Warning: There will be spoilers here.
The story centres around Bella. We are not sure why she has left Phoenix (sunny) for Forks (wet and rainy). It appears that she has been looking after her loving, but distracted mother for some time and took on the adult role in their relationship. It also appears that her move is a sacrifice she has made to keep her mother happy – the mother appears to be in some new relationship. Bella is moving to stay with her caring but slightly stand-offish father who also happens to be the local police chief.
It is clear Bella has always been a ‘fish-out-of-water’ and she expects this will be even more the case in small town Forks where newcomers are viewed with suspicion and never truly accepted by the community.
She has misgivings about her new life, but the reader is quickly reassured that it won’t be as bad as Bella expects. Her father clearly loves her. He has photographs of her throughout his house and bought her a truck to drive to school which she loves.
Bella’s first day of school goes better than she anticipates. The students are curious about her and she is welcomed by a number of them, notably Eric (dark haired, pimply and overhelpful), Jessica (conventional, friendly) and Mike (attractive, blonde and obviously interested in Bella).
Bella also encounters Edward Cullen. First she spies him in the cafeteria and is taken by his beauty and that of his companions. She is forced to sit next to him in biology class. He has a very hostile reaction to her and spends the entire lesson leaning away from her as if repulsed, and clenching his fists as if angry. Bella is hurt and bewildered by his reaction to her.
What I think:
The symbolism of moving from sunny Phoenix to Gloomy Forks seems quite apparent. Light to dark – life to death – happiness to sadness etc. However, Bella’s pale skin seems to suggest that she may be at home in the dark and gloom even though she thinks she loves the sun. Her quite pessimistic outlook may also imjply this.
Edward and his friends are obviously the vampires. Why is it that so many vampires go to school these days? I imagine they would get very bored considering their no doubt advanced years.
I am wondering why Edward reacted so strongly to Bella. Perhaps she is the image of someone from his past whom it angers him to see.m