Reading Eclipse: Chapter 20 (Compromise)
January 27th, 2009 at 12:05 am by Kaleb Nation
The song for this chapter is Season of Love by Shiny Toy Guns
I was sitting in the school cafe earlier today, minding my own business and getting some writing done, when I overheard a conversation at the table next to me that went something like this:
Guy 1: Jonas Brothers fangirls are the creepiest girls ever. What is with them?
Guy 2: No man, the Jonas Brothers fangirls are nothing compared to TWILIGHTERS.
-all guys murmur in unified agreement-
Guy 3: Yeah, they’re all way crazy over Edward Cullen.
-guys go silent-
Guy 2: Who’s Edward Cullen?
Guy 3, stammering: Oh, I, uh, I, uh, I read the first few pages. My sister had it. Uh. Uh.
Niccceeee. You don’t even see Edward’s name until page 20. Yet another closet TwilightGuy I’m guessing
Anyhows, I managed to make it home in one piece in this chilling weather, and lo and behold Eclipse was here waiting for my return. Where I left off, Bella was with Jacob, watching the preparations for the war against the young vampires.
Oh Edward Cullen, what a poet. At the moment, I’m studying poetry as part of my English studies, so when I read lines like this:
“Listen to your heart fly,” he murmured. “It’s fluttering like a hummingbird’s wings. [...]“
I’m immediately reminded of poetry. There’s a musical quality to the way that Edward speaks. I’m sure everyone who’s read the books noticed this: he never just says:
“Oh look,” he huffed, “your heart’s beating. Whoop-de-doo.”
He’s got a special way of talking, which is easily reminiscent of the literature from the times when he was born. Again, this is something that sets Edward apart: he’s not trying to be like every other, normal guy. He’s trying to be different, to really show Bella that she means the world to him.
As usual, I chuckled at a very awkward-to-be-chuckling-at line:
“But that will always be what I want most, won’t it?” I challenged. “Blood, blood, and more blood!”
It’s striking to me, just how much the marriage means to Edward; as if anything big will change between them, since he is obviously dedicated to her, and she can’t bear the thought of leaving him. But there’s a depth to it, a commitment that Edward is seeking to make, in a very human way that one would think doesn’t apply to vampires. But I’m curious as to Edward’s reason. He can’t be simply doing this and so adamant about an actual marriage just because he is from the early 1900′s: it’s been so long since then, and qualms about societal norms would have vanished into his memory. After all, back in those days, anything resembling vampires was probably considered demonic anyway.
I get the feeling, though, that Edward has many reasons for wanting this: for even though it is obvious that he loves Bella, and his love will not change after they are married, he wants an actual, human connection between them: something normal, that binds them together by actual vows. He sees being a vampire as being ‘tainted’, and I feel that he sees his eternity with Bella as so important, he does not want their commitment to be built upon this tainted foundation, but rather upon a human marriage: one with a soul. After all, Edward and Bella are talking about forever in far more sense of the word than other humans being wed: theirs is a real and literal forever.
I noticed a sudden slew of emails the past few days, most of them telling me oh-how-much they wanted to hear my opinions on Chapter 20. This, as usual, was followed by a bunch of HA-HA-HA-ha-ha’s, which caused me a considerable amount of uncomfortable suspense for what I was going to find. Rest assured, I reacted in exactly the way my readers expected:
Ahem. Anyhow, we were back at the vampires and werewolves fighting something in some sort of a bloody battle. Yes, that’s the part I was reading.
I greatly enjoyed reading the comments on the last chapter post: people have so many different opinions on Jacob. But I feel I should clear it up somewhat and say that I don’t absolutely detest Jacob to his very core. It’s just sometimes, I find it annoying how he’s trying to get between Edward and Bella. I, for one, am a somewhat selfish guy. It would be very hard for me to deal with my girlfriend having a Jacob, and I might not even be able to deal with it at all. I would see it as Bella not being loyal to me, and hanging on to an alternative resort in case things ‘don’t work out’. But if there is such a large probability of things ‘not working out’ that she’s keeping this guy hanging on, then that would make me think that what we have isn’t as strong as I thought. I respect Edward even more, because he can actually bring himself to at least seem comfortable with Bella around Jacob so often.
I realize that the vast majority of my readers are girls, and I don’t know how to put this in a way that everyone will understand; since human emotions and feelings cross such a vast landscape, it is impossible to pin any one person down and say that they are the model for all guys. But I know that I would never be able to handle being Edward, if my girlfriend kept Jacob — even the bracelet from him would be enough for me to feel hurt. Similarly, I would never, ever be able to be a Jacob: this guy who keeps hanging around, pining away at somebody else’s girl, when she really truly wants to be with Edward. I don’t see myself, or any guy who has a decent sense of respect, being happy like that.
But the reason I don’t hate Jacob, through all this, is because he is, or at least seems to be, genuinely well-intentioned. It’s back to the abusive boyfriend situation I used as an example a few posts back: if Jacob seriously thinks that Bella staying with Edward is dangerous to her, then he has good reason to try and get her away. In fact, it’s best for him to do it. But the fact we all know is that Edward is unlike the rest of his kind, and wouldn’t let anything cause him to hurt Bella: as evidenced even more so by the bedroom episode that unfolded in this chapter
Question for the comments: I’m curious to know, due to the bunch of emails I’ve gotten, who you think should play Aro in the New Moon film.
- There have been additions to the FAQ page.
- The song is from the new Shiny Toy Guns album, which is just plain awesome by the way. Not as good as We Are Pilots, but still made of win.
- Followers of my Twitter will recall a conversation about ninjas earlier. The Twilight conversation I wrote about in this post came immediately afterwards from the same group