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Midnight Sun - A Comprehensive Summary
In essence, Midnight Sun is the story of a couple falling in love and facing adversity that stems from their different natures.
Edward is a vampire. He is an apex predator designed to hunt humans. Everything about him seems to be built for this purpose. Humans find him irresistibly attractive, as he has superhuman strength, speed, and sense of smell, and he is indestructible.
Bella is a mortal human with blood that attracts vampires. She becomes irresistible to Edward, but as prey, not as a person.
Initially, any relationship between them seems impossible. Their nature makes it impossible for them to interact or connect on a level field.
And yet, this is precisely what happens: love bridges the chasm that separates them.
As the story is told from Edward’s point of view, we vividly live through every high and low of the emotional roller coaster that his attraction to Bella brings.
It isn’t Bella that brings Edward’s struggle with his nature as a predator. This is something that he has been struggling with for decades in his century-long life. The challenge that Bella forces him to deal with is conquering his nature, not merely handling it.
When Bella comes into Edward’s life, he believes that he has reached a plateau in his development. He thinks that he has already mastered his unique life choices. Despite that, there is dissonance in his heart because Edward’s self-esteem is, in reality, very low despite his superficial haughtiness. Because he is a vampire, he is convinced that he is a monster, a villain, the thing that heroes kill in stories.
Edward’s vampire family, the Cullens, deal with this by abstaining from hunting humans. They limit themselves only to killing animals for their blood. However, this choice is a torturous one, as their nature urges them to drink human blood instead. The scent of humans can, at times, be irresistible.
When the scent of a human is alluring enough, a vampire’s instincts can completely take over his/her thoughts. If that happens, then the vampire is nothing more than a killing machine, unable to restrain him or herself. Going against this urge is physically painful and emotionally straining. And yet, the Cullens manage to fight this urge. In this way, they stand on two boats: that of being human and that of being the monster.
Edward believes he is the best, after his father Carlisle, in doing that. He prides himself on being superior to humans and in control of his monstrous nature. When Bella arrives at the school with her sweet, irresistible blood scent, all of Edward’s well-practiced control crumbles.
He comes very close to killing her several times and even considers murdering other people to get to her. This realization that the monster in him is still strong and roaring shatters his self-image. Bella becomes a symbol of what he must overcome, the challenge he thought he’d dealt with, and now rises before him with seemingly insurmountable odds.
Bella is also the only individual, vampire, or human, whose thoughts he cannot read. It makes him unable to interpret her behavior as well as that of other people. This forces him to pay attention to her as an individual, while at the same time, he struggles with the relentless urge to drink her blood.
The constant struggle makes him fall in love with Bella, as he gets to know her better, further complicating his predicament.
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