Study Guide

New Moon Quotes

  • Love

    [Bella to Edward:] "Which is tempting you more? My blood or my body?" I challenged.

    [Edward:] "It’s a tie." (2.230-231)

    Bella wonders how much of Edward is man and how much of him is vampire in his attraction to her. You could take this a step further and wonder if Edward would still be attracted to Bella if she were a vampire as well. What do you think?

    [Bella:] "You… don’t… want me?" I tried out the words, confused by the way they sounded. (3.172)

    There’s an entire world of meaning attached to these four simple words and Bella’s mind struggles to make that connection just yet.

    Love, life, meaning… over. (3.214)

    Without Edward, Bella sees no meaning in her existence.

    [Bella:] I’d been broken beyond repair. But I needed Jacob now, needed him like a drug. I’d used him as a crutch for too long, and I was in deeper than I’d planned to go with anyone again. (9.221-222)

    To need someone like a drug is an incredibly strong desire. Could this statement point to a character weakness in Bella? This also reminds us of passages in Twilight where Edward compares the way he's drawn to Bella as similar to a recovering drug addict around heroine (Twilight 13.75-79).

    Edward, I love you. (10.160)

    This is one of several moments in the story when Bella faces death, and her last thought goes to Edward.

    No, Edward wasn’t a killer… But what if he had been? What if, during the time that I’d known him, he’d been just like any other vampire?… Would have that kept me away from him? I shook my head sadly. Love is irrational, I reminded myself. (14.195-197)

    Bella realizes that when it comes to love, rules of good and evil don’t totally apply. Does this idea just hold true for her particular case, or in general? And do you believe her? What if Edward had joined the Volturi in massacring innocent tourists?

    [Mike to Bella:] "Don’t kid yourself, Bella. The guy’s head over heels for you."… "I know," I sighed. "Life is complicated." "And girls are cruel," Mike said under his breath." (15.9-11)

    Mike thinks that Bella is selfish to not acknowledge the lop-sided nature of her friendship with Jacob. He seems to think that it’s a "girl thing" to do. Is it?

    "Juliet gets dumped and ends up with Paris" would have never been a hit. (16.75)

    Bella thinks that Shakespeare’s play stood the test of time because Romeo and Juliet ended up dying for their love. Does that mean that tragedy outlives happiness in people’s minds?

    [Jacob to Bella:] "You could stay here with me. You could stay alive. For Charlie. For me." (18.218)

    Jacob is asking Bella to make a choice and decide whom she loves more: Edward or him. Might it also be a choice of love for Edward’s family over her own family?

    [Bella:] "You love me," I marveled. The sense of conviction and rightness washed through me again. (24.63)

    This is a crucial turning point for Bella. She realizes for the first time that Edward loves her as much as she loves him.

  • Suffering

    The sound of his name unleashed the thing that was clawing inside of me – a pain that knocked me breathless… (3.315)

    Bella’s pain is so vivid that it feels like a living monster inside of her, too powerful for her to fight.

    [Bella:] The waves of pain… reared high up and washed over my head, pulling me under. I did not resurface. (3.330-331)

    This is an interesting image, foreshadowing Bella's actual near-drowning later in the story.

    [Charlie:] "You’re… just lifeless, Bella." (4.13)

    Bella has given up on life since Edward has left her.

    It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been punched through my chest…my heart must have been beating but I couldn’t hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. (4.258)

    Missing heart beat, constant coldness – Bella’s emotional and physical states are making her take on the characteristics of a vampire.

    …and there never would be anything more for me… nothing but nothing… (5.17)

    It seems paradoxical that "nothingness" can inflict pain.

    It was loud… everyone talked over everyone else… laughter from one joke… I didn’t want to leave. (6.127)

    It looks like joy, laughter, and a sense of family can help ease Bella’s pain.

    This doesn’t really bother you, does it?" [Jacob] demanded, squeezing my fingers. "No," I sighed. Truthfully, it felt nice. (9.156-157)

    Jacob’s warm, human touch alleviates Bella’s pain. But for her, this intimate moment means companionship, not romance (which it is for Jacob). To an outside observer how might their relationship look?

    I was an empty shell. Like a vacant house – condemned – for months I’d been uninhabitable. Now I was a little improved… [Jacob] deserved better than… a falling-down fixer-upper. (9.200)

    Bella repurposes the image of the deserted Cullen house to represent her own emotional state. Just like the house, she’s been left behind and is empty, without purpose, her insides crumbling.

