Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 754
Eclipse, as well as the entire four-book Twilight saga, is basically a romance. Therefore, the main theme throughout the series is that of love. The stories offer wide variations on this topic. The primary love story is between Bella and Edward, but Jacob also plays a role. In the first and second books, Bella and Jacob develop a strong relationship.Their love is not as intimate as that between Bella and Edward, but the love does run deep. Jacob’s love is more serious than Bella’s love for him, so his becomes the unrequited love. Or better yet, Bella does return his love but the portion is less than Jacob had hoped for. In New Moon, when Edward disappears, Jacob is very supportive of Bella and hopes that Edward never comes back. But in the first chapter ofEclipse, Edward has returned, and Jacob is angered. Bella forgives Edward for abandoning her and eventually has to confess to Jacob that though she loves him, that love is different from the passion she feels for Edward. By the end of Eclipse, though Jacob attempts to understand, he is so frustrated by Bella’s inability to love him deeply that he runs away.
The love that Bella shares with both Jacob and Edward is a love that transcends incredibly charged differences. Both Jacob and Edward, being werewolf and vampire, respectively, could cause Bella great harm. They are tremendously stronger than she is and both of the young men have wild sides. Bella ignores these differences and sees something worthwhile in both the young men. She can love them in spite of the differences between them and herself. She also practices unconditional love with both men, forgiving them when they hurt her, and trusting them even though she does not always understand what they are doing.
The author also describes a type of love that she calls imprinting. The way Meyer explains it, imprinting is a totally irrational form of love that is so strong that the two people involved cannot help but love one another.Several of Jacob’s fellow werewolves experience imprinting in this story.In the last book of the series, Breaking Dawn, Jacob imprints on Bella’s and Edward’s daughter.
Another form of love is developed through the Cullen family. Each member of the family is a vampire. They need to drink blood in order to survive. However, the head of the family, Carlisle Cullen, insists that they refrain from ingesting human blood. Their love of humankind leads them to discipline themselves so they restrain their natural passions for the taste of human blood and instead go on hunts for wild mammals, such as deer and bear.
Trust is another major theme in Eclipse. Though she does not understand everything about the werewolf or the vampire world, Bella trusts her instincts when it comes to dealing with Edward and his family as well as Jacob and his tribal members. Bella is often confused or overwhelmed by the circumstances surrounding her, but she has very strong instincts and a confidence in herself to trust what is happening to her even if she does not fully comprehend everything. Even Edward increases his level of trust when he rids himself of his jealousy. For example, he trusts Bella’s and Jacob’s friendship. Although the werewolves and vampires have a long history of animosity, Edward trusts that Jacob would not harm to Bella. He eventually even comes to understand that Bella is actually safer on the reservation with Jacob than she is at home. Jacob must learn trust, too. Werewolves are mortal enemies of vampires, and yet Jacob and his pack of werewolves learn to trust the vampires to the point of helping the Cullens fight Victoria and her newborn vampires. They have learned to trust that the Cullens may be vampires, but they are working for the good of humanity, whereas Victoria’s vampires are not.
The theme of good over evil also plays a major role in Eclipse as well as in the whole Twilight series. Challengers, such as the vampire Victoria in this novel, are constantly seeking to do harm and upset the peace that the Cullens have worked so hard to maintain. In Eclipse, Victoria raises a brood of newborn vampires to help her to seek revenge on Bella and Edward for killing her mate, James, in the first of the four-book saga. Although evil forces are never far away, the Cullens and the werewolves, who represent the “good,” always prevail.
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