Sunday, October 10, 2010

Final Book Review - Zac Rates the Universe

Hey ya'll! You thought I forgot? I didn't forget! I've been biding my time. My good friend over at Zac Rates The Universe has posted my guest review of Twilight, if anybody happens to still be interested. Spoiler alert: I'm a little harsh on it!!

Best wishes!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Conclusion Ending Finale Conclusion

In which I reveal that I am a much more articulate writer than I am a speaker. Please excuse some bad splicing and alien yellowness.

Edited the goddamn thing to death and I still ended up having to split it in half. Some final notes I wanted to add:
  • Language: the entirety of Twilight is written with the tone of a self-important teenager who thinks she is much smarter than she actually is, studying SAT words and using them poorly. I guess that could be the point, though it's obvious that Meyer herself thinks that Bella is much smarter than she actually is.
  • Not all fans defend Bella. Some, in fact, seem to denote their particular attachment to Edward and their hatred of Bella for having him. Others dislike her for more reasonable reasons, like the fact that she's a little shit to people 90% of the time. Comments on revealed some fans recognizing her as a poor role model, though they still find her entertaining as a character. I'd like to find out what percentage of fans think that.
  • Correction: Rosalie is not the only character that actively dislikes Bella. Lauren is "jealous" of her too. Oh, you don't remember Lauren? Don't worry. She's not important. Just like Rosalie. :'(
  • Notice, I didn't mention sparkling in my video! Honestly, I forgot that Edward sparkles. That's how important the sparkleskin is to Twilight's plot.
  • I'm sure there are plenty of people who like Twilight ironically. As in, they like it because it's misogynistic and terrible, and taking morbid enjoyment in misogyny is all the rage nowadays it seems. For reasons that I can't adequately explain, I find this actually more ridiculous than liking Twilight genuinely.
Lastly, my friend Zac, from over at Zac Rates the Universe, has given me the go-ahead to do a guest review of Twilight for his far more sophisticated review blog. So keep an eye out for that if you can't get enough Twisnarking.

Thanks all and best wishes!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Intermission #2

Will post tomorrow or Sunday. Pinky swear!

In the meantime, this vid explains pretty much what I've taken twenty-some blog posts to verify. The bastards.

Why Twilight is Popular

Also this:
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Epilogue: An Occasion

498 pages in....COMPLETED.

I mean really. I finished this novel. I totally did. I FINISHED TWILIGHT, from cover to...oooh...


There are still quite a few pages here. Why are there more pages? It seems this is a sneak peek of the next book in the series, New Moon.




Absolutely not.

I refuse.


Do you see my face?

Yes, for those who don't know me, that is totes my face.


There is no end to the noage that I just...seriously. For serious.

I mean, I am really fascinated by the IDEA of the Twilight franchise and its fans, but...that shit is long. And it just gets longer. And I have a lot of other things on my plate right now. And from what I've read and heard from people I know who've read the whole series, these stories just get more problematic and disconcerting the further you get into them, and Meyer herself improves MINIMALLY as a writer. You'd think that with Twilight you'd have nowhere to go but up but...alas...Meyer is a special star of lameness that streaks across the sky. My indulgence, one would hope, is catching the tail end of the fad.

Enough is enough, ya'll.

Meyer's epilogue is 18 pages long and features one scene in which Edward "tricks" Bella into going to prom with him (i.e., he drags her there against her will). He gets her into "silk and chiffon" with "elaborately styled curls" (481), and I got some enjoyment out of the fact that Alice has been makeup raping Bella all day. ("I'm not coming over anymore if Alice is going to treat me like Guinea Pig Barbie," Bella whines. See what a mature and grateful person she has evolved into? What a triumph.)

At the prom, Edward forces Bella to dance in her walking cast, even though she doesn't want to and is probably taking pain medication for that shit. Then Jacob shows up, Edward gets freakishly protective, and Jacob tells Bella that his dad Billy wants her to omgbreakupwithherboyfriend. Bella and Edward have another conversation about how she wants to be a vampire and he wants her to stay human.

Damn. I have to say it: Edward makes Holden Caulfield look like a SECURE ADULT. First the whole, "I can't have sex because I WILL KILL YOU," and now, "I can't let you become my equal, you need to experience all these meaningless human occasions, like prom and...prom...and stuff. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that I need complete dominance over this relationship."

It's even more of a problem for me that the novel acknowledges that the relationship between Edward and Bella is unequal (because Edward is supernatural and Bella is not). Yet it is still Edward's choice as to whether or not Bella becomes equal to him. Really, it's still in his power completely.

