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Rambling Writer


Our job is not to give readers what they want; our job is to show them things they never imagined. --Walt Williams

More Blog Posts150

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    TUrban Wilds
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Jun
14th
2018

In Which I Tolerate Eclipse: Chapter 26 -- Ethics · 10:46am Jun 14th, 2018

These characters have ethics?

A few hours or so after the fight, Bella and Alice are still keeping up the sleepover story. Bella’s anxious to see Jacob, even though she knows he’s unconscious.

Each minute, not knowing if Jacob was still breathing or not, had seemed like ten lifetimes.

CM + 1

Alice tries to reassure Bella that Jacob’s going to be fine. There’s a line about Jacob’s high body temperature “burning off” the morphine Carlisle used, which doesn’t make much sense. Bella changes the subject to Bree, asking if she’s going to be like that when she becomes a vampire, uncontrollably craving blood. Alice admits that it’ll probably be something like that, but the Cullens will keep her out of trouble for a few years until the urge wears off.

Bella changes the subject again and asks why some vampire powers — Alice’s visions, Jasper’s emotional manipulation — work on her, while others — Edward’s and Aro’s mind-reading, Jane’s pain — don’t. According to Alice, Bella’s immune to powers that affect the inside of the mind. Edward and Aro work inside the mind, while Jane supposedly only creates an illusion of pain. Alice, on the other hand, sees actual possible futures, while Jasper really does calm down the system.

Okay. This makes no sense. Jasper “really does calm your system down”. But he doesn’t work inside the mind. Funny, I would’ve thought emotions were centered inside the mind. That means he stimulates certain structures inside the body, possibly manipulating the brain in some way. Then how does Jane’s power work? How does it relate to the brain? Why is her pain just an illusion while Jasper’s emotions are real? It feels like this is a clumsy attempt to justify why Jasper can use his mentally-based powers on Bella while other vampires conveniently can’t.

Bella heads home so Charlie won’t get suspicious about her absence. They talk about Jacob a bit; the story for his injuries is that he crashed his motorcycle. According to Charlie, Edward also seemed worried about Jacob, like he would be for a brother. As they talk, Bella whines internally about having to choose between two boyfriends. She should offer a threesome.

Bella goes to La Push, bemoaning that she’s going to let Jacob down.

I already knew that I couldn’t live without Edward.

CM + 1

Jacob’s awake and waiting for her, still wounded, but healing. While recounting how bad his day has been, he blames Leah for getting him hurt, even though she’s perfectly capable of handling herself and he’s the one who made the stupid decision to push her rather than attack the newborn. Then he moves into bitching about Edward, complaining that Bella doesn’t see what Edward’s really like.

”When are you going to wake up and realize that he’s not a (sic) perfect as you think he is?”

Well, Edward is nowhere near perfect, Jake, but you’re not much better. As if to prove this, Jacob says he’s going to try to stay Bella’s friend and let her be with Edward — and immediately follows that up by bringing up the Bible story of King Solomon, the baby, and the two women who each claimed the kid was theirs. He all but says that he’s doing it to show that he loves Bella more. And then Jacob guilt-trips Bella by reminiscing about what might have been, what it might have been like if they’d stayed together. Bella keeps internally whining about having to choose between two boyfriends.

“He’s like a drug for you, Bella.” His voice was still gentle, not at all critical. “I see that you can’t live without him now. It’s too late. But I would have been healthier for you. Not a drug; I would have been the air, the sun.”

So right, and yet for all the wrong reasons. Bella spills the worst part about the whole situation for her:

“The worst part…” I hesitated, and then let words spill out in a flood of truth. “The worst part is that I saw the whole thing — our whole life. And I want it bad, Jake, I want it all. I want to stay right here and never move. I want to love you and make you happy. And I can’t, and it’s killing me. It’s like Sam and Emily, Jake — I never had a choice. I always knew nothing would change. maybe that’s why I was fighting against you so hard.”

CM + 1

You know, BJ in Wolfenstein: The New Order (yeah, bringing up this series again) was in a similar situation: together with someone he loved but unable to settle down, relax, and just live life. The difference is that Bella can’t stay with her “beloved” because she has another “beloved”, while BJ couldn’t stay with his beloved because the world wasn’t right, and he couldn’t rest as long as that wrongness remained. BJ’s reaction? Reluctantly let the relationship go to kill ALL THE NAZIS (fortunately, his beloved wants to kill ALL THE NAZIS too, and she’s pretty good at it). Bella’s reaction? Whine and mope and bitch and cringe.

They blather about Bella’s upcoming wedding for a bit before Jacob reminds us of his entitlement complex.

“I’ll always be waiting in the wings, Bella,” he promised, lightening his tone and loosening his arm. I pulled away with a dull, dragging sense of loss, feeling the tearing separation as I left a part of me behind, there on the bed next to him. “You’ll always have that spare option if you want it.”

FOR. FUCK’S. SAKE. JACOB. For all you keep going on about Edward being a drug to Bella, can’t you see that she’s a drug to you? You keep claiming to give her a choice, but you’re so damn pushy about it, so insistent, that you’re limiting her as much as possible. You’re almost as obsessive as she is!

A few more words, then Bella leaves as Jacob wishes her well.

Clinginess Meter: 40

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Comments ( 5 )

So… with Jacob stating the obvious twice in this chapter,

”When are you going to wake up and realize that he’s not a (sic) perfect as you think he is?”

“He’s like a drug for you, Bella.”

can we acknowledge that Meyer was already actually aware of the problems with this series and just didn’t give a damn? Maybe when she saw how well the first one sold, she took it as a challenge and just trolled everyone.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

>tfw he's not a perfect as you think he is

I could try to justify emotional manipulation as tweaking the endocrine system rather than the nervous system, as opposed to phantom pain, but as the "high body temperature burns off morphine" bit shows, Meyer's understanding of how human bodies work is comparable to her understanding of how human romances work.

Also, I'm pretty sure Bella's ethics work based on the following:
1. Will it help make me a vampire?
2. Will it help Edward without negatively impacting point 1?
3. Will it help Jacob without negatively impacting points 1 or 2?
4. Can I whine about it?

If yes to 1, 2, or 3, it is good. Everything gets a yes to 4, and most of that is bad.

About that point you made with Jasper's powers, I have the theory that his ability must work on a chemical, or biological level. Bella's protection seemed to be on a mental level, and brain and mind are not always the same in fiction.

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