Twilight: The Real Reason Bella Chose Edward Is Actually Tragic

Everyone knows Bella chooses Edward over Jacob in The Twilight Saga, but the root of that decision is quite tragic.

Since the publication of Twilight, the first novel in The Twilight Saga, there has been much debate about the central love triangle of the series. It wasn’t uncommon to see a fan sporting either a “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob” t-shirt and the concept of fans creating “teams” expanded beyond the scope of the saga out into larger popular culture. But while so much has been said about which character is the superior choice, it’s sometimes overlooked that the real reason Bella chose Edward over Jacob is quite tragic.

Bella had a difficult childhood, which led her to mature beyond her years. This makes her see Edward’s age and decades of life lived as an advantage, instead of a sad reflection of her own forced maturity. Edward is over a century old when he meets Bella while she is a junior in high school, and he has plenty of life experience beyond that of an ordinary high school student. And because Bella was the caregiver to her mother growing up, she also has experiences beyond the scope of other people her age.

Bella believes that is an advantage when she chooses Edward. She tells him that she has always felt separate from her peers and could never quite fit in but doesn’t feel that way with the Cullen family. However, while that’s really touching, and it’s important to feel connected to your partner, this feeling actually stems from her lonely childhood and desire for a family.

In New Moon, though, when Bella is recovering from her breakup with Edward, she grows close to her friend Jacob Black, who represents more of a normal life. Before he transforms into a werewolf, Jacob is a normal high school kid, too, and when Bella is with him, she is able to act more her age and have more fun. That youthful exuberance and random bouts of immaturity are good for Bella because she’s able to have fun with Jacob, which wasn’t necessarily the case with Edward.

When Jacob transforms into a werewolf, however, he must also mature beyond his years and grow up too quickly. He stops being an alternative to Bella’s experience and ends up in her exact position. This mirror in their forced maturity removes the escape Jacob used to give her from the equation when she has to make a choice between him in Edward.

And when it really came down to it, Bella’s family life was complicated and incomplete, whereas Edward’s was surprisingly traditional and whole, especially considering it was made up of vampires. In the end, Bella may choose Edward because she loves him more, but that emotion is rooted in her loneliness.

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