Also, the downside to becoming a vampire in the Twiverse is minimal. If they have no real weaknesses and can sustain themselves on animal blood without any real problem, why can't everybody be a vampire? Why do these creatures NEED to be a secret in the first place? Edward refusing Bella's transformation just seems cruel and oppressive rather than protective.

That's our Edward! ::thumbs up::

WHAT'S WORKING: The epilogue is similar to scenes I've read in books by other female authors, particularly fantasy authors, in which there's an obligatory Formal Event that forces the characters to dress nice, even if the Event is not important to the plot. This scene is typically characterized by the author describing what everybody is wearing in painful detail, and also having female characters--who typically look frumpy or don't care about nice clothes--fidget and complain about how pretty they look. Extra points if there's a moment in which the female character "doesn't recognize" her dolled-up self in the mirror and a "Who's going to be paired with who?" conundrum beforehand. (I myself am not completely innocent of this trope.) It makes one wonder: maybe all girls really want to do is look pretty and go to proms...all the time...forever.

Maybe not all girls. Maybe just Meyer. There's a super-detailed description of Bella's prom dress in a pdf file on her website, as well as a long scene in which Rosalie and Alice do a MAKEOVER!!! :: jazz hands:: Thankfully, she cut most of this gratuitous garbage (she admits it herself!) from the final draft. Meyer herself also seems to have a rather overblown, prom-style taste in fashion, which you can verify if you look at any picture of her attending formal events. It is literally like someone just soccer mommed all over Goth Lolita. Oh, is that mean? Sorry. Rock whatever you choose. You don't look at all like a middle-aged saloon girl.

The tone of Meyer's epilogue makes me think she wrote it long before she finished the novel and stuck it on the end because she was determined to have it there without making any changes to it. The fact that Bella is the same little snot she was in the very first chapter backs this up. The character has learned absolutely nothing of value from her experiences. In fact, because of Edward, it seems she might just hate herself even more now.

(FYI: Bella is both terrified of embarrassing herself on the dance floor in front of everything AND convinced that proms are nothing but a "trite human affair," because remember, if Bella doesn't like doing something, we have to discredit the validity of it. What a mature person she is!!!)

What EXACTLY does Bella learn in Twilight? She's not completely unchanged. She learns that she loves Edward and figures out how awesome he is by like Chapter 6, and then by the end of the novel, she learns that she really, really, REALLY loves Edward, and he is not just awesome, but also her own personal Jesus. Everything else she does, it seems, is something she would have done anyway. She doesn't have to work or think to reach any conclusions. Her actions never extend from what she has come to understand and experience, but rather, whatever the plot demands of her at the time.

I don't think Twilight has any genuine moral to offer us. Not that a story HAS to, though all stories SAY something, regardless of whether or not the author intends it. Fans of the novel will go on to you about "The Power of Love" or "Selflessness Gets Rewarded" or "Strive for What You Really Want" and other such nonsense, but the novel is plagued with numerous contradictory messages that blow these ideas out of the water. Edward and Bella get what they want and are treated with utmost esteem by the author--why? Because they are good people? Bella sacrifices herself at the drop of a hat and Edward refrains from eating people? Okay. Yes. We get it. What about more practical things, like treating people with respect? What about not judging? What about reaching out to those that extend themselves to us? What about behaving like a genuine adult and recognizing that our actions have consequences?

There's no real sense of morality in this novel, though I think that's kind of the point. It is STRICTLY about emotional indulgence, which is fine, only Meyer seems particularly good at manipulating readers to make them THINK that they are reading something that speaks of the power of love and selflessness. I have witnessed Twilighters argue, in the same breath, that Twilight "has a beautiful moral" but also "doesn't HAVE to have one." And yet I understand why they say this. To say one but not the other means either a) that they're making weak excuses for the novel's obvious contradictions, or b) Twilight is meaningless, self-indulgent fluff. They opt to make a full commitment to neither statement, thereby choosing to bullshit their way out of an argument rather than face any real problems with something they've developed such a deep emotional interest in.

