Thursday, December 9, 2010

Twilight Chapter 7: Nightmare

1. When Bella gets home from La Push her dad’s watching a basketball game, “though of course I had no idea what was special about it.” Probably not, her list of interests is pretty short: Edward Cullen and classic literature coming in a distant second. Yeah maybe she’s open to being friends with Jacob, but let’s not kid ourselves about the reason she wanted to hear his story having to do with anything other than learning more about Edward.

2. Bella goes upstairs and tries to sleep, but it’s too bright so she puts a pillow over her face. Did she turn off the lights or close the blinds? Didn’t say so, and the book wouldn’t be five hundred pages long if Bella was the type to leave out little details like that.

3. Finally getting to sleep, she has a dream about Edward being attacked by a wolf, and to make sure we know this is big-time drama she wakes up screaming and sitting bolt upright in bed. Sure that’s a fairly standard fiction trope but it only adds to the feeling, which will be going full throttle throughout this chapter, that Bella’s the mother of all drama queens. In any case it’s 5:30 in the morning.

4. Bella describes in detail how she eats breakfast, washes the dishes and puts them away, and picks up and puts away the CD player she was listening to when she fell asleep (and which fell on the floor when she woke up with such urgency). No, she really doesn’t seem like the type to leave anything out.

She goes online and spends a while doing research on vampires, and in case I do New Moon too, I’ll point out that nowhere does she find anything about them sparkling.

5. She gets out of the house to think about Edward’s deal and goes wandering around in the woods. I absolutely love how she thinks about the way Edward talks “with unfamiliar cadences and phrases that better fit the style of a turn-of-the-century novel than that of a twenty-first-century classroom.” Does she have any idea how that line of thought sounded?? The rest is more stuff about how she can’t imagine life without him which we needn’t go over.

6. Something that caught my eye was how Bella described her surroundings as a “darkening forest.” It was 5:30 when she woke up and noon when she gets back from her walk. Even if it’s rainy, shouldn’t it be getting lighter?

7. At school Mike asks what Bella did with the rest of her weekend, and she claims she spent it working on a class essay. “I didn’t add that I was finished with it — no need to sound smug.” No need to appear modest when dealing with the reader though, huh?

Her topic? “Whether Shakespeare’s treatment of the female characters is misogynistic.”

Ah-hahahahahahahahahaha! Mike “stared at me like I’d just spoken in pig Latin.” Who can blame him? With the way Bella’s treated it seems pretty doubtful even the author knows what “misogynistic” means. How could her characters?

8. Mike, seeming to see his chances with Bella slipping away, asks her out. The girls’ choice dance hasn’t even happened yet (the girls go dress-shopping for it in the next chapter) and already he’s trying to make a date with someone else.

She points out how this might hurt Jessica’s feelings and asks if he’s blind for not seeing how much Jessica likes him. You know Meyer, Bella’s not a sympathetic character for setting them up when her motivation is to free up her attention to obsess over Edward. Especially not when she threatens to “cheerfully beat you to death” if he ever mentions what she says. Don’t try to say Bella cares about helping her “friends” find their ideal partner when the majority of her time spent interacting with them sounds indifferent at best and annoyed at worst.

9. Bella’s day becomes a crushing spiral of desolation and torture when none of the Cullens are at lunch or biology. Wow, Bella sure is a boring narrator for the five-hundred-page recounting of the greatest love story of all time. I know she probably thinks she’s the first person in the world to have, gasp, problems, but come on. Constant whining’s even more annoying in a fictional person because we paid to listen to this.

10. Things aren’t any better after Bella gets home and tries to settle in with some Jane Austen, only to remember the hero of Sense and Sensibility is named Edward too. She starts on Mansfield Park, but the hero of that one’s named Edmund! Sheesh, you usually only see this level of cosmic mockery in the likes of Spongebob Squarepants.

11. When Charlie gets home Bella tells him she plans to go dress-shopping with two of her “friends” the following night. “I sighed as I gave him the details.” It’s such a drag to say you’re planning a night out with the girls, am I right?

Charlie approves of her trip and says he can cook his own dinner. After all, he did it for years before she moved back and took over the kitchen. “I don’t know how you survived,” Bella mutters. Yeah, Charlie! You don’t see your daughter being able to stand on her own two feet! Seriously, what the hell? Charlie’s about the most giving fictional parent I’ve ever seen, and Bella’s favorite thing about him is how “he doesn’t hover” unless he’s afraid she has a concussion. A lot of real teenagers who read this book probably wished they could trade their dad for him. Don’t take it out on him because Edward wasn’t around to let you ignore your survival instincts, Bells.

12. Another awful Edward-free day passes, but “I refused to think I might be shopping alone in Seattle this weekend, no longer interested in the earlier arrangement. Surely he wouldn’t cancel without at least telling me.” Yeah, not the boy who’s so secretive and hints she’s in danger by associating with him. There’s no way he’d bag on her.

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