Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > And this Just Sounds Racist (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 349-354)

And this Just Sounds Racist (The Twilight Walkthrough Pg. 349-354)

It’s been decided that Bella is going to watch the vampires play ‘Thunderball’ later tonight. Edward is doing Bella a disservice here because Thunderball is one of the good Bond movies…but we aren’t talking about movies, we’re talking about some ridiculous game related to baseball that the vampires play during storms. Not having arrived at the game yet I must be emphatic that the only reason for them to do this is so that they look cool, dark, and mysterious in front of Bella. While the idea is no more ridiculous than Quidditch at least Quidditch served a purpose: to let the neophyte wizards learn their abilities and practice them competitively. To take a routine game like baseball and change it to night/thunderstorm baseball is pointless at best. It’s also not the vampires showing off, but Meyer showing off that the vampires are different. It’s like she needs to convince us that Bella needs to be impressed by them more so that she falls in love more, but by now if the reader doesn’t think she is hopelessly in his thrall they just aren’t paying attention.

Bella needs to go home and get some new clothes so they take her truck back to her house. At the door are the Blacks waiting. Edward snarls. Bella is confused but then comes to a realization, “He came to warn Charlie?’ I guessed more horrified than angry.

This whole section spirals downhill faster than I thought possible. It’s symptomatic of the entire book, we get a pretty decent section (the cuteness between Edward and Bella in his room), a small descent (the whole scene with Alice and Jasper), then the sudden Wile E. Coyote drop off the side of the cliff. They’ve seen the Blacks, but it’s doubtful that the Blacks have seen them and Edward needs to pick up Bella later. This isn’t a problem because, as we know, he just shows up to check on her whenever he needs to. He tells her that he will be back, “After your get rid of them–.”

He snarls at the Blacks and it comes off as racist. We know that the Cullens don’t like the Blacks and vice-versa, but what we don’t know specifically is why. As readers going through the book for the first time none of this makes sense. The old cliche of the “Magical/Wise Native,” activates here for the reader. The Blacks know that the Cullens are vampires because their magical legends tell them so.* For the purposes of the story we can buy this as an explanation. What we don’t know is why the Cullens hate the Blacks and it seems unreasonable for Edward not to explain any of this to Bella. It’s not strange that he doesn’t, because he never tells her anything that might be considered important, but for him to snarl and talk about “them” he should offer up something. Perhaps, Bella could ask about the myths that Jacob told her.

Edward vanishes and Bella invites the Blacks in. That’s when Billy and Bella get into it. Billy wants to tell Charlie that he should watch out for his daughter because of who she is dating. Of course, it’s not about who but what she is dating. In this respect, the whole thing comes off as racist but there’s a problem. How does Billy know that they are dating? He’s seen them together once, and that just happened a few minutes ago. Jacob might know a bit more, but only from distant rumors as he doesn’t even go to school with her. Maybe Billy saw them together the last time he popped over but his leap from seeing them talking to assuming they’re dating is too big to make. We know that Billy is right, but he can only be making an assumption based on the theoretical one time he’s seen them together before tonight. Unless he has the foresight as well.

Billy explains that the Cullens have a reputation and that is why he is looking out for his friend’s daughter. A noble motivation, but he never says what that reputation is, without explaining why he just comes off as racist. Which is appropriate because we are talking about another species here. Bella rolls with it, “But that reputation couldn’t be deserved could it? Because the Cullens never set foot on the Reservation, do they?

This fact-of the Cullens never setting foot on the Reservation-brings us waaay back to the beach trip in the beginning of the book. Sure this is a correct assertion, the Cullens do not set foot on the Reservation, but Bella leaves out the why. They don’t come there because they aren’t allowed on the Reservation. The eldest Black made that explicitly clear. We know why, Billy Black knows why, Bella knows why, but it’s unclear why Billy should make that assumption about Bella. They aren’t allowed, it’s not their part of town and they need to ‘git. The book heads in the typical direction of disapproval of the new boyfriend, “Though it would be my business, again, whether or not I think that it’s Charlie’s business right?”

The problem is that neither Bella nor Billy seem to be addressing two important facts: the first being that Bella is a teenager. She doesn’t know anything so she doesn’t really get to make decisions for her father’s friends. Billy just admits that she is more informed than he thought she was and then backs off. Really!? Your best friend’s teenage daughter just told you off and you are going to walk away? This is some shitty adulthood, but it’s nothing worse than any of the other parents we’ve seen in Forks. Charlie lets his daughter treat him like they are equals, Carlisle really has no idea what is going on with his brood, and now Billy Black lets some smart ass teenage girl run him off.

It’s especially weird because the second important fact is that Edward isn’t human. It’s in his nature to murder people and drink their blood, an action he’s admitted to doing already, but Billy just ignores this small fact. A fact, that he knows to be true or else he wouldn’t be there to warn Charlie of his daughter’s new boyfriend which is the fact that he shouldn’t actually know. Speaking of Edward, how come none of the Blacks inquired as to where exactly he went earlier when they noticed him in the car? No wonder the werewolves always lose.

*Which in fiction is always portrayed as being 100% accurate. If the wise old Indian says so it must be, and this tends to blend in with real life unfortunately. Just look at how many idiots believe in this Mayan Doomsday bullshit.

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