'86 Rabbit

A FANGirl's Forkstress of Solitude

FMCG: Chapter 12

It is perhaps fitting that my old friend Benjamin Wheeler begins his thoughts on Chapter 12: Balancing with, “Oh, Twilight, I’ve missed you. Since our last time together I’ve thought about you a lot, watched the movie based on you, cringed at the movie based on you, made fun of the movie based on you. And all of this made my more excited to get back to you, and finally, this windy afternoon, I have.” Benjamin was away for a while when real life called. I have been away too. My brain was too crammed with my new job and new schedule that I haven’t had time to ponder much. Lately, if I’ve had any blog time I’ve spent it over at Letters To Twilight, for the laughs. I have missed Twilight.

I’m sure that anyone who was following this thread is long gone, but I’ll continue on at whatever pace I can manage. My apologies to anyone who is annoyed that I could not keep up. In case you have forgotten the rules, go read his article and then come back for some discussion with me.

I’m with you on the movie, Benjamin. We could spend a lot of blog time on the various levels of horrible there.

We get some suggestion that Edward is comfortable, both ethically and practically, with breaking in Bella’s house. Instead of Bella walking home, Edward tells her (not offers to, mind you) that he will go to her house and retrieve her truck, which will be in the parking lot when she gets out of school. Bella notes that the key “was in the pocket of a pair of jeans I wore Wednesday, under a pile of clothes in the laundry room” (243). This is followed with a rather nonchalant, “Even if he broke into my house, or whatever he was planning, he’d never find it” (243). Have we actually reached so quickly the point in the story at which Bella is okay with Edward breaking into her house without her permission? It seems so.

I didn’t consider it B & E by this point either. Edward had been doing it for months, and Bella and I had had time to adjust to that. Besides, to me it was more like Edward trying to make up for inconveniencing Bella and showing off for her, at the same time. It made Edward more of a mystery to Bella, so win for him.

What really disturbed me about this was that Bella never refers to “keys”. She only ever says her “key”. She carries around her single car key and uses a house key kept under the eave. She never mentions a key ring or a keychain. I wondered why Stephenie Meyer wrote it like this. It’s like Bella considers herself a guest in Charlie’s house even though she comes in an takes charge. I suppose coming in part way through Junior year with, presumably, no intention of staying much past graduation, she must have considered herself a houseguest and endeavored to make her presence minimal.

Possibly keys represent power here, as they often will.  If so, it may look on the surface that Bella lacks power but perhaps it’s that she carries her power in an unusual way. Perhaps, as with the magnets that appear later in the series, the keys represent Bella being of two minds, a choice presented. If that’s the case, they represent home and her vehicle for leaving it, or rather Charlie/Human and Edward/Vampire. Bella will spend a great deal of time pondering how to reconcile these two forces in her life, the human and the vampire. Which door will she choose? Or maybe the girl is just weird about keychains.

And Bella’s strength as a character deceases proportionally to Edward’s proximity. The closer the two of them become, the weaker Bella gets. Instead of her strengths, she now becomes defined by her faults–her clumsiness, her average good looks, etc.

Edward as a protector only works if Bella’s faults and weaknesses define her character. The tragedy of this book for me is not the forbidden, doomed lover nonsense, but rather that Bella is unconditionally in love with a man who requires her to relinquish her strengths.

I have heard this many times, not just in relation to Bella, but to others as well. It typically seems to be directed at women. It bothers me a little when I hear this. To me it says that the expectation is that the person should only ever show strength, perfection. Personally, I think a person’s greatest strength is knowing his or her own strengths and weaknesses, not so weaknesses can be hidden, but so they can be worked around, if not improved. One of the best things about having a mate is knowing who can help whom, and when. There will be times where Edward is weak and Bella is strong, as it is with real couples. I don’t think that Bella is being defined by her faults. I think she’s learning to live with them, to love herself and consider herself worthy despite them, just like a real teen girl. The question for me is why is it a tragedy for Bella to have faults, but not Edward?

Oh, and then there’s the drug use. I’ll say that again. The drug use…I had to stop for a moment when I read that.

This really bothered you so much? You spent quite a bit of energy on this one. How is it any different than abusing sugar and caffeine to pull an all-nighter to cram for a final or write a paper. Surely you’ve partaken. She did it once. She felt bad about it. She knew she didn’t need the drugs for illness, but they would help her sleep. I can assure you she will never do it again.

Potential Candidate for Best Sentence Ever Written in English: “I woke early, having slept soundly and dreamlessly thanks to my gratuituous drug use” (252).

It’s been 12 chapters now and I still don’t know if you’re being sarcastic. Best Ever is pretty strong, but I like this sentence. “Gratuitous drug use,” stuck with me.

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June 24, 2009 - Posted by | Stephenie Meyer, Twi-blogs, Twilight | , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Yea! I’m so glad you started doing this, I had missed it. I enjoyed both posts this week.

    Comment by twilog | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. By the way, it’s letting me comment logged in to our old blog for some reason, so just ignore that lol.

    -Whitley

    Comment by twilog | June 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thanks for coming back and reading!

    Comment by '86 Rabbit | June 30, 2009 | Reply


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