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Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 3

October 9, 2011

3. PHENOMENON

When I opened my eyes in the morning, something was different.

Of course it is. You’re in Chapter 3 now instead of Chapter 2.

Well, it’s snowing, much to Bella’s discontent. You know, speaking of snow and the time of year, did you know that in the movie adaptation Bella specifically says everything is taking place in March? Hell, who cares what time of year it is anymore? Let’s just accept the fact that it’s snowing.

If I was being honest with myself, I knew I was eager to get to school because I would see Edward Cullen. And that was very, very stupid.

Wow! Did the book just gain self-awareness? Dare I call this breaking the fourth wall? Oh, no, it’s just Meyer’s way of trying to make it sound like Bella is rationalizing with herself, nevermind, moving on.

Driving to school, I distracted myself from my fear of falling and my unwanted speculations about Edward Cullen by thinking about Mike and Eric, and the obvious difference in how teenage boys responded to me here. I was sure I looked exactly the same as I had in Phoenix. Maybe it was just that the boys back home had watched me pass slowly through all the awkward phases of adolescence and still thought of me that way. Perhaps it was because I was a novelty here, where novelties were few and far between. Possibly my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic, casting me as a damsel in distress. Whatever the reason, Mike’s puppy dog behavior and Eric’s apparent rivalry with him were disconcerting. I wasn’t sure if I didn’t prefer being ignored.

Yes, please, let’s continue throwing all of our focus and effort on one man with whom you’ve had a total of one conversation with and who otherwise bolts away from you when given half the chance, instead of appreciating that there’s all these other people who take genuine interest in you, including two perfectly good, nice boys who have done absolutely nothing wrong. Is it not every teenage girl’s dreams to be sought after like this? On what planet does this take place, anyway?

It turns out Bella hadn’t noticed until she got to school that her dad put snow chains on the tires of her truck. She cries because of how considerate it is. Huh. You’re moved by the fact that your dad is being a dad? And a good dad? Is this new to you or something? Did you not spend all those summers up here with him, and those couple of summers in California with him, like you said back in Chapter 1? Was he not a good dad before that? We’re never told he was a bad one so… what gives?

Alright, so, finally, a major event happens here. Bella is still standing near her truck. She sees Edward all the way across the parking lot. Suddenly a van loses control and is coming straight for her. Before the van can hit her, Edward is suddenly by her side and rips her out of the way, smacking her head on the ground in the process. On top of that, Edward stops the van with his bare hands, lifts part of it up from under the frame where it otherwise would have crushed Bella’s legs, and also lifts her by the legs moving her away from where the van would have rolled over her. Here’s the part in all this that bothers me.

My head cracked against the icy blacktop…

And yet Bella is fine. 100% totally fine.

Be careful,” he warned as I struggled. “I think you hit your head pretty hard.”
I became aware of a throbbing ache centered abome my left ear.
“Ow,” I said, surprised.

And that’s the most damage she has. Enough for her to say, “Ow.” She’s taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, but she’s really undamaged. The most Dr. Cullen tells her to do is take some Tylenol for pain.

The doctor’s cool fingers probed lightly along my skull. He noticed when I winced.
“Tender?” he asked.
“Not really.” I’d had worse.

Worse? You’d had worse than having your skull crack against pavement? I’d be really interested in hearing about this, because hitting your head that hard is kind of a big deal. It WOULD cause damage. If this didn’t cause a concussion (which it absolutely should have), anything worse you might’ve had MUST have given you a concussion, in which case that would be an awesome story to tell right about now. And is nobody interested in the fact that it’s basically Edward’s fault? Sure, had he not rushed over she’d most likely be dead, crushed between two cars. But it was still Edward who ran over, threw her to the ground, and slammed her head on the pavement. But nobody cares! Nobody cares that he didn’t protect her head when he did all of this!

And that’s another thing!

Two long, white hands shot out protectively in front of me, and the van shuddered to a stop a foot from my face, the large hands fitting providentially into a deep dent in the side of the van’s body.

He dented the van with his hands? Well, what happens when the authorities get on the scene and examine the damage to the vehicles to figure out what happened? Aren’t they going to be curious about this dent that came from seemingly nowhere? Did the dent leave a hand print shape? ‘Cause I’m almost imagining it did. Did no one else notice Edward just poof over there? How did all of this happen with only one girl noticing the whole reality of the situation? There’s even evidence that something weird happened there. By all accounts, both Edward and Bella should be dead, based on anybody’s understanding. Unlike in the movie, Edward doesn’t just run off, he actually sticks around and hitches a ride in the EMS vehicle to the hospital, so they all knew he was there between the truck and the van. Is no one confused as to why they were both that close to danger and yet neither one is hurt? People in Forks must just hear facts and accept them as truth. A lot.

