exactly that

OK mzbitca…

I read through Chapter 6 (I am a fairly quick reader, and this is in no way a difficult read).  It’s extraneously wordy, and obviously written for a YA audience (though, I found HP easily more involving).

That said, I don’t hate Bella.  She is a bit whiney about her small town life.  She is bookish and smart.  Good for her, but a little less than willing to stand up for herself.  Being obnoxiously clumsy myself, I would laugh at her self description of being the same, but it is over used as an excuse to be down on herself.  The scenes from PE, though, are amusing…but in the first several chapters she seems like your average high school girl.  It feels like the author went to a lot of trouble to toss in some feminist road flares to earn some street cred…maybe it’s just me…

Is Bella written intentionally w/o personality, except for the part where she is a little harsh to all of the people who are so nice to her, despite her many claims to have difficulty fitting in?  She seems to be a bit of a boy magnet, and strikes me more as the type who wants to be invisible, despite being very well liked.  This reads very much like her journal direct from under her mattress…complete w/ all the mundane details…

The exchange at the beach b/t her and Jacob upset me.  Even though she admits it (to herself), she is being manipulative and unfair to this boy.  She says she could easily be friends w/ this boy, so I don’t really care for the way that she treats him during this exchange.  Also, the description of how she attempts to flirt w/ him is pretty funny, in that it feels forced in description.  Meyer is trying a little too hard here.

She is obsessing over this “boy”, but she is a teenage girl.  I remember what that is like.

I still find Edward a creepy stalker boy.  The kind who toys w/ you, and thinks he is being cute by trying to convince the nice girl that he is really the cute bad boy.  The description of him dragging her to his car after her near fainting incident is a little much.  Inside Bella’s mind, she is sure that she couldn’t escape him if she wanted to.  I am uncomfortable w/ this helpless imagery, it is too much like any type of assault that any young girl could experience at the hands of a young classmate.

I can’t say it enough, this behavior isn’t romantic, it is controlling and obsessive.

ETA: And then I got to this part: “I wanted nothing more than to be alone with my Perpetual Savior”.



Comments on: "OK mzbitca…" (22)

  1. Ugh I haven’t read chapter six yet… the perpetual saviour thing is something that’s going to piss me off to no end I can tell.

  2. It is going to take a lot of teamwork to get through this, that’s for damned sure!


    I think I need to start taking notes or something b/c I read too fast to remember everything I wanted to talk about. There seems to be an effort to deliberately make Bella feminist minded (like if you toss enough Jane Austen’s name around enough it gets you in the club, or if you can spell misogyny right…) while blowing all of that away w/ actions…it’s a very awkward place I find her in right now…

  3. I agree it’s like a different person depending on which paragraph you’re reading.

    That’s why I’m doing it chunks. I could easily read the whole thing in two days but I’m purposely reading it slowly and not letting myself read more than three chapters at a time. Otherwise I’d be done and forgetting what pissed me off in the first place

  4. good point.

    I am a novel killing machine. It is hard for me to slow down.

    I read Order of the Pheonix in a single day.

  5. well i watched the movie… it’s true–edward is rather controlling… but it’s kinda sweet almost…although if she can really think for herself, then she’d eventually stop obsessing over him…i didn’t obsess too much over boys back then…. hehe well maybe a lil ^_^

  6. Me too with reading the Order of the Phoenex in one day. I’m forcing myself to read Harry Potter slowly now and I’m finding I’m noticing things that I never had before, or i’m giving things more consideration. Plus it’s a good balance with the Twilight read.

  7. Good idea! Plus I just got all of my HP books out of storage to get ready for the Korea pack out. You are a genius.

    Lil’ sis…first of all “back then” o.O :lol:

    it’s almost sweet if you like being stalked. That is what Edward is. I just listened (well, read) to him explain how he followed Bella by reading her friend’s thoughts, then followed her scent. It’s one thing to feel protective of someone you love…it’s another to follow their every move and watch them when they sleep (w/o their knowledge).

    One thing I am noticing (and I am doing it too a little) is that people are getting angry w/ Bella, at her obsession, which I don’t find too abnormal for seventeen year old girl…I find it extreme in this case…but people are being hard on her and calling her “a bitch”, which I don’t think I have to explain makes me angry. Why all the blaming her?

    Isn’t he technically the older person and therefore supposed to be more responsible…and I dunno, not a creepy stalker?

  8. I’ll be reading chapter 6-9 tonight and hopefull posting as well.

  9. I agree that Bella has no personality. I have read some other analyses and it has been theorized that this is on purpose – if she is effectively a blank slate, it is easier for angsty YA readers to project themselves onto her and basically become the lead character.

    Also, has anyone else noticed that even though the nominal main character is Bella, it seems like the first person that is mentioned (and sometimes the only person on the movie posters, and definitely featured more prominently in the trailers, etc. etc.) is Edward? This annoys me. Even when we get a book with a female protagonist, she is still shuffled off into the wings. Rawr.

  10. I should have added – I saw a video that was interviews about the movie. They interviewed the producer and the director and the actor who plays Edward. No one else. i.e. NOT Bella. You know, the main character.


    Sorry, these books peeve me to no end. Not least because of the abusive relationship signals dripping out of Edward’s every glittering pore.

