Our leading lady is thrust into a world she was not prepared for when she discovers that Edward and her have compatible genes, and they are expecting a baby. After a wonderful wedding and passionate honeymoon, the shock is instant. However, Bella is quickly filled with a sensations of love and happiness. The baby she is carrying must be protected at all cost. This is an unwavering trend throughout the entire novel. Bella confides in Rosalie that she has no desire to give her up child and they pair up to protect Bella’s choice.
Through an intense pregnancy and deadly delivery, Bella is turned into a vampire at the last possible second, and it is done to save her life. Bella describes the intense physical pain she feels during the transformation, but keeps her self-control enough to stay quiet to not scare or induce guilt on Edward’s part. When she awakes, she marvels at her new abilities, new looks, new sensations, but she is overwhelmed with the desire to meet her daughter.
A quick hunting trip reveals that Bella is equipped with remarkable self control for a newborn vampire. This is put into doubt when Bella discovers that Jacob has imprinted on Renesmee and things get a little violent. She is able to redeem herself when Charlie visits, meets Renesmee and no violence ensues. While hunting with Renesmee and Jacob, Bella notices Irina observing them. She learns that Irina has misinterpreted her sight and has gone to The Volturi to advise them of an immortal child within the Cullen coven. In efforts to protect her family, Alice leaves.
When she does, Bella feels like she has to put the clues together to understand the path Alice has laid out for her. She is able to do so, and makes the necessary preparations for Renesmee to flee with Jacob. While awaiting The Volturi and gathering witnesses, Bella learns of her true special ability. She is able to protect herself with a shield of the mind. She works with other vampires to improve this skill and extend it past herself. When the confrontation with The Volturi occurs, she is able to keep all over her family and their witnesses safe from harm. When The Volturi is through with their trial and counsel, they leave peacefully and Bella is able to celebrate forever with Renesmee and Edward.
Things finally seem to be on track for Edward during the first part of the book. His love has agreed to marry him, he sweeps her away to a romantic tropical island for their honeymoon and they are even able to overcome the challenges of copulating. This all changes quite dramatically when Bella discovers she is pregnant. Though Edward’s instinct is to destroy the foetus and save Bella, he is shocked to discover she does not share his view on the matter. He must deal with the torment of watching the baby deplete Bella of her nutrients, slowly killing her.
The guilt he feels is nearly overwhelming at times, but he tries his very best to control all form of negative emotions around Bella. He has even decided that Bella may become pregnant through Jacob if it is her ultimate desire to have a child. This extreme remedy to the situation is still not enough to convince Bella to give in and remove the foetus. As the pregnancy continues, Edward is surprised to find that he can hear the thoughts of his unborn child. This unexpected event is welcomed and he is so moved by it that he decides he also loves the baby.
During birth, Edward is forced to rip Bella’s uterus open to remove the suffocating baby. He quickly injects his venom directly into Bella’s heart and bites her numerous times to ensure her transformation into a vampire. After Bella’s transformation, the couple is reunited with their daughter. They become owners of a chalet on the Cullen’s land in Forks. All seems well until Edward must defend his daughter against The Volturi and their masses. Edward is tasked with showing the potential witnesses Renesmee’s story and convincing them to aid the Cullen family. At the close, The Volturi accept the Cullens’ proof and leave Edward and his family in peace.
Contrary to any other novels in the series, Breaking Dawn has two first-person point of views. Bella being the primary, and Jacob the secondary. An entire section of the book is dedicated to Jacob and his point of view during Bella’s pregnancy. He is feeling quite conflicted and wishes that he could just leave Bella and forget her. He keeps returning to her and the painful cycle continues. Watching Bella die before his eyes is tortuous and agonizing. When Jacob reveals to Sam that Bella is pregnant, Sam decides she must be killed to do away with the foetus.
Jacob is forced under the power of the Alpha to oblige. However, he is so against the idea of killing Bella to rid her of the foetus, he chooses to instead embrace his heritage and allows the full expression of his Alpha genetics. This causes a rift between Jacob and his wolf brethren. Jacob warns the Cullens against Sam’s orders and protects Bella. He is joined, quite incongruently to his desires, by Seth and Leah. They protect all of the Cullens against Sam and the other wolves. Once Renesmee is born, Jacob decides to kill her in vengeance. This does not go exactly as planned, he imprints on Renesmee and becomes her lifelong companion and protector.
