Home > Book Walkthroughs, Twilight > Narcissism (The New Moon Walkthrough Pg. 225-228)

Narcissism (The New Moon Walkthrough Pg. 225-228)

“Jacob didn’t call.”

Jake not calling is a big deal, but I wonder why it is for Bella. I say it’s a big deal because we know that he is infatuated with Bella from last chapter and since they have been spending so much time together him not calling is odd. It’s especially odd since he told her that he would call, and the sickness that everyone had seemed to pass over in a day. Could Bella be showing signs of humanity in her narcissistic worldview? Perhaps. We should note that this is the first sign of actual concern for another human being that she has. It’s entirely altruistic, concerned with the other person without referring it back to herself or how her life would be affected.

Bella calls a couple of times and is not able to get through. She then has her dad call Harry Clearwater, friend of Billy’s, to find out what is going on. From this circular route, which is a reasonable way of going about things I suppose, we find out three things: 1) Harry has been in the hospital for some kind of heart thing. 2) The phone lines have been messed up on the Reservation so that’s why Bella hasn’t been able to get through. 3) Jacob has mononucleosis.

Number 2, seems like a lame story but we must remember that this is the next day. The phones being down could just be a coincidence although phone companies do tend to put up a recording informing of the problem. The fact that Jacob has mono (or is claimed to have mono), explains some of his symptoms. I’ve saved the first thing for last, Harry’s heart problem because of the reaction Bella has to it:

Charlie was too worried about Harry. That was clearly the more important issue–it wouldn’t be right to bug him with my lesser concerns.”

This leads us to a discussion about one of the main problems with this book, and the last one. That of artificial tension between characters. Tension ought to arise from natural personality conflicts, or competing mutual desires ala Thomas Hobbes. For instance we understand that tension between Mike and Jacob at the movies last chapter because they both, for some reason, want Bella. It makes sense, it’s identifiable, etc. The problem with this series thus far is that we know that there is tension between two characters because we are told there is tension, without any evidence for it. Furthermore, Bella’s frequent impatience or anger at her father is utterly fictional. We can picture her rolling her eyes at her dad’s concern for his friend, but why? The “lesser concern” of hers is just that: it’s a lesser concern. Mononucleosis, isn’t treatable and just goes away on its own.

I should know, I had it my second year of college. Harry’s heart problem is potentially fatal, and Bella being the selfish narcissist that she is shows impatience at her father for being more concerned with the person who could die. This is very similar to Bella hiding Edward from her father in the first book. It didn’t make any sense for her to do it, Charlie spoke of nothing bad about the Cullens going so far as to admire Carlisle and his family. Yet Bella thought it of some importance to hide her boyfriend from him. The conflict with Lauren is the same way, it comes out of the same place that the character of Lauren comes from: nowhere. However we are told that Lauren is a bitch and are supposed to read the story as though she is one. If Bella didn’t like Harry for some reason it would make some sense or if Jacob’s health was in the same danger as his it would be the same thing.

Bella does some web research on Mono, finds out the usual stuff and is aghast when she discovers that it could last a month. Yeah, that’s possible, but a bit on the rare side. A couple weeks is usually the case. She’s suspicious though, thinking that Jacob didn’t act sick until he was sick on the phone. Maybe…

She forgets the situation with Mike. Jacob was smart, he used Mike’s sickness to play up his inherent weakness as a mate. With that in mind we might understand that if Jacob had symptoms he wouldn’t have told Bella about them because it would completely scupper any game he was building on Bella. She could, I suppose, plead ignorance of this sort of behavior but it seems that she should at least be aware of it as a possibility.

A week passes, and we are thankfully spared the details of the passage of time. However, we are treated to the dependency that Bella has on other people to be around. Her nightmares have returned, she wakes up screaming, gets shortness of breath all of the time. I’m beginning to think that she has a medical issue herself. Some kind of heart arrhythmia along with sleep apnea would be my amateur diagnosis.

The week is up and she decides she’s going to call. She gets through to Billy, finally, who explains that Jacob didn’t have mono but some other virus. Billy also explains that Jake is better he’s just gone for the day with some of his friends: “Jacob was better, but not well enough to call me. He was out with friends. I was sitting home, missing him more every hour. I was lonely, worried, bored…perforated–and now also desolate as I realized that the week apart had not had the same effect on him.”

First off, how is one “bored” and then “perforated.” Those two words aren’t related in any bit. The ellipses that connects them indicates thought, the narrator has to think of the word they want and the previous word must have something to do with it. If perforated is a metaphor for “empty” or “hollow” then you have to use those words because “perforated” doesn’t mean the same thing. Unless she feels “holy.*” I’m also not buying her use of the word “desolate” here. “Desolate” is like a desert or a forest after a raging fire has just passed through. People can’t feel desolate, but they can feel isolated or solitary which is what I think she meant.

Finally, the whole point of that couple of sentences is to show that Bella is hurt by Jacob not calling once he was better. Well guess what sweetie, you brought that on yourself. Last chapter Jacob confessed his crush, Bella blew him off, Jacob pressed, and Bella told him that “you shouldn’t waste it (his time) on me,” that she was never going to change her mind, etc. Jacob has moved on but now Bella feels insulted because Jake did exactly as she said he ought to? Yep this chick is definitely worth having around.

*I know, it was lame.

  1. October 11, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Yeesh, can this girl not function normally without a man in her life?

    • rdxdave
      October 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

      Apparently not, she’s supposed to be your role model.

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