Pairs and Spares in Forks (A guest post by Veronica Rotta)
Pairs – or couples – in the Twilight Saga are the ones to find happiness. Once they have, the pairs seem to turn their attention to the spares – or singles – of the town. Edward, during the majority of Midnight Sun is very sullen — the odd man out. He laments “Some days it was harder than others to live with three sets of perfectly matched lovers. This was one of them” (Midnight Sun, 56). For decades, Edward has lived with three couples who are hopelessly in love, with some of the couples being demonstratively affectionate. Stephenie Meyer’s Saga of ultimately-happy-characters-who-reside-in-wonderful-wedded-bliss seem to imply that in order to be happy, you need to have a life-mate.
Never mind that many single people choose to be single and, for the most part, are reasonably happy. Single people answer to no one, possess the freedom to do what they wish when they wish, and are responsible only for themselves. Edward, however, seems to feel he will never meet the girl of his dreams. Even though he has had the chance for happiness by the Saga’s terms — that is having girls pursue him such as Tanya — he is still not interested in any of them. Instead Edward is just waiting for the right girl. The Saga even insinuates that if you don’t have a mate to love, you don’t understand what it means to protect those you do love. Jasper states “…you don’t feel the way I feel about her, Edward, and you haven’t lived… You don’t understand” (Midnight Sun, 84). It doesn’t seem fair to suggest that just because Edward doesn’t have a spouse like the other Cullen’s, then he doesn’t love his family enough to protect them.
Everyone in the saga (non-human and human alike) seem to be always trying to find a mate: Jessica needed to have Mike ask her to the dance; Edward was in continual pursuit of Bella; suddenly Jacob realized that he needed Bella; then gradually Edward realized that he needed Bella back in his life; and on it goes!
No one stays single in the saga, instead everyone is trying desperately to find the perfect lover to complete his/her life. It seems to be a never-ending search. Even Charlie in Breaking Dawn is having dinner often with Sue Clearwater, whose husband has recently died. The entire town of Forks seems to have co-dependency issues — maybe suffering from “SAD,” the seasonal depression caused by lack of sun!
No one in Forks seems to enjoy single life. Victoria, in her quest to avenge her lover’s death, doesn’t even try single life. Bella was single during her time in Phoenix. Even though she never stated that she was unhappy, she never did say how thrilled she was discovering life on her own. Only when she meets and pairs with Edward does her life suddenly have meaning. Even in Breaking Dawn, Bella continually worries about poor, single Jacob. The only person who seems to remain single for the majority of the Saga is Charlie, and is portrayed as totally inept when it comes to something as simple as cooking spaghetti! Meyer, in the end however, even has Charlie succumb to becoming part of a pair: Bella observes that “Sue would be with Charlie…and he wouldn’t be alone anymore” (Breaking Dawn, 732).
Carlisle makes it his mission to find mates for his coven family. He first acquires Edward trying to save his life at Edward’s mother’s pleading, but to also have a buddy. Esme is then rescued because Carlisle wanted her. Rosalie was created so Edward could be loved, and when that didn’t work out Emmet was created at Rosalie’s request. Maybe Carlisle missed his calling by becoming a doctor and should have become a vampire matchmaker instead. He and Meyer both seem to be very interested in making sure everyone has a life partner for eternity.