The Case Against Edward Cullen
"I couldn't allow him to have this level of influence over me. It was pathetic.
More than pathetic, it was unhealthy." (Bella, Twilight)
“I would rather die than be away from you.” Bella Swan's words were a memento of love; however, they were words of irrationality. She had more reasons to be afraid than to be loved. The vampire whom she had been seduced by was not the sparkling angel that she saw him to be. Edward Anthony Masen Cullen has some malevolent characteristics that match that of an abusive boyfriend. Edward Cullen is shown to be abusive in his acts of establishing control, his stalking tendencies, his obsessive behavior, his mental instability and provides a false standard of love, manhood and relationships. Edward and Bella's unrealistic relationship is translated into normal society as abusive.
“Run, Bella, run.” (Midnight Sun, 129)
The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer is a love story about an “ordinary” girl falling in love with a “vegetarian” vampire, who doesn't drink human blood, and is deathly attracted to the scent of her unique blood. In the midst of their relationship, a human blood drinking vampire is intrigued by Edward's “love interest” and wants to kill her. He takes Bella away from danger and his family kills the vampire but not before Bella foolishly meets the sadistic vampire to save her mother. Bella is left with a few injuries, a unique cold scar and human. In the second book, New Moon, Edward leaves Bella, because he believes it is best for her and she falls into a deep depression that an old friend, Jacob Black, who happened to be a wolf shape shifter that is destined to fight the vampires, leads her out of. The incidents of Bella jumping off a cliff, Edward trying to commit suicide by threatening the Volturi, the vampire secret keepers, Bella going to rescue him and they reunite. Edward promises the Volturi that Bella will be turned into a vampire to keep their secret. Edward's family voted to convert Bella despite Edward's anger.
In the third book, Eclipse, Bella is torn between Edward the vampire, her passionate love, and Jacob the wolf, her conventional love. A group of new vampires threaten Bella, the mate of the vampire they killed in Twilight wanted revenge, and an alliance is formed between the wolves and vampires. They defeat the vampires; Bella eventually chooses Edward and agrees to marry him before being turned so as he would be the one to turn her. In the fourth book, Breaking Dawn, Edward and Bella have their wedding an authentic honeymoon, and all that implies. Somehow, defying the laws of biology, Bella is pregnant with a half vampire human child. This danger to her health causes worry to Edward, his family, Jacob and the wolf tribe. They wish to kill it and Jacob's love for Bella disbands him from the tribe and he defends them. The baby is born and Bella is turned in one event. The child, Reneesme is human as well as vampire and is a unique addition to the family. The Volturi are informed of Edward's family being violation of a law and they meet with Edward, his family and his friends to have a legal battle. With Bella's extraordinary shield power, they win the battle and it ends with Bella and Edward receiving everything they ever wanted and live happily ever after.
His Controlling Behavior
“Edward’s shielding arms had become restraints.” (Eclipse, 84)
This false happily ever after is merely going to be never ending cycle of abusive behavior. Edward's abusive behavior is often defended as over protective tendencies for Bella's safety. As defined by the law, abusive behavior can be categorized as “behave[ing] in an over-protective manner or becom[ing] extremely jealous.”(Domestic Violence Guide) Although he does exhibit a great amount of concern for her well-being, the manner in which he extends his protection is not healthy. Instead of merely expressing his concerns aloud and allowing Bella to conform of her own free will to his “methods,” he simply takes matters into his own hands. He disregards Bella's choices or decisions or say in the matter. He takes any sense of free will from her:
“Where do you think you're going?” he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket, yanking me back. He was towing me toward his car now, pulling me by my jacket.
“Let go!” I insisted. He ignored me. “You are so pushy!” I grumbled.
“Get in, Bella.”
“I'll just drag you back,” he threatened.
These excerpts point out the way in which he safely drove Bella home. He did not insist or argue that he should driver her home; he dragged her to his car, verbally threatened her and took control of the situation and of Bella. Bella had no choice in the matter. Running would have done her no good, as he clearly pointed out. In Midnight Sun, Edward’s reasoning for his brutal behavior was he hadn’t spent enough time with her. With sort of rationality, he should simply kidnap her, which I’m sure he considered at some point.
