Poll: What are your thoughts about Bella in the "Twilight" series
You do not have permission to vote in this poll.
Love her. Who wouldn't?
20.00%
2 20.00%
Hated her. What's her deal?
60.00%
6 60.00%
Meh. I don't get what the trouble is all about.
20.00%
2 20.00%
Who cares? On Planet X, we don't read Twilight, but subsist on a diet of Louis L'Amour Westerns.
0%
0 0%
Total 10 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Bella - Love her or Hate her? *mild spoilers*
#1
So I was dragged onto the Twilight reading train by my wife and sister-in-law, who cruised through the stories and then just wouldn't stop talking about them. Having little interest in tweens, vampires, or romances (let alone all three), I tried to maintain a zen-like aloofness.

However, the downward drive of the economy effected more than just my 401K. It also caused a dramatic reduction in my book-buying budget. An incredibly unfortunate events, as I spend about 3.5 hours every day commuting via train. During that time I must have something to read, or I will go quickly insane.

And thus, with a sigh and shrug of my shoulders, I began to read the Twilight series. For the most part, I wasn't surprised. It was what it portrayed itself to be: a tween, vampire, romance story. I did like the take on vampires that Meyers provided. A little different twist on the standard, but nothing that deviated that greatly from the norm. They're still super-strong/fast/etc., they still drink blood, they're still the predators of humans.

I also liked, I'm chagrined to say, the driving "there can be only one -- or maybe two" romance that ran through the series. As a romantic myself, I like the concept that there is a soul-mate, perfect match, etc., ad nauseum with extra nauseum.

But what I didn't like in the series was Bella. I don't want to put down all my thoughts on this just yet, as I'd like to hear what others think. So here's your chance.

Bella Swan: love her, hate her, tolerate her?
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#2
Option 2.

You know my thoughts on this.
[SIZE=2]Keeper of Cole and The Cullen Men

"Once the Queen's dead the King's useless . . . maybe he's too depressed to fight; he really loved her you know"
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#3
I was always told not to hate... :tongue:
I'll compromise and say, "I can't stand her!!" :halo:

Really, I find myself disappointed in the author, who, as a woman, seems to have decided to create a teenage heroine who comes off as the ultimate "damsel in distress" without any particular redeeming strengths or talents of her own.
I had no predetermined intent to dislike Bella, but, as I read, I found it increasingly frustrating to do anything else but dislike her.
She seems at all times weak, needy, insecure, shallow, demanding, disturbed, and a definite people-user.

I enjoy complicated characters, and I looked hard at Bella to see if perhaps I was being overly harsh exactly because she is female and I might unconsciously hold her to a higher standard- I have tested and discounted that as I do enjoy many complicated characters of both sexes. But-they must have redeeming qualities and intentions that make them sympathetic.

The author seems to have presented Bella as a tool in which to show how wonderful the complicated men in her life are, though I was also troubled by the controlling manner in which especially Edward was portrayed for a portion of the series, without any particular reason to endear Bella herself to the reader past the fact that men adore her and wish to protect her above all else. As if to imply that she must be wonderful if they say so...I could just never understand why.

*I had some problems with the writing choices in a few areas, honestly, but I do enjoy the premise, and the intent. It's a "take the good with the bad" scenario, and, overall I am able to put aside my frustration and say I like the series. I suppose, at my advanced age, Rolleyes I was possibly wishful of a more serious and in-depth experience, and, of course, this is primarily for the teenage "Romeo and Juliet" set.

P.S. Oh, come on, Luthy. Rant a little. :hello:
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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#4
Doncoriel Wrote:She seems at all times weak, needy, insecure, shallow, demanding, disturbed, and a definite people-user.

Not at times. All the time. You've definately hit the nail on the head in regards to my own personal dislike of the character. I actually wanted to like her, but the more I had to deal with her, her inability to stand on her own, made her feel exactly as you called her "an author's tool" to reflect how great everyone else is.

