Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > Character Creation (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 290-307)

Character Creation (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 290-307)

I remember in the early days of the video game console revolution, when the NES was king with that usurper the Sega Master System approaching from behind, there were the epic length role playing games that came over unsullied from Japan. These games were long, 48 hours worth of story long, not today’s bullshit random item collection hunt to pad out the length of the game (Gears of War). One of the things that always intrigues me about getting them, and then always getting disappointed, was the character customization portion. It promised that you would be creating a character from scratch but in the long run all you really did was pick a name and a job for it. I didn’t understand the limitations on memory and computing power then, but I do now. Books, however have no such limitation even though they hold only about 1mb of data. The writer can literally do anything with their pen/keyboard.*

Good writers learn restraint, so as not to actually do anything they want. Which is why this book completely ruins one of the few decent dialogues between Edward and Bella with this, “She knows things. She sees things–things that might happen, things that are coming. But it’s very subjective. The future isn’t set in stone.”

Alice is the Pythia, this is getting to be too much. Not only do these vampires have no real weaknesses but now they have special powers that extend beyond just the “normal” vampire advantages. This only indicates that Meyer was getting bored so she had to mix the story up a bit by adding mystery into the plot. Now that everyone has superpowers they can each apply them into suspenseful situations that will come up specifically because of their powers. For instance Edward being attracted to the only person for whom he can’t read the mind of, even though his mental powers have contributed nothing to the story thus far.**

Alice, having precognition is going to hamper the story more than it is going to help, because now, everything that happens we have to ask ourselves, ‘why didn’t Alice see it coming?’ Especially because, as Edward explains, that her power is more accurate when dealing with their own kind. So any vampire problems or conflicts she should anticipate, and since she’s supportive of the relationship she is a powerful ally. Of course, in order to maintain any sort of suspense the power will only be brought up when convenient, just like the ship’s counselor on Star Trek: The Next Generation.***

My other problem with Alice’s new powers is that it is so obviously cribbed from Yoda’s description of the same in Empire Strikes Back. “Always emotion the future is,” emotion being purely subjective which is exactly what Edward is saying now. Which of course doesn’t make sense since the future is a set of events, it can’t be subjective.

The whole description is self-contradicting. If she can see what is coming then she is seeing the future, which means that it is set in stone, if it were to come true. If it doesn’t come true because we have the ability to master fate, then her power is useless. In either case subjectivity is not possible, if it’s up to interpretation she’s no better than a Roman soothsayer or Sylvia Browne–accurate only based on what people want to hear.

The worst thing is how they squander their talents. Edward could be a world class Chess player provided he never plays computers, and Alice could run a psychic network or a gambling house, but instead they are in a little town playing high school. The other Cullens must have powers too right? Well they do and I’ll summarize in list form, skipping Alice and Edward: Dr. Carlisle: compassion, Esme: Passion, Rosalie: Stubborness, Emmet: Strength, and Jasper: Can implant emotions in people.

Carlisle has a theory…he believes that we all bring something of our strongest traits with us into the next life where they are intensified–like our minds and our senses.”

Carlisle’s theory makes a good deal of sense. Since everything else is heightened in vampirism their strength, speed, hearing, etc. why not add to that? Of course his theory is only good at explaining the ridiculous. Some of the Cullens have legitimate powers Alice, Edward, and Jasper; but their powers aren’t explained by Carlisle’s theory. Alice it seems must have been a little psychic before becoming a Vampire and is now full blown. That’s like explaining why gravity works by dropping something…we know things fall, we need to know why they do. Alice was already psychic that’s why she’s psychic now? It’s not an explanation it’s just a rephrasing of the question.

Jasper’s ability makes a bit more sense, Edward explains that he must have been charismatic as a human which explains his ability to inspire crowds or individuals. I’ll buy that, but how charismatic could he have been at 16 during the Great Depression? Or Edward, his telepathy can’t be explained by normal human ability. He was good at paying attention to people’s reactions? Or is he telepathic because he was slightly telepathic as a human. I’m just looking for consistency here, not realism, although I’m finding neither.

The others’ powers aren’t really powers though. How is Carlisle “super-compassionate?” Aside from his ability to stalk Chicago high schools looking for teenage boys to sink his teeth into I’m not understanding what Meyer means. Same with Esme, and her ability to “love passionately.” What does that mean? Is her passion just limited to love, or if she gets angry she’s Hulk-like?

Rosalie gets it the worst though, being stubborn isn’t a super power. Unless she becomes a literal immovable object she has no advantage over me when it comes to fixing my mind. Ooooh, she won’t bend her will-how unlike a two year old. Emmet, yeah super strength is a good thing, but then don’t all vampires have that? Or is he strong beyond them?

The best thing about the list is that you can see from it who is going to be of future use in the story. The ones with useful powers are going to be protagonists and the ones that are useless are either non-entities or antagonists. I’m guessing that Rosalie was against the relationship as was Emmet. That family has a bit of dysfunction in it, because what Jasper wants I’m sure he just implants. Unless the deus ex machina of the author comes down and limits that power to humans. Of course he could probably get a good job working political rallies, but then again all of these abilities are indications that one thing vampirism didn’t give them was super-intelligence.
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*I put this to the test when I was just of grad school, by attempting to write the most implausible science fiction story ever. I threw in every cliche I could think of from zombies to cyborgs (and even the hybrid “zomborg”), to AI cities and Vampire/Angel wars. The trouble that I had was that the story was getting out of hand for me, I found myself writing ten page back stories for certain characters attempting to explain their powers and where they came from. I actually have a fifty page back story that explains one character which takes place 10,000 years before the main work. The trouble is that each cliche reminds the reader that they are reading a story.

**If you think about it, even his finding of Bella in Port Angeles was based on a guess. There is no way that Bella’s possible attackers could have known who they were stalking, therefore Edward couldn’t have known even by reading their thoughts. The only thing he did know is what they were possibly going to do.

***Seriously, what kind of contribution did she ever have aside from stating the obvious? “I feel anger,” she remarks to the Captain as the enemy ship has just cut off communications and powered up their weapons.

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