Some questions about Edward Cullen and the world of Twilight

I have not read any of the Twilight books (because from what I’ve read here, they sound like they’re awful – like published Mary Sue fanfic), but out of curiosity I finally rented Twilight and I suppose I’ll go and see New Moon next week. I thought the movie wasn’t good but wasn’t bad, either – beautiful to look at, certainly, and it did a good job of introducing us to this lonely girl who falls in love for the first time. Still very Mary Sue, but okay. And yes, this 44-year-old found Mr. Pattinson very easy on the eyes – like a younger and prettier Brendan Fraser (and with a flawless American accent as well). Now then:

Why do Edward and his “siblings” have to go to high school over and over? That’s just cruel. He’s got a line about how it enables the family to stay in one area for a longer period of time or something, but I didn’t get it. What’s that you say? So he can meet Bella? Do they all get perfect grades because they’ve learned it all already, or do they goof up so as not to stand out too much? Wouldn’t it be easier to hide if they claimed all the kids were out of high school, and they all just kind of hung out at home or in the forest? I take it Carlisle is the only one who works, and he supports the whole family.

Incidentally, are the books written entirely from Bella’s point of view? Does she ask a lot of questions about the vampire world, or do we just have to pick it up as we go along?

Does Edward seem to be “stuck” at age 17 emotionally, or does he wobble between 17 and 108? I’d think someone who’s been around that long would find a 17-year-old tiresome (what do they talk about when they’re alone together?), but he seems to act like a 17-year-old himself much of the time. I kept thinking of this book, Tuck Everlasting, about a family that unwittingly drank from a spring that gives them all eternal life, but they stop aging right where they are, both physically and emotionally. So not only do they have to keep moving on and losing everyone they’re close to, but the 17-year-old boy in that story stays as a goofy teenager forever.

Is Bella supposed to be pretty mature for her age? I picked up some information about how her mom is kind of a flake and Bella was used to being the “grownup” with her. She calls her dad by his first name when she arrives, so I gather they’re not particularly close. I suppose such a girl might be especially vulnerable to a romance, especially one that involves difficulty or danger. She’s certainly intelligent enough to understand that she really is in danger being with Edward and yet she stubbornly sticks to her “I know you won’t hurt me” line. Poor Edward! She’s not really taking his position into account, is she? He’s the one who has to struggle to restrain himself when he’s with her. He must be even lonelier than she is, as well – endless years of being isolated from everyone (especially if he has to go to school and be “one of those weird Cullens,” being surrounded by silly teenagers whose thoughts he can read and yet be discouraged from getting close to any of them). OTOH I was a teenage girl once and if a boy who looked like Edward fell crazy in love with me, well…!

I saw the trailer for New Moon today and I wondered if or how much their relationship changes – do they start bickering about stupid stuff now? Anyway.

Any and all feedback appreciated.

The above all illustrate why Twilight is ridiculed so heavily. It’s not necessarily the prose, which is why Dan Brown is mocked. I actually quite liked The Host, by the same author. No, it’s the story and the goofy-ass emo characters who chose sparkly over sense.

To be fair, that last one isn’t necessarily stupid. When you have a dangerous person like a vampire who’s trying to go against their nature, putting your trust in them that way is potentially sensible; by giving them the responsibility, they’ll have an even stronger motivation to not let you down. It’s also a way to avoid showing fear. Show fear or nervousness or otherwise act like prey, they’ll think of you as prey. A similar scene happens in this episode of The Dresden Files, only with a werewolf and the roles reversed (the relevant scene is at about 33:00, if you care).

Still, that’s after-the-fact justification. In Bella’s case it really comes across as just being a sparkly-eyed teen in love who’s not thinking straight. (I watched the movie, too. In my defense, I had Rifftrax running as well. “Llllllllllllllladies.”)

If you really want to know the answers to all of your questions, why don’t you just read the books?

In the book it’s explained as, “The younger we pretend to be when we move to a new place, the longer we can stay there.” It’s also mentioned that they all like living in Forks, because since it’s cloudy almost every day they can wander around in the daylight like normal people. They couldn’t move to, say, California and attend high school. They’ve all been to Ivy League colleges, though, I’m not sure how they handled that. Night classes, I guess.

I gather Rosalie and Emmett have had several weddings, as well. Their M.O. seems to be they move to a new town, enroll the kids in high school, have them graduate and go off to college, get married - basically they enact 8-10 years of a young adult’s life. When people start to notice that something seems strange about the Cullen family, they move somewhere else and start over again. They lived in Forks once before, about 70 years previous to the events in Twilight.

Book three has a short section at the end written from Jacob the wolfboy’s POV, and he also has almost the entire middle section of book four (which is referred to in my house as the WTF?? book). I’m extremely curious to see how they’re going to film that one.

Edward wavers back and forth between an unsure 17 year old navigating through his first relationship (hampered by the fact that his girlfriend is like tasty tasty bacon to him), and a wise and philosophical 108 year old who holds a medical degree and some PhDs and I don’t know what all else.

Bella is portrayed as, basically, being her mother’s keeper. She then moves to Forks and becomes her father’s keeper, since he apparently has not bothered to learn to cook in the 18 years he’s lived by himself. She’s also portrayed as being so clumsy that in a narratively logical world she would have tripped over a crack in the floor and staked Edward through the heart with a sharpened pencil 15 pages into the first book.

