Chapter 7 – Unhappy Ending
After some descriptions of how hot and beautiful Rosalie is, Bella invites her in. Here’s what Bella is thinking: “My stomach twisted nervously as the one Cullen who did not like me moved silently to sit down in the open space.” Don’t know why that rubs me wrong, but it does. I guess it’s Bella’s whole attitude. “Oh, all of the perfect and pretty people love me, but because one of them—the one I don’t even care about—doesn’t worship the ground I walk upon, that’s just so distressing!”
Anyway, Rosalie says that she wants to talk, remarking that she’s never really got a chance to do that with Bella, considering Wardo’s always with her. That should tell you something, Bella. Bella continues to state the obvious (I think we’ve found Captain Obvious’s secret human identity), and then Rosalie starts right in with the Scary Sue Reformation, saying how sorry she is about how she’s hurt Bella’s feelings because she voted “no” on Proposition Change Bella in the last book, and now she’s here to explain why she did that. Oh boy. I’m so excited.
So, she asks if Wardo has told her how she got “her glorious immortal body”. Man, that’s kind of like Eragon, yo (or maybe just a prelude to femslash). Rosalie is trying to open up to Bella and be friendly, and all she can think about is how hot she is and how much she wants to get one of those. Bella says yes, but, upon revealing what she does know about Rosalie’s circumstances, discovers she’s not as in the know as she thought she was when Rosalie smiles “a harsh, bitter—but still stunning” smile.
I know I’ve said it before. And I have no doubt I will say it again. But I feel it necessary to say it again.
WE KNOW THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL ALREADY!!!!! DAMMIT, HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO REPEAT THAT???!!!! DO YOU THINK WE’LL SOMEHOW FORGET???!!!! YOU JUST REPEAT THEIR CONSTANT BEAUTY JUST SO YOU CAN BE SMUG WHEN YOUR LITTLE AVATAR GETS TURNED INTO A VAMPIRE!!!!!
*rumbles off to Paul all over Tokyo while she’s at it*
Several hours later…
*sweeps back in*
Sorry for the Paul deluge up there. But…well, there you go.
Anyway. Rosalie is very dramatic, telling us that her story is just so horrifying and makes a few remarks that indicate she regrets her beauty and immortality—which is a total 180 from what we’ve always been told about her, especially from Wardo—WHO CAN READ HER FRACKIN’ MIND. All we’ve heard is how shallow she is and how she values appearance over everything and is so bitchy and shallow she hates on Wardo simply because he doesn’t worship the ground she walks on—not that she’d have anything to actually do with him, mind (she may be shallow, but her taste is flawless). Bella says she wants to hear the story, so Rosalie wastes no time launching right into it.
But first, a small interlude!
Squirrels and bunnies, I hate this chapter. No, I don’t think you quite understand—I hate this chapter. I think I hate this chapter more than any other chapter in this series—and that includes Breaking Dawn and Midnight Sun. I think this one is not only the stupidest one written, but also the most badly-written one in general. I could not believe what I was reading when I hit it—I could not believe that that had gotten past any editor that calls themselves competent. And I can back up my claim that this chapter is the worst—this chapter contains all of the following:
- Bad writing
- Bad style
- Bad POV
- Bad dialogue
- Bad language (not cursing—I mean just poor use of the English language)
- Bad characterization
- Contradictory characterization
- Historical inaccuracies
- Suspension of reality
- Sledgehammer of foreshadowing
- Scary Sue reformation
- More of Bella declaring that vampirism is clearly the end-all-be-all
- Mormon propaganda
- Forceful belief-pushing
- Rampant stupidity
- It’s worth saying twice: BAD FUCKING WRITING
Sure, these are present in all of the books—but all crammed into ONE SINGLE CHAPTER? That takes talent.
This chapter just fills me with a burning, seething hatred as well as hair- and garment-rending frustration. I can usually get one chapter done in one sitting—not so with this one. It’s taken me so long to get this section out because of this chapter. I start in on it, hammer out a couple of paragraphs, and then throw my hands up in frustration and go off and brood.
I. HATE. THIS. CHAPTER.
However, I say all of this because a mere recap can’t really capture the badness. The only way to do that would be to spork the entire thing, because EVERY SINGLE WORD in this chapter (or rather, in Rosalie’s story) is bad. And just when you think it’s reached its badness peak, it stuns you by GETTING WORSE. There is no peak—it’s one huge plateau of pure elephant shit.