When Bella and Edward first initiated their relationship, he often insulted her:
“Bella, you are utterly absurd.”
“If you're smart, you'll avoid me.”
“I think you’ve made your opinion on the subject of my intellect clear, too.”
In many reader's favorite chapter of the book, “Confessions,” Edwards risks Bella's life by being alone with her, without anyone else having that knowledge. The fact that her blood “sang” to him, he put her life in extreme danger. It is clearly stated that at that point, he had not made his decision to not kill her or keep her alive. (Twilight, 301) He was unnecessarily risking her life and as a foolish teenager, she risked it all for a boy she was infatuated with.
While they explored the boundaries of their newfound confused relationship:
“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb.”
“What a stupid lamb.”
“What a sick masochistic lion.”
Edward displays his incredible speed, strength and ability to draw his prey in. He runs faster than Bella's eyes can see. He uses his incredible strength to break a branch off a tree to shatter it.
“I'm the world's best predator, aren't I? Everything about me invites you in—my voice, my face, even my smell. As if I need any of that!” “As if you could outrun me.” He laughed bitterly. He reached up with one hand and with a deafening crack, effortlessly ripped a two-foot-thick branch from the trunk of the spruce. He balanced it in that hand for a moment, and threw it with blinding speed, shattering it against another huge tree, which shook and trembled at the blood. “As if you could fight me off.”
I sat without moving, more frightened of him than I had ever been.
“Don't be afraid,” he murmured his velvet voice unintentionally seductive. “I promise,” he hesitated, “I swear not to hurt you.” (Twilight,264)
He explains and demonstrates the incredible power he has, physically. The attraction he exults. She cannot run. She cannot get away. Bella is trapped. His demonstration is meant to scare her, to convince her to stay away from him but instead, he manages to intimidate her, awe her and keep her.
Edward repeatedly doesn't allow Bella to make her own decisions. This could be translated into a sick perversion of a parent/child relationship. Either way, he is in constant control of her decisions. When James, the sadistic vampire, makes Bella his prey, Edward chooses to take Bella away. He does not think this decision through and simply believes he is right.
“Dammit Edward! Where are you taking me!”
“We have to get you away from here-far away now.”
“Turn around! You have to take me home!” I shouted. I struggled with the stupid harness, tearing at the straps.
“Emmett.” Edward said grimly. And Emmett secured my hands in his steady grasp.
“No! Edward! No, you can't do this.”
“I have to, Bella, now, please be quiet.” (Twilight,381)
“Edward, let's just talk this through.”
“You don't understand.”
“There are options.”
Edward turned on her in fury, his voice a blistering snarl. “There—is--no--other--option!” (Twilight,383)
“You are leaving tonight, whether the tracker sees or not. You tell Charlie that you can't stand another minute in Forks. Tell him whatever story works. Pack the first things your hands touch, and then yet in your truck. I don't care what he says to you. You have fifteen minutes. Do you hear me? Fifteen minutes, from time you cross the doorstep.” (Twilight,385)
With some coaxing from his siblings, he finally listens to Bella’s plan. He doesn’t like it but he ultimately agrees only because he is trapped and that is the only semi-sane decision he can take.
After his siblings and Edward “take care” of the James problem, Bella is still injured in the scuffle. The couple finally discusses their relationship. In which, Bella still insists on becoming a vampire and Edward still reluctantly refuses to do so. They arrive at an “impasse.” As the strain of being awake after a week of unconsciousness drains her, Edwards makes the decision for Bella to have more painkillers. Although, she protests loudly and fervently and even attempts to physically resist, he still chose for her.