I seem to recall being quite outraged at the way she treated her human friends, who only wanted the standard give and take. Bella only took.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#5
RobRoy Wrote:Bella only took.
Exactly. I found it especially irritating that when she was needy she would latch onto someone as a fix or a distraction and use them to satisfy that need until what she really wanted came back around, and then she threw those people away without a backwards glance-except to be upset with them if she realized they were upset with her.
Her behavior was immature, and yet the author tells you several times along the way that she is more responsible, more mature, etc, than others.

I admit that more than once along the way I slammed the books shut, too frustrated with the character to continue-for the moment.
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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#6
Doncoriel Wrote:P.S. Oh, come on, Luthy. Rant a little. :hello:

I agree with all of the reasons you and RR gave.

But you asked for it: Reasons why Luthy 'dislikes' the Bella character

*small spoilers included in rant*

Her problem about aging was frickin' annoying.

She belittled the people that cared about her from time to time (human and supernatural including Edward); for example there was a small mention in 'Breaking Dawn' where she compared her relationship with Edward to Rosalie and Emmetts relationship and basically said hers was better/stronger/whatever. Little things like that throughout the whole series irritated me.

"Born to be a Vampire" - pfft. worst reasoning ever!!! She's a little full of it when after she was changed.

Control over the bloodlust on the first huntung trip - WHATEVER!!!

She was a bit of a control freak - she always wanted it her way and got stroppy when it wasn't.

I don't think she ever thanked the Cullens for protecting her all those many times. All we got was her whiney "I don't deserve it"/"I'm not worth it" but no actual gratitude/acknowledgement like "Gee thanks Carlisle for going against your compassionate nature and killing newborns"

Which brings me back to the whiney "I'm not worthy" "I don't like attention" . . . after awhile that just got annoying.

And when people were nice to her and she wasn't interested, she just treated it more like an inconvenience.

. . . I could probably go on but I think I'll end up just repeating myself . . .



But to be fair: I don't think Bella is a bad person - I think the issue is when a story is presented the way the twilight series has, after spending so much time in a persons head where everything is from their perspective and it's their thoughts all the time, well it's like being around the same person for a long time, they're bound to irritate you. Bella personality overload. And she's a teen; when I think back to when I was a teenager <shudder>

Edit: Oh yeah, I found 'movie-Bella' to be far more tolerable. A little weird, but more likable.
[SIZE=2]Keeper of Cole and The Cullen Men

"Once the Queen's dead the King's useless . . . maybe he's too depressed to fight; he really loved her you know"
[/SIZE]
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#7
Luthien_001 Wrote:I agree with all of the reasons you and RR gave.

But you asked for it: Reasons why Luthy 'dislikes' the Bella character
Aww...Luthy... Just for me? I'm touched! :wink:

I agree with your thoughts.

*And yeah, the aging issue was especially irritating.

I do also agree that Bella is not a "bad" person.
She doesn't intend to hurt people who care about her.
She just isn't especially good at being good.
Her world revolves around her needs, and she expects the same of everyone else.

Btw, this may be a little Sway-ish, but you mention you liked movie Bella more...

movie Spoilerific-mildly

Did anyone think it was kind of odd how they skimmed over some of, what I thought were, the more important details and sort of drew out less interesting ones? No Cullen family backstory really, cutting off Jacob's explanation of the Legend, etc... I realize the story can be told without these things, but why bother cutting them out?

And did it seem to anyone else that Edward was going to throw up at first sight of Bella instead of being ravenous? Or was that just me that laughed...
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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#8
[SIZE=3]Believe it or not, I actually like Bella. Don't fall out of your chair yet...I've got reasons just like the rest of you.

In Twilight when Bella first came to Forks she was standoffish and appeared not to want friends. She knew she wouldn't be a very good friend to anyone the way she was so she tried to distance herself from the kids at school. I never completely understood her reasoning behind it. I guess it was just her nature. Bella was different. Not everyone is Social Sally. Not everyone needs to have friends around them all the time. Did you notice she never mentioned having a single friend back in Phoenix? So, I don't believe Bella meant to be a people user. She just didn't have or want the social skills to be a friend to anyone...then Edward came along and she couldn't distance herself from him. He was the turning point in her life. Her actions throughout the rest of the series were only aimed at one goal. Edward. She was completely irrational (and sometimes hurtful), but what teenager in love isn't? I know I was. :ashamed:

