Edward Cullen – The Twilight Saga
*** WARNING: This post contains multiple spoilers. Please continue only if you have read the Twilight Saga in its entirety (aka Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn) or if you’re not going to read it, and don’t hold me responsible for giving away the ending, ‘kay? ***
Edward Cullen, as portrayed by Robert Pattinson in Twilight (2008) [image: Summit Entertainment]
Full Name: Edward Anthony Masen Cullen ♂
Birth: June 20th, 1901 in Chicago (Immortalized in 1918, thus unable to age beyond 17 physically – lucky bastard.)
Family: Carlisle and Esme Cullen (adoptive parents); Emmett and Alice Cullen, Jasper and Rosalie Hale (adoptive siblings); Isabella “Bella” Marie Cullen (née Swan) (wife); Renesmee “Nessie” Carlie Cullen (daughter)
Profession: Student (usually)/ Sparkly Fairy boy Vampire
Raison d’être: The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
Once upon a time, in a tiny rainy suburban town in Washington, there lived a family of seven stunning, well-behaved immortal vampires intent on protecting the human race (by devouring animals instead of people). They were all content in their endless lives with their perfect soul mates – all except one. This tormented soul had been wandering the earth for almost a century, coming to terms with his identity, trying to find his place in a human world, and making up for his unnatural nature with a conscience. He had made peace with his existence and was relatively content – until the day a young girl with the sweetest smelling blood possible moved to town, and made life just a bit more complicated. And suddenly, the whole world – the real world – went completely mad.
Quite possibly the most promising character to be vying for the title of “perfect man” in these archives, Edward Cullen is – ironically enough – not even a human. Meyer’s sensational love story between this bloodthirsty vampire and an ordinary human girl named Bella Swan has captured the hearts of thousands, and made the vampire in question the object of hysterical female adulation worldwide. He has made a global phenomenon out of a normal suburban housewife who just happened to write a book about a dream she had one night. And most of all, he has raised the bar for unfortunate mortal men everywhere.
So what is it about this guy that makes women everywhere (even the decidedly non-gothic, traditional-vampire-shunning types) salivate for “eternal damnation”, as the man himself puts it? What can the normal man do to attain this guy’s appeal? Alas, behind the surreal “chiseled” features and mind-reading ability is a much more complex persona that corporeal beings can actually hope to achieve.
Ooo, Sparkly! (The Good Stuff)
All right, let’s run down the list. Good-looking? Check. Smart? Check. Well-mannered? Check. Shamelessly devoted? Double check. Overly conscientious? OMFGCHECK!!!
Simply put, Edward’s the level of gentleman that Austen and Bronte created and haven’t been seen since. Meyer’s imagination didn’t run far from her bookshelf when she created this freak Darcy-Rochester mutant that carries a universal appeal for womankind. He’s gentle, he’s thoughtful, he can read the minds of everyone around him (giving rise to a whole new meaning of empathy) and he genuinely cares about Bella.
That last point there is important – and it’s pretty much my favorite thing about this character. His perceptive attitude towards all things Bella is the dream of pretty much anyone who’s had a relationship where the <insert electronic gadget here> plays the other woman. Edward knows every little twitch of Bella’s face and eyes, and can guess what she’s feeling or thinking most of the time by a mere glance because he pays attention. (No, really, guys: take notes here) He listens, he asks questions, and he argues. In short, he sees Bella as a partner, his equal, and not just as a girl he likes. Sure, he’s a little old-fashioned about paying bills and opening car doors, but even the staunchest of feminists appreciate that from time to time.
Edward Cullen is the quintessential bad boy. He’s the very definition of dangerous (he says so himself) and that only makes Bella want him more. As weird as that sounds in theory, it’s actually something that affects all females. We all want a bad boy, because we all secretly hope that we will be the ones to set them on the straight path, or make him want to be good.
But here’s the irony: he’s a bad boy that practices restraint. So that even though he claims to be dangerous, he’s using his behavior to show that there’s no real threat from him. He refuses sex (snort!), he doesn’t try to make out with Bella as much as any normal teenage boy would, and he doesn’t kill (anymore). While this may be due to Meyer’s own conservative Mormon lifestyle, it’s a little hard to expect such a paradoxical personality in the average guy.
The key: SELF-LOATHING!
I’m Designed to Kill [by irritating you]
I almost didn’t write this post… simply because I read <a href=”http://cleolinda.livejournal.com”>Cleolinda’s</a> dissection of his character, and I can’t possibly top that. She nailed it. So if my mindless drivel is making you insane, please go read her archives on Edward/the Twilight Saga. Go ahead, I won’t be offended.
Still here? Really? Um, well, okay.
Can you remember what 17 was like? Or if you’re there or haven’t gotten there yet, think about it for a minute. Would you seriously like to be stuck that age for eternity? I remember what 17 was like for me, and trust me, the idea of going back to that, let along being stuck in it, is downright horrifying for me. I was emo before it was even a genre, which only added to my “misunderstood” persona. Seriously, don’t even go there.
But in essence, that’s who Edward Cullen is. His hormones or whatever froze right there in his body when he was vampirized, and now he’s stuck being this “manic depressive” (direct quote from the man himself – Rob Pattinson) teenage nightmare for life. His incurable self doubt (“Does she love me? OMG she can’t love me! Everyone else does, but no! I’m a monster! Kill me now!” *continue whining until end of time*) is enough to drive any sane woman completely mad. And the masochism?! OH MA LORD! Envision this scenario: you’re a recovering addict (which Edward himself admits to being, in a way) and you not only decide to subject yourself to your substance of choice everyday, you also fall in love with it, want to make love to it, and want its babies… all without being able to get a single hit. Torture suddenly has a whole new face and meaning. I’m not really sure what the real-life translation for this situation might be… but if, for instance, you’re dating your dealer right out of rehab… don’t do it. Walk away while you can. Please.
Meyer herself admits that Edward’s greatest flaw is his tendency to overanalyze situations and overreact, the biggest example of which is how he deals with his closest rival, Jacob Black. He sees that Bella is in danger from his own family, BAM! He runs away, breaking her heart. He sees Bella becoming attached to Jacob, BAM! He stops her from seeing him, essentially driving her closer to Jacob. He sees his plan backfiring, BAM! (Yes, I’m enjoying this far too much) He suddenly steps back altogether, watching Bella fall deeper and deeper into the mess that is the Jacob-Bella-Edward love triangle. Here’s an important tip: Assertiveness, in moderation and within reason, is sexy. Try it sometime.
And don’t even get me started on his superiority complex. Be it the werewolves, or the lesser vampires, or even Bella, he likes to lord over the fact that he’s been around much longer and thus knows better in almost every way. For instance, he’s pretty sure he knows what’s best for Bella, so he walks away (see New Moon). This trait is fairly common in the mortal world too. All I have to say is this: We get the point. Now please get over yourself.
Appearance = 5/5 (Like I had a choice in the matter with all the descriptions glorifying it)
Dress sense = 1/5 (ENOUGH WITH THE BEIGE, ALREADY! And can we please remember that he wore A SLEEVELESS TURTLENECK to the meadow scene… thank you)
Date-ability = 4/5 (He’s “chivalrous”, as we are reminded often)
Relationship score = 2/5 (I swear to God, if anyone I’m seeing tries to climb in through my window and watch me sleep……)
Final Score = 12/20