This week’s Eclipse quote discussion centers on Chapter 6, “Switzerland.”
First of all, this chapter is one of the more . . . shall we say . . . exhausting of the many in Eclipse. Why? Well, there’s a whirlwind of competitive spirits floating throughout the air.
Not only are Edward and Bella at odds over whether she is in good hands at La Push, but Edward’s family – namely Alice – comes into the picture, too.
The chapter title’s origin is rather obvious, and one quote particularly rings in the source.
“I want you to know something — when it comes to all this enemies nonsense, I’m out. I am a neutral country. I am Switzerland. I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythical creatures. Jacob is family. You are… well, not exactly the love of my life, because I expect to love you for much longer than that. The love of my existence. I don’t care who’s a werewolf and who’s a vampire. If Angela turns out to be a witch, she can join the party, too” (Page 143).
Though she hasn’t exactly won on the issue yet, Bella takes a stand against Edward’s overprotective behavior. She knows what’s best for her in this regard, and Jacob is a part of that.
She really expresses her understanding of Edward’s callousness on the matter when she says to Alice, “Alice, don’t you think this is just a little bit controlling? Just a tiny bit psychotic, maybe?” (Page 146). She also reiterates the awkward contrariness of the situation when she says, “Yes, because a vampire slumber party is the pinnacle of safety conscious behavior” (Page 146). These two passages are some of the many moments where Bella echos the audience’s potential sentiments by entertaining the pragmatic viewpoint . . even if only temporarily.
At the end of the debate, when Bella has informed Jacob she is unable to visit and surrendered to Alice’s “kidnapping,” Rosalie comes to call. If nothing else, Rosalie has been a perfect embodiment of the “Switzerland” notion, as she has not taken a stance either for or against Edward’s opinion on the matter, yet. Her entry, then, brings a whole new voice to the issue.
Another thing that was accomplished in the chapter included Bella strengthening her relationship with Angela Weber. She, too, is a “Switzerland” sort of character, and, in fact, the neutrality of it all is one of the more attractive parts of Bella’s visit with Angela. When Bella is at the home, helping Angela stuff envelopes for graduation invitations, she once again thinks about her intention to become a part of the undead community. It’s the first time, really, that Bella’s hesitance is bolstered by her relationship with the humans in her school . . . a human, rather.
All in all, the chapter was one of self-proclaimed neutrality. Aside from the escalating tension put upon Bella by her friendship with Jacob in contrast with her relationship with Edward, the chapter was one amidst progression. Here, we see Edward, once again, daring on that line of being too overprotective, but we also see that Bella is receptive to Edward’s feelings on the subject. For her to put her foot down and declare herself “Switzerland,” though, was certainly progress toward uniting fire and ice.
Any other thoughts on the chapter? Any suggestions for next week’s discussion?
Prior quote discussions are available here.
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