Study Guide

Twilight Man and the Natural World

By Stephenie Meyer

Man and the Natural World

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. (7.59)

Bella is speaking of her dream. Her self-preservation instincts should make her afraid for her own life, but instead she fears Edward being hurt.

Of course I was happy about the sunlight. But that wasn't completely responsible for the euphoric mood I was in, not even close. (7.100)

Bella is a girl of the sun, and changes in nature affect her mood. However, Edward now has a greater impact on her emotions that the natural world does.

[Bella to Edward:] "He said you didn't…hunt people. He said your family wasn't supposed to be dangerous because you only hunted animals." (9.109)

Bella tells Edward what Jacob Black said to her about vampires, and the Cullen family in particular. The Cullens consciously suppress their natural instinct to feed on humans.

[Bella to Edward:] "Tell me why you hunt animals instead of people," I suggested. I realized my eyes were wet, and I fought against the grief that was trying to overpower me. (9.123)

Bella wants to understand why the vampire family avoids its natural instincts to eat people.

[Edward to Bella:] "Well, you asked if the sun hurt me, and it doesn't. But I can't go out in the sunlight – at least, not where anyone can see." (9.145)

Edward can go into the sun, but it would give away his true nature.

[Edward to Bella:] "Don't go into the woods alone." (9.194)

Edward warns Bella that there are many predators in the woods...some of which are scarier than he is. For more on the woods, check out our discussion in "Setting."

[Bella:] "Why did you go to that Goat Rocks place last weekend...to hunt? Charlie said it wasn't a place to hike, because of bears."

He stared at me as if I was missing something very obvious.

[Bella:] "Bears?" I gasped, and he smirked. "You know, bears are not in season," I added sternly, to hide my shock. (10.217-219)

Bella learns that Edward's family hunts bears.

[Edward] raised an eyebrow and the corners of his mouth turned down in disapproval. "Mountain lion." (10.226)

Edward's favorite prey is mountain lion. (Emmett's is a bear.) It seems that in some cases, the vampires' choice of prey reflects their personalities.

[Edward to Bella:] "When we hunt," he spoke slowly, unwillingly, "we give ourselves over to our sense…govern less with our minds. Especially our sense of smell. If you were anywhere near me when I lost control that way…" He shook his still, still gazing morosely at the heavy clouds. (11.74)

Edward speaks of giving in completely to his animalistic instincts when he hunts. It wouldn't be safe for Bella to be around for times like that, since she is a vampire's natural prey.

[Edward to Bella:] "Who were you, an insignificant little girl"– he grinned suddenly – "to chase me from the place I wanted to be? So I came back…." (13.112)

Edward was not going to let a mere human push him from his environment.

[Edward:] "And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…" he murmured. I look away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word.

[Bella:] "What a stupid lamb," I signed.

[Edward:] "What a sick, masochistic lion." He stared into the shadowy forest for a long moment, and I wondered where his thoughts had taken him. (13.129-131)

Bella and Edward's love goes against the laws of nature. A predator should not fall in love with its prey.

[Edward to Bella:] "Well, where did you come from? Evolution? Creation? Couldn't we have evolved in the same way as other species, predator and prey? Or, if you don't believe that all this world could have just happened on its own, which is hard for me to accept myself, is it so hard to believe that the same force that created the delicate angelfish with the shark, the baby seal and the killer whale, could create both our kinds together?" (14.244)

Edward comments on the relationship between vampires and humans. He seems to be saying that vampires are the natural predators of humans, just like a shark is the predator of an angelfish, and the killer whale the predator of seals.

[Edward to Bella:] "One night, a herd of deer passed his hiding place. [Carlisle] was so wild with thirst that he attacked without a thought. His strength returned and he realized there was an alternative to being the vile monster he feared. Had he not eaten venison in his former life? Over the next months his new philosophy was born. He could exist without being a demon. He found himself again. " (16.29)

Edward speaks of Carlisle and how he discovered he didn't need to prey on humans. He felt that he wasn't a monster if he could resist feeding on humans.

[Bella:] "Do they like to cheat, then?"

[Esme:] "Oh yes – you should hear the arguments they get into! Actually, I hope you don't, you would think they were raised by a pack of wolves." (17.273)

It's kind of funny that Esme suggests that werewolves are less civilized than vampires.

They closed ranks before they continued cautiously toward Edward's family, exhibiting the natural respect of a troop of predators as it encounters a larger, unfamiliar group of its own kind. (18.2.1)

Vampires in the wild are different from those in civilization. They seem to act like other predators that you might experience in the wild, such as a pack of wolves.

A swift rigidity fell on all of them as James lurched one step forward into a crouch. Edward bared his teeth, crouching in defense, a feral snarl ripping from his throat. It was nothing like the playful sounds I'd heard from him this morning; it was the single most menacing thing I had ever heard, and chills ran from the crown of my head to the back of my heels. (18.27)

James and Edward are exhibiting their normal, fighting behavior.

[Alice to Bella:] "We're also like sharks in a way. Once we taste the blood, or even smell it for that matter, it becomes very hard to keep from feeding. Sometimes impossible. So you see, to actually bite someone, to taste the blood, it would begin the frenzy. It's difficult on both sides – the bloodlust on the one hand, the awful pain on the other." (20.88)

Alice explains what happens when a vampire tastes blood. She likens it to a shark feeding frenzy. She presents vampires' reaction to blood as natural, rather than evil.

It wasn't meant for me anyway. There was no glory in beating me, a weak human. (22.113)

Bella speaks of James, the tracker. She is just normal prey to him. It is the more challenging fights he really enjoys, such as taking on the Cullens, especially the protective Edward.

Emmett enjoyed having me around – he thought my bizarre human reactions were hilarious...or maybe it was just the fact that I fell down a lot that he found so funny. (Epilogue.41)

Emmett has come up with a way to happily co-exist with Bella. He finds her and her species amusing.