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Comment author: FocacciaBread 06 May 2011 05:52:14AM 2 points [-]

First post on the site- please excuse any nonsensical aspect of the following, as it is rather late and I am a bit muddled from sleep-deprivation. However, this issue has been bugging me for some time, and I would greatly appreciate a response.

I apologize if I'm reading too much into this sentence, but the last line of Radiance disturbs me a bit.

"I still usually can't remember my dreams, but I'm told, and have every reason to believe, that they are happy ones."

If the goal of achieving radiance is similar to that of being luminous (aka living logically), or at the very least is to achieve knowledge of one's self in order to best interact with the outside world, then I can't help but feel disappointed in Elspeth. If Luminosity!Bella had dreams visible to anyone who cared to look, she would have hoarded it and analyzed it (much like her notebooks)- yet Elspeth is merely content to take the word of others when they say she is content? (That is, if we assume that dreams are subconscious manifestations of our waking minds, which to be fair, not everyone believes.)

It merely seems as if she is stuck in endless cycles where she is defining herself and acting according to others' heuristics. At the beginning, she is living according to Bella's rules. After a brief period in which she independently decides she cannot be independent, she is captured by the Volturi; enter Chelsea's brainwashing. While Elspeth's magic was a deprogramming agent, it seems that it cured everyone but her of the reliance upon others' advice/guidelines/rules. Elspeth follows Addy and Siobhan wherever the wind takes them, content to be the magic eight ball of esoteric lore, until she once again lands with Bella, the new queen of the world. While the Golden Coven offers her a degree of autonomy in her position, she is still comfortably wedged in a position where she is not required to, or is even encouraged, to develop her own heuristics. How can she, when her intellectual growth has been impacted by thousands of other vampires, as well as most of the authority figures whose reason she has trusted more often than her own?

And then to have the ending depict that she cannot determine for herself if she is happy....

Is it possible to live a life based upon logic while still being a dependent? Is luminosity solely reserved for the independent individual?