Just wanted you to know, and give you the heads up that this is going to be quote-heavy. However, I’m going to pull on my boots and go wading in the turds. Because I love you people, and do this so you guys don’t have to read it.
First off! This is pretty much just one long filibuster. I’ve noticed that as she goes along, Meyer becomes more and more fond of them. This one is probably the WORST—meaning longest—filibuster in the whole damned series. So, sorry if there isn’t much action or anything like that. It’s just Rosalie talking. And talking. And talking. AND TALKING.
Talking badly, I might add. There is no way any kind of creature, human or vampire, would talk like this. Man, I wish I could just sum up this entire scene with all of the above. Just forget it and move on. But… *sigh* Can’t do that. *puts on a helmet*
Turns out Rosalie was at her human peak in 1933. “I was eighteen, and I was beautiful. My life was perfect.”
Bad, bad, bad.
Anyway, Rosalie further elaborates that she and her family were “thoroughly middle class”, and that her “father had a stable job in a bank”. She lived “as if the Great Depression was only a troublesome rumor”.
And now you see what I mean by historical inaccuracies.
Meyer, I know that not every bank in America failed when the Great Depression hit. I know plenty were still open. But if you would’ve done just the slightest bit of research, you would know that by 1932, 40% of the total banks open in 1929 had failed, and before 1929 starting in 1920, an average of 600 a year were failing. As for the banks that were still doggedly persevering? Well, they had a lot to worry about. For one, they still weren’t out of danger—banks were failing all over the place. Not just little ones, either—big ones. No bank was immune. Another point is that in 1933, Roosevelt really started getting the government involved in banking business because March of that year marked yet another banking panic—this one so bad Roosevelt closed down all banks in the nation to prevent even more runs on banks. And still more, 1933 is when all the famous gangsters and bank robbers really ramped it up—that’s when Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson and Harry Pierpont and John Dillinger arrived on the scene and were robbing banks left and right, taking thousands of dollars a pop.
So, to sum up…
If you would’ve said Rosalie’s father was an oil baron or a big land owner or invested in mining? I’d buy him thinking the Great Depression was just a rumor. A banker? HELL NO. Even if his bank didn’t fail, he’d be EXTREMELY aware of the Great Depression, because he’d spend all his time fearing that either his bank is going to fail or that some tommygun-toting, crazy-ass bastard is going to come in and blow his head off! The only people who might’ve been even more hyperaware of the Great Depression were farmers, because half of them got nailed by a Dust Bowl at the same time!
Look at this! I ran two simple google searches and these two links popped up first thing. Very quick, very informative, and offered up plenty of information that would’ve tipped Meyer off to the fact that there was not a banker alive who said, “Great what?”
MEYER, YOU LIVE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. THE INTERNET IS A BEAUTIFUL THING. YES, YOU SOMETIMES HAVE TO RESEARCH A LITTLE DEEPER FOR MORE OBSCURE FACTS, AND SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO DOUBLE CHECK WHAT YOU FIND, BUT, WOMAN, YOU CLAIM TO BE INTELLIGENT. WHAT—ARE ONLY THE GREAT AND ALMIGHTY MEN ALLOWED TO DO SUCH COMPLEX THINGS AS RESEARCH?
BTW, folks—expect several of those digressions. There is so much wrong with this…
So, Rosalie spends some time bashing her father—oh, he was just a typical wealthy man, putting down the Little People and saying “that they’d brought their troubles on themselves”, blah blah blah, this is just hilarious coming from Rosalie and Meyer, considering they’re about the biggest nouveau riche snobs I’ve ever seen, not to mention that they are constantly buying the most expensive cars and houses and clothes and jewelry and islands…but not one mention of giving a cent of their untold billions to charity, research, or anything like that. Anyway, Rosalie then moves on to describe her mother as a good Mormon woman, keeping house and taking care of the kids. She favored Rosalie over all the other kids, because Mom was apparently looking to pimp her out to some rich guy and get them out of middle class and into the upper class. Rosalie continues to talk about how this is bad, and I am still going WTF at this whole scenario and dialogue.
Rosalie says that she, on the other hand, thought life was great:
"They weren't satisfied, but I was. I was thrilled to be me, to be Rosalie Hale. Pleased that men's eyes watched me everywhere I went, from the year I turned twelve. Delighted that my girlfriends sighed with envy when they touched my hair. Happy that my mother was proud of me and that my father liked to buy me pretty dresses."
Since you were twelve? I guess pedophilia is a big theme of Meyer’s books, to say nothing of the creepy hair-touching and femslash undertones.
