Reading New Moon: Chapter 20 (Volterra)
September 25th, 2008 at 12:05 am by Kaleb Nation
The song for this chapter is Far Away by Nickelback
When I picked up New Moon to read the next chapter, I got an AIM message that went something like this:
-AIM window flashes-
Me: I’m reading New Moon. Shoo.
Rachul: Are you reading THE chapter?
Me: I dunno. Is Chapter 20 THE chapter?
Rachul: Um, yeah. Big chapter. Edward comes back.
Me: AGHALGRLGLAOGLA YOUBLOODYROTTENSPOILER!
I finally calmed myself, but began to turn the pages a little faster as a result of her injudicious choice of words. Bella and Alice begin to enter the city of Volterra: this place I have heard so much about and finally get to see. I’m imagining it being very old, especially with the cobblestone streets, the darkly colored buildings and the popularity of going about by foot, brought about by a place that was built at a time when there were no cars. The guards at the gate are of hardly any use, given the fact that the Cullens have endless supplies of centuries-saved cash:
While reading this chapter, I was distracted when I remembered watching a certain video of Stephenie on Youtube, months and months before I even dreamed of reading Twilight. I remembered her going through this old city, and saying that it had something to do with her books (long time readers of me know I was a Stephenie fan long before I read anything by her, and dug through Youtube for videos of her all the time). Suddenly, I put the two together, and realized that Stephenie had been showing Volterra in the video. A quick Youtube search uncovered the very clip I had seen so long ago:
As Bella is pushing her way through Volterra, trying to find Edward, I’m picturing her in the setting that is in this video, trying to get through the crowds that just keep knocking her out of the way.
After all these months of Edward being gone, there is a strange feeling the moment he appears: for some reason, it seems so natural, like he hasn’t actually been gone for all this time, but instead has simply been invisible to Bella alone. I say this because when he sees her, there is hardly any surprise; though what happens is revelatory in what I have been predicting since Edward left, many many months ago.
Because when Bella actually sees Edward, there is hardly any reaction more than a scream, and that is more from her wanting to save his life. But in the instant that Bella touches against him, she immediately knows he is no longer just a figment of her imagination. After all the hallucinations of his voice and the visions of him in her dreams, Edward is real and there before her. As Bella puts it:
[…] in that instant, I felt well. Whole.
Since chapter 3, in September, Edward has been gone. He took with him a piece of Bella: the missing piece of her soul that has been calling her and torturing her to find again. The moment they are together, it is as if Bella is made whole.
Both Bella and Edward hold pieces of each other that can never be returned, nor cut off, nor broken free. It is because of this when they are apart, there is an almost constant pain within Bella to be with Edward again. The separation of the two pieces is what has been causing her so much pain.
In the same way, if Bella was dead, then she had taken with her a piece of Edward as well, a piece so strongly connected to him that he could never cut it from his soul. Edward is a vampire– he would go on living forever, suffering through each day with a piece of himself gone. And thus if Bella is dead, then enough of Edward is dead as well, so that he might end the remaining piece of himself to be with her again, and make himself whole once more.
Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, hath had no powers upon they beauty.
If Bella is dead, then Edward feels he must die also — and this time, have no barriers between them for eternity.
But as with Bella, the moment that Edward sees her, it is as if he is whole again: expecting that his death had been so swift, he had hardly noticed, and that Bella is by his side just as he had been wishing. But suddenly Bella tells him the truth, and just like in the video of Stephenie at Volterra, the moment Edward realizes what is actually happening, he immediately changes into defensive mode. In one swift motion, he swings Bella behind him, and crouches ready to defend her from the approaching Volturi.
It was at that moment I fully realized, yes, Edward Cullen is back in town. And he’s not letting anyone come near Bella.
As many of you know I am a little claustrophobic (my worst nightmare was the scene in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, when His Grinchiness squeezes through the chimney and gets stuck…. I still shudder). Thus when Bella plunges down into the darkened depths and then weaves through the cave-like halls, I can’t help but feel a little boxed-in on her behalf. But when they step through the metal grate, and hear it clang shut behind them, it is almost like they have been locked inside an underground prison.
A synonym for ‘underground prison’ is ‘dungeon’. I suppose that Bella’s wave of fear has a solid foundation, as they go to face the Volturi.
– Today is the last day to submit videos to the Support Stephenie Meyer Youtube project. I will be compiling all the clips and some of the text comments into a video soon, and will post it here when it is ready!
– ADDED: Bailey (Nomoremarbles) and I will be doing another live BlogTV broadcast SATURDAY at 10PM CST (8PM PST / 11PM EST) on her channel! THERE IS A WAITING ROOM WHEN WE PASS 150 VIEWERS. People who arrive early get first in the main room with us, and we have no control over who is rotated in and who is not. Questions to us should be sent BEFORE THE SHOW to firstname.lastname@example.org .