Summary: Chapter 6: Scary Stories

The night before the beach party, Bella asks her father about the area that Edward and his brother are hiking in. Charlie replies that there are too many bears for people to hike or camp there. The next day, Bella goes to the beach at La Push with her friends. Eventually, some teens from the Quileute tribe join their group. One boy introduces himself as Jacob Black; his father, Billy, is best friends with Bella’s dad. An older Quileute teen named Sam angrily says that the Cullens don’t come to the beach, and Bella infers that the Cullens aren’t allowed at La Push. She invites Jacob to take a walk with her, and he tells her a scary story about the “cold ones.” Jacob explains that according to Quileute legend, his people are the ancestors of werewolves, and werewolves have only one natural enemy: the cold ones, or vampires. Legend says that Jacob’s great-grandfather made a treaty with a pack of cold ones who hunted animals rather than humans: if the cold ones stayed off the Quileutes’ land, then Jacob’s people wouldn’t expose them to society. Jacob then tells Bella that the Cullens are vampires.

Summary: Chapter 7: Nightmare

The night after the beach party, Bella dreams she is in a forest with an ocean nearby. Both Jacob and Mike warn her to run away from the ocean, and then Jacob turns into a wolf. When Edward appears baring sharp, pointed teeth, the wolf lunges to attack him, and Bella wakes up. She researches vampires on her computer, learning that nearly every culture describes them as evil; only an Italian legend describes a vampire as a good being. Bella goes for a long walk in the woods to consider her options and decides that she wants to be with Edward regardless. 

The next day the clouds clear and the sun shines. At school, Mike asks Bella to go out with him, but she explains that it would hurt Jessica’s feelings. In class, Jessica invites Bella to come with her, Lauren, and a third friend, Angela, to buy dresses for the upcoming dance. Bella feels upset when she sees that all of the Cullens are absent. After school, Jessica calls Bella to postpone the shopping trip to the next night because Mike invited her to dinner that night. The following day, Bella feels dismayed when she sees that Edward is not in school again, but her spirits lift in the evening when she leaves Forks for the girls’ shopping trip.

Summary: Chapter 8: Port Angeles

Bella and her friends drive to Port Angeles to shop. Bella learns that Lauren doesn’t like her because Tyler has told everyone that Bella is going to the prom with him. Bella also learns that whenever the weather is sunny, the Cullens skip school and go backpacking. Bella wants to go to a bookstore, so she tells the girls she’ll meet them at a restaurant later. When Bella wanders into an empty section of town, four men begin to harass her. 

Suddenly, Edward roars up in his car and commands Bella to get in. He is furious and asks her to help him calm down. They go to the restaurant to meet Jessica and Angela, and Edward offers to take Bella home so that Jessica and Angela can leave. In the restaurant, Edward insists that Bella order food but doesn’t order any for himself. She notes that Edward’s eyes are light gold, and remarks that when he’s in a good mood, his eyes are light, and when he’s in a bad mood, his eyes are dark. As they talk, Edward admits that he can read everyone’s mind except Bella’s. He had followed the girls to Port Angeles and had realized she was in trouble when he had read the minds of the men who were following her. Edward admits that if he hadn’t stayed with Bella, he might have gone back and killed them.

Summary: Chapter 9: Theory

On the way home from Port Angeles, Edward explains that he knew where Bella because he followed her scent, but he doesn’t understand why he can’t read her mind. Bella notices that Edward is driving a hundred miles an hour and shouts for him to slow down, but he only slows down to eighty. She tells Edward about the beach party and repeats Jacob’s assertion that the Cullens are vampires. Edward is surprised when Bella says that his being a vampire doesn’t matter to her. As Bella questions him, Edward dispels myths about vampires sleeping in coffins and not being able to come out in the daytime, though he promises to show Bella how the sun affects him. Edward also explains that he does, in fact, drink blood: his family hunts animals, which helps them resist the urge to hunt people, although they sometimes make mistakes. Edward adds that he’s making a dangerous mistake by being alone with Bella. He says that he went away with his brother to hunt but worried about leaving her. 

After Edward drops Bella off at home, she affirms three facts for the reader: that Edward is a vampire, that he thirsts for her blood, and that she’s in love with him.

Analysis: Chapters 6–9

The Port Angeles scene is pivotal because, like the near-crash, it forces Edward out of the shadows and helps Bella to learn the truth about him. When Bella confesses she’s trying to figure out “what” he is, Edward doesn't stop her from asking questions because he is beginning to consider the possibility of her knowing that he is a vampire. His feelings for Bella begin to change his views on morality and "goodness." The difficulty of making moral choices is a theme explored throughout the novel.

When she learns Edward’s secret, Bella is at first troubled by the notion of Edward as a vampire, but she then declares she knows he won't hurt her. Although Edward mocks this belief, his actions reveal that he feels the same. He knows being close to Bella could easily end in her death, yet he cannot resist following her. Bella causes Edward to wrestle with his natural instincts, but deep down he knows he wouldn't hurt her, eventually confessing to Bella that if he had to make the difficult choice, he would rather leave her and hurt himself.

One theme Twilight explores is the notion of concepts that seem black and white but are actually gray. Even the title is a nod to this as Edward defines twilight as “the end of another day, the return of the night.” Life and death, wrong and right, and good and evil are all mutually exclusive in Edward's view before he meets Bella. Bella is inherently good because she's human, so any attraction Edward feels for her is sick and evil because he also wants to kill her. In Edward's mind, loving Bella and wanting to kill her are feelings that shouldn't coexist, so he must be a monster. The scene in Port Angeles where Edward saves Bella from danger complicates this black-and-white view of the world. Refusing to see Edward as evil (even when he insists he is), Bella points out his good qualities, such as his desire to protect her, as proof that he is good.

Mortality, the biggest difference between Bella and Edward, works as a motif that allows the couple to wrestle with the irony of their illogical attraction. While Edward will never die, Bella meets mortal danger at every turn, almost seeming to seek it out. Bella welcomes death if it means having Edward, seeing it as inevitable, while Edward does everything he can do to prevent Bella from dying.