Rosalie talks about how all she wanted to be in life was to be loved and adored and have lots and lots of attention and how she was “silly and shallow”. Then she talks about her closest friend Vera, who married a carpenter at age seventeen and a baby boy at eighteen.
AND THUS THE OBSESSION WITH BABIES IS BORN.
She natters on about how she wanted baaaaabiiiiiiiiies wanted to be married so she can settle down and start churning out baaaaaaaaaabiiiiiiiiiies. Bella finally pops in to remind the audience that she’s here. For those interested, Rosalie just talked, non-stop with maybe one short sentence of action, for over a page in Word. Almost 600 words straight of just talking. Just thought I’d throw that out there.
Anyway—Bella. She thinks Rosalie’s world is more like a “fairy tale” instead of actual history.
WHAM! Meyer just smacked us with the Unintentional Flaw in the Story again.
And then Rosalie starts back up again. We finally find out where she lived—Rochester. Rochester where? Minnesota? New York? If it’s New York, you have two to choose from. At any rate, it turns out there was an effectively royal family there named the Kings, and Meyer thinks this is an appropriate use of irony. That is not irony, Meyer. Again—you call yourself an English Major. The owner of the bank where Rosalie’s father worked was one Royce King—apparently the guy also owned “nearly every other really profitable business in town”. So, not only was this bank immune to the effects of the Great Depression, but the Great Depression apparently had the exact opposite effect as it did everywhere else—made this bank’s business grow! Anyway, Big Royce’s son, Royce II, met Rosalie when Mummy Dearest dressed her up really pretty and took her to the bank under the pretense of taking Hale, Sr. his lunch, when it was really just a fishing trip for her daughter to catch a man, since that’s all women are good for. Royce saw, started sending flowers, Rose is recalling all of this in perfect detail, and apparently her eyes used to be purple, and my God, this is the crappiest exposition I’ve ever read. *tears hair*
After two months of all this, they got engaged and within few weeks were set to be married. A formal courtship lasting only two months back in 1933? Scandalous? Just a tad. So, they partied a lot, were seen out in public, and it’s quite clear that they hadn’t gotten to know each other at all. Well, if that was the case, why wasn’t this True Love Forever and Ever? Worked for Bella and Wardo, here. Rosalie then talks about the big wedding that was planned, and WELL, WELL, she talks about BABIES again, and how she was going to get some of her own! BABIES.
Then Rosalie pauses to gnash her teeth a little and we get reminded of Bella again. Our second filibuster was 400 words long, and a full page. Absolutely no action sentences that time. Just 400 words of straight talking.
But Rosalie doesn’t take long to start right back up again—and keep in mind that, although Bella inserts a paragraph here and there every page or so to remind us that she’s there, this is just pretty much Rosalie talking. I’ll give you the full tally at the end. Anyway, Rosalie talks about how her friend Vera’s relationship was obviously purer than her own with Royce’s, because they have BABIES!!!!, and then she heads out into the night by herself from her friend’s house to go home. And here, Meyer pretty much decides to contradict her own canon. Rosalie remembers every detail of what happens next. I mean, EVERY DETAIL. To a RIDICULOUS (and incredibly stupid) amount. And then in BD, Bella’s human memories start fading INSTANTLY. Hello thar, continuity!
So, beautiful, well-known, publicly-wealthy, well-dressed Rosalie is marching home in the dead of night by herself in 1933 at the height of the Great Depression when poverty and the mob were rampant and people were getting desperate for money by any means.
Let that sink in for a bit. Savor it.
So, before she can get home, she sees a group of men under a broken streetlamp, obviously drunk off their asses. Turns out it’s Royce and his buddies.
Lemme just say that suddenly, this turns into a story within a story. We are no longer listening to Rose tell us what happened. All of the sudden, we switch gears, we’re from Rose’s POV, and it’s like Meyer wrote this little aside for us to chew on.
Except it’s still Rose talking.
BAD. FUCKING. WRITING.
So, Royce calls her over, drunken words are exchanged, and before you know it, Rose is lying in the street, nearly ded from
Now, I’m supposed to be all horrified and stunned and oh-so enthralled. Instead, I just headdesked so hard I think I broke the legs of my kitchen table.
So, lemme get this straight, Meyer. Let’s see if I can cover all the bases.
