by Stephenie Meyer
New Moon Theme of Suffering
In New Moon, Bella and Edward’s true love for each other is closely associated with true pain. Because they love each other so much, they suffer mentally and physically from being away from each other. Jacob, who is also in love with Bella, suffers because she doesn’t return his romantic affections. Bella’s father Charlie suffers because he witnesses Bella’s misery, but remains unsure of how to heal her. Mental suffering causes physical suffering. Various characters experience painful thoughts as tangible, physical pain. Some characters even inflict physical suffering on other characters through their thoughts.
Questions About Suffering
- Bella suffers from a hole in her chest after she loses Edward. Of course, it’s only a mental hole, yet it causes her real physical pain. How might Edward’s different make-up have made him experience his pain of leaving Bella?
- Edward tells Bella that he suffered more from their separation than she did, because she at least kept up the appearance of normality. Do you think that means he loves her more?
- When Edward is gone, Bella’s pain affects everyone around her: Charlie, Jacob, her school friends. How do these different people react to her suffering? Out of the people mentioned, who is most affected by Bella’s pain?
- Do you think that love and suffering naturally go together?