(This is a continuation of prior post “To Robert Pattinson Re Edward’s Appeal…” See earlier post especially if unfamiliar with Cullen.)
Okay, there are the looks. Every page of the Twilight Saga tells us how Edward resembles a a model/greek god/marble statue/angel. Normally, I might say that Stephenie Meyers might “show” a bit in place of so much “telling”, especially when it comes to the beautiful crooked smile, but Pattinson, as Edward’s personifier, has taken the books a long way in the “showing” direction.
Then there’s the money. Edward is rich, due in part to investing for 100 years and also to having a sister with precognition of stock market trends. For someone in my generation (i.e. within memory of Woodstock), this is not the most appealing part of Edward’s character. The obsession with expensive cars is cloying. The fact that neither Edward nor anyone in his family ever needs a job for money seems a bit adolescent. On the other hand, as a mother of college-age children, I found Edward’s repeated offers to pay Bella’s college tuition to have a definite cachet.
But what it finally comes down to is the adoration.
He adores her. She tells us (and she’s the main narrator, our source of truth in the story) that she is more or less ordinary. Of course we don’t really believe that. She’s the main narrator! And besides she’s the stand-in for each of us. Still, it’s not like she’s magic, fantastical–at least not that magic, fantastical, i.e. she eats and sleeps and doesn’t transfigure.
And he doesn’t just adore her “essence”–he adores her smell.
He especially adores the smell of her blood.
The books say nothing on the subject of menstrual cycles (which come to think of it, might have some import in a human-vampire relationship) until the fourth book. Even then, there’s no blip in the adoration.
When she cries, he tastes a tear. When she vomits, he soothes her hair from her face. (She tells him to go away, he says the equivalent of ‘no way’.) When she really really cries, his well-tailored shirts soak it up.
He holds her all night long, watching her sleep. (Ah!) He himself smells incredibly sweet, even after long runs through the forest. (In my experience, this is somewhat different from the average American male.)
He picks her up; he is always on time (sometimes just barely, but that’s only when she’s in danger and the story is in need of a dramatic interlude.)
He literally picks her up. He’s strong enough to make any woman feel as light as a feather.
He loves to listen to her talk. He’s always asking her what she’s thinking. He really really really wants to know.
And talk about protectiveness. I have a feeling that’s the big appeal for older women, all those single mothers, or virtually single mothers, or overworked mothers, or mothers with a memory of the Woodstock generation who didn’t think they wanted protection. He’s devoted to taking care of Bella. He is contantly trying to save her from accidents, danger, even from his own weaknesses. He desperately wants to get married.
She saves him often enough too, a fact he always acknowledges. (Wow!)
Finally, finally, he has that sweet crooked smile.
So does Pattinson.
If interested, check out counting book, 1 Mississippi, on Amazon, counting book with elephants in gouache.