Rich, well-known Royce and his rich, well-known friends just loudly gang-raped a rich, well-known woman—one he’s constantly been seen with and can easily be connected to because he’s freakin’ engaged to her—in the middle of a public street lined with lots of lights and houses and apartments probably around eight or nine in the evening in a very big city in a very affluent neighborhood with lots of people in it who probably call the police when they hear something as minor as a cat fight, and he not only did he expect to get away with it, but as we see later, he did.
Did I get everything? Good. Now, Mr. Prosecution, if I may?
YOU EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THAT????!!!!!
What kind of dumbfuck do you take me for?! Or better still, what kind of dumbfuck are YOU, to think that that was in any way, shape, or form believable?!
GAD. That is so stupid I can’t even comment on it properly. MOVING ON.
Rosalie goes on to say how after it was over, she just lay there and waited to die. Business as usual for the chicks in this story. So, while she lays there, Carlisle shows up, having smelled all the blood. Turns out Rosalie knew about the Cullens and didn’t like them because they were prettier than she was—dear God, she’s Legolas from the Very Secret Diaries. And then…yeah, this happens.
Carlisle turns her. Without asking. Without anything. Just…turns her.
Free will? Choice? Dur—what’s that?
So, while Rosalie’s laying there writhing in pain, Carlisle actually tries to talk to her—not to talk her through the pain, but to deliver back story. Now, I thought the pain of being changed into a vampire was like the Cruciatus Curse on crack, to the point that you are totally unaware of anything but said pain. Apparently not. Hello thar, continuity! Then Wardo the Asshole shows up while she changes. He makes it quite clear that he thinks it’s horrible that Carlisle would even think of changing her, because, gawd, it’s Rosalie Hale. Carlisle’s response?
"'I couldn't just let her die,' Carlisle said quietly. 'It was too much—too horrible, too much waste.'"
Yes, it would be a waste to let something that pretty die. Pretty things should not die—they should live forever.
I HATE YOU, STEPHENIE MEYER.
Anyway, Wardo goes on to say that Rosalie should’ve died, and that she’s too conspicuous, then he made me snort a Gobstopper through my nose when he calls Royce a “fiend”. Wardo continues to make it quite clear that he thinks Rosalie is just so vile, and Carlisle is PUTTING HIM OUT by saving somebody’s life like this, has he no consideration for his feelings? Carlisle says that Rosalie can do whatever she wants when she wakes up, including go off on her own. Well, the very thought of being a woman alone in the world makes Rosalie spaz right out.
So, after she wakes up and sees she’s been vamped, and…well, this happened.
"Shallow as I was, I felt better when I saw my reflection in the mirror the first time. Despite the eyes, I was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen." She laughed at herself for a moment. "It took some time before I began to blame the beauty for what had happened to me—for me to see the curse of it. To wish that I had been… well, not ugly, but normal. Like Vera. So I could have been allowed to marry someone who loved me, and have pretty babies. That's what I'd really wanted, all along. It still doesn’t seem like too much to have asked for."
Not just any babies, but pretty babies. Man, that’s stupid.
And then she gets incredibly smug and says that while she’s never actually eaten a human, she did, in fact, go out and slaughter five of them immediately after being turned. All five of the guy’s who done did her in. And she makes it quite clear that she thinks this is awesome, and that she probably gets off on thinking about it—she does, in fact, call it murder, and that it is grand, and that she slowly worked her way up to Royce, saving him for last. Think that’s good? Then she remembers that when she went for Royce, he was being guarded by two men. “Oops—seven murders…I forgot about his guards. They only took a second.”
That’s great, Meyer. That’s really great. So not only have your oh-so wonderful sparkly Mormon vampires committed murder and not been sorry about it at all and spend all their time justifying it, but now we find out that it wasn’t just “bad people” they were out killing. No, they’ve killed plenty of innocent people, too. And needlessly as well. Vampires are supposed to be oh-so quick and awesome—what was wrong with just knocking them out or scaring them away? No, she had to kill them. But it didn’t matter, right? Death by association—anybody guarding Royce MUST be bad, so they probably deserved it anyway. Couldn’t have just been two guys doing their jobs, getting paid so that they could feed their families, or anything.
These are the protagonists. They are put on pedestals and I am supposed to think they are just so great and are the first vampires to develop consciences and that they are oh-so better than the evil Catholics and all other vampires because they choose to have the majority of their meals be animals instead of humans. I am supposed to think that these…these things are wonderful people, even though it is quite clear that none of them have any regard for human life—not a single one of them. Not Alice (“It helps if you think of them as people.”), not Jasper (all for popping Bella off strictly to cover his own ass), not Emmett (fondly reminiscing about nomming that totally awesome bacon lady), not Esme (perfectly fine with condemning Bella to either death or vampirism, because, hey, it means her son’s not gay), not Rosalie (see above), certainly not Wardo (yeah, obvious)—not even Carlisle (didn’t save Rosalie because it was within his power and he didn’t want her to die, but because it was a “waste”).
