Study Guide

Breaking Dawn

by Stephenie Meyer

Breaking Dawn Summary

Summary

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and last book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. The novel is broken into three separate narratives. Breaking Dawn opens with Bella Swan anticipating her marriage to Edward Cullen. Edward and Bella are getting married as part of a deal struck between the two—Edward wants Bella to experience some normal parts of life before he turns her into a vampire. The wedding goes smoothly, with a brief appearance by the werewolf Jacob Black, who still loves Bella and disapproves of her choice to marry Edward and become a vampire. For the honeymoon, Edward surprises Bella by taking her to a small island off the coast of Brazil owned by the Cullen family. Bella and Edward consummate their marriage, and enjoy their time as newlyweds.

Two weeks into the honeymoon, it is discovered that Bella is pregnant. This is surprising because the assumption by all was that vampires could not impregnate humans, as they are unable to bear children themselves. The pregnancy is disturbing because the baby appears to be gestating at an unnaturally rapid rate. When they decide to leave and travel home to ask Carlisle for help, Bella is already showing.

As Bella travels home, Part 2 begins and is narrated by Jacob Black. He has had word that Bella has returned and contracted a strange virus while on her honeymoon. He goes to the Cullen household to visit her and finds a disturbing situation. Bella’s health worsens as the baby continues to grow at an unnatural rate. Some of the Cullens think they should get rid of the pregnancy and save Bella, but Bella refuses. Rosalie agrees and protects Bella and the pregnancy. They figure out that drinking blood nourishes the baby and revives Bella. Jacob, although uncomfortable in the Cullen household, feels a strange pull towards Bella and refuses to leave. Meanwhile, the werewolf pack has learned of the baby and decides Bella and her unborn baby must be killed for the good of everyone. Jacob refuses to comply with the alpha male and breaks away, creating his own pack. Leah and Seth Clearwater join Jacob’s pack, and the three protect the Cullen household.

Bella goes into labor. It is violent and unnatural. Bella breaks several bones between the super-strength of the fetus and the violent contractions. Finally, Bella’s spine is broken, and Edward delivers the baby, and then immediately injects vampire venom into Bella’s heart to save her. The baby is a girl, named Renesmee after Edward’s mother, Esme, and Bella’s mother, Renee. Jacob believes that Bella is dead, and plans to kill the child, but when he looks at Renesmee, he imprints and becomes soul mates with her instead.

Part 3 of the novel opens with Bella narrating her change from human to vampire. The transformation takes two days. When Bella first awakens, the Cullens are nervous because newborn vampires are traditionally bloodthirsty and difficult to control. Bella instead appears calm and happy, with her thirst for blood in check. Edward takes...

(The entire section is 1229 words.)

Ed. Scott Locklear