I will offer up my final evaluation next week, but since we're down to the wire here, these are some random things that really stood out to me. Some were bothersome, and some were just interesting goings-on that I noted.
  • Meyer's best passages of prose describe the setting. This is pretty consistent. For someone who wrote this novel having never been to the Pacific Northwest, she takes some much-appreciated time to slow down and devote prosaic love to the scenery.
  • There is NEVER ONCE an explanation as to why the Cullen kids still hang out in high school. Meyer never even tries to address it. Never. It's strange to me, since these vampires are clearly supposed to be smart and supertalented, and yet their greatest possible contribution to society is wandering around high school learning things they already know, sitting at lunch room tables without eating and starting up rumor mills about themselves? Honestly. These people are worthless. WORTHLESS.
  • Rosalie has one line in the entire book, and it's the one I mentioned in Chapter 19, in which she is the voice of reason for everybody and immediately gets shut down.
  • Jasper who?
  • Lauren is so obviously somebody Meyer didn't like in high school. I'd bet one of my kidneys that she didn't even change the girl's name.
  • Victoria, James' mate, is referred to by the Cullen clan almost exclusively as "the female," never her name.
  • The nonhuman characters in this novel get SHAT ON. I've mentioned my frustration about this before, but I'm particularly pissed that we don't even get to see the scene where Bella apologizes to her father for being a terrible, terrible person to him. Obviously, Meyer cut that in favor of the prom scene in which Bella continues to be terrible.

Almost through. Check with me next week. Might plan something special to celebrate.
Wish me luck,


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In light of laziness, among other things...

I am postponing my take on the epilogue for next week. Yes, I've read it. It is its own basketful of problems. This is the first time I've done this since starting this blog, so I am afforded one vacation week, right? Of course right.

In the meantime, here is something a friend of mine recently introduced to me, and which is not remotely related to Twilight.

Proper Opossum Pedicure

Best wishes all,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chapter 24: An Impasse

480 pages in...

Due to my complete inability to register numbers, which is a common trait among us English majors, I've failed to realize that Chapter 24 is the final OFFICIAL chapter in Twilight. And I was all like

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But then I figured out that following Chapter 24 is a 19 page "epilogue," which Meyer has decided to sadistically spring on me. And I was like

Naw, I'm just kiddin ya'll. I love rolling around in garbage as much as anybody.

There will be two more entries to follow this one: the Epilogue, and my Overall Conclusion. Also, my more sophisticated friend and fellow MFA graduate over at Zac Rates the Universe has invited me to write a guest review of Twilight, which I would be honored to do, if he will still have me. So, catch an even more condensed version of my opinions if you are not completely worn out by them.

Moving on...

In this chapter, Bella wakes up in the hospital.
Meyer's voyeurism is still there, most clearly evident on pg 460, when Edward mechanically rattles off ANOTHER recap of the injuries Bella sustained. and...I must say...the story that Edward & Co. come up with to explain how she got hurt is ludicrous, even by Twilight standards.

"'You fell down two flights of stairs and through a window.' [Edward] paused. 'You have to admit, it could happen.'" (459)

Oh, sure. She fell down one flight of stairs, got up from the landing, moved her broken body over to a second flight of stairs, and fell again. And this certainly accounts for the DISTINCT BITE MARK on her arm. Meyer must think medical people are completely retarded.

But Jesus. Who am I to question the logic of this novel this far into the game? Suck it up, girl. Just suck it up and plow through it.

"'How bad am I?'
"'You have a broken leg, four broken ribs, some cracks in your skull, bruises covering every inch of your skin, and you've lost a lot of blood. They gave you a few transfusions. I didn't like it -- it made you smell all wrong for a while.'" (460)

Okay, first...creeptastic. Secondly, nobody would SAY this to a person who'd just been seriously mangled, not in this way at least. This is totally Stephenie Meyer wallowing some more in Bella's martyrdom. It gets super played up as the chapter goes on, with Edward mentioning once again how Bella is LOVED by everyone (461), and that she is "[brave] to the point where it becomes insanity" (475). Bella consistently denies further pain medication ("See!" Meyer screams at us. "See how brave she is! She is brave because she doesn't want more pain medication!"), yet Bella herself MAKES SURE THAT WE KNOW how much pain she is in; every time she smiles or laughs or sighs, she mentions that her whole body aches. SHE IS A DARLING, SELFLESS LAMB AND ALL YA'LL ARE JEALOUS WHOREZZZ!