There were many times that I wanted to slap her silly, but I was still hoping for a happy ending for Bella.
[/SIZE]
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#9
:hellohands: :welcome:
Hey a dissident! It's about time! Everyone agreeing is just so humdrum. :yawn:

But how do you explain how she goes to Angela when she needs to seem normal, or needs a distraction, or when she says, "hey, guys let's all hang out?" or "hey, what about let's double non-date!" or "hey, Jacob, dear, why don't we do something utterly self-destructive today?"
I dunno... Sounds userific to me. :ohno:
...I've never been especially socially outgoing either. But I don't keep people who mistakenly believe they are my friend on speed dial just in case I need an excuse either. I'm just sayin'... :whistle: :crown:
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
Reply
#10
Wow some of you really are a bit peeved with Bella. So what about Edward's Character.

My thoughts over-dramatic, controlling, cold and the one thing if you love some one you dont walk off, you stick with them for better or worse.
:crazy: If at first you dont succeed, skydiving may not be for you! :crazy:
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#11
My 2 cents worth... I haven't been here in ages and then I butt in to comment about Bella... lol

First and foremost...hi Rob, hi Luthy...long time no see :hellohands:

So back to my 2 cents worth... when I'm reading a person's description in a book, their actions and words give me a mental image of that person, including the person's age. I find the same thing on this forum... when I read people's posts it gives me a strong mental image of the person's age... obviously it must happen to everyone not just to me. But anyway, with Bella, when I'm reading I sometimes picture a 13 year old instead of a 17/ 18 year old and I find that annoying...especially when she's in a particularly whiny mood. So... I wouldn't particularly hate her, but I hate the way Meyer describes her :bg:
:thud: REMEMBER: When I'm queen, things WILL be different.
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#12
Rain Wrote:My 2 cents worth... I haven't been here in ages and then I butt in to comment about Bella... lol

First and foremost...hi Rob, hi Luthy...long time no see :hellohands:

RAIN!!!! (and now I want to sing that Jars of Clay song)

Hey girl, how have you been! Welcome back! :party:
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#13
RobRoy Wrote:RAIN!!!! (and now I want to sing that Jars of Clay song)

Hey girl, how have you been! Welcome back! :party:

Lol...thanks Rob :crown:

So, how have I been?? Mmmmm long story and the administrator might kick me out for hijacking the thread...oh, that's you Rolleyes Anyway, I'm hopefully better now and it's great to be back and to see some old friends still around. And how are you?
:thud: REMEMBER: When I'm queen, things WILL be different.
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#14
Rain Wrote:Lol...thanks Rob :crown:

Of course. It's been such a long time since I've crossed swords with you, but I've always regarded you as a worth adversary.

Now, if BlueDelvia suddenly appears, I might think it a conspiracy . . . but a delightful one.

Quote:So, how have I been?? Mmmmm long story and the administrator might kick me out for hijacking the thread...oh, that's you Rolleyes Anyway, I'm hopefully better now and it's great to be back and to see some old friends still around. And how are you?

True, true. And right you are for snapping my fingers with the ruler.

Might I suggest we adjourn to The Bloom Room so that you can respond properly and I don't find myself in the precarious position of violating the Posting Policy and having to put myself on probation!

Now, to return this thread to it's topic of discussion . . .

I liked your insight into Bella's character regarding her maturity age. Sometimes 17-18 (which was her age) and sometimes a whiny, whinging 11-13 year-old, which is consistent with some of the 17-18 year-olds that I interact with on my speech/debate team. They have the ability to regress from mature high school student to pouting middle schooler in 0.5 seconds.
All your base are belong to us.

It could be that the purpose of my life is only to serve as a warning to others.
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#15
RobRoy Wrote:Now, if BlueDelvia suddenly appears, I might think it a conspiracy . . . but a delightful one.

Ooooooo Blue!! Now that would be interesting :laugh: I'll see you in the Bloom Room if I manage to find my way there. I'm not sure I can still follow Orly's pattern of destruction...or is it still there??

