Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > The Date Pt. I (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 260-266)

The Date Pt. I (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 260-266)

I was hoping to knock this chapter off in one entry. I figured that the two lovebirds are on their first date, they would banter a bit and it would be cheesy, and there would be the reveal about the sunlight thing. I was pretty sure that I would spend most of the post talking about their banter and whether or not it fit with typical high school first dates, bringing to the reader’s attention that Edward should not be having that banter. This was not to be, because of what happened when Edward stepped into the light. In the prelude and on the side bar at the “official” site of the series I have mentioned that I am going through the book page by page, I haven’t read ahead. I only read a chunk of pages until I know that I have enough material, I’m mentioning it because nothing could have prepared me for the effect of sunlight on Edward: “His skin, white despite the faint flush from yesterday’s hunting trip, literally sparkled like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in his skin.”

Not only is he dreamy mcdreamy, but his skin looks like it has been encrusted in diamonds? I re-read the line over and over again, hoping that Meyer was using the word “literally” wrong. The best case scenario was that she messed up and really meant to type the word “figuratively” like when people say, “I was literally beside myself with anger.” Nothing in the context of this section can be interpreted to mean that she had made that mistake. It just seems to be too much. His skin sparkles like the vault of heaven beneath the light of the moon?

This isn’t bad for vampires, we have to give Meyer some leeway as far as making up her own world, but I must repeat the question I asked last week, “what is the downside to being a Meyer vampire?” Now that we know that sunlight just enhances its appearance in the eyes of a star struck (that’s a really literal statement now) teen-age girl only the diet seems to be a difficulty but there are two solutions to that: the first being to substitute animal blood while the second would be to live by a different morality and just eat people.

The only downside to being Edward is the contradictory and sociopathic nature by which one must carry themselves at all times. We read description after description of how dreamy and angelic he is, especially in the midday sun. Bella and Edward share an intimate moment laying with each other, with her gently stroking the blue veins on his…hand. Then, like all men on first dates, Edward ruins it by opening his mouth. I don’t know why we think that talking is going to make it better, but we can’t help ourselves. The only trouble is that he’s only loud enough that she can tell he’s saying something, but not what. What is he doing? “But, when I asked, he told me he was singing to himself.”

This is quite ridiculous. Do Meyer’s vampires whither and die unless they are constantly getting attention or is he just really working out that tortured artist side that he should have out grown about 75 years ago? Neither really makes that much sense, the former doesn’t work because they are practically laying on each other in the meadow. The latter is just plain stupid but it would fit in with his character, minus ever actually working on his art. One thing we can be sure of is that his voice is the most beautiful thing that Bella has ever heard, let’s put that aside for a second because we are going to need it.

We then proceed on to the cringe worthy, “what are you thinking?” question. The thing about it is, that while it’s accurate, it’s not something anyone wants to read. People don’t like being asked the question because it causes the hearer to instantly draw a blank on what they were thinking about. It’s like describing someone brushing their teeth, everyone does it but unless you are going to bring something new to the description it becomes trite. This is, of course, a problem for a first time writer which should be exorcised by the second book. The argument could be made that with telepathy this is something new, but since Edward cannot read Bella’s mind so we are back to the couple laying in the meadow.

Bella answer’s Edward’s question about her thoughts with this, [Note to reader: take the voice thing off the back-burner we need it now] “I was wishing that I could believe that you were real. And I was wishing that I wasn’t afraid.” Edward is so good-looking, so perfect, that she can’t believe he is real. Not the fact that he is a vampire, that all vampire literature has essentially lied to her, and that he’s literally shining in the sun; all of that is taken at face value. It’s only that he’s uber handsome which causes her to go all Cartesian on the subject. Bella behaves a lot like my daughter here: everything that can be seen or touched is verified as true ala Irish Bishop George Berkeley, yet her reaction to the physical world–the emotional content in it has to be doubted before it is believed. My daughter does this as well but she’s yet to turn two so I don’t give her a hard time about it. Bella doesn’t have this excuse she becomes some sort of anti-experience empiricist where she doubts the things that should be accepted and accepts the things that she should question.