Anyway. Rosalie talks about how she savored killing these people and starts going into explicit detail and how dramatic it was, given that she was wearing a pilfered wedding dress (at least she admits that was incredibly stupid), and all I really have to say is if she was a newborn, and newborns are supposedly all rabid and crazy for humans to the point that they will nom any person they can get their hands on, how the hell did she manage this without eating them, as she claimed? Then Rosalie apparently realizes that Bella’s in the room and apologizes for getting carried away
What is with these people and their surprise with others doing something polite or kind or right? I seriously don’t get it. I guess they’re so shocked because it’s certainly not what they would do. But then Bella decides now is a good time to extol Wardo’s virtues, which causes Rosalie to start reforming because she talks about how decent he is as a result, followed by her saying that she “[hasn’t] been fair” to Bella. She explains that she hated on Bella because she was outraged that Wardo would dare love Bella but not her. At first, Bella assumes that Rosalie has arrived to do her in because she’s in a jealous rage. She explains that is not the case, because Rosalie just wanted Wardo to want her because she’s used to that.
And see? There we go. A nice character flaw that could’ve given her depth—no matter how shallow and vain it made her—and Meyer decides to just piss it away. Rosalie just could’ve been all hatin’ on Bella because of that. In fact, it’s been pretty clear thus far that that is indeed the only reason she hated Bella, because it was the principle of the thing. A character flaw, and thus a little personality. But we can’t have that. No, she has to make it flat-out Scary Sue jealousy.
Rosalie then says that she’s got over being irritated with Wardo not falling all over himself to love her when they went to Denali and “all those females”—and yet again, it’s females. You have no idea how much that drives me crazy. Rosalie says that Wardo had his pick of the wimmen-folk up there and never showed any interest (because he’s totally gay), and Bella pretty much loses all interest because who cares about Rosalie when it turns out that Wardo has some kind of harem, eh? Rosalie misreads Bella’s expression (no doubt it was a chagrinned expression), and reassures her that she is pretty, and that she was just offended that Wardo thought she was more attractive and that she was “vain enough that [she] minded”.
It’s…not much of a character flaw if she just admits how vain she is. And how many actual vain people go around saying how vain and shallow they are? Bella goes on to reassure Rosalie that she’s absolutely stunning, but Rosalie handwaves it and says that Wardo’s just a nut to not think Rosalie’s gonzagas are the best. Bella decides to bring the situation back to herself.
“But you still don’t like me,” I whispered.
Yes, I really wish we would get to this point. Because, you know, all of the above really makes no sense at all if we have no context as to why she decided to spill it all of the sudden.
But Bella’s whining that Rosalie doesn’t like her just pisses me off.
She finally asks Rosalie what the deal is, and what her problem with her is. Rosalie says that Bella’s just being an idiot for choosing vampirism, because she’s got a great life as a human and is throwing it all away. Basically, Rosalie hates Bella because she wouldn’t choose vampirism, so why should Bella? Because that’s how all of the “protagonists” in this story operate. If they don’t like it, it makes no sense that anybody else would, and if they want it, so does everybody else.
And once again, this is another sign that Meyer had not intended this to be a series. Rosalie was perfectly fine as a Scary Sue who hated Bella because she was mad that Wardo ignored her and sniffed a human’s underwear instead. She was also fine as just a shallow, vain, beautiful girl who went through life at her happiest when she was in front of a mirror. And then all of the sudden, BAM, complete character 180, all Rosalie cares about is being human and churning out babies. I mean, even she knows that her characterization has just been completely changed: “It’s just that it’s harder now than it was then, when it was no more than vanity.” See? She’s not stupid.
Bella asks if Rosalie would like her better if she remained pink and warm, and Rosalie says that she might. Then Bella reminds her that she got Emmett, so she should be happy. That’s when the story gets totally disturbing when we find out the only reason Rosalie saved Emmett from the bear.
"With the dark curls… the dimples that showed even while he was grimacing in pain… the strange innocence that seemed so out of place on a grown man's face… he reminded me of Vera's little Henry. I didn't want him to die—so much that, even though I hated this life, I was selfish enough to ask Carlisle to change him for me."
