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siduri comments on Luminosity (Twilight Fanfic) Discussion Thread 3 - Less Wrong

10 Post author: Alicorn 30 December 2010 02:37PM

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Comment author: [deleted] 20 January 2011 12:46:05AM *  3 points [-]

I find myself really relieved that mother love is allowed to be at least on par with the mate bond in this world. I was ready to accept Elspeth's line of thinking--that because the mate bond is magic (and not just magic, but Super Magic, in that it tends to trump even other magic) it would override any "mere human" sorts of bonds. In my head, I could see that. But emotionally, no way. It would have made Bella impenetrably alien to me, and sort of monstrous, if that was the way her emotions worked. I'm glad she remains recognizably human in this way--it makes it much, much easier to sympathize with and root for her.

And I have a lot of sympathy for Bella in this chapter. She's doing really just remarkably well, dealing with regaining a post-Chelsea Elspeth, but Alicorn gave us enough of a window into her emotional state that I can really feel the immense strain she's under. She must have been wild with fear for her daughter this whole time--and now she's got that daughter back, but broken in one important way: all her social ties cauterized. In other words, her daughter has actually been terribly hurt, but hurt in a way that Elspeth herself can no longer perceive, and if Bella flew into a rage about it, that would only serve to drive Elspeth further away.

In moments like the one where Bella hauls off and kicks the mountainside, I feel like we're seeing someone who is putting up a good front, but is really a long way from being okay with the situation. I actually think the audience might be able to perceive it better than Elspeth does--because even though she's making significant progress toward maturity, Elspeth still has some of the natural self-centeredness of a child. And, of course, she doesn't particularly care about Bella anymore.

Assuming I'm not just projecting things onto Bella that aren't meant to be there, I have to say Alicorn's pulled off a really neat authorial trick. It takes good and subtle writing to show us things in first-person narration that the narrator herself is unaware of.

Anyway, Bella seems to be handling her daughter really, really well--respecting the changes that Elspeth's gone through in their time apart, demonstrating her willingness to accept Elspeth's new priorities as important, but at the same time guiding her daughter towards the sort of memories she'd need to be able to start reconstructing their relationship on an emotional as well as an intellectual level. I feel moderately confident that Bella will succeed in winning back her daughter's love if she continues to take this tack.