Thursday, 19 March 2009
And as an adult, she kinda sucks.
First of all, all the men in Bella's life essentially control her, and she lets it happen. She just makes a show of being really annoyed anytime Edward overprotects her in his assumption that she is just a fragile little girl who can't help but put herself in danger's way. At one point, he "forbids" her from going to La Push to see Jacob because he "thinks it’s too dangerous for her". Yeah, right. I know the male ego. Edward is 104 years old, and he knows what he's doing - he's jealous, and he knows he has a power over her, so he acts on it. She whines and puts up a faux fight, but ultimately she lets him get away with it because she "loves him" (read: she wants to please him).
And it's not just that. The very first time Edward and Bella share a "moment," it's in the act of him protecting her from a skidding car. I'm not saying he should have let Bella die, but it is rather symbolic of their entire relationship: Bella on the ground crouching in fear, and Edward poised over her, shading her from the elements. What are you trying to say, Ms. Meyer? Do all women innately need protecting? The problem with being constantly protected from danger is that you are also kept from truly living, because life is dangerous by definition. Bella has no life outside Edward, and she is okay with that fact. That's not love; that's self-denial.
There are a million tiny examples of how Edward controls and manipulates Bella emotionally, and how she lets him, even enjoying his doing so: he won't let her drive her own car, he won't let her do stuff by herself, he hovers outside (or inside) her bedroom at night. I just want to shake her and say, "If he really loved you, he would let you be free to do what you want!"
Edward isn't the only guilty party here. Jacob is the same way, to a lesser degree. While he's more tolerable, he still treats Bella like a delicate flower that needs to be cradled and protected. And she lets all this happen; in fact, she's quite the willing participant.
What is Stephenie Meyer trying to convey to teenage girls? In my opinion, she's saying that love is about the protection and self-denial of women. Find a man who can protect you from the big, scary, dangerous world out there, girls, and you're all set. All you have to do to snatch the man of your dreams is give up everything that makes you who you are. Bella completely changes her life for Edward; she gives up her high school friends, she gives up her college experience, she gives up her body, and she plans to give up her humanity - all for a man. It’s true that love is about sacrifice - but what is Edward sacrificing? Shmeh, nothin'. But it's okay, because he's, like, sooooo pretty. Pretty and sparkly. *bats eyelashes*
What do you think of Bella’s sacrifices for Edward?