    Without Jacob, and my adrenaline and my distractions, everything I’d been repressing started creeping up on me. The hole in my chest was worse than ever… I found myself hunched over… gasping for air. I wasn’t handling alone well. (10.21-22)

    Bella frequently mentions that much of her pain stems from sheer loneliness.

    I’d thought that Jake had been healing the hole in me – or at least plugging it up… I’d been wrong. He’d just been carving out his own hole… (11.235)

    Again, with love comes emotional attachment, and with emotional attachment comes pain.

    "We’re a pretty messed-up pair, aren’t we?" Jacob said. "Neither one of us can hold our shape together right." (15.77)

    Throughout New Moon, shape shifting or transformation (both emotional and physical) is connected with pain.

    I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole… It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. It was perfect – not healed, but as if there had never been a wound in the first place. (20.70)

    The pain is gone as though it never existed, mentally as well as physically. Such is the supernatural power of love! Does this scene seem realistic to you?

  • Choices

    [Edward:] "I’m not human." (3.176)

    In this moment, Edward defines being "human" by not being a killer. Is that an adequate description? What’s the definition of being "human" throughout the entire novel?

    [Bella:] "Don’t do this." [Edward] just stared at me, and I could see from his eyes that my words were far too late. He already had. (3.177)

    Might this mean that Edward’s always had one foot out the door?

    [Edward:] "It will be as if I’d never existed. (3.193)

    Edward believes that he’ll be able to disappear out of Bella’s life, leaving no physical or emotional traces. Does he truly comprehend the consequences this decision will have for both him and Bella?

    It was just that it had been a long time since I’d felt so light and buoyant. (5.135)

    Bella is trying to justify the fact that she’s leading Jacob on about her feelings.

    I wanted to be stupid and reckless, and I wanted to break promises. (5.42)

    Bella makes a conscious choice to go against her "good girl" nature. Do you think that "getting in trouble" is a conscious choice for most teens?

    [Bella to Jacob:] "The problem," I said, "is that it means something different for me than it does to you."

    "Well." He tightened his hand around mine. "That’s my problem, isn’t it?" (9.161-162)

    Does Jacob only tell Bella he doesn’t care that she’s not returning his romantic feelings because he assumes that her attitude will change over time?

    I felt a brief twinge of guilt as I realized how Charlie would feel about this, but I ignored it. (10.66)

    Doesn’t it feel a bit strange for Bella to so easily dismiss Charlie’s warnings about missing hikers and giant animal prints?

    Now, what should I choose? (12.228)

    Bella doesn’t know if her love for Jacob should override her concerns that he and his werewolf pack might be murderers.

    [Bella to Jacob:] "Could you… well, try to not be a… werewolf?" I suggested in a whisper. (13.58)

    Bella seems to fear that Jacob being a werewolf will change their relationship. Bella wishes that she could have had a normal relationship for once. Part of what she liked about Jake was how innocent, uncomplicated, and human he was. But being a werewolf isn't a choice for Jacob, just like being a vampire isn't a choice for Edward.

    [Bella to Edward:] "Even if I had jumped off that cliff to die, that would have been my choice, and not your fault." (23.63)

    Bella feels that Edward is wrongly taking responsibility for her life.

    [Rosalie:] "This is not the life I would have chosen for myself." (24.142)

    Rosalie wanted to live a human life. Might she have changed her mind if she’d grown older and began to see her beauty fading?

  • Friendship

    "Just as friends?" Mike suggested. (7.73)

    Does "just friends" mean the same to Mike as it does to Bella? How can Bella’s friendship with Mike be compared to her friendship with Jacob?

    "I believe that…we have a date," [Jacob] said, his tone thick with implications. (7.94)

    Jacob makes no secret of his feelings for Bella.

    This was friendship. And Jacob felt very warm… Well, it was friendship for me. (7.190)

    Bella seems to know that the physical intimacy between her and Jacob might me "normally" considered more than friendship, so she feels the need to defend her stance as it being just platonic.

