Posted in Reviews

Twilight: Chapter Four

Ah, the dream series. I have a lot to say about you.

In this dream Bella is chasing Edward in a scene reminiscent of the many dream sequences from New Moon. Meyer didn’t have to reach far for that imagery did she? In the dream Bella is running through the woods, trying to catch Edward and he keeps eluding her.

This dream sequence is not the worst sinner of the bunch, but it is an excellent time to go on my tangent about the dreams in this series. Bella’s dreams are often so prophetic that it was a popular theory in Twilight fan works that she might have an ability that was similar to Alice’s. Perhaps not a seer per se, but that Bella might have some sixth sense. A precognition of sorts. But sadly no. This is just Meyer’s lazy writing style.

Dreams rarely if ever make sense to the person who has them. Before someone gets on a soapbox and preaches to me that it’s the brain’s way of sorting through subconscious thought, sit down. I’m getting to that. Yes, sometimes the brain will bring up a person or a situation that is troubling the dreamer, but it will rarely make sense. Dreams are not coherent. Most of what we dream is our brain trying to process and store little things. Sometimes the dreams make absolutely no sense at all.

I once had a dream, which seemed scary at the time mind you, that I was being chased by giant meatballs with teeth. I once had a dream a cabbage ate my head. I have also had a dream about being hit by a bus, dying and being led to heaven by Dobby the House Elf.

Bella’s dreams are too coherent and are a way for Meyer to give Bella hints about something she’s too dim to realize on her own. Meyer doesn’t seem to think that Bella or the reader can jump to a logical conclusion on their own and need to be led by the hand. Why don’t we actually see Bella doing some damned detective work? It would at least give Bella some character. It would show that she’s determined and willing to do something drastic to figure out what’s going on.

Which is why I maintain that Alice saving Bella, giving her hints would have been useful. Bella would know that something unusual is going on with the Cullens. It would give the story some suspense if Alice tries to tell Bella and is silenced at every turn. It would actually seem sinister, and give us greater anticipation for the reveal. Bella is the daughter of the police chief. She says she’s a lot more like Charlie than she is like her mother. Why don’t you show that by getting her spidey senses tingling about the Cullens?

Dreaming is a very passive way of giving Bella and the audience this information. This really is information that should be earned through investigation, not beaten into our skulls until it hurts, and Bella still remains utterly clueless.

In other, less interesting news, Jessica is peeved at Bella because boys like her. We’re informed that the spring dance is going on and that its girl’s choice. Mike turns Jessica down, and promptly goes to ask Bella.

“Well…” He floundered as he examined my smile, clearly not happy with my response.  “I told her that had to think about it.”

            “Why would you do that?” I let disapproval color my tone, though I was relieved he hadn’t given her an absolute no.

            “I was wondering if…well you might be planning to ask me.”

Aside from the fact that asking Bella clearly defeats the point of a girl’s choice dance, Mike is being very presumptuous here. Bella has expressed no interest in a relationship thus far, and you think she suddenly wants to date you? And that a girl’s choice dance is the perfect opportunity to start it? If Bella didn’t ask you, she doesn’t want to go with you.

I get the feeling that Mike is a firm believer in the friendzone phenomenon. Keep being a girl’s friend for long enough, and she’s obligated to date you when you ask. From his actions in New Moon, we clearly see that he’s mostly interested in a physical relationship with Bella and is not actually interested in her personality. What little there is.

Bella lies and says she has weekend plans. Bella and Edward argue in Biology class about how rude he’s being.

No. No. You’re both wrong. He’s not being rude by keeping you out of a secret that could get you killed. And Bella’s response just….ugh.

“It’s too bad you didn’t figure that out earlier.” I hissed through my teeth. “You could have saved yourself all this regret.”

            “Regret?” The word, and my tone, obviously caught him off guard. “Regret for what?”

            “For not just letting that stupid van squish me.”

            What. What. Why? Bella, are you seriously trying to turn this around on Edward? He hasn’t done anything wrong. And you’re going to try and manipulate him like this? I wouldn’t feel sorry for pulling anyone, even someone I disliked, out of harm’s way. I do however sympathize with Edward. If you saved someone and you haven’t even gotten a sincere thank you for it, it would be frustrating. If the person continued pestering you about it, giving you the cold shoulder when you don’t answer, and accuses you of being heartless, it would be infuriating.

Really, this is the sort of reasoning I would expect from a twelve year old wangsting about their parents being cruel. It’s the most accurate comparison I can draw. Much like a child, she’s whining about something she shouldn’t. She’s being spiteful, manipulative, and rude, and she’s entirely ungrateful. For someone who is regularly called “mature for her age” she acts like a child a lot of the time. I think that Bella’s characterization is insulting to seventeen year olds, and I remember being quite a snot at that age.

Bella is acting like a world class bitch.

She drops her books on the way out, of course, and Edward is even kind enough to pick them up after that exchange.

We get another exchange with Eric the same day. And as she’s leaving, we also see Tyler ask Bella out. I guess the Forks education system is so subpar that the students don’t understand the concept of “girl’s choice.” And of course, this will earn Bella another enemy. Cause girls can’t be reasonable about the fact that boys sometimes aren’t interested when you are blatantly jealous and cruel to other women.

This whole thing really seems like Meyer trying to hammer home the point that Bella is attractive, even though she refuses to believe it about herself. For me, personality and confidence are so much more important than looks. Good character makes someone so much more attractive. Thus far, Bella has been completely anti-social, sort of neurotic, and self absorbed. There is nothing attractive here. Bella has no redeeming character traits at this point. Why are people interested?

Despite being asked out three times in the same day, which should have been something of an ego boost, Bella is near tears as she contemplates Edward.

Of course he wasn’t interested in me, I thought angrily, my eyes stinging—a delayed reaction to the onions. I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting…and brilliant…and mysterious… and perfect….and beautiful….and possibly able to lift full sized vans with one hand.

            MY GOD, WATCH WHERE YOU PUT THOSE ELLIPSES WOMAN.

Seriously, this sentence is just awkward. I know she’s trying to make it seem like thought but it is just so distracting.

Bella’s self pity grates on my nerves. She’s clearly interesting to the boys in her school for some reason, and she feels compelled to go after the one who isn’t falling all over her. Typical.

This pity party is particularly hard to slog through when in literally three pages later, he’s asked to escort her on her weekend trip, since he doesn’t think her car can handle the journey.

Aside from the problems of Edward already beginning to show signs of being overbearing, this is just a really out of character thing for Edward to do at this point. Thus far 90% of their exchanges have been hostile. And yet Bella finds the prospect of spending a long car ride with a man who has been habitually rude very titillating. At this point Bella’s main fascination with Edward is his looks, and the fact he doesn’t want to tell her things. If you don’t want your character to come across as shallow, please stop describing his looks in such detail during every single encounter. Most of Bella’s inner dialogue consists of;

Gah, please someone shoot me before this continues. Alright, I’ll join you in the next chapter after I’ve had some time to cool off.

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