Rosalie, you have a serious, SERIOUS Jocasta complex and you need to see a shrink.
Seriously—you only rescued this guy because he reminded you of the babies you will never have, and now you regularly have sex him? I have to wonder if Emmett knows about this, and if their sex involves…you know…icky roleplay or anything.
I…need to stop thinking about that. No good can come of it, especially when that fic where Lucius curses his son to the mentality of a one-year-old baby while he’s physically eighteen and then they have sex—
BAD TOUCH, MOMMY. *curls up and hides under the table for two hours and won’t come out*
*resumes typing from under the table*
So, while Rosalie says that Emmett is just what she wants, she bemoans her fate with him because it means she will never have BABIES!!!!, and we can’t have that.
Well, we’ve gone far too long without extolling Bella’s virtues! So Rosalie says that Bella is SO “much more mature” than she was at age eighteen, but that she’s not thinking this vampirism thing through and is making a rash decision. Well, at least there is some injection of sense here. But Bella quickly squashes it when Rosalie says she’s giving up a lot by thinking, “But more to get in return.” Because that’s all Bella’s about. Getting what she wants.
Bella thanks her for her time, Rosalie calls herself “a monster”, and then we get this:
We weren't friends yet, but I was pretty sure she wouldn't always hate me so much.
Because, you know, we wouldn’t have been able to figure that out for ourselves from the writing. Aren’t you glad that Meyer is here to guide you through her master work? I mean, you’re all obviously too stupid to comprehend it otherwise.
Rose bids her goodnight and tells her not to bitch at Wardo too badly for keeping her under lock and key—GOOD GOD, WHY DO ALL OF THESE PEOPLE DEFEND THIS????!!!!! Oh, right, because he loves her, and “it terrifies him to be away from [her]”. How could I have been so stupid.
Rosalie leaves, and Bella manages to fall asleep and—
OH, COME ON!!!!!!!!
When I did sleep, I had a nightmare. I was crawling across the dark, cold stones of an unfamiliar street, under lightly falling snow, leaving a trail of blood smeared behind me. A shadowy angel in a long white dress watched my progress with resentful eyes.
A SYMBOLIC DREAM.
Now, there is so much wrong with the above section that I don’t even know where to start. So I’ll try to go down the list, piece by piece. Sorry if this gets long.
1) Bad style.
Bring in Strunk and White! I agree with that consensus. Stephenie Meyer’s punishment for inflicting us with this dreck should be to have to transcribe—IN BLACK INK, AND IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE, YOU HAVE TO REWRITE THAT ENTIRE PAGE—Elements of Style TEN TIMES. The style is absolutely atrocious here! She alternates between short, choppy sentences and long, flowery ones that could’ve easily been trimmed down! Then, of course, everything is in poor order! We don’t get to the point until the last, what, PARAGRAPH? We do, in fact, forget the entire point of her coming into Bella’s room until she brings that up again!
There is also Meyer’s typical patronizing and condescending style of telling us the meaning behind everything because we’re obviously too damned stupid to understand it. Here, I’ll make my point using a few stories that DON’T do what Meyer does and show you how very bad they become when you use that style.
Romeo and Juliet: “Never was there a tale of more woe, than that of Juliet and her Romeo. Even though it brought the two families together and ended the feud, it was a terrible price to pay for their animosity.”
The Great Gatsby: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, because it is human nature to remember things in the past as better than they were, and so we spend forever remembering and trying to recapture that, but it never works.”
Heart of Darkness: “‘The horror! The horror!’ The horror of man’s inhumanity to man was his last dying thought.”
Return of the King: “…the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash, because he’d thought that Pippin had had the Ring the entire time, but the real Ringbearer had been none other than Frodo Baggins.”
Harry Potter: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years, because Voldemort had truly been defeated, unlike the first time when he had the horcruxes and was able to stay alive after the Killing Curse rebounded on him. All was well.”
You’d feel pretty indignant towards the authors if they put that sort of thing in their books, wouldn’t you? Or at least you’d just roll your eyes and call them Captain Obvious, especially when it is very clear in the source material itself what the meaning is. Now, let’s go back over Meyer’s quote used up there. Rosalie has come in, apologized numerous times for being bitchy, tells her story as to why she hates on Bella, and then says that she will try to be better and get over it, smiling and being friendly to her for the first time since the series began. Meyer’s summation of the events? “We weren’t friends yet, but I was pretty sure she wouldn’t always hate me so much.”
You made it obvious in the text that was the case! You don’t need to state it and tell us! IT’S UNDERSTOOD!
