Study Guide

New Moon Suffering

By Stephenie Meyer

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?