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02 August 2008 @ 11:38 pm
Breaking Dawn, discussion  
After 13 hours and 24 minutes of voracious reading, I have AT LAST finished reading Breaking Dawn... and holy cow, what a day.

So, since this book is rather different from other Sparticus Ni sessions, I'm providing a number possible topics of discussion under the cut. Answer as many as you want, but feel free to deviate from them to go off on your own raves, rants, comments, concerns, and general squee-ing over Edward's magnificence.

1. Before you started to read Breaking Dawn, how did you think the series was going to end? Did you think Bella would become a vampire?

2. What did you originally make of Bella's reoccuring nightmares that featured an ominous child and the advancing threat of the Voltouri? Did you think it held any particular significance? What about when Bella's feelings toward the dream-child changed from horror to a desire to protect?

3. What was your first reaction when Bella realized she might be pregnant with Edward's child? Did you possibly realize it before she did? What did you make of Edward's petrified reaction?

4. Point of view shift?! How did you like hearing the story told from Jacob's perspective? Was it strange to you after listening to Bella's side of the story consistently for three books? Did you like this choice?

5. Bella's pregnancy felt like something out of a horror movie. How did you react to seeing our heroine so incapacitated and so stubbornly resolved to keeping her baby? How did you feel about Rosalie's protectiveness of the unborn baby and of Bella (...by association)? What did you think of Edward's desperate plea to Jacob-- was he overreacting?

6. Looking back, how clearly did Meyer set up Jacob's imprint on Renesmee? Did you think Jacob and Renesemee were a good match? Considering that it effectively solved all of the Cullen's problems with the werewolves, was it perhaps too good of a match?

7. What was your reaction to Bella's vampiric transformation? Was it what you expected? Were you surprised when Bella did not behave like a regular newborn vampire, but behaved shockingly like an "improved" version of herself? Did you feel she was improved?

8. How did you feel Edward and Bella fit into their roles as parents? Did you find the transition from "teenage lovers" to "dedicated parents" a hard mental switch to make, or did it seem natural considering the growth of their relationship? Were they believeable as parental figures?

9. Before starting the book, did you have a guess as to what Bella's "superhero" vampire power would be? What did you make of her sheilding powers? And what did you think about Renesmee's thought projection "superpowers"?

10. How did you take Alice's apparent disappearance during the Cullen's time of need? Were you surprised that she and Jasper cut-and-run? Did you think she had something more up her sleeve?

11. Breaking Dawn introduced a whole array of new vampires that Jacob felt he needed an index just to keep them all straight (lucky him, one was provided on page 756)!! Did you like the inclusion of these new vampire friends? Who was your favorite new vampire and whose "superpower" impressed you the most?

12. The final confrontation with the Voltouri. Was it everything you imagined? Were you hoping for something more climactic?

13. And finally, the ending. Were you pleased by the ending, where Edward, Bella, and Renesmee are united happily ever after? Was it a satisfactory finale to the Twilight Saga as a whole? Was there anything lacking that you might have added to make the ending more fulfilling?

14. Any other thoughts on the book as a whole? Any particular Edward (okay, fine, OR Jacob...) moments/quotes that were particularly swoon-worthy?
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: love letters, atonement
Kirstenfreak4theater on August 3rd, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
Wait... more today.
After chatting on the phone with Reggie about this depressing last book, we have come to the ultimate conclusion of why it is so painfully unrealistic and unfitting with the rest of the series. Twilight's main messages are those of forbidden love and sacrifice. Edward's primary concern has always been sacrificing Bella's humanity and past in order for her to become an immortal vampire with him-- this was his only reason for waiting four books to bite her. In order for the two of them to be happy together, this sacrifice (or, Edward loosing his immortality and vampire powers to miraculously become human again) would have to be made in order for our star-crossed lovers to be together. This idea was completely TRASHED in Breaking Dawn. There was no sacrifice made in order to reach their happy ending. In fact, they only gained. This makes their union so unreal and so unbelieveable, that, as a reader, it is hard to bear with good grace. This ending is literally TOO perfect, in every sense of the word.

Also, as Reggie and I talked about, this perfect ending promotes an unfounded argument for teen pregnancy. The majority of Meyer's readers are young-- too young, possibly, to understand that boyfriends/husbands like Edward do not exist. Edward represents the ultimate fictional boyfriend-- he is everything that (even evolutionary-wise) women want in a mate, only amplified. He is strong, protective, loving, (gorgeous), and gentlemanly. At first, the books suggested a positive relationship model for young girls, showing Edward and Bella waiting to explore the sexual side of their relationship until after they were married, at Edward's request. But suddenly, mere days after the wedding, Bella is hugely pregnant and keeping the baby... but her story ends in perfect fairytale fashion with her storybook house, faithful husband, limitlessly wealthy in-laws, and a darling little baby. Real life does not fall into place so snugly. I can only hope that Meyer's younger readers recognize this and don't think it's socially acceptable to follow this teen pregnancy media trend.

In addition, considering that most of Meyer's readers are in the under-25 category, making Bella a mother was a hugely alienating mistake. Very few readers can empathize with Bella's desire to raise a child and cannot understand her strange, fanatical need to carry a child that is so clearly killing her. Also, why would Meyer tell this portion of the story though Jacob's point of view if she didn't want her readers to see how uncompromisingly stubborn Bella was acting? Perhaps-- PERHAPS-- the idea of Bella and Edward becoming parents would have been easier if we understood what Bella was going through and shared her desire. But we, the readers, did not know Renesmee, did not like what she was doing to our heroine, and did not want her ruining our Edward-Bella romance (because she totally did... poor Edward got kicked to the sidelines the minute Renesmee was on the scene and was suddenly barely even mentioned. Lame for him).