He reached for the button. “No!” He ignored me. (Twilight,477)
In the sweetest of twisted ways, Bella is forced to go to prom with Edward. Bella does not like to dance and she absolutely loathes public social engagements. He simply forced her, as did his sister Alice, to go to prom. In midst travel, Edward receives a call from Bella’s father about another boy, Tyler, wanting to take Bella to prom. He speaks to the young man in a “voice [that] was very friendly on the surface,” but had a “soft edge of menace.” (Twilight,483) His conversation with the young man was lined with a threat as well as a sentence for Bella. Bella will be, “unavailable every night, as far as anyone besides [Edward] is concerned.” (Twilight,483)
It is Bella’s choice if she will be available every night and it not Edward that should stand in her way of her choices. He should be concerned how she spends her time; however, he is monopolizing her time in such a manner that she will have no more friends besides him. He is isolating her in more attempts to control her.
“It will be as if I”d never existed, he'd promised me.”
As the logic of gifting goes, once you give someone a present, they own it. It cannot be taken back, that would simply be rude. So by Edward, taking Bella's possessions that were linked to him, he was stealing.(New Moon, 84) Usually after a break up, most girl want to throw away anything that reminds them of their past love; however, I believe that would be her choice. Edward's controlling nature decided he should disappear from her life. He tried to control the way in which she should act after they had gone their separate ways. Bella was not given the opportunity to properly grieve. A rational responsible “ideal” man would talk with Bella about where they're relationship is going instead of leaving it at an impasse. This is extremely mature for century old vampire.
Edward often restrains Bella from visiting her best friend, Jacob, by stating that he is “unpredictable,” and “dangerous,” and yet she hangs out in a house of vampires. The animosity between Jacob and Edward is described as natural rivalry. Something in their genes naturally makes them hate each other. As beings with higher intelligence, they are not restrained by mere natural animosity. Edward's true reason for not allowing Bella to see Jacob is his own selfish feeling of anxiety that arises when he is not aware of her every move and pure jealousy for Jacob's relationship with Bella.
“I’m not going along with that. I have to see Jacob.”
“Then I’ll have to stop you.”
He sounded utterly confident that this wouldn’t be a problem. I was sure he was right.” (Eclipse, 34)
When Bella does try to defend herself against his controlling nature, he does not allow her. He simply means to control her, with or without her consent.
I twisted them hard to the left, but instead of roaring deafeningly to life, the engine just clicked. I tried it again with the same results. And then a small motion in my peripheral vision made me jump.
“Gah!” I gasped in shock when I saw that I was not alone in the cab.
Edward sat very still, a faint bright spot in the darkness, only his hands moving as he turned a mysterious black object around and around. He stared at the object as he spoke.
“Alice called.” he murmured.
Alice! Damn. I’d forgotten o account for her in my plans. He must have her watching me.
“She got nervous when your future rather abruptly disappeared five minutes ago.”
“Overprotective isn’t he?” Jacob said, talking just to me. “ A little trouble makes life fun. Let me guess, you’re not allowed to have fun, are you?” (Eclipse, 82)
“-Alice, don’t you think this is just a little bit controlling? Just a tiny bit psychotic, maybe?-
-Not really.- She sniffed.” (Eclipse, 146)
“He so rarely leaves you alone,” –Rosalie (Eclipse, 153)
Everyone around Bella seems to notice Edward's overprotective behavior. Some members of his family simply disregard it as a great extent of his love for her and her safety. One who sees right through the facade of love, but is still caught in his own illusion, is Jacob. He notices how short of a leash he keeps Bella on.
His Stalking Tendencies
“Like a stalker. An obsessed stalker. An obsessed, vampire stalker.” (Midnight Sun, 75)
The amount of stalking in this love story is tremendous. Even before the lovebirds embark on the beginning of their relationship, Edward admits that he watched Bella sleep. This information only marginally frightens Bella, in fact she is flattered. [I will not comment on the sanity of Bella Swan...] That is simply not normal behavior.
He watches her sleep on many occasions. This one occasion might be considered sweet and cute; however, he intently watches her sleep simply because he can. The excuse that he simply has nothing better to do at night is well, frightening. What could he being at night? Well, he could hunt. To add effect to the stalking, Bella talks constantly in her sleep. She reveals things that she might have not done so consciously. Edward's stalking also crosses the line into spying. His ability to read minds is merely an invasion of privacy and he reveals several times how much he desires to know Bella's thoughts, obsessively. This invasion of privacy does not stop there. He even spends several nights and almost every night with Bella in her bedroom. This is not sinful behavior, but it is unhealthy for Bella.
