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Isabella Marie “Bella” Swan (later Bella Cullen) is a character and the protagonist of the Twilight series, written by Stephenie Meyer. The Twilight series, consisting of the novels Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, is primarily narrated from Bella’s point of view, but partway through Breaking Dawn it is written from the point of view of Jacob Black. In the film series, Bella is portrayed by actress Kristen Stewart.
In Twilight, Bella moves to her father’s home in Forks, Washington, meets the mysterious Cullen family, and falls in love with Edward Cullen. However, she soon discovers that the family is a coven of vampires. Bella expresses a desire to become a vampire herself, but Edward refuses to “turn” her. In the second novel, New Moon, Edward and the other Cullens leave Forks in an effort to keep Bella safe from the vampire world. Jacob Black, a member of the Quileute tribe who is also a shape shifter taking a wolf form, comforts the distraught and severely depressed Bella. She comes to care deeply for Jacob, though less than she loves Edward. At the end of Eclipse, Bella becomes engaged to Edward, and they marry in Breaking Dawn. On their honeymoon, she becomes pregnant by Edward and, due to the peculiar nature of her baby, Bella nearly dies giving birth to their daughter, Renesmee Cullen. Edward turns her into a vampire to save her life.
Bella is describes as being petite, with a height of roughly 5’4″, and a very translucent, frail complexion. She has thick long, wavy brown hair with a wide forehead, and a widows peak. Her eyes are described as being “chocolate brown” and widely spaced. She has a small thin nose, prominent cheekbones, lips a bit too full for her slim jawline, and thin eyebrows that are straighter than they are arched.
The scent of her O negative blood is incredibly attractive to vampires, described by Bree Tanner to be the “sweetest scent she’d ever smelled”, though it is a thousand times more intense to Edward Cullen.
As for distinguishing features, Bella has a small crescent-shaped scar on her hand where she was bitten by James, a tracker vampire, in Twilight. The scar is described as being pale, always a few degrees colder than the rest of her body, and it shines like a vampire’s skin when exposed to the sunlight. After Bella is changed into a vampire by Edward, she becomes extremely beautiful with even paler skin, straight waist-length hair, and crimson red eyes that will eventually turn gold after months of drinking animal blood. Her features are also heightened and perfected by the transformation.
Bella wears plain shirts and jeans everywhere she goes, as she lacks care in her appearance.
Bella is described as being clumsy, having a weak constitution, being nonathletic and hating anything physical. Bella is also described as a reclusive loner, shy, quiet, insecure, and very sensitive. She also cares for the rest of the Cullen family, her father and mother Charlie and Renée Swan, and her friend Jacob Black. She has a tendency to underestimate the people around her mainly because of her concerns for their safety.
Having learned to take care of her mother over the years and being naturally responsible, Bella had developed into a very mature person, especially for her age. Because she lacks any skill in anything noticeable or redeeming as a human, she mostly prefers to spend her free time reading classics from school.
When it comes to fashion, Bella isn’t a girly girl. She hates dressing up, saying that makeup “is a pain” and that she feels uncomfortable in impractical, elegant clothes; however, Alice doesn’t care what Bella thinks and continues to persuade her to dress up and look glamorous. She isn’t materialistic and doesn’t like spending money on luxurious items, as she stated to Edward in New Moon ‘not to spend a dime on my birthday,’ and that fast cars are unnecessary, saying that Edward gave her himself and anything else he gives her would throw their relationship off balance. She hates being singled out, and doesn’t like her birthday being celebrated. She also has very negative views on teen marriage due to her parents’ early experience, but learns to overcome them later.
She is an extremely private person who keeps her thoughts and feelings to herself and hates when someone tries to understand her, which is thought to be why Edward is unable to hear her thoughts. She is also known to be incredibly stubborn with her self, because of her determination to become a vampire in order to be with Edward forever. She is also said to possess poor acting skills. Ironically, she demonstrates good acting ability in Twilight when she makes her father and mother believe that she has dumped Edward and is leaving Forks as well as broke her parents’ heart. She is a very shy and timid girl with a stiff uptight position, habit of biting her lip, which she shares with Kristen Stewart. Bella knits together her eyebrows when feeling strong emotions such as anxiety. As a human, Bella easily fainted at the sight or smell of blood, which she said smells like rust and salt in Twilight, though it changes after she became a vampire. Bella is also shown in Breaking Dawn, to have a good mood climate, and is able to run away from the smell of human blood when she goes on her first hunting trip as a vampire.
Bella has a sarcastic sense of humor, especially when she gets mad; Bella is almost always a very soft and forgiving person who is hard to anger. She is easily scared but can be surprisingly very brave, able to block painful thoughts and memories (hence her special vampire ability), and tends to come face-to-face with life-threatening danger head-on, even though she can get scared later. She puts Edward before herself and everybody and everything else, but several ‘selfish’ tendencies emerge (as when she asked Edward to stay with her instead of fighting vampires in Eclipse). Meyer has stated that Bella’s “tragic flaw” in Eclipse is her lack of self-knowledge. This is most obviously illustrated in her consistent denial of any romantic feelings for Jacob Black, despite the fact that she later realizes that she is, indeed, in love with him.
Bella is also a very bad liar except to herself. According to Eclipse, Jacob and Edward saying that she’s a terrible liar, are evidence to this. Besides, she also admits this throughout the whole saga, though she seemingly manages to lie to herself about her romantic feelings for Jacob.
In contrary to her fearful demeanor, Bella, according to Edward in Midnight Sun, has no sense of fear when she finds out Edward is a vampire. Instead of running away, as she should have, she decides to ask lots of questions with extreme curiosity. This makes Edward believe that it is not bad luck that follows her around, but that she has no sense of self-preservation. Bella isn’t very rational nor sensible as she lacks common sense and street intelligence.
She hates anything cold and wet, even snow, which is why she initially hated to live in Forks. However, after meeting Edward, she found the town much more comfortable, even calling it “home”. As a vampire, she also dislikes the idea of feeding on humans, but is glad to have found the strength she needed to protect her loved ones.
Bella inherited her mother’s high perceptiveness after her mother and father remain somewhat in love with each other and stay married to each other instead of divorce to some degree, as she was able to guess Edward was a mind reader, the first human to do so. However, she was not able to guess that Edward was in love with her.
After being turned into a vampire, she describes having a much clearer view of the world. She is also very self-controlled, being able to ignore the scent of human blood on her first hunting trip. Bella’s private mind that was able to repel some vampires’ mental abilities while she was human evolved after she became a vampire; her skill strengthened, allowing her to shield herself and those around her from other vampires’ mental gifts. By the end of Breaking Dawn, she is able to cast the shield away from herself. She is also described by Edward as “very graceful”, even for a vampire, in comparison to her earlier clumsiness.