    So much for my chance to put some distance between us. I couldn’t stand hurting Jacob; we seemed to be connected in an odd way, and his pain set off little stabs of my own. (9.19)

    Bella thinks that drawing the line will hurt Jacob. But isn’t she ultimately hurting him more by not drawing the line? What does she mean by "[being] connected in an odd way"?

    "You shouldn’t waste [time] on me," I said, though I wanted him to. Especially if he was willing to accept me the way I was – damaged goods, as is. (9.151)

    Bella believes she’ll never recover from losing Edward.

    [Jacob:] "I won’t ever let you down. You know that, right? That I would never, ever hurt you?" (9.212)

    Jacob makes a big promise here. Do you think he later wishes he’d never made such promise? Does he keep it anyway?

    He was my best friend. I would always love him, and it would never, ever be enough. (9.223)

    Bella believes she’ll never have romantic feelings for Jacob. What "more" does she have with Edward that she’ll never have "enough of" with Jacob?

    [Jacob:] "I’m not good enough to be your friend anymore. I’m not what I was before. I’m not good." (11.220)

    Jacob thinks that being a werewolf means he’s not good enough to be Bella’s friend anymore. But if werewolves are made to protect humans from vampires, aren’t werewolves "natural" friends of humans? Why would he think he’s not good enough to be her friend anymore?

    "Can’t I be friends with you both at the same time?" (18.65)

    Ancient treaties bear no meaning for Bella when it comes to friendship. She believes friendship is about making a personal choice. Do you agree with her opinion?

    [Jacob to Bella:] "…I’ll always be your friend," he said gruffly. "No matter what you love." (18.69)

    Do you think Jacob would have made that promise knowing that Bella committed herself to becoming a vampire?

    My best friend counted me with his enemies. (Epilogue.143)

    Although Jacob counts her among his enemies, Bella still considers him her best friend. But doesn’t it take two people to have a friendship? Or, in other words, can you be friends with someone who regards you as an enemy?

    Not to mention, it's interesting that Bella identifies Jacob as her "best friend." That seems to imply that, while Edward may be her true love, he's not her closest friend. What's the difference between being a true love and a best friend?

  • Time

    [Edward:] "Time heals all wounds for your kind… my kind… we’re very easily distracted." (3.195)

    Edward says that vampires and humans perceive time differently. Why and how do they perceive it such that wounds heal more quickly for humans?

    Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. (4.1)

    Bella is talking about her subjective perception of time. What might make "her" time impossible to pass?

    "It was a year ago yesterday that I had my first day here," I mused. "Nothing has changed much," Angela muttered… "I know," I agreed. "I was just thinking the same thing." (6.206)

    Bella realizes she has come full circle. On the surface, her life in Forks is starting from scratch, as if Edward never existed.

    I didn’t keep track of the days that passed… as I tried to live as much in the present as possible, no past fading, no future impending. (9.4)

    Being present, or "in the moment," helps Bella pass time more quickly. Why might that be? Does that method work for you?

    A week was long. (10.18)

    Time without Jacob creeps along for Bella, as does time without Edward.

    [Bella:] "Maybe if you gave me some time… just don’t quit on me now, Jake." (11.216)

    Bella hopes that Edward’s comment about how "time heals all wounds" will be true and that she might be able to move on and even fall in love with Jacob at some point. Or maybe she’s just saying this to keep her hold on Jacob?

    I watched [Alice] in fascination for a long time. (19.72)

    When Alice is in her trance state, she doesn’t notice time passing.

    [Edward to Alice:] "Aro needs physical contact to hear your thoughts, but he hears much more than I do. You know I can hear only what's passing through your head in the moment. Aro hears every thought your mind has ever had." (21.50)

    Aro can hear a lifetime of thoughts. How might his gift change his perspective of time?

    The clock tolled again. (20.48)

    The clock represents "real" time, which can’t be stopped, even by human tragedies.

    Time means something very different to them than it does to you, or even me. They count years the way you count days. (23.160)

    The Volturi are so ancient, time moves passes without them paying much attention to it. So the more time you experience, the faster it moves? Maybe when you’ve seen it all before, life’s events become repetitive?

    The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time… As I always would belong to him, so would he always be mine… (24.57)

    Bella realizes that, for the love she shares with Edward, time doesn’t heal all wounds and could never make her forget him. Their love stands the test of time (or at least one school year apart).