“Bella was sleeping peacefully when I climbed up to her bedroom window early Monday morning. I’d remember oil this time, and the window now moved silently out of my way.” (Midnight Sun, 153)
“I hovered, invisible in the shadows, where I could follow the object of my love and obsession-where I could see her and hear her in the minds of the lucky humans who could walk through the sunlight beside her,” (Midnight Sun, 157)
He followed her to Port Angeles, while she was with her human friends. He mentally stalks her as well, probing into the minds of the people she is close to. The situation that occurred and the instance which saved her life does somehow reimburse for his stalking but it does not excuse it. He followed her scent to follow her, because the lack of controlling information made him anxious. He was not intentionally saving her. He had no idea she was in any danger.
Another instance is the fateful day in which Bella visited Jacob, her best friend, in La Push and then visited her human friend, Angela.
“It came out of nowhere. One minute there was nothing but bright highway in my rearview mirror. The next minute, the sun was glinting off a silver Volvo right on my tail.
I considered pulling over. But I was too much of a coward to face him right away. I’d been counting on some prep time…and having Charlie nearby as a buffer. At least that would force him to keep his voice down.
The Volvo followed inches behind me.
He followed me until I pulled to the curb in front of the Weber’s house. HE didn’t stop, and I didn’t’ look up as he passed. I didn’t want to see the expression on his face. I ran up the short concrete walk to Angela’s door as soon as he was out of sight.” (Eclipse, 131,132)
This behavior is simply not normal or healthy. A person who is in love with you should not follow your every move, your every action. That is called stalking and it is illegal for a good reason. These actions only reinforce the amount of control Edwards needs to feel “secure” in himself. He feels anxious to be away from her, so to feed his own insecurities, he spends every one of his available minutes watching after her, as if she were a wobbling toddler.
“I followed her all day through other people’s eyes, barely aware of my own surroundings.” (Midnight Sun, 116)
In addition to the stalking nature of Edward's actions, he spends every available minute of his damned existence thinking about Bella. The fact that he is immortal and has no such need for any other activities does not make this plausible. Bella is human and needs other activities and people in her life other than Edward. He fails to ultimately understand that.
His Obsessive Behavior
“It was embarrassing how my world suddenly seemed to be empty of everything but her- my whole existence centered around the girl, rather than around myself anymore.” (Midnight Sun, 56)
His obsession with Bella is one of blood thirsty vampire who cannot or will not kill her because of his “vegetarian” diet as well as some sick twisted false feeling of love. He endangers her life by merely being in her presence. I'm not a love expert, but usually loved ones don't try to endanger each other.
“How was I any better than some sick peeping tom? I wasn’t any better. I was much, much worse.” (Midnight Sun, 106)
“I would always love this fragile human girl, for the rest of my limitless existence.” (Midnight Sun, 109)
This love that exists for her is merely lust. Edward lusts for her blood and is attracted to her in that way. The pain that he feels when he is near her and his decision not to kill her might be confused as love, but it its merely pain and morality intertwined. Love cannot grow from merely watching a person. That kind of love is merely a false image. It is not love, it is obsession. (No es Amor, Lo que tu sientes se llama obsession)
“-Why won’t you leave me alone?-
Believe me, I wanted to say. I’ve tried.
Oh, and also, I’m wretchedly in love with you.”
“-You’re kidnapping me, aren’t you?” (Eclipse, 145)
“-Alice, don’t you think this is just a little bit controlling? Just a tiny bit psychotic, maybe?-
-Not really.- She sniffed.” (Eclipse, 146)
“You’re kidnapping me, aren’t you?” (Eclipse, 145)
His crazy obsession also recruits his sister, Alice to constantly “keep an eye” on her by looking into her decisions and future, which by use of his mind reading he will instantly know as well. He also bribes his sister to kidnap Bella, so she wouldn’t run off to La Push to visit her best friend. With a vampire as watch guard, Bella could not run fast enough to get away. She was also trapped emotionally, running away would hurt Alice’s feelings and Bella just couldn’t hurt anyone, even if she had done so once.
