Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > Bella and Mike (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 216-222)

Bella and Mike (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 216-222)

In an effort to be fair, I do have to admit that the whole experience between Edward and Bella in Biology class is really well written. The awareness that she shows towards his presence is very realistic and her descriptions of the whole experience is quite explicit, “I was stunned by the unexpected electricity that flowed through me, amazed that it was possible to be more aware of him than I already was.”

What is shocking to me is that passages like this are so well accomplished and others so miserably done. Often times it really is difficult to reconcile this author with the author of the rest of the book. What it tells me is that Meyer is writing out of experience, her details are too vivid for this to be an alien experience. It’s either that or she’s the most inconsistent writer that I have ever read given that other passages are so bland and her characters so unlikable. When Eddie comments, “That was interesting” referring to the electricity that Bella already spoke of it makes sense. We, those of us having been in the situation of proximity to an intense crush, know exactly what he is talking about. For once the hypothetical vampire comes through just as we expect. He acknowledges the feeling, the experience, and then he drops it. It’s like the moment when your eyes lock with someone, you smile, they smile, but you never mention that one moment because it doesn’t need to be spoken of.

Those experiences are forces of nature, they aren’t comprised of anything tangible but they can knock you down. The movie over in biology, Bella stands up…carefully, “I stood with care, worried my balance might have been affected by the strange new intensity between us.” It’s too bad really, because everything goes downhill from there. Her balance has never been displayed as being that bad. She sucks at sports, therefore gym, but this care she’s exhibiting is false. She’s only telling us this because she needs to remind us how much she sucks at life. She’s an outcast, we get it Stephanie, stop beating us over the head with the reminders. At this point in the narrative, the imbalance gun can never be fired to our satisfaction, we are going to be disappointed but how much we are is up to her, and I fear for the future.

After Biology, it’s coincidentally on to Gym where they are playing Badminton. I don’t know much about the sport aside from the fact that it is a cross between tennis and volleyball, and the thing you hit is called a “shuttlecock;” I am confused as to why this is a gym sport (or an Olympic sport for that matter). Furthermore isn’t following up Volleyball with Badminton a bit overkill on the part of the “lobbing” sports. Why not follow these two up with tennis just to round it out?

Then Chivalrous Mike appears. Mike, we may remember, is now dating Jessica whilst carrying the torch for Bella who doesn’t like him in that way. We know why, it’s because Mike is too nice to Bella. Mike is the equivalent of John Cusack in Say Anything or any of the other movies from that period. Where Edward sort of pays attention to Bella and treats her with disdain. In this respect Bella seems pretty normal, the nice guy routine never works. In keeping with the stereotype of this alleged code of chivalry Mike volunteers to be on Bella’s team, “Don’t worry I’ll keep out of your way.’ He grinned. Sometimes it was so easy to like Mike.”

So easy to like Mike, but not easy enough. While Bella is the surrogate for the intended audience of the book, Edward isn’t the male substitute, Mike is. Which is why Meyer throws him a girlfriend, this way the teenage males reading a vampire novel aimed at teenage women won’t hate Bella for ditching Mike. Aside from being the pathetically nice guy Mike’s handicap is that he’s not Edward. He needs a little more of the bad guy in him, for sure, but that isn’t enough. The superficial Bella needs more than just a guy that won’t treat her right, she needs to be apart from everyone else. This was plainly obvious the first time she drooled with envy staring at the Cullens sitting by themselves while everyone noticed them but didn’t pay attention to them. Mike is pretty transparent, people know who he is, he throws the gatherings and arranges for the parties. You can pretty much count on the fact that even if Mike wasn’t told about Jessica* he was going to have a date. He isn’t too nice, he’s just a decent person. And being that, we really ought not to spend too much time wondering why Bella ditched him.

He volunteers to be on her team, as I said, because no one else will (we gather) and he’s her friend. The games begin, “I somehow managed to hit myself in the head with my racket and clip Mike’s shoulder on the same swing.” So she’s retarded now!?

