vampire, shouldn't she be used to breaking stereotype by now?
Kerry: no...because she doesn't see it that way
Amber: I know..I'm just pointing out the irony here

And here comes my favorite passage, and yes, I'm going to quote it in full.

"You see, Bella, I was that boy. In my world,I was already a man. I wasn't looking for love -- no, i was far too eager to be a soldier for that; I thought of nothing but the idealized glory of the war that they were selling prospective draftees then -- but if I had found..." He paused, cocking his head to the side. "I was going to say if I had found someone, but that won't do. If I had found you, there isn't a doubt in my mind how I would have proceeded. I was that boy, who would have -- as soon as I discovered that you were what I was looking for -- gotten down on one knee and endeavored to secure your hand. I would have wanted  you for eternity, even when the word didn't have quite the same connotations."

You know when he told Bella to "breathe", afterwards? Yeah, me too.

Sometimes, I wonder if Bella's opposition isn't just more about being right, than being true...

Then, of course, we're thrust out of this incredibly romantic moment to deal with reality. A new story prints in the paper about the attacks in Seattle, and it becomes obvious that whatever vampire is wrecking havoc in the city is getting a lot worse. Edward and Bella skip school that day to consult with Jasper.

Until this point, along with Bella, we don't know much about Jasper. We know he struggles with control more than the others. Bella experienced that first-hand. He shies away from Bella for that exact reason. Edward is well-studied, so we only think of Carlisle as another source of information. But this situation, newborn vampires, is Jasper's area of expertise, we learn.

The chapter closes with Jasper revealing, literally, his story, as we are shown the hundred of scars that cover his body.

Tell us what you think!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I am glad that Edward & Bella discussed where they were both coming from. Each time I've read the series (and it's been a lot) I ge frustrated by "Bella is so mature" but I feel like she rushes into decisions and acts on her immediate emotions. This seems to be the first time she really listens to Edward's thoughts on things. I admit that Edward tends to just act on his feelings and waits to explain later. He takes an "I know best" stance but here he actually explains his feelings. This is the most communicative they are beyond expressing their utter love & infatuation for each other.