Summary: Preface

An unnamed narrator is looking into the eyes of the smiling hunter about to kill her. She is terrified but believes that it is noble to die in the place of someone she loves, and she doesn’t regret the events that have brought her to this moment. 

Summary: Chapter 1: First Sight

Seventeen-year-old Bella Swan is moving from Phoenix, Arizona, to Forks, Washington, a small, rainy town. Bella’s parents divorced when she was young, and her mother, Renée, took her to Phoenix. Renée now has a new boyfriend, Phil, so Bella is going to live with her father, Charlie, the police chief in Forks. Upon her arrival, Charlie presents Bella with an old truck he bought from his friend Billy Black. After Bella moves her things into Charlie’s house, she cries and looks out the window at the driving rain. 

The next day, her first at Forks High School, Bella meets several students, including Eric, Jessica, and Mike. At lunch, Bella notices five strikingly attractive students sitting at a table by themselves. Jessica explains that they are Edward, Emmett, and Alice Cullen, the adopted children of Dr. and Mrs. Cullen, and Rosalie and Jasper Hale, who live with them. The whole family moved to Forks two years ago. Throughout lunch, Edward stares at Bella. Later, in biology class, Bella has to sit next to Edward, who seems inexplicably furious. After school, Bella goes to the school office, where she overhears Edward asking for a transfer from biology class. She drives home, fighting back tears.

Summary: Chapter 2: Open Book

On Bella’s second day of school, Mike sits by her in English and walks her to her next class as Eric glares at him. Edward is not at school. That night at dinner, Charlie explains that Dr. Cullen is a brilliant surgeon whom the town is lucky to have and that the police department has had no trouble with the family’s teenagers. Charlie seems angry about how the townspeople act toward the Cullens. Edward doesn’t come to school for the rest of the week. 

The next Monday at lunch, Bella feels sick when she sees him sitting at the table with his family. Edward, once again, stares at her. Bella tells Jessica that she doesn’t think Edward likes her. However, later that day in biology class, Edward introduces himself to Bella in a friendly way, and they work on a biology activity together. When their hands accidentally touch, Bella notes that Edward’s skin feels ice-cold, and she experiences what feels like an electric current pass from him to her. At this moment, Bella notices that Edward’s eyes have changed from black to gold. He clenches his fists when she questions him about it. Edward then changes the subject, asking her about herself and why she came to Forks. Later, when Bella’s leaving school, she sees Edward staring at her in the parking lot.

Analysis: Preface & Chapters 1–2

The early chapters of Twilight define the relationship between Bella and Charlie, painting protagonist Bella as strong and selfless and her father, Charlie, as a loving but distant father. In Bella's first observations after moving to Forks, she admits to several contradictory actions. She thrived in the heat of Arizona, yet she's chosen to move to a cold, rainy location. She loves and will greatly miss her mother, but she also willingly leaves her to live with the father she hasn't seen since childhood. She's put herself in this uncomfortable situation because she values her mother's happiness above her own. 

Charlie, while happy and willing to take in his daughter, seems almost like a stranger to Bella. Charlie’s house is just how Bella remembers, as if frozen in time. Aside from the unchanged kitchen cabinets and furniture, Charlie still displays wedding and family photos, indicating that in Charlie's mind Bella is still a little girl. Charlie's police uniform and cruiser show another barrier between them, as Charlie is often too busy with work to give Bella much attention. The early interactions between Bella and Charlie seem slightly strained, suggesting theirs won't be an easy relationship. 

During her first days at Forks High School, Bella meets several characters who reveal details about Bella and Edward. While all first-person narrators are somewhat unreliable, Bella gives several hints that she doesn't describe herself accurately. She calls herself plain, but her classmates' response to her appearance contradicts that view. Several students show interest in Bella. Other characters also reveal more about Edward than he does about himself. Bella's first perceptions of Edward are largely based on secondhand gossip. While she notices the Cullens, none of them speak directly to her, so all she has to go on is gossip. Edward's odd antagonistic behavior contributes to the air of mystery around Edward. Yet, when Bella asks Charlie about the Cullens, Charlie says they're wonderful people who give back generously to the town. Bella and Edward first notice each other from afar, but because they don't speak, the minor characters help them get to know each other. Bella listens to gossip, and Edward listens to students' thoughts about Bella.