And, of course, this chapter is one huge INFODUMP. It is POINTLESS. This sort of information could easily have been woven gradually into the story. But no, no, we have to stop, turn to the camera, and deliver a huge monologue about stuff that we didn’t care about in the first place.
2) Bad POV.
Here is where the problem with first person POV truly comes in. I mean, it’s been obvious since the beginning, but it is REALLY bad here.
First person POV is the most limited of all POVs. You are looking directly through another person’s eyes, and seeing only what they see, doing only what they do, experiencing only what they experience. While I am not a fan of it, I do acknowledge that it can be used to great effectiveness.
This is not the case with Meyer.
First person has to be told in the same voice as the person you are looking through—AND NOBODY TALKS LIKE THESE PEOPLE DO. Bella is speaking in first person, and yet she describes everything in flowery terms, and talks about her expressions, and talks about how she looks to other people—how does she know that? She can’t see herself. And who the hell takes a glance at something and IMMEDIATELY thinks of it in extended prose? Sure, if you gaze at something long enough, you start thinking of it more extensively, but—well, here, example. I just looked up over the top of my laptop and lo, there was my cat. And guess what I thought? Well, you already know—I thought, “There’s PJ.” I didn’t think, “There was PJ—he was sitting recumbent in the Snickers box, one leg extended prettily as he licked his soft, fluffy fur clean.” I just thought, “There’s PJ.” That sentence about him licking himself came later after I thought about it.
Bella does not do this. It feels like THIRD person POV, just with lots of first person pronouns. It’s CRAP.
The same thing went down with Rosalie. She’s supposed to be telling a story—that doesn’t feel like somebody telling a story from their point of view. It feels like Meyer just typed out her story in third person, changed any third person pronouns to first person, and then stuck it into her mouth. People don’t talk like that, and it doesn’t really matter WHAT time period they are from.
3) Bad dialogue.
This comes straight from the last one—PEOPLE DON’T TALK LIKE THAT. Nobody sits down and tells a story like that. If you are writing somebody telling a story, it should FEEL like they are talking. That? Felt like we randomly flashed back to the actual setting, like something out of Heart of Darkness, only incredibly crappy. Nobody talks in flowery, purple prose. They talk NORMALLY. When Rosalie tells her story, she was not talking in first person—she was talking in THIRD person. That is not natural.
And, of course, there is the huge, HUGE problem with the fact that the entire thing was almost nothing BUT dialogue! Here, lemme pull up the tallies for ya.
The Entire Section
John Galt, step aside.
4) Bad language.
Like I said—this isn’t cursing. This is just bad word usage. “Grimacing in pain” comes to mind. While that is also bad dialogue as well, it’s also bad language. Typically, a grimace is a scowl or a frown. I…don’t think you just scowl or frown in pain. Grimace just implies you are irritated or disgusted—I say, bear, you have put out Emmett with your attempts on his life! That just isn’t done! How impertinent!
5) Bad characterization.
Yes, yes, I know—RAMPANT through these books. But we’re just going to focus for now on Rosalie and Royce.
Rosalie’s character: She talks about how vain and shallow she was as a human, but continues to talk about how vain and shallow she is as a vampire. That means she has absolutely no character growth whatsoever—again, just like all the other characters, as long as she apparently acknowledges it, that makes it perfectly okay. And then, of course, she has her relationship with Emmett touted as great and grand and True Love, and yet we were just told that she is not satisfied with it and never will be.
This is not a good character. A person who is flawed, but promptly acknowledges all of those flaws and makes no effort to change them? Or has no character growth at all over almost one hundred years? No.
Royce’s character: Typical rich, evil, corporate mustache-twirler who rapes women in the middle of the street while pretending to be a fine upstanding gentleman.
Professor Fate was a parody, Meyer, not a character model.
6) Contradictory characterization.
Meyer has said before that she did not intend Twilight to go beyond the first book. It has never more been more evident here. I already went over it up there—Rosalie has been just a bitchy, shallow character this whole time, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, it turns out that she’s that way simply because she wants babies and lots of ‘em and is just mad because she can’t.
Excuse me? When have babies ever meant ANYTHING in this series? Rosalie has never expressed interest outside of her own beauty EVER. And that is especially true when we see Midnight Sun, because that was written AFTER all the other books, and yet we immediately go right back to shallow Rosalie with her only motivation being her own hotness.
7) Historical inaccuracies.
Already went over that in significant detail up there, so I don’t really need to touch on this one anymore. The skinny? Meyer fails.
