“Twilight” rant 8: Edward and Bella condone murder

by Jasper on June 7, 2009

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experience and innocence, or ignorance and indifference?

experience and innocence, or ignorance and indifference?

I for one don’t think that Edward is so great just because he’s given up drinking human blood. To me he seems pretty callus about life, especially his own. Why in the world would he try to have himself murdered by the Volturi after he thought that Bella had died? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to first confirm the facts and then seek a competent psychotherapist? Bella herself isn’t all lillywhite either. She immediately dismisses Edward’s murderous past which he confesses to in “Twilight” with some rationalization about how it’s reasonable that he killed folks before. Sure, sure, she’s glad that he’s a vegetarian vampire and all now, but really, shouldn’t she have been a teensy bit upset about this disturbing news? I know that I’m always weirded out when I chat with murderers.

Maybe Bella does have a point. Edward, though youthful appearing, is fairly old. These killings probably happened before World War 2. Past is past and time heals all wounds they say. But what about condoning murder in the present? What about that shocking scene towards the end of “New Moon” where Bella, Edward and Alice have just finished their interview with the Volturi? The trio depart just as lunch is being served. They’re all quite relieved sitting in the waiting area near the desk of the very professional though chilly human secretary, Gianna. B and E then have this exchange (New Moon Chapter 22 Flight):

“Does she know what’s going on here?” I demanded, my voice low and hoarse. I was getting control of myself, my breathing evening out.
“Yes. She knows everything,” Edward told me.
“Does she know they’re going to kill her someday?”
“She knows it’s a possibility,” he said.
That surprised me.
Edward’s face was hard to read. “She’s hoping they’ll decide to keep her.”
I felt the blood leave my face. “She wants to be one of them?”
He nodded at once, his eyes sharp on my face, watching my reaction.
I shuddered. “How can she want that?” I whispered, more to myself than really looking for an answer. “How can she watch those people file through to that hideous room and want to be a part of that?”
Edward didn’t answer. His expression twisted in response to something I’d said.

It’s clear that the end of this brief conversation has distracted our two heroes from the ethical dimensions of their current predicament. By now, Edward must be ruminating about his feelings about making Bella into a vampire; Bella, who’s still recovering from a very scary moment, is suddenly hyper-focused on her sense of Edward’s emotional distance. Yet how could they have missed the obvious?

Edward and Bella (Alice, too) know 100% that Gianna will be murdered by the Volturi when she’s done serving their purposes. They do nothing with this information.

Reading the sections about Gianna gave me the feeling that Bells and Ed judge her in some way differently from themselves, as if she were tainted by her association with the Volturi. I don’t see it that way. She may not be nice, but what makes this professional clerk any different from the brave high school student, besides being a bit older? Both women want to become vampires for their own reasons. Both women know how vampires feed. Perhaps really seeing Gianna as a real person is too alarming for our couple. Bells and Gianna are simply too alike for comfort. So better to dehumanize, passively condemn and then ignore her, instead of treating her with the same basic respect due all sentient beings. (Strangely, this is a theme that Edward immediately recognizes in “Eclipse” right after he dismembers Victoria in front of Bella. How did he so completely space on this here in Italy? Is it the air quality or something?)

You tell me, weirdcombos readers: do Bella and Edward have a moral obligation to warn Gianna of her fate? And what does it mean that they don’t say a word?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kirk Di Santi June 8, 2009 at 8:18 am

I think that Eddie and Bell know that there’s nothing that would happen if they were to warn Gianna other than further antagonizing the Volturi. It is awful that G will eventually be consumed by the Italian vamps but it seems to me that she knows what she’s gotten herself into. She should have asked why the last receptionist left the position before signing up to be the replacement. Poor woman!

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