  • Versions of Reality

    [Edward to Bella:] "I promise… It will be as if I’d never existed." (3.193)

    Through the course of the story it becomes clear to Bella that Edward made an impossible promise.

    Then there would come a point in my dream… when I couldn’t remember what it was that I was searching for, and nothing to find… and there never would be anything more for me… nothing but nothing… (5.17)

    At this point, Bella thinks that she has to face the reality that she’ll never find meaning in her life again.

    Last night I had not been alone in the woods. Sam Uley… was there… it made me uncomfortable to have him there… Maybe it was because, when I didn’t look directly at him, his shape seemed to shiver and change in my peripheral vision. Unlike the time when we met in reality he did not offer me his help. (6.141)

    Bella’s dream hints at the reality that Sam shape-shifts as a werewolf.

    Last night I wandered in a wide area of ferns, interspersed with hemlock trees… I wanted to kick myself for the stupid field trip last week. (7.89)

    The "real" trip she took to the Cullen house now informs Bella’s dreams.

    This had to be it, the recipe for hallucination – adrenaline plus danger plus stupidity. (8.84)

    Bella has come up with a recipe to conjure up Edward’s "presence" through his voice in her head. In that reality, he still cares about her.

    [Edward to Bella:] "I can’t believe how quick it was – I didn’t feel a thing." (20.71)

    Edward believes he has entered some kind of afterlife with Bella, which belies the attitude he’s held throughout the story – that vampires have no soul.

    [Alice to Bella:] "I saw you jump." (17.17)

    To Alice, Bella’s death was a reality. She saw and experienced her friend dying.

    "Bella," Alice whispered. "Edward won’t call again. He believed her." (18.165)

    Edward accepts Rosalie’s account as the truth. It seems that reality often depends on belief or trust.

    [Bella to Edward:] "I’m dead, right?" I moaned. (23.16)

    Much like Edward, Bella thinks she’s died and gone to heaven after the drowning scare. In contrast to Edward though, she doesn’t recite Shakespeare, but reacts very matter-of-factly. Does that fit her personality?

    [Edward to Bella:] "The enmity is rooted too deeply." (Epilogue.18)

    To Edward it’s a reality that vampires and werewolves can never be friends.

  • Mortality

    That was me. Me in a mirror. Me – ancient, creased, and withered.

    Edward stood beside me… excruciatingly lovely and forever seventeen. (1.19-20)

    Staying human and aging doesn’t feel like an option to Bella, when it comes to the future of her relationship with Edward. But if she couldn’t become a vampire, would she actually break up with him?

    [Edward to Bella:] "You humans have it so easy! All you have to do is throw down one tiny vial of plant extracts… I’m not even sure how many ways Carlisle tried to kill himself… after he realized what he had become…" (1.130)

    Edward seems to be as envious of mortality as Bella and many humans are of immortality. Could his attitude be a case of "wanting something because you can’t have it"?

    [Edward to Bella:] "…you don’t irritate the Volturi," Edward went on,…"Not unless you want to do die – or whatever is it we do." (1.143)

    Edward feels contempt for his kind. He also seems to be afraid of what happens to vampires after they die.

    "God and heaven exist… and so does hell. But he doesn’t believe in an afterlife for our kind"; [Carlisle] stared… into the darkness. "You see, [Edward] thinks we’ve lost our souls." (2.63)

    Edward believes that, without a soul, there’s no afterlife either. But what makes him believe that human beings have a soul? And does that mean he believes that evil humans can redeem themselves and go to heaven, but vampires cannot?

    "…This is about my soul, isn’t it?" [Bella] shouted furiously. (3.168)

    Throughout the novel, Bella dismisses the meaning of her soul, while it’s the most important thing for Edward.

    "Please," I gasped. (10.153)

    Faced with her own mortality, Bella pleads for her life. Does that mean that, despite her reckless behavior, she never plans to actually tempt death?

    Happiness. It made the whole dying thing pretty bearable." (15.178)

    The closeness Bella feels to Edward in this moment overrides her fear of death, or is it just that her body’s going into shock?

    [Edward to Bella:] "Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, hath no power yet upon thy beauty," he murmured, and I recognized the line spoken by Romeo in the tomb. (20.71)

    Deep down, Edward does believe in an afterlife. Do you think he attributes this gift of afterlife to his love for Bella?

