Study Guide

Twilight Appearances

By Stephenie Meyer

Appearances

It was there, sitting in the lunchroom, trying to make conversation with seven curious strangers, that I first saw them.

They were sitting in the corner of the cafeteria, as far away from where I sat as possible in the long room. There were five of them. They weren't talking, and they weren't eating, though they each had a tray of untouched food in front of them. (1.107-108)

Upon first sight of the Cullens, Bella is mesmerized. They are beautiful beyond belief. But aside from their good looks, they also appear different in another way – they aren't eating or talking.

I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful. They were faces you never expected to see except perhaps on the airbrushed pages of a fashion magazine. Or painted by an old master as the face of an angel. It was hard to decide who was the most beautiful – maybe the perfect blond girl, or the bronze-haired boy (1.113)

Bella notices just how gorgeous the Cullen family is. And she's right – their good looks are "inhuman." Also notice how Bella, for whatever reason, is immediately more attracted to Edward ("the bronze-haired boy") than to Jasper or Emmett.

In fact, I was sure there was something different. I vividly remembered the flat black color of his eyes the last time he glared at me – the color was striking against the background of his pale skin and his auburn hair. Today, his eyes were a completely different color: a strange ocher, darker than butterscotch, but with the same golden tone. (2.145)

Bella is very observant – or at least observant when it comes to Edward. She notices Edward's eyes change color between black and ocher. We later learn that vampires' eye color changes depending on whether or not they're thirsty. Their eyes are black when they haven't fed recently, so now that Edward's eyes are lighter, he's less dangerous to Bella.

I saw down automatically, watching [Edward] with caution. He was still smiling. It was hard to believe that someone so beautiful could be real. I was afraid that he might disappear in a sudden puff of smoke, and I would wake up. (5.15)

Edward invites Bella to sit with him. She is (yet again) struck by his beauty and, of course, the unexpected invitation.

[Edward to Bella:] "Like I said, it's ostentatious. We try to blend in." (10.26)

The Cullens usually try to fit in, probably so they don't arouse any suspicion. But Rosalie's BMW is definitely eye-catching.

[Bella to Jessica:] "I can't explain it right…but he's even more unbelievable behind the face." The vampire who wanted to be good – who ran around saving people's lives so he wouldn't be a monster...I stared toward the front of the room. (10.101)

Bella tells Jessica that there is so much more to Edward than meets the eye...but Jess could have no idea how much more there is. Consider how this conversation is being interpreted: 1) Edward is listening, and Bella knows he's listening, so she's paying him a compliment; 2) Jessica probably thinks that Bella means that Edward has a nice personality under the great looks. On a separate note, despite what Bella says, do you think she's more attracted to Edward as a result of his physical appearance or his inner qualities?

[Bella to Edward:] "Well, look at me," I said unnecessarily as he was already staring. "I'm absolutely ordinary – well, except for bad things like all the near-death experiences and being so clumsy that I'm almost disabled. And look at you." I waved my hand toward him and all his bewildering perfection. (10.171)

Bella thinks Edward is out of her league because of his appearance. Do you believe that Bella is "absolutely ordinary"?

[Edward to Bella:] His brow creased angrily for a moment, then smoothed as his eyes took on a knowing look. "You don't see yourself very clearly, you know. I'll admit you're dead-on about bad things," he chuckled blackly, "but you didn't hear what every human male in this school was thinking on your first day." (10.172)

According to Edward, Bella does not see herself as others see her. In that case, do you think that Edward is primarily attracted to Bella because of her physical appearance?

I tried to keep my eyes away from his perfection as much as possible, but I slipped often. (12.247)

Bella tries not to stare at Edward all day. Do you think that Edward's beautiful appearance forms the basis for her interest in him? How would their relationship be different if he looked like, say, Mike?

Edward in the sunlight was shocking. I couldn't get used to it, though I'd been staring at him all afternoon. His skin, white despite the faint flush from yesterday's hunting trip, literally sparkled, like thousands of tiny diamonds were embedded in the surface. (13.1)

Usually in vampire mythology, vampires die from the sun (turning into ash, smoke, or even burning), but in an ironic twist of the traditional vampire myth, Edward sparkles. He's even more beautiful in the sun.

The meadow, so spectacular to me at first, paled next to his magnificence. (13.4)

Even nature pales compared to Edward's beauty. (Hehe... Get it, "pales"?)

[Edward to Bella:] "Wrong again," he murmured in my ear. " You are utterly indecent – no one should look so tempting, it's not fair." (15.93)

Hmm...when Edward says "tempting," what exactly does he mean? Does he mean that she's beautiful or that she looks delicious? Do you think that Edward is more attracted to Bella as a woman or as a meal?

[Carlisle to Laurent, James, and Victoria:] "Please don't take offense, but we'd appreciate it if you'd refrain from hunting in this immediate area. We have to stay inconspicuous, you understand," Carlisle explained. (18.23)

Carlisle's family attempts to keeps up appearances in order to maintain a semi-permanent home. If this new group of vampires feeds on the local population, people may become suspicious of the Cullens.

I'd never seen him dress in black before, and, with the contrast against his pale skin, his beauty was absolutely surreal. That much I couldn't deny, even if the fact that he was wearing a tuxedo made me nervous. (Epilogue.6)

Despite spending more time with Edward, Bella continues to be struck by his beauty. She doesn't seem to get used to it. If Bella became a vampire, do you think she would still find Edward as attractive?

[Bella to Edward:] "Do you remember when you told me that I didn't see myself very clearly?" I asked, raising my eyebrows. "You obviously have the same blindness." (Epilogue.189)

Edward and Bella don't see themselves the way the others see them. All the same, do you think that Edward is a particularly attractive vampire, or an average looking one?