Edward keeps insisting he’d always been standing next to her and that she’d just hit her head so hard that she only thinks she saw everything she did. At least, up until one point.

“You think I lifted a van off you?” His tone questioned my sanity, but it only made me more suspicious. It was like a perfectly delivered line by a skilled actor.
I merely nodded once, jaw tight.
“Nobody will believe that, you know.” His voice held an edge of derision now.

No, you fool! Why did you say that!? If you have a secret to hide, don’t go saying, “Nobody will believe that, you know”! Stick to your guns! After all, she DID hit her head REALLY hard! You could easily just keep repeating her story over and over again until she has no choice but to accept it as truth. Now she KNOWS there’s something else up with you!

“Can’t you just thank me and get over it?”
“Thank you.” I waited, fuming and expectant.

Man! She’s really ungrateful! The only reason she says Thank You here is because she’s hoping it’ll get Edward to tell her more about what’s up with him. She isn’t ACTUALLY thankful at all. If somebody had done that for me, even if it was way out weird and out of the blue, I’d be thanking them up and down because my life was just spared. Nope! Not this bitch!

Bella’s dad comes to get her and take her home.

I sighed. Mike and Jessica and Eric were all there, beginning to converge on us. “Let’s go,” I urged.

Why did you just do that? Your friends are legitimately concerned for you. What fantastic friends! They showed up at the hospital just for you! Eh… screw ’em.

“Um… you’ll need to call Renee.” He hung his head, guilty.
I was appalled. “You told Mom!”
“Sorry.”
I slammed the cruiser’s door a little harder than necessary on my way out.

Oh! How DARE your concerned father call your mother with concerning details about her daughter being in a car accident! Geez! I HATE parents! They just don’t UNDERSTAND!

That was the first night I dreamed of Edward Cullen.

…That’s the end of the chapter? That’s not a cliffhanger. That’s a vomit-enducer. This is the least I’ve looked forward to reading the next chapter thus far.

So, to recap, Bella is continuously shocked that people, including her friends and her family, care about her as much as they do. Nobody cares about Edward’s safety. In Forks, nobody checks the damage on vehicles during car accidents. And slamming your head into concrete is no big deal. Yep, this sounds like the planet Earth to me.

Check back in tomorrow when I discuss Chapter 4, Invitations.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephani permalink
    October 9, 2011 12:51 PM

    I love how you take the time to point out every inaccuracy and mary-sue bit. I can’t wait until you get to the family XD

  2. Creature SH permalink
    October 9, 2011 1:40 PM

    Wow. How do more readers not notice what a horrible, disgusting person this Bella character checks out as? Show her kindness and she’ll give you contempt. Show her contempt, and she’ll give you worship. This behavior strikes me almost animalistic, like a primate trying to become the alpha of a pack. Or rather, in this case, mating with an alpha.

    • October 9, 2011 11:14 PM

      I’m pretty sure it’s more like “If you’re really hot, she’ll give you worship”. I haven’t actually read/seen the books or movies (though I’ve read a fair bit about them, including the fact that Edward exhibits typical abusive behaviour as defined by professional organisations dedicated to stopping domestic abuse), but doesn’t Bella’s narration go on pretty much endless tangents devoted solely to Edward’s unearthly attractiveness?

      • October 9, 2011 11:38 PM

        As far as I’ve been told (and I’m getting there, mind you, just not quite there yet), yes, her endless descriptions of Edward’s amazing beauty get worse and worse, specifically the chapter after he’s revealed that he is indeed a vampire and that he sparkles. The well-known scene with them just lying there in the open field is supposedly full of this. I’m sure it’s nothing like real storytelling, so I’m definitely not looking forward to getting that far.

  3. October 9, 2011 1:56 PM

    The more of this I read, the more I think that Stephanie Meyer could’ve run with the whole head trauma thing. It’d be a great “out” for everything about Bella. The whole vampire/werewolf business could just be from the head trauma.

    That and the fact that her own discernible personality trait is that of bitchiness towards anyone that shows any concern for her.

  4. October 9, 2011 2:23 PM

    I’ve been really enjoying this so far! It’s fun to get a broader overview of what’s wrong with each chapter in the book, as opposed to Reasoning With Vampires (which is also wonderful, but focuses much more on grammar and line-by-line nitpicks– http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com/ , if you haven’t read that yet).

    Looking forward to the next chapter. And I’m sorry you’re putting yourself through this. 😛

    • October 9, 2011 11:40 PM

      Thanks for the link! Checking it out now, I’m genuinely interested.

  5. October 9, 2011 3:01 PM

    This really SHOULD be a video, Marzy…

  6. December 23, 2011 7:45 PM

    “Is it not every teenage girl’s dreams to be sought after like this? On what planet does this take place, anyway?”

    Yeah, but if a girl encourages it it makes her a slut apparently.

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