Why was he so obsessive with an “insignificant little girl”? The reasoning states that since she was his “tue cantante,” her blood “sang” to him, he felt an immediate attraction to her; however, this attraction was not love; it was lust for her blood. He cannot kill her, for his own safety and morality. That is why he desires her so much. She is the one he cannot or should not be allowed to have. That is the only logical behavior he exhibits.
His Mental Instability
“I was a predator. She was my prey. There was nothing else in the whole world but that truth.” (Midnight Sun, 10)
Edward’s long life of immortality has surely caused some sort of mental instability. Bella’s luscious scent of blood torn down any stability his mind has been able to acquire. He became instantly lost that moment she walked into the room and smelled her blood.
In that instant, I was nothing close to the human I’d once been; no trace of the shreds of humanity I’d managed to cloak myself in remained. (Midnight Sun)
“One was mine, or rather had been: the red-eyed monster that had killed so many peopled that I’d stop counting their numbers. Rationalized, justified murders. A killer of killers, a killer of other less, powerful monsters. It was a God complex, I acknowledged that—deciding who deserved a death sentence. It was a compromise with myself. I had fed on human blood, but only by the loosest definition. My victims were, in their various dark pastimes, barely more human than I was.” (Midnight Sun, 12)
He lusted for it, and he planned executing twenty or more children simply for his selfish animalistic desire for her blood.
After such an encounter, he should have stayed away. Like a child putting their hand in the flame, he returned foolishly believing the flame would not be hot again. He returned to “his brand of heroin,” only to have the same lust almost overpower him. This mixed feeling of pain and pleasure was impossible to stay away. He was instantly “addicted” to her presence. He didn’t stay away from her, even if he knew he should have, as he repeated various times to Bella.
His constant mood swings around her are also a great indicator of his instability. As he stated, “I have a problem with my temper, Bella.” He ranges from ecstatic joy to raging fury and intense sadness in a mere sentences.
“-Do you have a multiple personality disorder?- she asked.
It must seem that way. My mood was erratic, so many new emotions coursing through me.” (Midnight Sun, 113)
After he made the choice to leave Bella and steal all her possessions that were linked to him, he became a heroin addict in withdrawal. With time, the addiction would have broken but the unreliable news of his “heroin” meeting her inevitable demise, he fled immediately to commit suicide. The basis for his argument that he, “cannot live in a world without her” is not plausible. Obviously, he already lived in a world without her. Besides the obvious point that he chose for both of them to live apart from each, his logic is irrational.
Although he did not intend for his unsuccessful suicide in a manner to control Bella, it was nonetheless successful in keeping her at his side. Bella's love for him made her want to keep him “alive.” Many unstable men/children/boys have used this technique to establish control in a relationship as well as keep a woman chained to them.(Domestic Violence Guide) The guilt of Bella causing Edward's death would have been heartbreaking.
His reaction to Bella finally having any weight in the decision on her morality is quite childish.
An earsplitting crash echoed from the other room.
“No! No! NO!” Edward roared, charging back into the room. He was in my face before I had time to blink, bending over me, his expression twisted in rage. “Are you insane?” he shouted. “Have you utterly lost your mind?”
I cringed away, my hands over my ears.
Although, his reaction to killing his girlfriend is somewhat understandable, he shouldn't have broken the plasma television in his living room. This merely makes Edward seem like he needs anger management as well as years of therapy.
“I don’t like double standards.” (Twilight)
Edward is not “perfect,” he is not a gentleman and he is most certainly not the best thing that has happened to Bella’s life. As Bella describes him, Edward is perfect in every way, he can do anything and he most certainly almost always right. Why does she love this being, if not worship him? Does she not see past his allure to see the characteristics of the monster inside?
As the evidence has been stated, Edward is controlling, stalkerish, obsessive and mentally unstable. Stalking in any relationship that does not involve being a legal hired bodyguard is not “sweet” or “loving.” It is creepy. Edward has noted this behavior in himself and yet he still chooses to stalk her.
