Study Guide

New Moon Family

By Stephenie Meyer

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?

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