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Chapter Nine: Theory

Posted on 2008.02.29 at 16:12
Current Location: Right back Where I started apparently
Current Mood: blahUnenthused
Current Music: Concrete Angel by Martina McBride
Tags: , , , , ,
    Meh, this chapter was not great. We didn't really learn anything new, (although it was set up as though we do) and there was a pretty corny love scene.
   
    I apologize for this taking so long though, I've had a super homework/project load because there's the "Biggest standardized test of my high school career" coming up which I have to pass to graduate. (The test itself is sickeningly easy and you can re take it up to four times if you don't pass at the pathetic 35% pass-fail split.)

    But there is something special about this entry: It's the first one I'm typing from my very own Laptop. (Named TECH in homage to the Paper Mario character TEC without jinxing this computer to the same fate.) It's a new dell and one of the few that doesn't run Vista. (A Latitude if you're curious) And I'm very happy with it.

    I have some category talk today, so let's get started, kay?

Bella

    This chapter was, let's face it, mostly about Bella. If this chapter was about Edward, we'd have learned something new about him. It was partially about their relationship, but mostly Bella. This chapter was about proving Bella right. We couldn't just know her theories and await the explosive eventual confrontation about them. She had be direct about it.

    This isn't all bad you understand. But it made the chapter full of characters reiterating what we already learned through speculation or infodump. Not all that great. Okay, I guess, but sometimes it's like she didn't get it the first time.

    Take, for instance, the revelation in the previous chapter about Edward's mind reading. He can hear distinct "Voices" of people from varying distances and can "tune in to them. The only exception to this ability he knows is Bella. So he describes it like a radio, were every one else is on an AM and he can only tune in there, but Bella's Mind is on an FM frequency. It's an apt analogy and makes a great deal of sense. Bella's first response: "Are you calling my a freak?"

    Yes Bella. Of course after he makes a couple of comments involving himself having to act normal because he can read people's thoughts he's calling you a freak. That makes so much sense.

    Another thing, Back in chapter six, (For which I skipped a proper Entry in favor of a lecture on the nature of Info dumps in fiction.) Jacob had admitted that telling Bella the legend of the "Cold ones" had violated a treaty between the Cullens and the Quileutes. So what does she do when Edward  asks her about her theory? She doesn't just say she got it from a legend, she says where she heard it from and specifically mentions Jacob by name. Wow, great way of getting him in trouble, huh?

    To be fair, she does go back and cover for him afterwards, insisting that he just thought it was a legend and that she flirted it out of him. But still: It wouldn't have exactly been brain surgery to try covering for Jacob by not mentioning his name in the beginning and only specify if he asked. (She still would have had to cover for him, but at least it'd look like she'd made more of an effort to begin with.)

    She's also being obsessive over Edward again. But I'll get back to that.

Edward

    Edward really spent this chapter in one big reaction shot. In fact, part of the point of the chapter was to make sure that He knows that Bella knows I think. (Setting up for later scenes most likely) And even before we get to the vampire stuff we see his reactions to a few things.

     For Instance: his expression in combination with word use. This happens four of five times in the chapter, Meyers would describe his facial features after a bit of information. It's not the greatest characterization I've ever seen, but it's an effective method that was used liberally. (It sort of reminds me of face close ups of actors in movies. Thus the reaction shot reference.)

      So, as I reference earlier, he describes his mind reading power and says he can block out people's thoughts and comments about it being easier to seem normal that way. He frowns at the use of the word normal. This is a fairly specific reaction that could mean one of a variety of things.
  1. He thinks of himself as normal and therefore feels strange trying to refer to himself as pretending to be normal.
  2. He doesn't think he's normal, but he doesn't really want to be, or at least it feels strange to him to think he's trying to fit in when he's happy as he is.
  3. He doesn't think any one is really normal, and so finds describing people closer to average as Normal doesn't really fit. Or:
  4. He doesn't like having to pretend and associated pretending with the word normal.
    I, personally, suspect that he's the last one, though being one of the first three would be an interesting addition to the character. Not as much angst I guess.

    There's also a reaction to the idea of his family being "vegetarians" in that they don't drink human blood. He's pretty amused at the sort of inside joke, but at the same time he's rather cautious about it and tries not to tempt himself as much as possible. It's much less ambiguous and more yawn worthy than the last one. There are a few more reactions later too.

    But Let's return to a last-chapter topic for an update: Edward's Driving.

     I think Edward's driving habits can officially be associated with his reckless second personality. His invulnerability combined with his mind-reading power seems to give him the confidence and ability to drive recklessly fast quite a lot without getting caught. So, what does he do? He consistently drives around 100 mph. And then he complains when Bella makes him slow down. (To a whopping 80 mph) Wow, that's really, really  bad driving. How in the world did he get his permit? Well, it probably involved reading the instructor's mind and correcting errors as they were noticed.