Many fans of the series have foolishly and inexplicably fallen in “love” with Edward’s fictional character. Although, he is considered by close family as a gentleman, Edward is merely a false veil of goodness. His controlling actions speak much louder than his sincere words of love. He often speaks of his love for Bella, “compare[ing] a mere tree to a forest,” but his love is often misplaced. He may love Bella, which he has proved in his inability to kill her; however, he expresses his love for her in a manner that is not healthy.
He isolates her from the rest of the world, willingly. He states he doesn’t want her to leave her friends and family, but yet he hardly allows her any time with them. Charlie, Bella’s father, is the one who demands she balance her free time between Edward and her other friends. One of the reasons she broke down completely after Edward left in New Moon, was she had not support system. Charlie was merely a father who couldn’t help his daughter, he could relate to her but he did nothing for her. She had not friends outside of the Cullen family she could relay her feelings with. The fact that Edward “prevent[s] [Bella] from seeing family or friends,” is a clear indicator that he isolates her, so she can depend on him. (Domestic Violence Guide)
The relationship between Edward and Bella is unhealthy and blatantly abusive. It is obvious to Jacob and even a bit apparent to Charlie, who hardly notices anything. Yet, this relationship is allowed to continue.
How many girls have scream (typed) they love Edward? They wish they had Edward in their lives? That they would willingly allow Edward “to bruise [them].” This relationship they so eagerly desire is unrealistic. If in society, a couple such as Edward and Bella did exist, their relationship would be considered abusive. Edward controls and knows every one of Bella’s actions. She willingly allows him to do so and even forgives his behavior, writing it off as overprotective. She admits that his behavior is a bit “psychotic,” but without support on her claim from Alice, she simply disregards it. She accepted it willingly without a further thought. That is simply not right.
Another small point is the actual “love,” that they have for each other. As Edward has stated on several occasion, humans are naturally attracted to the beauty of the predator, him. So, is Bella attracted to Edward as a person? Or merely falling for his inevitable pull that affects every girl and woman around him? Isn’t what she feels merely a lust for him, since she is so focused on how perfect Edward is? She hardly describes his actual characteristics. Yes, he can do anything. But can he do it right? She barely describes his intelligence, his musical abilities, his decision making skills. She focuses on the shallow things, such as his skin, eyes, face, arms, strength and his perfection. This is a perfect description of lust.
Edward’s love for Bella does not exist because he “loves” her. At least, not at first. As in Midnight Sun, he stated he wanted to protect this frail creature from everyone around her. Noting, since he read everyone’s mind, that no one but Angela actually had somewhat pure thoughts about her. He also understands and is fully aware of the attraction he has for women of hormonal age. Bella is no exception to that. The only exception is that her mind is silent. Is that why he fell in love with her? Because he could not simply read her mind and realize her impure thoughts about him?
Now, the young girls who have read this book have created such high, unbelievable, standards of what a relationship should be like. They expect a man that loves her to be completely focused on her and her every move. That is unrealistic; any behavior exhibited by a significant other that is deemed obsessive needs to be addressed. And that person needs to be very carefully dumped.
In conclusion, Edward Cullen is not the idealistic boyfriend that most fangirls have dreamed him to be. He is controlling, stalkerish, obsessive, mentally unstable and is a false standard for relationships.
The Domestic Violence Guide lists characteristics of domestic violence:
constantly criticize you and your abilities as a spouse or partner, parent or employee?
behave in an over-protective manner or become extremely jealous?
threaten to hurt you, your children, pets, family members, friends or himself?
prevent you from seeing family or friends?
get suddenly angry or "lose his temper"?
destroy personal property or throw things around?
deny you access to family assets like bank accounts, credit cards, or the car, or control all finances and force you to account for what you spend?
use intimidation or manipulation to control you or your children? hit, punch, slap, kick, shove, choke or bite you?
prevent you from going where you want to, when you want to, and with whomever you want to?
make you have sex when you don't want to or do things sexually that you don't want to do?
humiliate or embarrass you in front of other people?
Edward qualifies for 7 out of 11
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