Sunday, July 17, 2011
New Moon Chapter 23 - The Truth
1. The chapter opens with Bella spending way too much time talking about dreams of her recent experiences. Noting, of course, that “It was the angel that was most clear.” She wakes up to, of course, find Edward there, and, of course, decide he’s not really there and just enjoy the delusions. There’s a difference between “imperfect” and “insufferable,” Meyer.
I’m not blowing anyone’s mind by saying this, but it really is Edward and yeah, he really is still interested in Bella. “Did I frighten you?” he asks upon seeing her awake. Look at what she did to hang onto the memories, dude.
Bella even starts jabbering about how she must be dead. “But I can’t imagine what you could have done to wind up in hell. Did you commit many murders while I was away?” Look at my little list of what she did, you might get a few ideas that’ll get her invited to Satan’s next luau.
“Obviously not. If I was in hell, you wouldn’t be with me.” Oh yes, because he’s such a beacon of right and morality. Because killing yourself over someone is a sign of the truest devotion, not an indication that you’re disturbed and insecure with the knowledge that they loved you. Let’s have a chapter full of this maudlin crap, please!
2. In fact, while I’ve still got the chance to talk about the love suicides of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, can I point out something else worrisome I’m not sure the author’s aware of? Check out the dedication from Eclipse.
I don’t mean to downplay the kind of devotion where someone’s willing to give their life for the sake of someone they love. That’s the greatest kind of devotion in the world. But setting out to kill yourself over the death of a loved one and being willing to lay down your life for a loved one aren’t the same thing. At all. And with how killing themselves to escape a world without the other's portrayed as an act of overwhelming devotion, I don't know that the author knows that.
3. They talk some about how Bella’s an idiot and one manifestation of that is she’s surprised to hear Charlie’s banned Edward from the house. Which obviously won’t stop our pure respectful hero or they wouldn’t be having this conversation.
“I was going to have a few words with my father--perhaps it would be a good time to remind him that I was over the legal age of adulthood.” Maybe he forgets because she never acts like it. And to think she was fighting that little fact so hard at the beginning of the book. I’d say it means Bella’s grown a little, but it’s just another example of anything to be with Edward. She was like that from the moment she fixated on him. She still whines about the passage of time on her when Edward tries to hold off on her becoming a vampire.
4. This chapter devolves into yet another excruciating gabfest between our leads. Seriously, do we need all this space to wind things down?
Edward says he owes her an apology for doing what he did, “No, of course I owe you much, much more than that.” Does he? Look, if his presence in her life is the only thing keeping her from going on a suicidal spree and vice versa, well…That’s not completing someone. And it certainly isn’t anything to be happy about or apologize for taking way. The person who’d do that needs help.
5. Edward also apologizes for forgetting about Victoria, saying “I just didn’t see that she had this kind of response in her. That she had such a tie to him.” So his telepathy isn’t so great after all if he couldn’t predict that, or maybe he’s come to rely on that so much he never thought that maybe the evil vampire predator lady person who was the girlfriend of the guy who wanted to hunt Bella for fun might want to get even. Or finish the game. Or something. No matter how you slice it, Edward’s still a moron for leaving Bella to start a new life without him without doing something about Victoria.
That’s nothing compared to her hanging out with Jacob and his buddies, though. I mean, “when I realized that you had to put your life in the hands of werewolves, immature, volatile, the worst thing out there besides Victoria herself”…Oh yeah, vampires are so much better, Mr. Vampires Are Easily Distracted, Mr. I Have The Urge To Feast On My Own Girlfriend, Mr. I Skipped Town Because My Brother Gave Into The Urge To Feast On My Girlfriend, Mr. I Forgot My Sister Hates My Girlfriend And Turned To Assisted Suicide.
6. Oh, it gets better. Bella tries to get Edward not to blame himself for what happened. “You can’t take responsibility for the things that happen to me here. None of it is your fault, it’s just part of how life is for me So, if I trip in front of a bus or whatever it is next time, you have to realize it’s not your job to take the blame.” I guess that’s not his job, but I would be off-base in saying the near-misses she had with death after he left were of her own making? Nothing accidental about any of them?
This is the kind of stuff I’m talking about when I say I can’t trust the narrator. She’s either an idiot or a liar, and if it’s the latter remember this is the guy she thinks is her soul mate. The truest love she’ll ever have, that anyone can ever have. And if she’s lying, it sounds like she wants him to stop brooding so they can get back to their non-sexual private time. Or talk about when she gets her own sparkles.
“I know it’s your…your nature to shoulder the blame for everything.” Is that why they get along so well?
7. Edward comes back with this: “Do you believe that I asked the Volturi to kill me because I felt guilty?” He would’ve done that even if he hadn’t felt responsible for enabling Bella’s death in some fashion, he says.
“Obviously, I should have been more careful--I should have spoken to Alice directly, rather than accepting it secondhand from Rosalie. But, really, what was I supposed to think when the boy said Charlie was at the funeral?” That some weirdo he didn’t know and had no reason to trust was answering the phone in Bella’s house? And giving really vague answers, to boot? I’m sorry, Edward’s still a reactive idiot. If he had kept his cool and asked whose funeral, or asked to get in touch with Charlie because Carlisle thought he left the gas on so he could ask, none of that would’ve needed to happen.
“I’ll never criticize Romeo again,” Edward adds, evidently realizing he’s just as able to make bad judgment calls as that tragic hero of yore. Edward honestly doesn't think Charlie knows anyone whose funeral he'd be willing to attend other than his daughter's??
8. Hope you’re sitting down for this next one but it turns out Edward DIDN’T ask the Volturi to kill him because he felt responsible for Bella’s supposed death which he didn’t bother to confirm. He did it because he doesn’t want to live in a world without her. He still cares after all…oh wait, you already knew that? Yeah, me too.