I know that some might find my issue with the descriptions of Bella's injuries unfounded -- "Well, OF COURSE Bella's in pain. She just withstood a vampire attack!" But please understand, it's not just the injuries themselves that make it voyeurism. Characters in stories may very well become badly injured as the result of horrific experiences; in fact, it starts to get problematic when characters are consistently in the midst of violence and come out with some cute little nick on their face (most spy movies exhibit this; see the most recent example: Salt). But the issue here is the way these injuries are described, the way that other characters obsess over them, and the way that Meyer herself obsesses over getting Bella into situations where she can bleed or break something. Mind, I wouldn't be pointing this out if there wasn't a pattern throughout the series. I haven't read all the books, but from summaries, it seems as though Meyer has brainstormed all the various situations in which Bella can spill her blood: Bella attempts life-endangering activities in New Moon, breaks her hand punching another character in Eclipse, and...I'm far more acquainted than I want to be with the horrific birthing scene in Breaking Dawn, when Meyer switches to Jacob's POV, so we get the full panoramic view. Here's a taste:

"Bella's body, streaming with red, started to twitch, jerking around in Rosalie's arms like she was being electrocuted. All the while, her face was blank--unconscious. It was the wild thrashing from inside the center of her body that moved her. As she convulsed, sharp snaps and cracks kept time with the spasms."

"[Rosalie's] hand [with a scalpel] came down on Bella's stomach, and vivid red spouted out from where she pierced the skin. It was like a bucket being turned over, a faucet twisted to full. Bella jerked, but didn't scream. She was still choking."

"Another shattering crack inside her body, the loudest yet, so loud that we both froze in shock waiting for her answering shriek. Nothing. Her legs, which had been curled up in agony, now went limp, sprawling out in an unnatural way.

'Her spine,' [Edward] choked in horror."

What is read cannot be unread. You're welcome.

Setting aside the fact that I even spared you THE PART WHERE SOMEBODY CHEWS THROUGH A BABY'S AMNIOTIC SAC WITH HIS TEETH as well as THE BIT WITH THE PEDOPHILIA (see the wiki entry for "child grooming"),
Meyer has admitted in public that this is her favorite scene in Breaking Dawn. Yeah. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

See, when a writer is filling her stories with this much tasteless violence toward one particular character, it makes me think she is getting something out of it. I mean, for like TEN PAGES she INDULGES EXPLICITLY in ripping Bella's body to shreds. I don't even...I mean...this is a published work of fiction. Why is this self-gratifying torture porn not rotting away in Meyer's sock drawer as it should be?

Anyway...sorry. I'm tirading. Also in this chapter:
  • The first scene in which Bella's mother is present; the two characters share some tenderness before Renee breezes out of the room again and Bella forgets that she exists. ("You're the only thing it would hurt me to lose," Bella tells Edward on 474; see how thoughtful and selfless she is, considering everybody in her life above herself?)
  • Edward makes Bella's heart monitor stop beeping by kissing her (retch)
  • Bella literally hyperventilates when Edward merely suggests that they should part ways for her safety; she begs him to promise that he will never leave her
  • Bella and Edward argue about Bella becoming a vampire (he puts his foot down about it)
  • Some information about Alice that Meyer had to cram in at the last minute which is of little consequence to the rest of the plot (though I must admit, it was pleasurable to picture Alice having fun recreating the scene of Bella's "accident")
At the end of the chapter, Edward gets the nurse to administer pain medication to Bella without her consent, because she is TOO BRAVE to know what is good for her.

WHAT'S WORKING:The voyeurism stands out in my mind and really bothers me, if nobody else has noticed. I'm aware that many fans were turned off by the birthing scene in Breaking Dawn, but still many others ate it up. "Oh, the things that Bella has to go through...!" What, because Meyer constantly inflicts pain on her, I'm supposed to like her more? Psha. If anything, that just makes her more annoying.

Bella's freak-out when Edward threatens to leave is unsettling to me also. Twilight fans may see Bella's desperation as unwavering, romantic devotion, but to most intelligent people who haven't been sucked into the novel's indulgent bunghole, Bella's begging and crying reads as needy, selfish, and really just pathetic. Whenever Edward says, "I may leave you," Bella immediately becomes a helpless child, as though she is completely at his mercy, and him leaving her would rip her spine right out of her body (buckle your seatbelts, kids--this actually happens in New Moon). As often as she presents it, Meyer WANTS us to see Bella as helpless, and there are countless readers who see their helpless selves within this girl.

The shrinks call this a Cinderella complex, which stems from an innate fear of becoming independent. In dudes, it's called a Peter Pan complex. I mean, who wants to actually be an adult? Not Bella Swan, that's who.

