Study Guide

Breaking Dawn Book 3, Chapter 21

By Stephenie Meyer

Book 3, Chapter 21

First Hunt

  • After Edward assures Bella that Renesmee is safe with Jacob downstairs, he asks Bella to jump out the second floor window instead of exiting through the front door. She stalls at first, because everyone's watching her. When she finally does it, even Edward is amazed by her gracefulness – even in the tight dress and silly stilettos Alice gave her to wear.
  • Bella and Edward bound and leap through the forest hand in hand. Bella worries about harming the trees. She rips her dress on both sides to allow for more movement. She flies across, farther than Edward, having a grand time discovering her new abilities.
  • Edward reminds her to focus: they're on a hunting trip, after all. He takes off and tells Bella to follow. She finds it hard to listen to him, because she's so distracted by her physical attraction to him – something she thought she'd lose as a newborn.
  • Edward suggests that they go after elk for her first hunt. Bella doesn't care. Once her mind shifts to her thirst, that desire consumes her mind.
  • Edward teaches Bella to find the elk by using her hearing and her sense of smell. Once she perceives the elk's smell, she finds it unappealing. Edward admits that it will take some getting used to.
  • Bella is about to launch at a male elk when the wind shifts and a human scent catches her nostrils. She hurtles after the scent, compelled by single-minded killer instinct. She realizes she's being followed and turns to confront the pursuer. The snarling sound emerging from her throat brings her up short.
  • The wind shifts, taking with it the temptation of the sweet human scent, and she realizes with sudden clarity that she's not only been hunting a human, but that she almost attacked Edward. She tells him she needs to get away. She holds her breath and runs north, away from the human temptation.
  • Edward catches up with Bella. He's amazed that she was able to stop herself just then:

    You shouldn't be able to do any of this. Bella, you're behaving like you're decades rather than days old. (21.122)

  • Bella admits to Edward that she still feels as attracted to him as she did before. When Edward mentions that she must be thirsty, her thirst comes to the forefront again and she focuses on hunting.
  • She attacks a mountain lion – an easy, but messy, kill. She compliments Edward on his ability to kill so gracefully.
  • Now that Bella's thirst is quenched, and she feels more in control, she demands to see Renesmee.