In a 2007 Q&A in Alpharetta, GA, Stephenie Meyer addressed the possibility of Edward being
a grade A douchenozzle an abuser. Meyer’s response, transcribed below, illuminates her deluded perceptions of her characters and her dysfunctional relationship toward her fictional products. My comments are in regular face type.
Question 12: There’s been some speculation on the internet….. about Edward being an abusive boyfriend….. ?
Because he IS!
Meyer: Yeah, yeah, OK. There’s a lot of stuff online that has, honestly, broken my heart recently. It is difficult to read things that take such a negative spin on something that is very personal and also makes a lot of sense inside your head.
Translation: “Cogent analyses hurt my feewings. I also don’t care if the readers think that Edward makes no sense because…well, he makes sense in my head, and that’s all that matters. I spit upon readers and their demands for narrative coherency!”
I think it’s, I have a hard time with that one because to me you have this kid, sure, he’s a hundred and something, but at the same time he’s also seventeen and it’s the first time he’s been in love. And he fully recognizes that he does things wrong, he’s very aware of that.
A repentant dude who confiscates your keys because he doesn’t want you going anywhere is still a dude who confiscates your keys. Just because a jealous, possessive emotional wreck recognizes his mistakes does not absolve him of his past stupidity.
Edward at the beginning of Eclipse goes too far one direction. In the middle he’s like, I’m screwing this up, I’m doing this wrong, I’m not being fair. He goes too far in the other direction. He never quite finds the balance because he’s so black or white about everything. But he has only the best of intentions pretty much at all times, and to think of him as either mean or controlling or having any kind of neg- wanting to impact Bella’s life in a negative way is really not how his character is.
Good intentions do not justify jealous, possessive, irrational, controlling behaviors.
On the other hand I get the same thing about Jacob, where he’s too pushy and he’s too physical and he’s causing all these problems.
“Too pushy” and “too physical” are the most pathetic euphemisms for “sexual assault.” Remember — this character kisses Bella against her will. That’s sexual assault, dudes.
And I don’t think people realize quite the layer, the level of desperation that he’s at. He’s not desperate to make Bella fall in love with him, I mean, that would be an excellent perk. He is desperate to save her life, and if you saw your best friend teetering on the edge of the fifth story of the building, playing with the balcony, you would reach up and yank their arm, even if it would hurt them, because you were trying to save them. And Jacob really is kind of past rationality at that point.
Translation: “Give Jacob a break. He is so worried about Bella that he can’t think straight. He practically forces himself on her precisely because he is so concerned about her.”
This weak justification reminds me of a common “reason” rapists give for assaulting their victims: “Oh, it was for his/her own good. I was doing him/her a favor because he/she is never going to get any otherwise.”
So I think that people sometimes will go out looking for the negative when really if they gave them the right intentions, I think they are understanding characters better.
I don’t care what the characters’ intentions were; both Edward’s and Jacob’s behaviors indicate abusive personalities. Their intent and their creator’s intent does not sway my interpretation of their actions.