As far as New Moon the movie goes, if they follow the book at all, Edward and the rest of the sparklies will be gone for most of it. This is the one where we get to know the werewolves.

(Please forgive me if I’m not making sense, I just came off a 12 hour shift and I’ve had about 2 pots of coffee and my monitor won’t stop vibrating.)


What I’d like to know is when they move to a new town, do they just make new fake IDs and documentation to buy their home, enroll their kids in school, etc. Obviously if Edward or any of the other kids flashed an ID stating that they’re more than 100 years old, people are going to ask a lot of questions.
Also since the kids have already graduated from high school multiple times, can’t the parents just say that they’re homeschooling them, instead of just making them go through the same experiences over and over again.

They make new identities, IIRC. (I’ve only read the first book.) Since they’re old, and clever, they’ve made lots of investments and are filthy rich. I believe Edward also has medical degrees and such.

Meyer started writing the Twilight story from Edward’s POV–it’s called Midnight Sun. The first 12 chapters were leaked in draft form and are all over the Internet, at which point she posted them herself and stopped the project for a while. I’ve read some and it’s kind of fun–they’re in the cafeteria and while she’s wondering who he is, he’s plotting 117 different ways to kill her before the day is over.

I think it makes sense that Edward is sort of ‘stuck’ at 17 a lot of the time. I suppose that biologically speaking, he’s still 17, and he’s trapped–he can’t grow up properly. Kind of a bummer.

I saw the movie on Rifftrax, and it was awful–the book is actually better. Twilight has a lot of internal dialogue and in the movie that was translated to long, emply silences. I haven’t read the other books and will only see the films on Rifftrax.

For serious Twilight fun, go read Cleolinda. Here she is on the first 6 chapters of Midnight Sun. Hysterical!

I’m going with “So he can meet Bella” myself. If the Cullen “kids” aren’t in high school, there’s no story. It doesn’t really make practical sense. The fact that the vampire “parents” don’t age is a lot more likely to give the game away than lack of aging of the “kids”. Plenty of people look much the same from their mid to late teens to their mid to late 20s, but the passage of ten years usually has a more obvious effect on those who are already mature adults. Dr. Cullen works at the local hospital and thus very visible in the community. People are going to notice that HE looks the same year after year before they think the same about the younger vampires.

Having the Cullen “kids” in high school is far more likely to lead to trouble for the vampires than just saying they were all 18+ and keeping them out of school, or saying they’re teens who are being homeschooled. The Cullens are obviously not doing a good job of blending in with their mortal classmates. They’re constantly surrounded by young humans and thus must constantly resist the temptation to start chowing down on someone’s neck. They don’t even try to hide the fact that most of these “adopted siblings” are romantically involved with each other, which I’d think would be just asking for a visit from Social Services. And what’s with Mom and Dad pulling their gorgeous adopted children out of school with no notice so they can go on “special camping trips”? Seems pretty fishy.

Oh, IMHO the movie was less horrible than the book because it left out most of Bella’s internal monologue. What an insufferable little brat. When she isn’t whining about nothing she’s either thinking about how much better she is than everyone else or about how hot Edward is. She does all of this at great length. Let me tell ya, I was rooting for the truck. The movie also introduces the “bad vampires are killing people” plot much earlier, while the book drags on and on with NOTHING HAPPENING.

In the final book, Bella has some dealings with a guy who provides IDs and such for the family, usually through Emmet.

Their knowledge and money is also explained by the fact that they don’t sleep, so they have all that extra time to study and make money, along with the fact that they don’t have a lot of needs humans spend money on, like groceries.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for them to be in high school, though. Especially since it’d be a reasonable farce that they’re all young adults who have graduated from high school already.

Nitpick: Through Jasper. The poor guy was scared crapless of Jasper; he’s been providing fake papers for the family for 15 years and knows there’s something significant pause off about them. I can’t remember his name, I keep wanting to say J. Giles but that’s the “Love Stinks” guy.

Thanks, I knew I was going to put the wrong one, which is why I put Emmet - I thought of Jasper first, then figured I must be confused.

While reading the book I thought it would have made more sense for them all to be adults who were running a farm or some kind of small business together outside town. Although they saw themselves as a family it wasn’t necessary for them to present themselves this way to humans, they could have just been neighbors or coworkers. Or they could have acted like three of the younger vampires had been adopted by the elder Cullens (I believe the adoption/foster kid ruse was necessary because otherwise the parents would seem too young) but had grown up and two of them had gotten married to people who weren’t other Cullen adoptees. Then they could all just keep pretty much to themselves. If they didn’t want to seem too stand-offish the younger Cullens could take jobs in town. This would surely be more interesting than repeating high school again, and most jobs involve less of the constant interaction with other humans and constant “why are you so weird?” peer scrutiny that happens in high school.

Heck, even if the Cullens had portrayed themselves as all adult members of some fringe religious group that didn’t like socializing with outsiders this would have been less suspicious than a family with five unusually attractive adopted kids of all about the same age who were all dating each other, had no other friends at school, never ate anything, and mysteriously disappeared from school for unplanned “camping trips” of indeterminate length.

That is hands-down the funniest read I’ve had in ages. Off to read Part 2! ::happy::

I heart you so much. I haven’t read ANY of these books, but this link makes me want to read all of them in parallel, a kind of Mystery Science Book 3000.

I can’t breathe from the laughing. This is utter brilliance. It singlehandedly justifies the existence of Twilight.