Home > Book Walkthroughs, reviews > Research (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 128-135)

Research (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 128-135)

First, we need to place our setting. Bella is home from the beach trip after receiving an odd story from the poor young man she manipulated about ancient Vampires at war with his tribe of Indians who may or may not be descended from wolves. In no way does she view this with skepticism, after all no 15 year old boy would make up a story just to impress a girl. He’s already got that mysterious exotic ethnic thing going for him, so he wouldn’t just run with it. Not to mention that he’s not supposed to be talking about such things either. So far Jacob is the best character we’ve met so far, and I don’t mean for anyone to think that I’m attacking him (yet), it’s just that I’ve had the unpleasant experience of being a 15 year old boy and no matter what the background they will embellish a bit when a cute girl is flirting with them. She wants solace from her thoughts, the thoughts that she so desperately tried to not think about on the ride home.

Her first solution is to play a CD to her given by her step-father. When that doesn’t work, she takes a shower, then she decides that she is going to look up some things on the internet. This is obviously easier than going to the library, and who knows what kind of information that the small library in Forks is going to have. It also shows that Meyer does have a finger on the pulse of her audience, the internet is the first place anyone goes to now. An older writer would definitely have used the library or some mysterious book or something like that.

My modem was sadly outdated, my free service substandard; just dialing up took so long that I decided to go get myself a bowl of cereal while I waited.” She doesn’t just get that bowl of cereal, she fixes it up, eats it, then cleans up the dishes and finally gets back to the computer. You people that are the intended age group for this book, will never know what it was like but it sucked. Clicking on the wrong link meant waiting and waiting and waiting to find out that it was the wrong link, then clicking back, then starting over. Dial up sucked, but once you got that 28.8 modem it was faster than light. Meyer is very accurate here.

Once loaded, “naturally the screen was covered in pop-up ads” 2005 was a tough year for internet use. Pop-ups had hit their stride, it just seems that if her computer is so outdated it’s surprising that it didn’t crash under the weight of the ads. It’s a bit pedantic for me to make this gripe but it seems as if the author is making this complaint and not Bella as narrator.

Searching for Vampires on the internet is like trying to eat at a mall, sure the food court is there but do you really want to eat at any of those places? Here’s an experiment, go to Google/Bing and type in the word “Vampire.” Ok, now that you’ve done that skip over the wikipedia entry (as we are supposed to be in 2005 and it wouldn’t have been number 1 then) and how many of those entries look like they would be worth checking out?

Skip the forums where people pretend they are vampires, the gothic clothing sites, and you are still left with tons and tons of garbage. At least in our simile we’ve decided not to eat at Sbarro, but we’re left with Manchu Wok and Burger King. Finally she finds something that has an academic look to it and is first greeted with two quotes. One of these quotes is from French Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and among the vampire community is pretty popular the quote runs as follows “If there is in this world a well-attested account, it is that of vampires. Nothing is lacking: official reports, affidavits of well-known people, of surgeons, of priests, of magistrates: the judicial proof is most complete. And with all that, who is there who believes in vampires?”

What the websites, forums, and communities won’t mention is that the quote comes from Rousseau as he was defending his work “Emile” from the fires of censorship because he had the gall to criticize religion. The quote above is offered not as proof that vampires exist but that authority figures (either religious or political) will make appeals to the supernatural in order to instill fear in the populace. It’s been argued by Phillip Cole that the “vampire craze” of the 17th and 18th centuries is no different than the witch hunts of the 15th and 16th. Answer Rousseau’s question for yourself, who really believes in Vampires? No one, all of those people on the internet know that they are posers and are merely indulging in wishful thinking.

The thing is that the vampire web page that Bella finds, is real. I don’t know if the book preceded the page or vice versa, but it’s there if you want to take a look at it. She clicks away and becomes rather insightful, “It seemed that most Vampire myths centered around beautiful women as demons and children as victims; they also seemed like constructs created to explain away the high mortality rates for young children, and to give men an excuse for infidelity.”

It seems as though Rousseau was probably right all along. The only people that really believe in Vampires are the people that have a reason for doing so. Calling upon the myth of the Succubus, not actually a Vampire, makes as much sense as all of those ancient Greek women knocked up by Zeus. The myth is ready made for the excuse, who can really resist the demonic powers of the succubus? Here, Bella is really intelligent here she looks at all of the myths and begins seeing a pattern. That however isn’t good enough.

The odd thing about Bella at this point is that she has completely bought into the story. If she’s so smart, she needs to rationalize more that’s what smart people do when they don’t understand something. The first explanation she comes up with is superhero, then Jake gives her the Vampire story that isn’t necessarily about Edward but she shoehorns him right into it. This whole list of Vampires is nice, but she needs something that works with Edward, “Speed, strength, beauty, pale skin, eyes that shift color; and then Jacob’s criteria: blood drinkers, enemies of the werewolf, cold-skinned, and immortal.”

“Pale skin?” just like Bella was so fond of reminding us that she has in the beginning of this book. They live in Washington state, everyone should have pale skin. Aside from that her list is simple perception, but then she shifts over to Jacob’s list and none of that makes sense. She’s never seen him drink blood, he’s not fought a werewolf and more importantly she hasn’t established their existence aside from a dream, and then there’s “immortal.”

By immortal she means “deathless.” Vampires aren’t immortal, never were never are because of one fact: they can be killed. Every vampire movie/story establishes this. Greek gods are immortal. By most people’s misuse of this word Zombies are immortal and no one will stand by that. Bella, again, has no proof of this and neither do we. Just that Jacob said Dr. Carlisle could be the same thing that made a deal with his great grandfather. Bella is worse than a Creationist in the respect that she’s already arrived at a conclusion and now she’s making up evidence to fit the proof. There is however a snag:

And then another problem, one that I’d remembered from the small number of scary movies that I’d seen and was backed up by today’s reading–Vampires couldn’t come out in the day time, the sun would burn them to a cinder.

Well no, that’s not even remotely true. “Haven’t you read the Irishman’s fable,” asked Dracula to Blade in Blade III while standing in the sunlight. There isn’t the consistency that Bella finds here and it’s unclear whether any Vampires are killed by the day or the sun, and as Meyer placed our story in an area with little sunshine she doesn’t have that proof either. The research she does is understandable but completely useless if she already has a conclusion in mind.

Categories: Book Walkthroughs, reviews
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