Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Alice: Hyperactive Shopaholic, or ... ?

Singing: "Go Ask Alice..When She's Ten Feet Tall..." by Jefferson Airplane.

... but not in front of Alice (née Mary Alice Brandon ... hm, I wonder if her father is a Colonel?). Ma chère cousine (which is French for «ma chère cousine») named Michele will happily shred anyone who sings "Michele, ma belle" to her, as she's heard it probably more than you ever will in your existence ... even if you are a vampire. So, I'm sure Alice has heard "Go Ask Alice", too. No sense antagonizing the one and only vampire that is pivotal to the success of each of the four books of the Twilight series.

I think, like for Rosalie, and like for Emmett, much, in fact, most, of the community has missed the boat on her. Most of the fan fiction out there portrays Alice as a hyperactive shopaholic. But how many times in the actual books did Alice go shopping? Once? Maybe even twice? Name the times she went shopping, dragging Bella from place to place.

Can you do it? I don't think anyone can. But there's the image of the hyperactive shopaholic that everybody attributes to their image of Alice.

I don't buy it.

One of the best pieces of fan fiction in the world is called "You've kept me waiting" by the author Mandi1. You cannot read it online, because the real mandi1 has disappeared along with her stories (and now she's back. Yay!)

Dammit! (I did make a copy locally of this story and her "The Real C.J.Rae" which still hasn't been republished. Boo!)

That story does do a good job of portraying her true to her own voice. Wise. So wise, in fact, that she sees all the world's sadness, and all of her own sadness, and refuses to succumb to it. She refuses to let joy submit to bleakness. She sees the bleakness in the world, with eyes wide open, and smiles and manufactures joy, even when it's so hard to do.

I think Alice does get Bella. I think she gets Bella more than most people, and I think Alice sees that Bella does not need someone else to cry in her beer with (well, because, firstly, Bella is underage and so her own dad would have to throw her in the clink, and, secondly, vampires don't drink ... well, vampires don't drink beer, that is), and I think she sees Bella as a person who also does not need another person's set of problems thrown all over her — just as Edward and Jacob decide to do to her.

"Oh, look, there's a cute, suffer in silence, girl. Lemme just dump all over her so she falls in love with me!"

No. Alice works hard to be chipper, so Bella gets a break once and a while and can smile. And when Bella refuses to go with the happy game plan?

Alice, menacingly: "Bella, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way." Eclipse, wedding plan discussion.


How many vampires kidnap Bella? One: Alice. And in a yellow porsche, no less.

DITTO on the non-messing-with-age.

And speaking of a (stolen) yellow porsche: who was it to cause Dimitri and Felix to back down? Not Edward. Alice. (NM, Volterra). Jasper could beat or hold his own against every vampire except one. Which one? Alice.

Bella and Angela may connect in a way that two tuning forks do. Ping one and the other one vibrates in sympathy. But Alice? She knows sadness, she has lived sadness, and she rejects it. For Alice, she refuses to allow Bella to wallow in heart-ache. Absolutely refuses this for her Bella, her best friend, and absolutely refuses any other ending that the happy one.

Remember, the tide only turned in the stand off with the Volturi because of Alice's determined and concerted effort throughout the entire preceding part of Book III in BD.

Alice. Hyperactive shopaholic? Sure! That's a nice, easy, facile façade for everyone to believe, and she works harder to maintain that image than anyone else in the world, just so that the ending is a happy one, and that all eyes are not looking at the ballerinesque busy-bee in the background, but the White Queen and her knight in shining armor in the fore.

... AND she gets the yellow porsche, and that's a nice bonus ...

"Go ask Alice ... when she's ten feet tall ..." Indeed!


So, now I've written myself into a corner. Don't you see? Because when Alice shows up in one of my stories, what am I going to do? How will I write her as Steph writes her: seeing the futures, but not deus ex machina, aware of sadness, but fiercely (but not forcefully) cheerfully happy, and short, sweet, and absolutely the most dangerous and unstoppable vampire in the world ...

I just don't know right now. So your prayers for me in this matter are gratefully appreciated.



Okay, I'll take this as an answered prayer. Eowyn77 wrote a story called Bright Ideas that cut right to the chase, balancing the determination of Alice with her sweetness, her sprightliness with her wisdom, and finally representing her gift realistically: powerful but not deus ex machina.

I'll take this answer in gratitude. You should, too! Read this story, it'll do you a world of good for your understanding of our Alice.

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