Bella’s problems just rack up don’t they. When I first read this passage I did the “magic bullet” recreation scene from JFK in a futile attempt to figure out how she accomplished hitting herself in the head and someone else. The only thing that I could come up with is that she did it on purpose. In retrospect, I think there might be some veracity to this idea. She’s always claiming that she’s clumsy but we never see it. We only hear about it when she’s talking about how Gym class went, but we never actually live through her experience in Gym.

As soon as the class ends the tone of the narrative switches. It’s no longer recollections about gym class in the past tense** but is now in real time as she talks with Mike about Edward. Mike, being a concerned friend, worries about Bella and her new relationship. Bella responds quite reasonably…for her, “That’s none of your business Mike,’ I warned, internally cursing Jessica straight to the fury pits of Hades.

Setting aside the fact that Hades doesn’t have fury pits, she’s being a bitch here. First off, why is she even angry at Jessica? She told Jessica about the secret relationship, she knows that Jessica likes to talk, and she knows that Jessica is seeing Mike. What did she expect Jessica to do, clam up and not talk about it?

Secondly, of course her relationship is his business, he’s her friend-in fact Mike is the first person she met in Forks that wasn’t a creepy anime loving sweat hog named Eric. If he’s worried about her he should express it, that’s what friends do right? The fact that he liked her poisons his testimony but why doesn’t he approve of this relationship?

He looks at you…like you’re something to eat.’ Ok this is a lame attempt at humor. We know that he does this because we know something about him that Mike doesn’t, that’s the humor. A halfway decent writer would just let this joke out and then cease from acknowledging it ever again, perhaps out of embarrassment at something that seemed funny at 2am. What does Meyer do? Something no one telling a joke ever should, laugh at it herself, “I choked back the hysteria that threatened to explode, but a small giggle managed to get out despite my efforts.”

Mike is expressing concern for her, however steeped in jealousy that concern might by and she laughs in his face. Remember last post when I mentioned that she ought to go to the dance because she would have friends there? Well, she should have just lost one. Her reactions are full of pretension and arrogance, entirely appropriate for a woman that thinks she just married into the Medici. This is a telling aspect of her personality, showing something that I knew she had way back in the beginning: her sense of superiority. She laughs at Mike not because he’s wrong, or in this case more correct than he knows, but because he shouldn’t dare question her relationship with Edward. Someone beneath her is showing concern for her, the absurdity of the situation amuses her.

Bumping back into Edward after Gym class, Edward confesses that Mike is getting on his nerves. This makes sense because Edward and Mike are more like rivals than friends. Edward, not used to being around high school kids read Mike’s mind and new what was up. This is telling because I could have told you once the Mike character was established that he would have a problem with her dating Edward. Yet Eddue needed his magical vampire powers, what exactly has he been doing for the last hundred years? Bella gets upset, yelling at him, “You weren’t listening again?”

Of course he was, he’s an abusive obsessive boyfriend. He can’t listen to her thoughts but he can listen to everyone else’s. What I’m amazed about is her surprise, because she never asked him to not do it. In fact he specifically commented earlier in the chapter that he was going to listen, and Bella has been feeding Jessica information specifically because she knew he was going to listen. She’s such a hypocrite.

They get to the car slipping past a crowd of guys admiring Rosalie’s blending-in-mobile, a BMW M3 Convertible. Bella, revealing her vanity once again, notices that none of the guys around the car pay attention to her and her new secret boyfriend as they speed off together in another example of Bella’s ignorance of what the word “secret” means.

*The women are going to be the ones actually in charge of the social life at Forks HS, being that this book is written by a woman. If you think about it all of those John Hughes movies (with rare exception) the men controlled life at the school being a male director.

** Yeah, yeah, the whole book is a first person recollection, I get that. Most of the book can be considered ‘live’ she’s telling us what happened as it happened, but the actions scenes are done as a playback.

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