Home > book reviews, Book Walkthroughs > An odd sound…(Twilight Ch. 3)

An odd sound…(Twilight Ch. 3)

I don’t know much about Stephanie Meyer, and I refuse to go to wikipedia to look certain things up as I am trying to do this project without any research into Twilight the book, the movie, or the author. What I do know though is that she isn’t very familiar with snow. I assume she’s from Utah, because I know that she’s a Mormon and I like to stereotype. Utah maybe in the desert but there is also some snow, and this would give us some of the description that we had in the previous section about melting snow and socks. According to the national weather center, Forks averages about a foot of snow a year. This means that the residents of the small town should be used to the dastardly white stuff that falls from the sky. I bring this us up because as Bella is going to school the day after her momentous pissing contest with Edward she notices that there are chains on her tires.

Chains, as in tire chains, not as in some weird post-apocalyptic steam punk decoration type of chain. But the kind of chains that people use in mountain or arctic environments for heavy snow. I find it odd because in a town that has that small an average snow precipitation they would even need chains. It reminds me of grad school when a student from California, Medesto to be exact, asked some of us what it cost to get chains on your tires when the snow started to fall. The Toledo and Michigan natives laughed as did I being from Buffalo. In all three locations we have never needed chains on the tires even though the average snowfall in Buffalo is almost 8 feet. However some regions of the country become so paranoid about snow that they mandate chains with a couple of inches, shut down the entire city from unnecessary travel, and then pray to their gods that the nightmare ends. In Buffalo we send them a nice letter asking them if they need warmer skirts sent (Atlanta, 2003).

This shows that Meyer is either unfamiliar with snowy regions or lives in a panic area, which I doubt considering that Utah’s elevation should inculcate them with handling the white stuff. What else is odd is that Bella seems to have the need to constantly remind us that she is worthless. I’m going to skip the part about her ruing the personal revelations that she had with Edward, as anyone that has had a crush on someone else will know that everything you say to the object of desire seems stupid. Even if you aren’t tongue tied, you look back and think, “X must think me to be a blathering idiot,” no matter how suave or witty you might actually have been. No, I’m talking about Bella’s need to remind us that she is clumsy, at this point in the story she has reminded us so frequently that it almost has to pay off in the long run. If it doesn’t, if her clumsiness either does not get her into more trouble or accidently discover the secret switch (a la Scooby Doo) to the Vampire’s hidden lair then hearing about it just makes the reader wish that she would stop whining. She reminds me of a girl I dated who before everything she did needed to remind me that she wasn’t good at anything. It’s a way of preparing someone for the worst, but all it does is make a person impatient wanting the person to just do something without qualification.

This time it precedes the accident, the accident which is such a transparent set up for the big reveal of Edward that you can see it a mile away. Here’s what happens, Bella gets out of her car, she hears an odd sound, sees an oncoming van about to pulverize her, then “I saw several things simultaneously, nothing was moving in slow motion, the way it does in the movies. Instead, the adrenaline rush seemed to make my brain work faster, and I was able to absorb in clear detail several things at once.”

Here’s the contradiction: if your brain is working faster, thus speeding up your perception then things do appear to happen slower. Things don’t actually move slower, in the movies it’s done for effect, it’s not like Neo in the Matrix ever emerged from a bullet time sequence sea sick from the spinning, to show us the perception of the character. Bella for all her supposed intelligence either takes the slow motion as being literal or she is just amazed at the pretty colors.

That aside the things she does notice is the Blue van coming at her quite fast, the impact point is the corner of her tank like truck, the fact that she is standing between the two, and the fact that Edward is standing four cars away. Don’t make fun of her for noticing him, he is devilishly attractive. Seriously though, when I was in my accident I remember the radio station playing (Detroit Talk Radio). Information does process quite quickly when that adrenaline is going, and it is horribly important that she notices where Edward is…after the fact. Looking back it becomes important for the book, but at the time I think it doubtful that she would notice where Edward was so specifically.

Edward saves her with his superman vampire powers. All she suffers is a bonk on the head from where he shoved her out of the way and then stopped the van. He hasn’t explained, and neither has the book, why he did it. But just being a remotely decent person should be all, he saw impending death and sought to stop it. Good enough? Well Bella wants more.

Bella remembers that he was too far away to stop anything. Edward, being far older than his looks, has to explain it without saying that he has Vampire superpowers. Here’s his brilliant explanation to Bella at the hospital, “I was standing right next to you.” She describes him as saying that with all of the tone and rehearsal of a seasoned liar. He isn’t a seasoned liar because if he were he would have come up with something better and he doesn’t rely on the fact that she hit her head.

Sure he brings it up, several times, but then he protests too much. A good lie needs the force of will from the liar, the more you try and prove it the more desperate it seems. The more desperate the least likely the audience is to believe it, just ask Kirk Cameron. Let’s follow Bella’s explanation for what happened, a car was about to hit her, Edward from over 10 yards away sped to her safety, and stopped a runaway van with his hands and was not injured. It’s a ridiculous story that Bella tells with no self doubt–something completely out of character for her. Of course that is what happened and Edward tries to spin a web of lies that states he was standing next to her. Given their verbal fencing the other day there’s no way this lie is remotely plausible. Edward should have just said he was closer, but not too close, and then walked away. Instead he gives up on the fake story and promises an explanation…yeah he’s a real seasoned liar.

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