Twilight #14 Print
Written by Douglas Wilson   
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:45

Chapter 16 of Twilight is a short little chapter, and so this will be a short little post. How’s that for reasonable?

This is still testimony time or, in literary terms, back story time. Edward is telling the story of how Carlisle, his adopted father, or true father if we consider biting as begetting, formed his philosophy of good vampirism.

Not surprisingly, he is a bookish sort. His study walls are taken up with “towering bookshelves” and contained more books than Bella had ever seen outside a library. This only means that she had never been to Peter Leithart’s house.

After Carlisle became a vampire, because he was so disgusted with what he had become, he tried to destroy himself in various ways, all unsuccessful. Vampires can be killed in very few ways, even if they are trying to help out. In a happy turn of events, when he was at a low point, a herd of deer passed by him, and without thinking he slaked his thirst that way. Whaddaya know, his strength returned, and tada! Who would have thought? Turns out you can substitute animal blood for human, just like humans substitute animal meat for human meat. It’s amazing what they’re coming up with these days.

“Over the next months his new philosophy was born. He could exist without being a demon. He found himself again” (p. 337).

Carlisle was pure from the start, but Edward had a period of backsliding. Even though he describes his vampirization as a “new birth” (p. 342), there was a time when he did not walk in accordance with the high calling he had received. He went off by himself, hunting humans, which doesn’t creep Bella out somehow. “I guess . . . it sounds reasonable” (p. 342).

Edward justified this to himself at the time because he could read thoughts, and he knew who was being naughty and who being nice. “Because I knew the thoughts of my prey, I could pass over the innocent and pursue only the evil” (p. 343). And, though Edward eventually repudiates this as monstrous behavior, no matter how he justified it to himself, Bella still thinks it is sexy.

“And Edward, Edward as he hunted, terrible and glorious as a young god, unstoppable” (p. 343).

And this, boys and girls, is Bella giving way to “being raped” fantasies—or, if we want to use the accepted euphemism for this in the world of bodice-buster fantasies you can find at a Safeway near you, she was giving way to “being ravished” fantasies. You know, like when the Lord Gramstone approached Hester d’ Martenville, she of the heaving bosom, and he does so with inexorable intent and a steely gaze that will not be denied. Or, as Bella projected her thoughts into the mind of the girl that Edward saved from rape by slaking his thirst from the neck of the rapist, “Would she have been grateful, that girl, or more frightened than before?” Oh, probably more frightened. That’s what makes the bosom heave.

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