Study Guide

New Moon Mortality

By Stephenie Meyer

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.