Philosophy and The twilight series. Does edward cullen have a soul? | Teen Ink

Philosophy and The twilight series. Does edward cullen have a soul?

October 12, 2009

Saying that The Twilight Series is about a young girl who falls in love with a vampire doesn't quite do this book justice. Aside from the romance, action and amazing dialog, this book also presents very intriguing philosophical questions about the existence of a soul. Do Vampires have souls?

Edward Cullen (vampire) believed that when you became a vampire, your soul was lost. He lived with six other vampires; Carlisle, Esme, Jasper, Alice, Emmett, and Rosalie. These seven Vampires referred to themselves as vegetarian vampires (which meant that they only drank the blood of animals). Upon meeting Isabella (Bella) Swan, he almost literally goes insane. The smell of her blood was sweeter then any he had ever smelled. In her presence his thirst for blood was strongest. The monster inside him screamed for satisfaction. But Edward Cullen had a strong will, and he managed to restrain himself. As Edward tried to keep a distance from Bella, he also became strangely fascinated with her. Aside from the fact that her blood was his “personal brand of heroine,” he also could not read her mind. Some Vampires are 'born' with supernatural abilities, Edwards ability was 'reading minds'. Bella Swan however, seemed as if she had a brick wall that surrounded her mind. Edward constantly attempted to breach it, but to no avail. Torn by the instinct to kill, the desire to remain clean of human blood, and curiosity, he began to talk to Bella. As they got to know each other, and Edward became accustomed to the smell of her blood, they fell in love. Bella asks him to make her like him, but his answer seems to be an unwavering no. “I will not take her soul.”

Does Edward Cullen have a soul? Every twilight fan in the world would probably answer with a renounding “Yes!” I am here to prove the fans correct.

My first argument is the basic idea of animal instincts. Would you condemn a lion for killing a lamb? Of course not. It is animal instinct to hunt and kill to provide the body nourishment. In the first twelve chapters of Midnight Sun (Edwards perspective in twilight), Edward describes the beast that roars inside him when he catches Bella's scent. Saying his will was only just strong enough to contain it. This leads to the impression that Edward (and every other Vampire) has an animal soul- no free will, condemned to do as instinct tells them. Is it a sin to do what instinct tells you to do? To do what you were created you to do? I realize that this argument is shaky on several points, the first being that the Cullen's do not drink human blood (they are vegetarians). Therefor, the idea of an animal soul (or at least a full animal soul) is inaccurate. The second problem is, if this theory is in fact correct, then the evil vampires in Twilight (Victoria, James, and Laurent) must also be pardoned.

This very problem brings me to my next argument. If Vampires had an animal soul how is it that Edward Cullen was able to resist the temptation that Bella's blood brought upon him? Animals don't have the ability to reason. That would lead us to the assumption that Vampires have souls that are somewhat capable of reason. Edwards ability to reason and his ability to empathize with others is what proves that he does in fact, have a soul. “A Vampires emotional capabilities are morally significant because they mark the difference between an amoral and immoral creature (Philosophy and the Undead. Pg 121.)” Because the Vampires in Twilight are aware of the suffering that they cause, and are able to feel guilt because of it, that itself proves that they do have souls. When the lion kills the lamb, he knows it is the way of nature and shares no sympathy for the lamb. When a Vampire kills a human, he/she is completely aware of the harm that they cause in doing so.

However, even with the proof that Edward Cullen, and all other Vampires have the ability to empathize and reason, we still can't ignore the theory of the animal instincts. Part of a Vampires conscience tells them that they should feed on human blood. If they have a full animal soul, they'd kill to survive, and because instinct tells them to. If they have a human soul (or a soul of reason) then every time they kill it should be considered murder. This causes a problem. What kind of soul does a vampire have? I believe that a Vampires soul is a hybrid. A combination of two separate souls, acting as one. The fact that they are instinctively pressured to hunt and kill humans does excuse them from being damned to hell. However, because they are capable of reason, animal instincts does not excuse them from torturing their food. James and Victoria both like to play with their food. James enjoys what he calls the game. Victoria likes to use her beauty to attract then kill her prey. Because they both torture their victims to intentionally cause harm before they fulfill their animal needs they are to be considered damned. So how do we explain the Cullen family? The Cullen's are exactly what they call themselves-- vegetarians.

“Living off animal blood is like a human living off tofu, you can

survive but you are never truly satisfied (Edward Cullen, Twilight)”.

We as humans are not much different. Where some of us enjoy meat, others find that need repulsive and find alternative ways of surviving (vegetarian).

So what determines whether a Vampire goes to heaven or hell? It is the way they treat their condition. If they choose to give in to their craving, that is considered acceptable. However, if they choose to immorally cause their victims harm they are to be held accountable for their actions.

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This article has 5 comments.

BaneAusten said...
on Jan. 8 2014 at 10:23 am
BaneAusten, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
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Interesting article, but you're missing out. I'm not a Twilight fan, granted, but it's more interesting to read through the books while thinking of Edward as a Satan figure in lieu of Bram Stoker's original creation. Try it.

on Jun. 29 2012 at 6:29 pm
ClarinetPower SILVER, Macomb, Michigan
5 articles 0 photos 40 comments
I shouldn't have clicked on this article. Twilight will never amount to Harry Potter!

on Jul. 26 2010 at 12:28 pm
alaskatrailmutt, Jefferson, Maryland
0 articles 0 photos 352 comments
That was a very interesting piece. I like your arguments. Very logical and you knew what you where talking about as much a we people can considering we don't really know everything about supernatural stuff. LOL we really don't know anything :P Yeah that was nice, it also wasnt a "a"typical Twili piece saying how much you love or hate them the seiries i mean. It was very refreshing. :) I think edward has a soul, he killed only bad sick horrible people stopping them from harming others. Kinda like how Zelda fans would agree if Link was a person he would have a soul even though he killed people. It was in defense and for the good of Hyrule (where the game is set). IDK why Edward dissagress with having a soul, obviously the vampires in this series are not the classical souless evil dracula and such. But yeah way to go I liked it :D

NotThatGirl said...
on Jan. 9 2010 at 1:15 pm
This was well written, it sounded like an investigative journal piece. You obviously did your research but it seems like you and I interpreted things differently. You seemed to write a lot about instinct and soul, as they are apparently related. But does his instinct justify that he has a soul? And also, when you say: "When a Vampire kills a human, he/she is completely aware of the harm that they cause in doing so." That statement is only true for the Cullens. When a lion kills an animal, it does not feel empathy, but it certainly understands that it has killed it to survive. All other vampires kill humans mercilessly, to survive.

on Nov. 16 2009 at 4:04 pm
ScarletWater SILVER,
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Ive been meaning to update this so here it goes;

To argue this further, I must bring to the attention the existence of Bella and Edwards daughter; Renesme (who was born in Breaking Dawn.) Renesme was born while Bella was still human. Bella, being a human has a soul, this is unquestionable knowledge. Edward who's existance of a soul is called into question, MUST have a soul, (1) because a creature that has a soul and a creature that does not have a soul can not create another being. (2) If being a vampire means you have no soul, and Renesme was born part Vampire... then is that supposed to mean she has no soul? NO, you cant be born without a soul... Therefor, Vampires in some way or another must have souls....

Now let me bring you back to Edwards believes, that if he turns Bella into a Vampire she will lose her soul... Now, it seems funny to me that Edward thinks he would have such a power. The power to extract someones soul seems to be only a power that God himself could posses. Does Edward believe himself to be that powerful? If Vampires had the power to take away and erase ones soul during their change then (1) there would be many lost souls, and (2) they would be on the same playing field as God himself... am i wrong?