    [Bella:] "My mortality. I’m putting it to a vote." (23.210)

    Bella makes a conscious choice to let the Cullens decide her human life and death. How might she feel about giving up her human life, if – like Rosalie – the choice would have never been hers?

    [Bella to Edward:] "If you really believed that you’d lost your soul, then… you would have realized immediately what was happening, instead of thinking we were both dead together… But you didn’t – you said ‘Amazing, Carlisle was right.’" (24.405)

    Touché! Bella proves to Edward that he believes in an afterlife, thereby eliminating his claims that he doesn’t want to change her because he would take her soul.

  • Lies and Deceit

    I needed to reign in the enthusiasm before I gave him the wrong idea – it was just that it had been a long time since I’d felt so light and buoyant. (5.135)

    Bella lies to Jacob about her feelings by not curbing her enthusiasm for him. By not acting, does she encourage him?

    And, even though I was enjoying myself more than I thought possible, there was no lessening of my original desire. I still wanted to cheat. (6.106)

    A lie for a lie, a broken promise for a broken promise… sounds like the old testament "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth" (Exodus 21:23-27). Is that a healthy way to look at life?

    I was so wrong to encourage Jacob. Pure selfishness. (9.199)

    Bella is completely aware that she’s not being fair with Jacob, but also that she’s unable to change her selfish behavior. What does that say about her character?

    "Lie," the beautiful velvet voice whispered… I did what the voice said to do. (10.103)

    This is one of the few times in the story that Bella actually listens to Edward’s voice. How does her behavior prove that Edward’s voice is just a projection of her own mind and that he isn’t actually with her?

    "He’ll know it was you," I whispered obediently. "You won’t get away with this." (10.150)

    Bella lies to Laurent by saying that Edward still watches out for her. In reality, she knows that she can no longer depend on Edward to keep her safe.

    I decided that the truth, or part of it anyway, was the best option. (10.206)

    Bella believes that half-truths are more justifiable than complete lies. Is that a valid argument?

    [Laurent to Bella:] "…the restrictions are difficult… I’m surprised that any of them can keep it up for so long." He smiled at me, conspiratorially. "Sometimes I cheat." (10.114)

    It’s ironic that both Laurent and Bella are cheating. Only Laurent cheats by killing humans and Bella cheats by breaking her promise to Edward. Is there a moral about the repercussions of cheating in this?

    "…I wish I could change how I feel about you, Jacob." I was desperate, reaching, stretching the truth so far that it curved nearly into the shape of a lie. "Maybe… maybe I would change." (11.216)

    Bella says she’s stretching the truth to the limit, so when does truth end and lying begin?

    "You’re such a hypocrite, Bella – there you sit, terrified of me! How’s that fair?" [Jacob’s] hands shook with anger. (12.63)

    Throughout the book, Jacob accuses Bella of having double standards when it comes to vampires versus werewolves.

    [Edward:] "I’m a good liar, Bella, I have to be." (23.78)

    Is Edward really a believable liar in the break-up scene or is Bella just an easy believer?

    I had been betrayed. (Epilogue.44)

    Double betrayal – Bella feels betrayed by Jacob after he exposed her lie to Charlie. But can she really accuse him of betrayal after she walked away from him to chase after Edward in Italy?

  • The Supernatural

    [Bella to Edward:] "If I develop this film," I said… "will you show up in the picture?" (1.210)

    As a member of humankind, Bella has grown up with traditional cultural beliefs about vampires that are often disproved throughout this story. It’s like she’s the "uninformed" human who has to be continually educated by her supernatural friends on how the world really works.

    The contrast between the two of us was painful. He looked like a god. I looked very average, even for a human. (3.121)

    From the beginning of their relationship, Bella has had huge hang-ups about not being up to par with Edward’s supernatural beauty. Does that make her a bit superficial, or are her feelings only natural?

    [Edward:] "I’m no good for you, Bella. […] My world is not for you." (3.161, 163)

    Edward believes that he and all he represents is wrong for Bella. By "wrong" he means dangerous, but does he also believe that it’s wrong for beings of two different "kinds" to mix in general?

    I stared at the monstrous creature, my mind boggling as I tried to put a name to it… I could only think of one possibility, locked in horror as I was. Yet I’d never imagined that a wolf could get so big. (10.168)

    What does Bella mean when she says, "I could only think of one possibility"?