RobRoy Wrote:I liked your insight into Bella's character regarding her maturity age. Sometimes 17-18 (which was her age) and sometimes a whiny, whinging 11-13 year-old, which is consistent with some of the 17-18 year-olds that I interact with on my speech/debate team. They have the ability to regress from mature high school student to pouting middle schooler in 0.5 seconds.

I think even less than 0.5 seconds... but it's also probably normal I guess. I don't think I can remember as far back as when I was 18 :laugh: but everything seemed to be ultra-dramatic back then, especially when it came to affairs of the heart. Every guy was 'the one', every puppy love was 'forever' and every time you had your heart broken you felt like you were going to die and that you would never recover. In so many words, a cute guy could turn you into a slobbering, whiny mess. So Bella is not that different I guess. She's only mildly irritating because she probably reminds us of ourselves at that age... yikes!!
:thud: REMEMBER: When I'm queen, things WILL be different.
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#16
onwe Wrote:Wow some of you really are a bit peeved with Bella. So what about Edward's Character.

My thoughts over-dramatic, controlling, cold and the one thing if you love some one you dont walk off, you stick with them for better or worse.

I find him 'too cheerful' in the Twilight book. He's always laughing and skipping around. I prefer him in the movie where he's broody and anguished. I like my immortals to be anguished, more like Angel, not shiny, happy people :poke:
:thud: REMEMBER: When I'm queen, things WILL be different.
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#17
I voted "hate" but it's not entirely accurate. I related to Bella in a lot of ways. Her awkwardness in dealing with boys, making and keeping friends, I don't have an athletic bone in my body and I am kind of uncoordinated (granted I don't fall down nearly as much as she does, but still). I guess that's where the similarities end.

I've never been in love before. I've never known the feeling that I wasn't breathing until I met him, that I didn't really exist until he saw me. But if and when I do experience that, and if it were to end all to soon, I hope that I would react better than Bella did. As you all have said, she's a user. She only goes to her friends when she needs the distraction from her sorrow, instead of facing her sorrow and rising above it. She's selfish, and even though she realizes herself how selfish she really is, she doesn't really do anything to correct it. Things just sort of... work out.

And then...
To view, use your mouse to select the text:
... she became a vampire. A perfect Mary-Sue, sparkly-pooh, I-can-control-my-bloodlust, wonder woman of a vampire. She was vain when she thought she was just a plain-Jane human, and she maintained that vanity when she became an oh-so-gorgeous vampire. It was just annoying.

Doncoriel Wrote:And did it seem to anyone else that Edward was going to throw up at first sight of Bella instead of being ravenous? Or was that just me that laughed...

Hi Doni! That's what I thought, too. Rob Pattinson has the best facial expressions. :tongue:
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#18
RobRoy Wrote:They have the ability to regress from mature high school student to pouting middle schooler in 0.5 seconds.

OMG! That is, like, so not true! WhatEVer! :laugh: :hellohands: :thumbsup:
August  - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#19
Niphredil Wrote:And then...
To view, use your mouse to select the text:
... she became a vampire. A perfect Mary-Sue, sparkly-pooh, I-can-control-my-bloodlust, wonder woman of a vampire. She was vain when she thought she was just a plain-Jane human, and she maintained that vanity when she became an oh-so-gorgeous vampire. It was just annoying.
Exactly. Rolleyes
Quote:Hi Doni!
:hellohands: Hi yourself! Great to see you Phred!
Quote:That's what I thought, too. Rob Pattinson has the best facial expressions. :tongue:
A friend posed the question of what if he had thrown up? Would he actually have had anything to hurl? They don't actually digest anything. The blood just seems to work like a potion, so may he'd just have the dry heaves? :lol:
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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#20
august Wrote:OMG! That is, like, so not true! WhatEVer! :laugh: :hellohands: :thumbsup:
...I've not noticed that this phenom is limited to teens. :ohno:
*I'm talking about the immaturity thing as being non-age-exclusive, btw, not the language usage... I'm so, like, WhatEver on that. Smile
[COLOR="Teal"]We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love as a changed person. [/COLOR]

[SIZE="1"]-W. Somerset Maugham[/SIZE]
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