Thursday, May 13, 2010

Eclipse Discussion - Chapter 22. Fire and Ice

Our guest poster this week is the wonderful Krista, known on twitter as @AccentOnLife. She is the features editor for The Daily Advertiser and of course, a Twilight fan. I'm so excited that she agreed to help us out! Here you go...

I have to admit – I did several camping trips back in my Girl Scout days. But the camping experience Stephenie Meyer describes in Fire and Ice is definitely more extreme than any tween squabbles my troop had out in the wilderness.
First of all, the storm has arrived – and it’s bad. The snow and wind are chilling Bella to the bone, though Edward and Jacob are fine. Edward (and Jacob, for that matter) wants to get her out of the horrendous weather, but Bella is nothing if not a martyr, so she keeps insisting that she’s okay, knowing that leaving would jeopardize the trail they’ve made.
So, it is this argument over Bella’s health and safety that begins a night of bickering. Edward makes an offhand comment to Jacob about going to “fetch a space heater,” and one shows up in the form on a 108.9-degree wolf. Jacob makes his way into the tent, and Edward, knowing what Jacob was planning, immediately rebuffs him, saying “I don’t like this.” Well, of course he doesn’t. But Jacob is in a much better position to help Bella than Edward is at that moment.
Jacob zips himself into Bella’s sleeping bag – with stern warnings to keep his hands off her from Edward – letting his body heat warm her. She objects at first, knowing that the situation is bit, well, crowded in their tent. But once she feels Jacob’s heat, she starts to relax and even drift off to sleep. She’s in that fuzzy space that’s somewhere in between sleep and awake where you hear what’s going on around you but don’t fully comprehend what’s being said. For Bella, the conversation that follows between Edward and Jacob takes on a dream-like quality that reminds me quite a bit of her return from Italy when Edward had to convince her that he was in fact there with her and she wasn’t dreaming.
Perhaps knowing that Bella was taking in only bits and pieces of this conversation allowed them to speak more freely. As usual, Jacob is abrupt with his honesty, and Edward is restrained as to not give too much away. But what I find most interesting about their discussion is the ability to come together for a common goal – in this case, Bella – in an “uncomfortable truce.”
The topic of jealousy takes up a significant portion of this conversation, and, in a way, that kind of sums up their relationship (as it were) to this point. Edward is jealous because Jacob can offer Bella things he can’t, and Jacob is jealous because Bella keeps choosing Edward. In fact, the conversation basically starts with Jacob pointing out that Edward is jealous he can do something for Bella he can’t – keep Bella warm. Edward agrees, but Jacob concedes that it’s a moot point because he knows Bella wishes it were Edward. Jacob then taunts Edward by mentioning his jealousy of “all the things” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) he could do with Bella that Edward can’t. Edward admits that Bella thinks of Jacob “more often than I like.”
The idea of seeing inside each other’s head, if only for one night, is actually quite intriguing. It’s a good thing for the two of them to air what’s on their minds before the next day’s fight, and while they certainly don’t see eye to eye, they seem to come away from the conversation with a better understanding of each other. And as readers, it allows us to see some of Jacob and Edward’s finer qualities.
One of Jacob’s best traits is his honesty. It’s usually more blunt than perhaps it needs to be, but more often than not, he’s right. This conversation gives readers an opportunity to see his insightfulness. For example, he tells Edward, “She’s in love with me, too, you know. But she doesn’t know it.”
Edward constantly struggles with trying to do what he thinks is the right thing, and that desire to be honorable is one of his finest qualities. Even when it means pain for him, he’s willing to put others, especially Bella, first. And in this conversation, there are a couple of examples. Jacob asked Edward if he would try to kill him if she chose him. Edward automatically says, “No.” When Jacob asks him why not, his response is, “Do you really think I could hurt her that way?”
That desire to do the right thing also shows up in Edward’s discussion of the four possibilities he saw for his relationship with Bella. The first was that she wouldn’t return his feelings for her. The second was to stay with her until she dies. The third was to leave her, forcing her to move on, as in the first possibility. And the fourth is to make her a vampire as well. Edward points out that he tried to do what he thought was best for her by going with the third option but admits it ending up being a mistake.
Bella’s self-sacrificing nature – arguably one of her best qualities comes up again at the end of the chapter when Edward asks Jacob to explain the story about the third wife. Edward sees why she identifies with that character and recognizes her desire to do what she can to help during the battle. In fact, that’s why he’s staying with her – to protect her from doing something dangerous in her desire to help. The question now is how her family and friends will fare the next day.

Eclipse :: Edward.Bella.Jacob by ~sasukee23loveeer on deviantART

1 comment:

RaShell said...

I really, really liked the little peak into the 'boys' heads Stephenie gave us in the tent chapter. It had this "dreamy" quality, so we were never sure whether Bella imagined it or it was actually real. Seemed pretty real to me :) Of course I just wanted to strangle Jacob the whole time, but that's just me ;)