I don't think it's an accident either that Edward is frozen as a seventeen-year-old boy, and Bella wants to be frozen at that age with him. Edward may talk all proper, but he is unburdened by the responsibilities of typical adults. He offers NOTHING for his community. He has no job to worry about. His fam is totes rich, so he doesn't worry about money. He has super strength, can read minds, and yet in this wealth of ability, his mindset is still that of an immature, angst-ridden teenager. In the Twilight world there is really nothing BAD about being a vampire, and I don't think Meyer would have it any other way. It would seem that her precious Bella, and Twilight's devoted readers, don't just fear a world without Edward; they fear a world in which they are responsible for themselves.

Is that too much? Am I going to far to make the assumption? I would like to dig a little deeper into this, but I'm really kind of tired, so I may have to save it for either the next entry or my final wrap-up. And I DID look up some fan responses to Bella's behavior, and whether or not they see her as a good role model. Some interesting findings, but they will wait until next week also.


Epilogue in the works. I can feel myself finally sailing into the Grey Havens.

Wish me luck,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chapter 23: The Angel

457 pages in...


It's not by coincidence that whenever Edward shows up, I start to feel ill. Thankfully, this sad excuse for a climax is only six pages long, and in it, Meyer hams up the epic melodramatics and the saccharine language, enough to make a person diabetic. This is Meyer's attempt to portray the dreamy, half-aware consciousness of someone who is dying. Because it's so short, I will take everyone through it. You really need the full effect.

"Where I floated, under the dark water..."

Cliche count: 1

"...I heard the happiest sound my mind could conjure up -- as beautiful, as uplifting, as it was ghastly. It was another snarl; a deeper, wilder roar that rang with fury." (452)

So, Bella's drifting in a place between awareness and unconsciousness and Edward ::POOF:: is there. Instead of being constructive in helping Bella, he is raging and roaring about what's happened to her, because that is what men do when their true loves are in peril.

"...through the heavy water, I heard the sound of an angel calling my name, calling me to the only heaven I wanted."

Cliche count: 2

For the first two pages of the chapter, Edward is referred to only as "the angel," because Meyer thought that the depiction of GlitterMan-as-Savior was too subtle. We get more of Meyer's weird voyeuristic obsession with Bella's martyrdom when Carlisle, who is there also, announces all of Bella's injuries aloud.

"She's lost some blood, but the head wound isn't deep...Watch out for her leg, it's broken."
"Some ribs, too, I think." (453)

This was clearly one of Meyer's favorite chapters to write, with Bella, bleeding and broken after having sacrificed herself, with a slew of heroes crouched around her, admiring her selflessness and obsessing over her injuries, desperately trying to think of a way to save her. Bella herself does very little in the chapter aside from feel pain and whine.

"'Edward.' I tried to tell him, but my voice was so heavy and slow. I couldn't understand myself.
'Bella, you're going to be fine. Can you hear me, Bella? I love you.' [Cliche count: 4]
'Edward,' I tried again. My voice was a little clearer.
'Yes, I'm here.'
'It hurts,' I whimpered." (454)

Oh, and Alice is there too btw. Bella begins to feel a particularly sharp, burning pain in her hand, and her big heroic moment in the chapter is when she makes this known to the others. We're meant to understand this pain as that of vampire venom.

"'He [James] bit her.' Carlisle's voice was no longer calm, it was appalled. [Jesus H., that is an overt run-on sentence. Where the fuck is your editor?]
I heard Edward catch his breath in horror.
'Edward, you have to do it.' It was Alice's voice, close to my head. Cool fingers brushed at the wetness in my eyes." (454-5)

The "wetness." WETNESS. Just...where, where, WHERE IS YOUR EDITOR?? Who told you this was decent prose?

At first, I thought that Alice was referring to letting Bella become a vampire, though then Carlisle tells Edward that he's going to have to suck the venom out, because apparently you can do that. After the lengths the book has gone to describing Edward's thirst for Bella's blood, this is meant to be his greatest challenge. (It doesn't matter that Alice could do it, or better yet, Carlisle, who has trained himself to be immune to the temptation of human blood -- Edward HAS to do it, because Meyer demands it, because we MUST have this contrived conundrum.)

"I felt my consciousness slipping as the pain subsided. I was afraid to fall into the black waters again, afraid I would lose him in the darkness.

'Edward,' I tried to say, but I couldn't hear my voice. They could hear me.

'He's right here, Bella.'

'Stay, Edward, stay with me....'

'I will.' His voice was strained, but somehow triumphant."

In an instant, Edward's moment of temptation is over. He has succeeded, Bella is pain-free, and he is carrying her off as she falls asleep from exhaustion.