Being born may have be the most dramatic thing that will ever happen to Renesmee. From the second she was conceived, everything seems to fall into place for her. She is a half-human, half-vampire child who grows rapidly and with intelligence that surpasses the average human adult. Her family dotes on her at all times, and she is always protected by “her Jacob”.
To communicate, Renesmee prefers to show people her thoughts through direct physical contact, rather than using spoken word. Her particular gift is marvelled at by all who experience it. Renesmee becomes the target of an attack lead by The Volturi: they mistake her for an immortal child. The Volturi conclude that Renesmee is not a threat and is forced to leave peacefully. It is discovered that Renesmee will age rapidly until she reaches eighteen years of age, then her growth will cease forever.
Though Carlisle occupation as a medical doctor has always been relevant in past books, the effect is heightened in Breaking Dawn. Carlisle quickly becomes Bella’s personal doctor during her pregnancy. He must deal with the intensely fast-paced growth of the foetus and the adverse effects it is having on Bella’s body. Carlisle also takes the responsibility of gathering necessary witnesses against The Volturi. He equally represents his family and their witnesses during the encounter with The Volturi.
Esme’s innate compassion and love for her family and friends is constantly visible throughout Breaking Dawn. She is quite doting during Edward and Bella’s wedding, she is overwhelmed with grief while Alice and Jasper are departed and she feels it necessary to feed and cloth Jacob’s pack whilst they protect her family. She does not believe in violence and tries to accommodate everyone to ensure peace and happiness in her home.
The first person nature of The Twilight Saga does not allow for much Rosalie related content during the first three novels; however, she becomes indispensible during Breaking Dawn. Rosalie and Bella’s relationship is completely transformed with the prospect of the birth of Bella’s baby. Rosalie adorns the role of protector. She not only protects Bella physically by standing guard and caring for her, she also represents the respect of Bella’s values and desires. Rosalie also develops a conflictual relationship with Jacob, whom she feels intervenes too often and for no good reason. Though Rosalie and Jacob both become caretakers once Renesmee is born, the conflict does not subside, however it becomes midler.
In Breaking Dawn, Emmett continues to demonstrate his strong personality and his abilities relative to his overall strength. He is often seen encouraging violence, conflict. He has a “no nonsense” attitude and does not believe in careful planning, he much prefers to win by strength than by wit or strategy. He is quite eager to take on The Volturi at the end of the book and also agrees to arm wrestle newborn Bella to prove his superior force. He, much to his dismay, is defeated by Bella. He predictably demands a rematch.
The ultimate party planner is allowed to let her creativity take over the Cullen estate during Bella and Edward’s wedding. Alice throws together a superb wedding with a eloquent reception, loved and enjoyed by all who attended. Throughout Bella’s pregnancy, Alice confesses to Jacob that her visions have become fuzzy, unclear and this causes her to suffer from headaches. To her great relief, Jacob and the other wolves prevent these blurry visions and alleviate her pains.
After Renesmee’s birth, Alice has a vision and her and Jasper depart in all haste. She leaves clues for Bella as a form of instruction of the necessary actions to ensure Renesmee’s safety. In the final climax, Alice returns to offer her evidence against the destroying of Renesmee: a young half-human, half-vampire boy. This is finally enough to seal the deal, and The Volturi leaves peacefully.
Throughout the most part of the novel, Jasper is quiet and calculated. It is during Bella’s awakening from her transformations that he becomes overwhelmed and concerned with the obvious distinction between most newborn vampires and Bella. Her self awareness and control causes him to question all he knows about thirst, and ultimately, his own struggle with the desire for human blood. This is an especially difficult struggle for Jasper, as he is the member of the Cullen coven who battles his desire for human blood the most. Jasper is swift to leave when Alice calls for it, and he joins her on her hunt for evidence to protect her their family.
Confusion is rampant for Charlie in Breaking Dawn. He is firstly confronted with the fact that Bella and Edward have decided to wed. This confuses and saddens Charlie immensely. He cannot think of a valid reason for this union and concludes that Bella must pregnant, which is false at the time. He is later assaulted with the lie that Bella has returned from her honeymoon so intensely sick that she must be quarantined and he cannot see her.
Finally, Jacob decides to show Charlie that he lives in a supernatural world and phases in front of him. Charlie is then permitted to see now vampire Bella and meet Renesmee. He then becomes aware of the changes going on around him, but prefers to enjoy his new family and his granddaughter and does not question any further.