    And then there's the last reaction shot of the chapter: Edwards reaction to Bella's theory. (For which the chapter is named) It's a three part reaction.  The First reaction is all body language, with his expression and his method of speaking both unnaturally unreadable. It's pretty strait forward too, eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and he's clutching it so time that his knuckled are white. The fact that he's gripping the steering wheel so tightly means he's nervous(or angry). Why is he nervous(Or angry)? Because Bella is either correct or very close to it. 2 + 2 = 4. He really doesn't have much of a poker face. (Poker hands?)

    The second response is to Bella finishing her theory by saying that she doesn't care. This one manifests more in tone of voice and such. It's kind of bitter and sarcastic, asking her how she doesn't care if he's not human. Kinda bleh really. It's a very over-done speech I think, and while it's not done badly here, on the second read through of the chapter it's unremarkable.

    The third response really leads into the next topic: Edward's response to Bella's limited expression of feelings for him. I must say that in a certain respect that First Persona Edward really came through for me here.  First of all, he groans. He's annoyed at her. Edward being annoyed at Bella makes me feel all fuzzy inside. On the other hand, he also acts hypocritical, by saying that he's doing something which he commented on Bella doing back in chapter 2: Making himself miserable so that she won't be. Eh, over all it was kind of roll-eyes, but it was pretty well written.

Their Relationship

    Being stuck in a car together is some way to foster Bella-Edward interaction, thought I personally preferred being at the table where they were occasionally intruded upon.

    Well, as far as first serious talk of soon-to-be-forbidden-lovers it was not too bad I suppose. There were certainly some funny bits mixed in with the slightly corny ones. Let's just go over all of the noteworthy ones, shall we?

    The whole conversation about Edward's driving was pretty funny. It was also very similar to the one I'd have had in that situation. I already pretty much covered that in Edward's section though.

       I think the Dazzling people thing is going to become a running gag. First Edward Dazzles the waitress, then he gets to accuse her of Dazzling Jacob. I bet you there's another Dazzling reference later on to complete the joke.

    And then, of course, there's the obligatory "What's myth and what's real?" section, which is actually very well written in it's simplicity. The untagged dialog worked very well here.

    Okay, here's a really commentable one: Bella doesn't really realize how much trouble she's giving Edward until he mentions that it's a mistake for them to be alone together. Yet another example of our Heroine not thinking exactly clearly.  I mean, just look how he acted the first day they met. Maybe she didn't really think about everything enough to put it together? Maybe she's just not that smart.

    Aw, how quaint. Bella says she was worried about him when Edward says he spent all weekend wondering if she was okay. Cute, but kind of eye-roll worthy at the same time. In fact it was corny. Here is a pictorial representation of this scene:

CORN!

    Okay, the cool is back. Moving on:

    Here we get to the point where Edward Makes Bella cry. (I crack up laughing whenever I read this. Is that bad?) He's trying to get her to understand that he's dangerous. (Again) and she gets all upset and teary. Edward get's kind of appalled that she's so easy to make cry and she denies she's crying like a 3rd grader. Grade A stuff there.

    And then the final ominous warning about not going into the forest alone.  Sort of a DUN-DUN-DUUUN. Feel here. But it's not really original, even though it's vaguely foreshadowing.

    What do all these moments have in common? Well, for the most part during the first read they were all vaguely tolerable, but not all that impressive and upon further analysis broke down pretty much entirely. But Their actual relationship as people didn't really progress with any on them.

The Stanza

    One of the comments I recently got in a discussion about the book Twilight was that th back of the book spoiled the mystery that filled the first 200 pages. This seemed peculiar to me when I was reading because I was quite sure that Edward being a vampire was referenced as early as page 125. It didn't make sense... until now.

    The last paragraph of this chapter, on page 195, read thus:

"About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-- and I didn't know how potent that part may be-- that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him."

    The back of the book reads thus:

"About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him-- and I didn't know how dominant that part may be-- that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him."

    I'm not sure if you caught it, but there's a one word difference between those two quotes. I certainly didn't catch it my first few times reading. Wow, a whole one word change. Amazing.  Two Hundred pages in and I feel like I've made full-circle.

    That's not good.


Comments:


Sarah
pocketcucco at 2008-03-01 23:59 (UTC) (Link)
Even though I've read through the book a dozen times, I didn't catch that one-word difference in that section. It's not a HUGE change, but I sort of think Meyers should have left them the same for continuity's sake (yeah I'm OCD like that).

Bella crying made me lol...it didn't really make all that much sense. I mean, he tells her dozens of times that they can't be together and she gets teary this time. There wasn't much "emotion" really leading up to it, if I recall correctly (and I probably don't).

Can't wait for more :D
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