WHAT'S WORKING: I can feel how much the story is pushing me to admire and yearn for Edward's love and devotion. I am almost impressed. The desperate tone, the obvious manipulations, the clear self-indulgence of the whole event...I mean, I would be embarrassed, but Meyer is shameless in the way she writes about these characters. She loves them to the point of destroying them.

Case in point: Edward suffers from the same character problems as Bella, which are that his characteristics change to suit whatever situation Meyer places him in. The climactic chapter demonstrates this most clearly, as Meyer wants us to see Edward as a hero, because he so effortlessly stops drinking Bella's blood. Remember how he went on and on about how it's his own personal brand of heroine? And yet he averted the problem so easily? Well, he must be a swell guy, right? To be able to do everything easily makes someone perfect, isn't that true?

In Meyer's eyes, and in the eyes of many of her readers, this makes Edward that much more desirable, though I think this is also attributed to a one-dimensional understanding of people. In the same vein of self-hatred=humility and martyrdom=automatic good person, in Twiland, doing something effortlessly means that you naturally deserve praise for it.

Please. Show me an instance in which Edward is actively sacrificing something, in which I can see and believe the pain and effort that he undergoes to fulfill some act (this doesn't mean just seeing him mope and complain about it after the fact). THEN maybe I'll consider him a valiant character. Until then, these moments merely scream to me that he is a lifeless, half-baked idea, which Meyer manipulates to suit her fantasy.

I don't think I'm the only one who felt let down by the climax. The movie version of this scene acknowledges and sort of tries to remedy the problem Meyer creates, with Edward contributing to Bella's unconsciousness, due to his drinking more than what is required, and with Carlisle saying things like, "Okay, stop now. You're killing her." These things actively DEMONSTRATE the difficulty of the act, and could have been observed from Bella's ailing viewpoint, if only Meyer wasn't so blinded by lust for her angel-man creation.

There's another problem, however, that the movie doesn't address, and this is a problem that I think is more influential in whether people love or hate this book. Never, never have I read a young adult book in which the NARRATOR AND PROTAGONIST does SO LITTLE at the novel's climax.

In fact, it's very rare to find novels of any genre, on any reading level, with protagonists that lay on their back while the major crisis falls into the hands of someone else. I found myself wondering: why is this Bella's story and not Edward's? Bella has spent the entire novel taking no consequential actions, and when she finally does, it is an action that places her in danger, which somebody else is required to fix? She does not get to decide whether or not she becomes a vampire. She does not get to decide whether or not Edward stops drinking her blood. She doesn't even get to decide what happens to James, which takes place out of scene, involving characters that we barely know. In a writing workshop, narrators that do nothing and are moved around like chess pieces are generally the kiss of death for stories.

Not in the case of Twilight! Young fans lap up Bella's predicament, everything, from her spoiled princess attitude to her passivity to her completely out-of-character martyrdom. I think it's more than just girls selfishly wanting everything to revolve around them, or that they want to do nothing in order to get everything. Really, it's about being desired, and the belief you would be worthy enough to be seen as a martyr, to have everyone crowd around, desperately trying to save your life, to even -- EVEN! -- have someone as powerful and magnificent as Edward see you as so important, and to make decisions for you, while you yourself wither pitifully from your most recent bout of self-sacrifice.

This is, of course, an opinion. I haven't really researched it. I think that a deeper analysis of fan reactions to Bella's doormat behavior would be in order, but I might save that for next week.

As a disclaimer, I want to add that some stories do work with a narrator who is not the protagonist. The most famous of these is probably The Great Gatsby, with Jay Gatsby as the protagonist and Nick Carraway "observing."
Similarly, the narrator of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine is not the Time Traveller himself, but rather a visitor listening to to Time Traveller's story. Novels like these are often using the observer as a microscope to study a particular society or environment. Gatsby's story is a tragic one; Nick is there to relay it, and to make a larger observation about class relations in the 20s. Bella is not filling any such functional purpose like that for Edward. Bella and Edward are only present to be in love with each other, and the story doesn't tell us anything bigger than that.

And here is some vaguely-related literary humor:
(C) This woman, whom I heart: Hark! A Vagrant


Next week is another Bella-in-the-hospital chapter, where we will get the full run-down of what happened and probably hear more about the horrific injuries Bella sustained, because she is a selfless person who is worthy of praise. And if you do not think so, you are a jealous whore. JEALOUS WHORE.

Wish me luck,