  11. I’ve read somewhere that the actress that played Bella received a LOT of animosity from many fans and she reported that she thought that Bella was a really weak character

  12. I read that too, MzB, and that she wanted to distance herself from that imagery.

    Did I read that on Jezebel? (the horror…I never read Jezebel)

  13. Margosita said:

    I also heard that the actress who play’s Bella gets pretty harsh treatment from fans. Fans adore Edward, have Edward Cullen fan clubs, etc… I’m not really surprised, I guess. Part of the anti-feminist rule book is getting women to hate other women, after all.

  14. It’s too bad really, b/c Meyer has done a damned fine job of making the character of Bella pretty terrible. There is a lot of room for her to really have that kick ass woman protagonist thing there, but she managed to (surprise) take a story that she says is really Bella’s story, and make it all about Edward. It is supposed to be Bella’s story, but we only hear about or see Edward in all the publicity. If this is truly Bella’s story, why don’t we see more from her, other than panic attacks at possibly not being w/ her “perpetual savior” every minute of the day?

    Younger girls I know who have read these books are telling me “be warned, Bella’s a bitch”*. To be honest, I can not find what it is that makes them react that way. They are also a little outraged when I tell them that Edward is abusive (but I am finding the entire relationship to be abusive, but I digress). When I explain it, they get it, but it takes a lot of careful explanation first.

    *I should be clear, I do not approve of that kind of thing. This should also show how even women and girls are programmed by society.

  15. Anne Onne said:

    OO bloggers I respect doing Twilight liveblogging!

    I agree that readers shouldn’t get mad at Bella. I’m an anime fan, and all too often, fans both male and female are really down on the female characters. Yes, a character may be boy-obsessed, or weak, or not do anything or make any choices, but she’s tht way because someone has written the plot in a way that makes her a prisoner to her gender as other people see her. It’s definitely important to analyse what role the author has put her in, and criticise the messages, but we should be careful not to ‘hate’ a female character simply for being female and being cast in the role society expects of women.

    I think the portrayal of Bella could be more balanced (we’ve all been obsessional teens, but even obsessive teens think about more than just boys), but it’s not Bella’s fault but the author’s and society’s as a whole. A big part of the problem isn’t that Bella’s imperfect (though she does seem to lack depth and strengths and motivations to balance the weaknesses) but that this obsessive, abusive relationship is presented as the be-all and end-all. Typical that fans might hate Bella whilst empathising with her, and love Edward, though. The creepiness of the stalking, overprotective-to-a-fault, patronising chivalrous protect-you-from-yourself behaviour is like the definition of mainstream romance to a lot of people. Wrong, seriously wrong.

    Mind you, I’m spitting feathers about Twilight, and I haven’t read one book in the series yet. I intend to, and liveblogging/taking notes is an excellent way to make sure to catch all the freaky things to show how off a lot of things about the book are. I like to criticise even the series I LOVE, so I find it hard to see people defend Twilight whilst refusing to see it has very troubling elements.

    So good luck with the rest of it! :) I look forward to seeing lots of thoughtful feminist perspectives.

  16. Anne Onne said:

    Oh yeah, and I want to add that I generally feel for the Bella-esque heroines in fiction. I don’t expect every female character to be perfect, super-strong, amazingly intelligent, always do the right thing etc. I find myself empathising with ‘typical girl characters’ and their struggles and weaknesses, depending on how well-written they are, and I find myself willing them on to grow, to show new strengths, to wise up that the bad boy isn’t worth it: to act like a real person and grow. I root for them, that the author may give them bigger parts, help them to learn to help themselves, and show them as capable of great things, despite insecurities or weaknesses. I want them to blossom, to begin to push the boundaries of the role they thought they had. And you’d think this works well in fantastical series, but no. Unfortunately, most authors never get past ‘girl with insecurities who obsesses about boys’. I like my heroines to transcend these normal problems, to learn and grow. I tend to just get girls who are left behind by a plot which wants to put them in the kitchen more than it wants to let them out into the world.

    I don’t think characters like Bella let the book down. I feel the book lets characters like Bella down.

  17. >i?I don’t think characters like Bella let the book down. I feel the book lets characters like Bella down.

    Yes. This.

    I really feel the author could have done more w/ her. A lot more. More to be fair to her, if this is, in the author’s own words, Bella’s story, and not actually Edward’s.

  18. […] Twilight blogging: Here, here, here, and […]

  19. Anne Onne said:

    I get it all the time. It’s a shame that I spend most of my time reading/watching anything wishing the creator had gone that bit further to make the female characters their own.

    It’s ironic that the series chronicles Bella’s thoughts (I hear in first person, correct me if I’m wrong), but that somehow it’s Edward and his motivations and moods that predominate the series.

    Maybe writing in first person was a mistake, in that writing thoughts accurately is a challenge, and likely to make the character in quesiton look vacuous and repetitive even if done realistically, because a train of thoughts isn’t the same thing as showing their motivations and analyses and actions.

    She’s the main character in that she’s a blatant stand-in for the audience (and done well, there’s nothing wrong with this), but in many ways although the plot is shaped around her, her impact on it seems to be small. If she spends the whole time placating everyone else, it reminds me of the theory that women are trained to aplogise for taking up space and existing. She’s the main character, but she finds herself always apoligising for existing, and shifting the attention to Edward.

  20. […] and Ouyang Dan are blogging their way through the teen vampire romance Twilight here, here, here, and […]

  21. […] b/t Random Babble and What a Crazy Random Happenstance!  (mzbitca)  (See more here, here, here, here, and […]

  22. […] Twilight blogging here, here, here, here, here, and here.  Be sure to follow the links to the posts by Mzbitca at What a Crazy […]

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