by Stephenie Meyer
Twilight Theme of Appearances
At least initially, Bella and Edward seem to be attracted to one another because of their looks (and smell, too, especially in Edward's case). Bella is baffled that Edward could possibly find her attractive, which makes him state that she must not see herself clearly. Though Bella considers herself to be "absolutely ordinary" (10.171), all members of the Cullen family are inhumanly beautiful. In a different way, appearance is very important to the Cullens, who count on blending in to keep their secret under wraps. However, since they are all so good looking, and since their outward appearances don't age, they have the potential to arouse suspicion. As for human appearances, Edward has no problem seeing through outward demeanor since he has the ability to read minds. However, Bella's mind is untouchable to him, which makes her all the more alluring.
Questions About Appearances
- Does Bella love Edward for more than his looks?
- Is Bella beautiful, or is she truly "absolutely ordinary"?
- What is the difference between the Cullens' appearance and that of the other vampires?
- James is the only vampire we meet who isn't beautiful. Bella describes him as "very average looking, nothing remarkable about his face or body at all. Just the white skin, the circled eyes" (22.101). Why do you think Stephenie Meyer made James so average looking?
- Why do the Cullens attend school? To appear normal? Would it be easier for the Cullens to just stay completely away from humans, or easier to try to blend in among them?