Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eclipse Discussion - Chapter 17 Alliance

Hi, it's RaShell, the guest blogger. Well, what are the chances? I got The Party chapter of the Eclipse!

There’s at least one party for each of the Twilight books, isn’t there? And all of them Bella dreads. First the Prom, then the Birthday bash at the Cullen's, the Graduation in Eclipse (which we’re about to discuss) and finally the Big Day in Breaking Dawn. I still don’t quite understand what exactly is Bella’s problem with the parties… She claims that she doesn’t like to be center of attention, ok, I kinda get that, but you would think it’s easy enough to blend into a crowd at the big gathering of people and that wouldn’t be a problem. Bella is notoriously clumsy and is embarrassed to dance, also,
understandable, but as we discovered early enough, Edward has enough grace and strength to make Bella look like she’s dancing effortlessly, even when she’s in a cast! And the graduation party doesn’t even involve any presents!!! Nothing to wear? Alice always takes care of that!
Alrighty, I have to admit, I was pretty unhappy with Bella throughout Eclipse. She has two great guys vying for her attention, and stupid girl just can’t make up her mind!!! She constantly doubts herself, always a martyr, blames herself for all the incoming trouble and drives everybody around her crazy with her spontaneous stunts. What kind of heroine is that? I guess I left the worst of my teen days way behind and forgot all the angst that comes with them…

So, the chapter begins when Bella arrives at the Cullen's house for the above-mentioned party. Edward is right there, ready to escort her in, but before they enter, he surprises her with yet another “scary” kiss. Yes, there’s a special kind of kiss in Twilight Universe that comes laden with unspoken worry and despair. So, this one is one of “those” kisses – desperate, tense and edgy. The thing is, Bella just shared her revelation about the connection between the vampire visitor in her house and the newborn army in Seattle. At this point, Edward’s mind is working overtime, blaming himself (here’s one more worry-wart!) trying to figure out how to resolve this dangerous situation and avoid casualties. But at the moment, Bella decides that she (in the best Scarlet O’Hara traditions) “is not going to think about it” in the light of the upcoming party.
Oh, the PARTY. Yes, all capital letters - Alice "did it again", by transforming this elegant house in the Washington boonies into a believable equivalent of a posh big city night club. I don’t really like how she discusses Bella’s modest attire (not helping already lower than low self-esteem here!). After a brief tense exchange among Edward, Jasper and Carlisle about the situation with newborns, the humans finally arrive. Cullens habitually assume their “normal” demeanor, and party begins. Bella still acts like partying is really hard work. She feels the slight discomfort that humans inevitably feel around vampires and tries to “act upbeat”, like a true hostess. She mingles with her classmates and finally has to admit that this party is a big success and “not as hard as she thought it’d be”. Well, thank goodness for that.
Nonetheless, there’s still something wrong in the kingdom, so when Edward suddenly runs off into the shadows Bella figures out that his escape is related to Alice’s being overcome with one of her visions. But before she can find out what it is exactly that Alice saw, the Wolves arrive.

Naturally, after the kissing fiasco and the broken hand, Bella didn’t expect Jacob to show up at the party, especially at the Cullen clan “lair”. Obviously, Jacob is not the shy type and he does show up, with two of his buddies, Quil and Embry, in tow. He catches Bella, who’s still trying to find out what scared both Alice and Edward so much. Bella actually has a few snarky remarks for him, until he pouts and pulls the “you don’t love me as much as THEM” trick. Pretty soon, all is forgiven (if not forgotten) and now Bella is begging Jake to show her the present he mentioned, which, as we all know, is the famous bracelet with a hand-carved wolf on it. Bella loves it and immediately puts it on (I am totally with the New Moon Edward on this one – how come Jacob black can shower Bella with presents and she doesn’t give him grief about it, but when Edward as much as moves finger toward gift-giving and she gets all upset? No fair!).

In the meanwhile, Jacob gets a whiff of Bella’s attempt of concealing some important and potentially dangerous information from him and with aid of his friends literally gets her cornered. Which doesn’t sit well with neither Alice (who finally appears back in the room) nor Jasper. Situation gets pretty tense, until Alice decides that the tribe does have the right to know what’s coming their way. That’s right, Alice’s vision confirmed that soon, the bloodthirsty army of newborns will be moving towards poor little Forks. And that means that everybody around will be in danger. Jasper, always the protector, is worried that the numbers are not in the Cullen's favor, especially if they’ll need to stand between the army and the town. Of course, Jacob jumps right in and immediately “signs up” for the battle. Hey, hot-headed teenage boys are famous for their sense of invincibility with a touch of trigger-happiness, are they not? But to Bella’s utmost surprise, present Cullens seem very happy with this turn of events. Alice’s vision completely disappears the second Jacob makes up his mind, but she seems genuinely relaxed and relieved. Even doubtful Jasper comes to terms with the newest development and makes plans to meet up for a “strategic meeting” with the werewolves. Poor frightened Bella gets one more huge reason to worry. Of course, she blames herself. Naturally she wants to die instead of everybody else. But thankfully there’s enough mythical creatures around to stand between The Magnet and The Danger.

So, here it is, the Alliance is in place. Almost everybody is much happier about the situation than they were in the beginning of the chapter. Bella is more worried than ever (if that's at all possible). And you and I can discuss them all – Bella’s partyphobia, Jacob’s guilt trips, Alice’s party-throwing talents, Edward’s obsessive-compulsive protectiveness, Jasper’s military mind and last but not least, oblivious humans, who have no clue that they have a very good chance to become the Newborn Army’s mid-afternoon snack.

6 comments:

Ninja TwiNerd said...

While I do understand Bella's party phobia to a point, she seemed to do fairly well (better than the other parties) at this one. She takes the avoidance thing a bit far! And good ol' angsty Edward needs pharmaceutical intervention for his excessive worrying!!

RaShell said...

You know... I think you're onto something here, Ninja :) The only reason Bella did manage to actually participate in this party, is because she's attempting to block her worry-brain from thinking about the other bad stuff!

Amber (EyesofAmber) said...

Thank you for this excellent post! We're really getting into the nitty gritty of the book now!

jtwilightaddict said...

awesome post! can I just say how much I HATE Jacob's guilt trips in this book! (and how Bella always falls for it) Bella totally sets a double standard for Edward and Jacob with the gift giving thing(even though she said in Twilight that she doesn't like double standards! hypocrite! kidding...sort of.)
And I don't know any boyfriend that would be cool with another guy giving his girl jewlery- best friend or not (especially when everyone knows he is in love w/her!)But, such is the craziness that is the Eclipse love triangle.

RaShell said...

Amber, thank you for the warm welcome :)

RaShell said...

jtwilightaddict,

Thank you for your comment! Yes, yes and yes. I think S. Meyers just has a very soft spot for this hot blooded puppy so she lets him get away with murder. :)