The moral conflict between Sam and Jacob eventually ensures the division of the wolf pack. He is not shy to assert his power as Alpha and this ultimately leads to his downfall as leader. Sam is left with a pack that is emotionally strained and confused. After Sam discovers that Jacob has imprinted on Renesmee, he calls off his attacks and therefore respects the wolves’ most strict rule. Peace and communication resume between Sam and Jacob but they continue to have their separate packs.
Breaking Dawn allows us to see much more in depth into the character that is Leah. We get to explore her struggle as what she refers to as a “genetic dead end”; the distress she feels towards not having the genetic make up necessary to have Sam imprint on her. She decides to follow her brother and joins Jacob’s pack. Though there is initially conflict and uneasiness, in the end Jacob develops respect for Leah. He is glad to have her around, and she becomes his second in command.
Demonstrating a level of emotional maturity that we don’t expect from a fifteen year old, Seth decides to defy Sam and join Jacob’s pack. He has maintained his friendship with Edward since Eclipse and continues to be loyal throughout Breaking Dawn. He is happy to form new friendships with most of the Cullens and even accepts food and clothing from them. Seth becomes the embodiment of tolerance and acceptance with his light-hearted and generally happy-go-lucky attitude.
The biggest event of Quil’s life occurs during Breaking Dawn, when he imprints on Claire. The drama of this event is that Claire is only a toddler, this imprinting seems perverse even to the other pack members. Stephenie Meyer uses this occasion to note that imprinting does not equal romantic love or sexuality, and this foreshadows Jacob imprinting on Renesmee.
Much to Jacob’s disgust, Paul imprints on his sister Rachel during Breaking Dawn. Having finished college, Rachel returns to La Push and this creates the opportunity for Paul to imprint on her. Paul now spends most of his time in the Black household and this creates some resentment on Jacob’s half.
In another case of imprinting, Jared becomes involved with Kim, a girl from school. Interestingly, Jared, who is Jacob’s best friend, sides with Sam during the wolf pack feud and does not join him in his pack later on.
Kate is one of the sisters in the Denali clan, and the only one out of the sisters to possess a special ability. She is a guest at Edward and Bella’s wedding and also agrees to be a witness for the Cullens later in the book. We discover that Kate has the ability to shock others through physical contact. She also reveals to Bella that she for a lengthy amount of time, she could only use her ability through her hands, however she had managed to spread the effect to her entire body now. This gives Bella the incentive needed to learn how to make her shield more malleable and extend it from her own body. Kate effectively gets Bella to use her shield by threatening Renesmee and angering Bella.
Tanya is a sister in the Denali clan. Bella is aware that Tanya has previously pursued Edward as a partner and is weary of her competition. Her fears are confirmed when Tanya shows up at the wedding and is absolutely beautiful and stunning. Once Bella is a vampire, her insecurities towards Tanya disappear and she considers Tanya as part of her family.
Irina is the third sister of the Denali coven. The killing of Laurent by the wolf pack haunts Irina endlessly. In Breaking Dawn, she leaves Alaska to come make amends with the Cullen family. She happens to stumble upon Bella, Renesmee and Jacob hunting in the forest. Irina is overcome with a sense of duty at seeing what she believes is an immortal child. She directs herself towards The Volturi and divulges the information. The Volturi decide to take action and go destroy this illegal creation. When The Volturi discover that Renesmee is, in fact, not an immortal child, they kill Irina as a show of their power and as a punishment for her mistake.
Aro’s intentions never falter throughout the series, he wishes to acquire the most powerful vampires in existence. The Cullens are no exception to this, Alice being the ultimate prize. In Breaking Dawn, he becomes the spokesperson for The Volturi and attempts to find a reason to hinder the Cullen family. Alice’s gift ultimately forces his hand and he accepts to leave the Cullens in peace, much against his own desires.
The quest for power and justice enthralls Caius in Breaking Dawn. He wishes only to prove his power over other vampires and doesn’t care much for the more political and public eye that Aro has an eye for. He looks for every reason to attack the Cullens and mercilessly kills Irina simply as a display of power. He votes to destroy Renesmee, but is out-voted by Aro and Marcus.
Doing not much at all really, Marcus arrives with the rest of The Volturi and their guard. Bella remarks that he looks, as usual, utterly bored. He votes against the destroying of Renesmee and leaves peacefully.