He’s too perfect for her. Which seems odd given her rejection of other people that don’t quite measure up to the bar he sets at their high school. It’s false humility. No action she has taken has led us to believe for an instant that she thinks herself unworthy of his attention. She’s said as much, but the words don’t mesh as she scorns every other person she knows for not being him or a Cullen. Since day one at Forks HS, she knew that she deserved a place at their table. We are constantly being reminded of how perfect he is, but in being so perfect he actually becomes imperfect. Even Jesus got angry and kicked some ass one day in violation of his principles. It makes him more human, not less which is why I’m sure that little story is included in the Bible.

If you ever seen a person so beautiful they look fake you know what I am talking about. It’s those imperfections that set us apart from one another, that can make a perfect person even more gorgeous. If it wasn’t for that mole above her lip, none of us would have ever heard of the name Cindy Crawford (who was on the cover of Maxim at the age of 40). Yet Edward’s looks are too angelic, perfect in all resepects, and because he’s a vampire it meant that as a human he looked the same. Becoming a vampire means taking a snap shot at the time of the turning and that is how they will always be. Which means that he must have been the most perfect looking person in the whole 19th century, which could be possible but I doubt it. Making the vampire attractive, in all instances of it in literature is just a cheap way out for the author. It makes it easier for vampires to get prey and fit in. Whereas an overweight or too skinny ashen blood sucker would have some difficulty. It also makes us want to be one. Yet there is no reason for us to assume that being vampire is going to make a fat girl thin, or a skinny guy into the muscular adonis of Edward. The more perfect the description the less perfect the impression, especially since the intended audience isn’t going to be sharing this appearance.

She mentions also that she wishes that she wasn’t afraid, but we don’t know what she is afraid of. Bella remains characteristically and frustratingly quiet on the subject. She always reminds us of the fear she has regarding her relationship with Edward but never what that fear is rooted in. It’s not of Edward, not even that he’s scary-sexy kind of way. Edward tells her, “I don’t want you to be afraid.”

This just pisses me off, because we know that first off, he does want her to be afraid. He’s repeatedly reminded her throughout the story that she should be afraid of him. Secondly, this tells us that he knows what she means but neither of them are explaining it to us. It has to be that because Edward’s following actions make no sense if he doesn’t want her to be afraid of him.

Their faces get close, too close, you know the scene in every romance movie right before the two main characters kiss. Or the scene in every romantic comedy movie where the noses begin to touch and then someone interrupts them, that’s where we are at. This of course is the vampire movie so getting that close to the human is going to bring out his true nature. The movie Vampire Hunter D: Blood Lust, has a good version of it. The vampire Meier Link is being embraced by Charlotte and he looks down. His vision shows the red veins in her neck causing him to shake as he violently represses his being. It works there. Here, the vampire just runs without warning or set up and it comes across as cheap.

Then he goes about displaying his power. He runs around the meadow in seconds, he breaks and shatters a two foot thick branch, all the while bragging about how easily he could snuff out the candle of Bella’s life. He ends such a tired display by saying, “Don’t be afraid.”

It’s just so sad that all we have for their attraction is physical. He’s like the villain jock in an 80s teen comedy, all looks, no brains, and no personality. How about a guy who looks half as good, shows intelligence, and is also keeping the secret of being a vampire an actual secret? It would make for a much better character. You could even keep the Bella character complete throwing in theme of which person is the real predator the vampire or her. That would be a better story and a better lesson as well. But we must set aside hypotheticals because Edward has a point to make.

He could break her in half, she has no hope of out running him, and she should, “Never forget that I am more dangerous to you than I am to anyone else.”

Why is he so specific about his danger to her? It certainly isn’t the fact that they are alone in the woods with no witnesses. It’s not that she not only couldn’t run but also doesn’t want to. It’s not that she apologizes when he almost kills her. No, it’s going to get quite lame even by cliche standards.

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