    [Jacob’s] skin was burning hot… (12.34)

    Jacob’s normal body temperature as a werewolf would be considered "running a fever" for humans. There’s nothing supernatural about it, though. It’s just a fact of wolf and dog life: they have higher body temperatures than humans (source.) However, this stands in stark contrast to Edward's deathly cold skin.

    What kind of place was this? Could a world really exist where ancient legends went wandering around the borders of tiny insignificant town, facing down mythical monsters? (12.175)

    Bella wonders if she might be dreaming, because her view of the world she’s been living in has radically changed to include supernatural creatures. What’s next, we might ask…

    Jacob, my friend? Jacob, the only human I’d ever been able to relate to… And he wasn’t even human… What did this say about me?… It said that there was something deeply wrong with me. (12.180-184)

    Bella wonders if she relates better to supernatural creatures than humans. Why might that be?

    [Jacob to Bella:] "You… don’t mind that I morph into a giant dog." (13.85)

    By putting it that way, Jacob humanizes, or normalizes, his supernatural existence for Bella.

    [Bella to Jacob:] "You don’t need a full moon?" (13.134)

    Bella exposes another traditional myth as false in the world of the story.

    [Embry:] "…hanging out with werewolves has its risks." (14.83)

    Even though werewolves protect humans from vampires, it’s still dangerous for people to be around them. It seems as if there’s an inherent danger involved in humans "hanging out" with supernatural creatures.

    [Emily] stared at me… "So, you’re the vampire girl?" I stiffened. "Yes. Are you the wolf girl?"… The left of her face warmed. (14.107-108)

    Bella and Emily make a personal connection here that lies in their choice and experience of living as a human among dangerous, supernatural creatures.

    Emily was mixing a humongous batch of eggs… (14.118)

    Werewolves have a bigger appetite than humans. Does the fact that they’re eating "real food," though, make them more human than vampires who dislike and can’t even digest normal food at all?

    [Bella:] I looked at the line on Paul’s arm. Odd, but it looked weeks old. (14.134)

    Werewolves' physical wounds heal very easily. Emotional ones seem to be a bit trickier. What scene in the story might support that claim?

    Alice’s voice dropped till it was inaudible, though I was sitting inches away from her. (19.8)

    Vampires can speak in frequencies too low for humans to hear. Do humans have any special communicative skills that vampires lack?

  • Transformation

    [Bella:] "You know what I want." (1.195)

    Bella’s wish to be changed into a vampire has become a constant point of contention between her and Edward. She puts it before anything else.

    My eyes dark… pallid skin… I might even pass for a vampire now… But I was not beautiful and I probably looked closer to a zombie. (5.25)

    A big part of becoming a vampire for Bella is to be beautiful.

    Jacob had grown into some of his potential in the last eight months… the tendons and veins had become prominent under the red-brown skins of his arms, his hands. His face… had hardened… the planes of his cheekbones sharper… all childish roundness gone. (5.82)

    Bella (unwittingly) describes one of the first symptoms of Jacob’s transformation into a werewolf: physical maturity.

    Bella laughs for the first time in months. "I felt so weightless that I laughed again, just to make the feeling last longer." (6.47)

    Bella experiences an emotional transformation through Jacob’s presence.

    The wolf closest to me, the reddish brown one, turned its head… It gazed at me… the deep eyes seeming too intelligent for a wild animal. As it stared at me, I suddenly thought of Jacob. (10.174-176)

    Although Jacob has transformed, his essence or identity still lives within his werewolf body.

    Jacob had changed radically in the last weeks since I’d seen him… his beautiful hair… was cropped quite short… his face… hardened… aged. His neck and his shoulders were… thicker… His hands… looked enormous… his expression unrecognizable. The open friendly smile was gone… the warmth in his dark eyes altered to a brooding resentment… (11.114-115)

    Bella realizes that Jacob has lost his innocence. He has aged, both physically and emotionally. What might explain his emotional change?

    [Jacob to Bella:] "When I… changed, it was the most… horrible, the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been through… there were voices there, in my head, telling me what had happened and what I had to do. That kept me from losing my mind." (13.224)

    At first Jacob experienced his change as terrifying, but then the voices in his head told him that he didn’t have to be afraid, because he’d met his calling and he accepted it.

