Study Guide

Twilight Fear

By Stephenie Meyer


I stared without breathing across the long room, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and he looked pleasantly back at me. (Preface.2)

The novel opens with a frightening scene, setting the tone for the story.

[Edward to Bella:] "Do you think I could be scary?" (5.281)

Edward can't read Bella's mind, but he seems to be trying to find out what she thinks of him. Does she like him? Does she think he's scary? Would her family approve of him? Keep in mind that at this point, Bella doesn't know that Edward is a vampire.

There was one thing I was sure of, if I was sure of anything. The dark Edward in my dream last night was a reflection only of my fear of the world Jacob had spoken, and not Edward himself. Even so, when I'd screamed out in terror at the werewolf's lunge, it wasn't fear for the wolf that brought the cry of "no" to my lips. It was fear that he would be harmed – even as he called to me with the sharp-edged fangs, I feared for him. (7.60)

Even though she thinks he is likely dangerous, and probably a vampire, Bella cares more about Edward's safety than her own.

I was being herded. (8.47)

Walking through the streets of Port Angeles, Bella is cornered by four men. She's alone and beginning to feel afraid.

[Edward to Bella:] "I'm not always the most dangerous thing out there. Let's leave it at that." (9.197)

What is it that Edward thinks is so dangerous? Is this foreshadowing the situation with James? Do we ever find out what might be out there in the woods?

[Edward to Bella:] "If that were it, I would take you tonight," he said, his voice cutting. "You need a healthy dose of fear. Nothing could be more beneficial to you." (10.242)

Edward tries to warn Bella about himself. He thinks she doesn't have a strong enough self-preservation instinct.

[Bella to Edward:] "I was wishing that I could believe that you were real. And I was wishing that I wasn't afraid." (13.20)

Bella doesn't fear Edward in the way she probably should – she never seems to be worried that he will harm her. Instead, Bella fears that Edward is just a dream. She's more frightened of losing him than of being near him.

I sat without moving, more frightened of him than I had ever been. I'd never seen him so completely freed of that carefully cultivated façade. He'd never been less human…or more beautiful. Face ashen, eyes wide, I sat like a bird locked in the eyes of a snake. (13.38)

Bella is mesmerized and a tad afraid of Edward in the meadow. When he acts like his true vampire self, he's intimidating.

[Edward to Bella:] "Don't be afraid," he murmured, his velvet voice unintentionally seductive. "I promise." He hesitated. "I swear not to hurt you." He seemed more concerned with convincing himself than me. (13.40)

Edward tries to reassure Bella (and himself) that he won't hurt her. Should Bella believe him? Should he trust himself?

[Bella to Edward:] "I was afraid...because, for, well, obvious reasons, I can't stay with you. And I'm afraid that I'd like to stay with you, much more than I should." (13.56)

Bella's strong feelings for Edward scare her – she's afraid that her feelings for him might lead her to do something stupid. Though she intellectually knows Edward is dangerous, her emotions drive her to want to be near him.

[Edward to Bella:] "It's not only your company I crave! Never forget that. I never forget I am more dangerous to you than I am to anyone else." (13.64)

Edward tries to warn Bella. He wants her to be afraid. Do you really think that Edward is more dangerous to her than anyone else? Do you ever see any hints that he might actually hurt her? Is he really more dangerous to Bella than James is?

[Edward to Bella:] He frowned down at my hands, releasing me from the force of his stare. "And then, as I tried to rearrange my schedule in a pointless attempt to avoid you, you were there – in that close, warm little room, the scent was maddening. I so very nearly took you then. There was only one other frail human there – so easily dealt with." (13.107)

When Bella first met Edward, she had no idea how much she should have feared him.

[Edward to Bella:] "And you're worried, not because you're headed to meet a houseful of vampires, but because you think those vampires won't approve of you, correct?" (15.110)

Bella is afraid to meet Edward's family – but not because they might eat her. Again, Edward feels that Bella doesn't have a strong enough self-preservation instinct.

[Bella to Edward:] "I hate to burst your bubble, but you're really not as scary as you think you are. I don't find you scary at all, actually." I lied casually. (16.100)

Bella pretends she has no fear of Edward at all. Sometimes we get the feeling that Bella likes being a little frightened by Edward, that it thrills her. What do you think? Would she prefer that he weren't at all dangerous?

The whole time I'd been rooted in place, terrified into absolute immobility. (18.41)

Bella is literally scared stiff by the presence of James. This is the first time that Bella has met a man-eating vampire, and the experience is truly terrifying.

[Edward:] "Listen to me, Alice. I saw his mind. Tracking is his passion, his obsession – and he wants her, Alice – her specifically. He begins the hunt tonight." (18.69)

Everyone is horrified of James. It's not that Edward is frightened for himself, though. He's worried about what James might do to Bella.

[Jasper to Bella:] "Bella, Bella, stop," he interrupted me, his words pouring out so quickly they were hard to understand. "You're worrying about all the wrong things, Bella. Trust me on this – none of us are in jeopardy. You are under too much strain as it is; don't add to it with wholly unnecessary worries. Listen to me!" he ordered, for I had looked away. "Our family is strong. Our only fear is losing you." (20.49)

Jasper tries to soothe Bella's worries. He claims his family's biggest fear is losing her. Do believe Jasper when he says that the Cullens aren't in danger?

I held up the phone to my ear. My joints were frozen with terror – I couldn't unbend my fingers to drop it. (21.72)

Bella has just gotten off the phone with James. This is real terror. Bella's fear is heightened when she's worried for her mother's safety.

[Edward to Bella:] "Afraid of a needle," he muttered to himself under his breath, shaking his head. "Oh, a sadistic vampire, intent on torturing her to death, sure, no problem, she runs off to meet him. An IV, on the other hand…" (24.53)

Bella fears needles more than vampires. At least, right at this moment.

[Edward to Bella:] "That's not the worst part, though," he continued to whisper. He acted as if I' hadn't spoken. "Not seeing you there on the floor…crumpled and broken." His voice was choked. "Not thinking I was too late. Not even hearing you scream in pain – all those unbearable memories that I'll carry with me for the rest of eternity. No, the very worst feeling...knowing that I couldn't stop. Believing that I was going to kill you myself." (24.181)

Edward constantly fears for Bella's safety. Though he is scared when James decides to track Bella, he's most worried about himself hurting Bella.

[Edward to Bella:] "When someone wants to kill you, you're brave as a lion – and then when someone mentions dancing…" (Epilogue.48)

Edward points out how ridiculous it is that Bella is afraid of dancing. When she's not in any real danger, her courage seems to drain away.