8) Suspension of reality.
Yeah. Never more apparent here. You expect me to believe that eeeeevil Royce got away with that scot free? That nobody ever suspected him, even after he started panicking when his friends started getting bumped off?
9) Sledgehammer of foreshadowing.
Yep, we know about this already. Any time Meyer wants to introduce something that will be important later, she beats us over the head with it at an earlier date. In New Moon, we randomly got a big, long, extensive discussion of the Catholics because we were going to meet them later. And here, in Eclipse, we are being beaten with the BABY MALLET. BABIES, DAMMIT. BABIES. EVERYBODY WANTS THEM.
Which is also another Gethsemane similarity, but those are quotes for Breaking Dawn.
10) Scary Sue reformation.
Sues like reforming their Scary Sues almost as much as they like stepping on them and pwning them. And here goes Rosalie—no, it wouldn’t do for her to be contemptuous of Bella. She’s one of the Beautiful People, and all things Beautiful must love Bella. So here she goes, reforming herself completely randomly and repenting and begging for forgiveness and going on and on about how she’s just vain and shallow and everybody else is so much better and she’s been wrong this whole time and now she thinks that Bella is just the berries. All Hail the Head Sue.
Rosalie’s ultimate dream was to be barefoot and pregnant and be a trophy wife to her husband.
12) More of Bella declaring that vampirism is clearly the end-all-be-all.
Sacrifice does not matter to Bella—she’s gonna get to be that vampire no matter what. Because who cares about kids and losing all of your family and friends? According to her, you get so much more in return! Like being beautiful and powerful and immortal!
13) Mormon propaganda.
GET A HUSBAND IMMEDIATELY AND START CHURNING OUT BABIES BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY THING WOMEN ARE GOOD FOR AND THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL BE HAPPY AND THERE IS NOT ONE PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO DOES NOT SHARE THIS BELIEF.
14) Forceful belief-pushing.
15) Rampant stupidity.
Rosalie walked home in the dark in the middle of the Great Depression. She was publicly wealthy, and probably didn’t dress herself down when going out. She had plenty of money to call a cab, or even could’ve called her father. But no—she decided to walk home. And then, randomly, she winds up meeting her future husband and his friends. What the hell were they doing there? Are there lots of bars in affluent neighborhoods?
In other words, it makes no sense and is just plain stupid.
16) Bad writing.
Put everything you just read together, and there you go—PLAIN. BAD. WRITING.
Alice is driving Bella to school, promising fun and all sorts of loveliness, and Bella says something that finally makes sense: “Why don’t you just lock me in the basement…and forget the sugar coating?” So Alice promptly starts pouting and whining that Bella is not showing the appropriate enthusiasm, and as we’ve seen with these characters, that’s all it takes for them to cave immediately. So she does, and ACTUALLY SAYS THAT IT ISN’T ALICE’S FAULT. UH, BELLA? SHE AGREED TO DO THIS. IT IS JUST AS MUCH AS HER FAULT AS IT IS WARDO’S, SO DEAL WITH IT.
Oh, but it gets better. Then she declares that, even though we’ve had to hear about how furious she is with Wardo, because he’s not here, “the day was guaranteed to be unbearable”. I agree! Because now we have to hear about you whining!
Well, as Wardo’s not around, naturally, Mike starts making moves again, asking if she wants to hang out over the weekend because Wardo is not keeping her by his side at all times. Bella laments that she has a slumber party, WHEN SUDDENLY, it’s Jacob on his Motorcycle of Great Justice! He’s come to rescue Bella! She ponders for a split second, wondering briefly if Alice would restrain her in public, then tells Mike to cover her ass while she splits school. When he grudgingly agrees, SHE ACTUALLY KISSES HIM.
Play ‘em, Bella, play ‘em. Get ‘em in the net.
So, she jumps onto the motorcycle, and we get a glimpse of Alice with the dreaded curled lip of the vampire, which is not all that threatening because they have no fangs. But no time for that—Jacob steps on the gas and they’re off! They race to the Quileute border, and then celebrate their triumphant escape. Yay!
Bleh. That took a very long time, and is very large. So, you’ll have to wait for the next chapter. Hopefully, it won’t take nearly as long—but it too has a long rant that gets to go in it.
Paul Count: 6
See you guys next time in Chapter 8 – Temper!
Stinger: “"Why don't you just lock me in the basement," I suggested, "and forget the sugar coating?"”
( Chapter 8 - Temper )