    Paul seemed to fall forward vibrating violently. Halfway to the ground, there was a loud ripping noise, and the boy exploded. (14.19)

    It’s the common saying, "I’m going to explode of anger," transformed into a supernatural, visual representation.

    [Jacob to Bella:] "The hardest part is feeling…out of control," he said slowly. "Feeling like I can’t be sure of myself – like maybe you shouldn’t be around me… nobody should." (15.30)

    It seems as if all transformations in the story (supernatural and emotional) involves a loss of control. Can you think of specific instances of each?

    [Alice to Bella:] "I’m debating whether to just change you myself." (19.113)

    Alice wants to turn Bella into a vampire, but is unsure if she has the self-restraint to bite Bella without killing her.

  • Family

    Carlisle spoke slowly. "I look at my… son. His strength, his goodness, the brightness that shines out of him – and it only fuels that hope, that faith, more than ever. How could there not be more for one such as Edward?" (2.66)

    It looks like Carlisle might have a bit of trouble calling Edward his "son" – maybe because a son made by transformation is not as valid to him as a son of flesh and blood. Then again, aren’t they also blood-related, like most human families, in some way?

    How much I wished that Jacob Black had been born my brother, my flesh-and-blood brother, so that I would have some legitimate claim on him that still left me free of any blame now. (9.219)

    Bella thinks that if Jacob were her brother there would be a natural boundary between them that would forbid a romantic relationship. But if Jacob and Bella indeed found out that they were siblings, would that actually change his feelings for her?

    [Bella:] "…the reminded me of brothers, quadruplets. Something about the way they moved almost in synchronization… same long, round muscles…red-brown skin… cropped black hair… and the way their expressions altered at exactly the same moment." (14.2)

    Bella notices that the Quileute boys look and move as one unit.

    "Save some for your brothers," Emily chastised him… The word surprised me, but the others thought nothing of it. (14.115)

    Emily defines family as being of the same kind, not the same blood.

    Her expression clearly stated that this was her family. (14.167)

    It appears that, save for her werewolf family, Emily has no "normal" family. How does a wolf family compare to a "normal" family? Is one better than the other?

    I was holding Emily’s scarred hand as we faced into shadows… waited… for our werewolves to come home. (14.198)

    Bella and Emily are now part of the werewolf family, because they’re both involved with werewolves.

    [Jacob to Bella:] "It’s my blood on both sides. I never had a chance." (15.40)

    Jacob had no choice in joining the werewolf family. He was primed to become one. In our lives, are we sometimes bound to a certain calling by our heritage?

    [Bella:] …it had been more than just losing the truest of true lovers…It was also losing a whole future, a whole family – the whole life I’d chosen… (17.191)

    Losing Edward, Bella also lost a whole life she’d planned for herself. But can you actually plan your life?

    [Alice to Bella:] "Carlisle’s family is the biggest in existence… with the one exception. The Volturi. I suspect it’s their age… that gives them the ability to live peacefully together… Or maybe… their gifts… give them extra tolerance… Or maybe it’s just their love for power." (19.78)

    The Volturi family is bound together by power. The Cullens seem to be connected through love. What other qualities bind them as a family?

    He wouldn’t want to disappoint Carlisle… Not at the end. (19.138)

    Bella believes that the desire to not want to disappoint your parents is a universal trait when it comes to family. Do you think that's true?

    [Aro to Edward:] "I certainly never thought to see Carlisle bested for self-control, but you put him to shame." (21.81)

    Aro not only believes that Edward "inherited" many of Carlisle’s qualities, but that he took these qualities to a higher level. Do you believe that to be true?

    [Esme to Edward:] "You will never put me through this again," she nearly growled. (22.112)

    Just like any human mother, Esme was worried about her son. Do you think Edward’s death would have affected her as strongly as a human mother? Or maybe more strongly since she's been expecting to spend eternity with him?

    And… if I did [become a vampire], the Quileute werewolves would try to… kill my future family. (Epilogue.146)

    Bella acknowledges that, by becoming a member of the Cullen family, she’s also endangering any family she wants to start. She seems to be OK with paying that price. What about the Cullens? Will they stand behind her decision if it comes to a war?

  • Good vs. Evil

    "You try to make up for something that wasn’t your fault." (2.48)

    Bella believes that, since Carlisle didn’t have a choice in becoming a vampire, he shouldn’t feel guilty for what he is. What do you think?

