Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
See Twilight Post Part I for context explanation.
In Eclipse, we have the continuing issue of people, particularly men, undermining and re-naming Bella’s experience. She is repeatedly told, “You don’t feel that” “Don’t be silly” “You’re being oversensitive” “Don’t freak out”. What is worse, however, is that by this third book, Bella rarely needs to be told this by others, because she does it for herself. We see Bella compartmentalize her feelings before she has a chance to feel them. Every action she takes is out of a misguided sense of protection for other people’s reactions and feelings. She equates telling the truth with hurting others. She continually (Literally) asks others to punish her rather than forgive her when she says what she feels and it disappoints them. She looks for ways to bleed for others rather than acknowledge how they have manipulated, coerced or betrayed her. She blames herself for any “selfish” feeling regarding her own experience, but refuses to let others apologize, even when their behavior borders on abusive.
As a woman, hurting someone’s feelings is the most selfish crime one can commit. Better to remain silent than suffer the guilt after telling someone a truth they will not like hearing. If someone says you’re being oversensitive or silly, believe them. Others know what you’re feeling better than you do. A woman should never put a man in a position where he has to watch her cry, be angry or show any other emotion beyond compliance. If you do this, you are a selfish monster and don’t deserve to be loved.
That’s Book Three.
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