That she believed him when he said he didn’t want her anymore, “That was…excruciating.” So don’t go out with a moron, moron.
“I hoped that, if you though I’d moved on, so would you.” He doesn’t know her very well, does he? Which makes the idea that their relationship will still be going strong when all the human characters are dead and buried a little problematic. And I’m pretty sure that’s what we’re meant to think from “I have always loved you, and I will always love you.”
Of course Bella’s never been able to accept that, even when times were so good. “It never made sense for you to love me.” I don’t feel like looking back to find out when it was, but didn’t she decide that love isn’t something that lends itself to logical thinking?
Reinforcing that word I’ve been using to describe him throughout this chapter, Edward asks down the page if Bella really has moved on like he intended. Oh yes, that’s why she dropped everything to hop a plane to Italy and risk certain death at the hands of the rulers of the world’s vampires to save his life. Because she’s moved on.
9. They do some back-together making out. Edward decides to stick around, partly because “It seems you can’t be safe, no matter how many miles I put between us.” Oh you mean all those things she did on purpose to trick herself into hallucinating his voice? Like she said she was willing to do to keep him close in the last book, before they were even a serious item?
10. To seal the deal Edward talks about how his life was like a moonless night but when she entered it “Suddenly everything was on fire, there was brilliancy, there was beauty” and it was gone after he left her. You’re still just saying they’re in love, Meyer, not what makes them such a good match. Let alone showing it. I’ve played hentai games where the love between two characters was more believable.
Bella’s an even bigger twit than I thought. “I wanted to believe him. But this was my life without him that he was describing, not the other way around.” If this is such a tale of boundless passion, why couldn’t it be the same? Does she not trust Edward despite loving him so much? What kind of idiot is she? Actually, I’ve already answered that question many times.
11. Back to the issue of Victoria and the Cullens’ incompetence. Edward claims that while he was away, he actually was hunting Victoria down but she sent him on a wild goose chase to Brazil, presumably looking for her on the west coast. Have those predatory instincts gotten rusty living among normal people, or is he just useless in general?
Like I’ve mentioned, the sighting of Victoria’s hair has been her only actual appearance in this entire book, and she wasn’t given much to do in the last one. We haven’t seen her do much to seem like a fearsome foe. However, we have seen Edward do a bunch of stupid things that didn’t work, in both books. He failed to scare Bella into staying away from him, his plan to protect her by leaving backfired when she started endangering herself on purpose, and he failed to anticipate Victoria wanting revenge and failed to find her trail when he did bother to think of it. I’m finding it harder to understand his appeal as this powerful inhuman creature with all the things Meyer’s doing to keep her story on track and keep Victoria as a viable menace.
Bella of course can’t bear to picture Edward trying to fight Victoria even with all of his family helping him, but after what he just admitted that’s easier to understand.
12. They discuss the threats of the various other supernatural creatures figuring into their lives now, but Edward thinks the Volturi aren’t as big a threat to Bella as Victoria. “Time means something very different to them than it does to you, or even me. They count years the way you count days. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were thirty before you crossed their minds again.” If you guessed the thought of ever being thirty horrified Bella, give yourself a cookie. Or read a smarter book.
Likewise, she’s horrified because she thinks that DESPITE EVERYTHING HE JUST SAID ABOUT LOVING HER FOREVER, having AN EVIL VAMPIRE THAT OUTWITTED HIM ALREADY after her, and that by leaving her mortal he’d eventually be CONDEMNING HER TO DEATH AT THE VOLTURI’S HANDS, he doesn’t plan on sticking around. This is dumb, Meyer. Isn’t Bella supposed to be smart? Smarter than her mortal “friends”?
He promises he won’t leave her, “but I will not destroy your soul.” Bella plays up her mortality, “But what about when I get so old that people think I’m your mother? Your grandmother?” Remember that dream sequence back at the start of the book? Yeah, me too. Not a whole lot happened for 519 pages.
Since when the hell does she care what other people think unless it impacts how easily she can get favors from them? And with Edward around and having access to anything money can buy, what would that matter to her?
This is kind of like the happenings over summer break. Maybe if we actually got to see Bella hanging out with her mortal “friends” and see that she really does care about them (and not flat-out admitting she doesn’t) and what they think of her, and not just see them as vehicles for favors, this wouldn’t sound like she was saying whatever she thought she needed to say to get what she wanted. Out of her true love, no less.
Anyway, Edward tells her that doesn’t mean anything to him, and because I want to get this stupid book over with I’ll assume he actually can see beyond the surface. Even if I’m not sure I want to know what he sees.
13. Asking once again about the Volturi, Edward replies he has “a few plans.” Which isn’t too compelling with how he dropped the ball with Victoria not once but twice now. Although of course Bella focuses more on the fact that they don’t involve her becoming a sparkly freak like him.
14. Bella claims “This isn’t just about you anymore. You’re not the center of the universe, you know.” Pardon me, won’t you? I need a second.
Ah-hahahahahahahahahahahaha ha ha ha HAW ha hahahahahahahahaha ha ha…ha…ha…ha…you stupid lying delusional bitchbag. Decide for yourself if I mean the narrator or author.
Edward’s totally the center of her universe. When he was gone everything revolved around making sure she remembered him. When she heard he was trying to kill himself, the only thing that mattered was stopping him, even if it meant destroying what was developing between her and Jacob. Don’t try to tell me the overriding reason she wants to become a vampire isn’t because she wants to be able to admire his prettiness for eternity.
The chapter closes out on Bella telling Edward to take her to meet with the rest of the Cullens. She’s going to call a vote for her becoming a vampire. Did we need to take all those pages to be able to close on that?