    [Carlisle to Bella:] "God and heaven exist… and so does hell." (2.63)

    For Carlisle, good and evil seem to be defined very clearly. He seems to think that vampires start in hell, but that at least he can redeem himself through good acts and go to heaven. Bella often refers to the Cullens’ angelic beauty. Could vampires be considered fallen angels?

    [Carlisle to Bella:] "There was something so pure and good about his face. The kind of face I would have wanted my son to have." (2.94)

    Carlisle believed that Edward’s human qualities would carry over into his vampire existence. Was he right in his assumption?

    "I’m not human." He looked back and the icy planes of his perfect face were not human. (3.176)

    Bella wonders, for a moment, whether Edward is right that he is naturally evil.

    Jacob was my best friend, but he was a monster, too?… Should I warn him, if he and his friends were… were murderers? If they were out slaughtering innocent hikers in cold blood? (12.223)

    Bella is torn up about whether she can be best friends with a murderer. And is there such a thing as a "good monster"?

    "If I get too mad… too upset… you might get hurt." (13.129)

    Jacob worries that he might transform from a good monster into an evil one.

    "I almost ripped his face off. My own father." (15.25)

    Apparently, Jacob’s temper during his transformation remains unaffected by close emotional ties. He’ll attack whoever happens to nearby. Maybe the moral here is: anger turns humans into animals?

    I thought of him… with the same golden eyes that the… Cullens… had. That all good vampires had… his curious, dark red eyes followed… (10.100-102)

    Bella distinguishes good and bad vampires by the color of their eyes.

    [Alice to Bella:] "Over the millennia [the Volturi] have assumed the position of enforcing the rules." (19.43)

    Alice explains that the Volturi keep the vampire world in check. Could their enforcement of certain rules be considered "good"?

    [Aro:] "…please visit again. It’s been absolutely enthralling!" (21.128)

    Aro lets Edward, Alice, and Bella go free. Does this gesture attest to a kernel of "goodness" in Aro?

  • Strength and Skill

    Jasper slammed into Edward, and the sound was like the crash of boulders in a rock slide. (1.242)

    Bella compares the force of two marble-hard vampire bodies colliding to a natural disaster. It’s to give us a graspable idea of the supernatural forces in the world of the story.

    I was distracted by the over grace of his movement. Jacob had been nearly as klutzy as me… (11.137)

    Bella is surprised and maybe a bit jealous that Jacob has lost his clumsiness, leaving her alone with her inadequacies.

    His fist slammed against the tree… the trunk gave away and snapped off loudly… (11.201)

    It appears Jacob doesn’t mean to rip out the tree. He doesn’t seem to be able to control his new werewolf strength just yet.

    [Bella:] "How did you kill him?"…[Jacob:] "It’s what we were made for, Bella." (13.121)

    A pack of werewolves can match one vampire. But can one werewolf match one vampire?

    [Jacob to Bella:] "See when we’re wolves, we can… hear each other." (13.197)

    Werewolves have "mental gifts" similar to the ones some vampires possess in the story. Do these gifts also have a downside?

    [Jacob to Bella:] "[Sam’s] the leader of the pack, you know. He’s the Alpha. When he tells us to do something… we can’t just ignore him." (13.218)

    The natural workings of a wolf pack seem to apply to werewolf packs as well. Do they also apply to human gang behavior? If you were a werewolf, would you want to be leader or follower of the pack?

    With stunning speed, Jacob yanked a can opener… and launched it at Jared’s head. Jared’s hand flicked up faster than I would have thought possible. (14.148)

    Werewolves possess supernaturally fast reflexes. How might they compare to vampire reflexes?

    [Bella to Jacob:] "And you all heal fast – that’s a werewolf thing too?" (15.20)

    Werewolves heal quickly, but their skin is more vulnerable than vampire skin.

    [Alice to Bella:] "You smell awful," she said. (17.54)

    Alice can smell Jacob’s scent on Bella. How might "werewolf" smell to her?

    [Jacob to Bella:] "…you smell like them. Blech. Too sweet – sickly sweet. And… icy. It burns my nose." (18.74)

    Jacob can smell Alice’s vampire scent on Bella. While Bella adores vampire smell, it must only be good in small doses – it seems to be exponentially magnified for Jacob’s sensitive sense of smell.