There is no question that Twilight has had a massive impact on contemporary culture. Vast numbers of people have read this teen fiction novel by Stephenie Meyer and found inspiration in it. Now that the film adaptation has been released, many will be looking to see what aspects of the book’s characters they can pull into their own real-life stories. So let’s take a quick look at what Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen character is actually like in real life.
Firstly, Edward Cullen is a very quiet person. In the novel, Stephenie Meyer wrote: “He spoke very little, and even when he did, it was in a low voice, as though he were afraid of being overheard.” This is a quality that Edward displays from the very beginning of the story. When he first arrives at his cousin Bella’s house, the townsfolk immediately recognize him as a “silent type”:
“Edward is a very quiet person; don’t know much talking,” Mrs. Johnson said. “I don’t know how he manages with his wife, she’s a very chatty girl.”
Even the Cullens’ closest friends and relatives remark on his reticence. Rosalie, a very beautiful and well-bred young woman who befriends Bella, tells Edward that he is “always a gentleman” and “never makes a fuss” and is “usually quiet, even when you’re around people you’d want to shout at”:
“Sometimes you can be quiet, without being a gentleman, or without being loud, or without being happy or sad. You just be quiet, and sometimes that’s the hardest thing.”
Edward is very confident, but also a little insecure. As Bella begins to see more of him, she notes how “he sometimes seemed very sure of himself, even when he was trying not to be.” This is a man who knows exactly who he is and what he wants, and isn’t afraid to go after it.
While Edward may be quiet and reserved at times, he is also a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. He doesn’t hide his attractiveness and doesn’t try to pretend to be someone he’s not. This is a quality that has certainly served him well in his career — and, it seems, in his personal life as well.
Edward is independent, both personally and professionally. He doesn’t need other people to complete him — not even his wife, Bella — and he certainly doesn’t need society’s approval. He wants what he wants and doesn’t care much about what others think. This plays out in the beginning of the story when he rebuffs Bella’s mother’s efforts to get them to set a date for the marriage proposal:
“I don’t want to marry you,” he said bluntly. “I don’t want to marry anyone.”
He doesn’t need Mrs. Cullen’s approval to define himself. This is a man who knows what he wants and is confident enough to go after it.
Although he is shy and reserved, Edward is also a creative and intelligent person. He’s a talented artist who has designed numerous pieces of artwork that are highly fanciful and detailed. This is probably best displayed in the brilliant “Salem’s Eyes” painting that he makes for his wife. This is a real tour-de-force of a work of art and an incredible display of Edward’s technical skill — as well as his artistic skill.
This is a man who is both creative and intelligent. He has a real knack for designing things and seeing the beauty in them. This natural talent allows him to become an accomplished artist, even if he doesn’t initially see the “beauty” in what he’s doing.
Edward is also protective of those he cares about. When he first meets Bella, he feels an immediate attraction to her. However, as the story progresses, he becomes increasingly protective of her, especially after she discovers she is pregnant with his child. This proves to be a very good quality as it helps keep her “safe” from harm. Bella is the niece of Victoria, an ambitious and ruthless woman who wants to steal Edward away from his wife, Rosalie.
Rosalie was Edward’s first marriage. He grew to love her deeply but she fell prey to an extreme case of toxic shock when she saw Victoria for the first time. Since then, he has kept Bella away from danger and protected her with his life. Now that she is his responsibility, he will do everything in his power to ensure her safety and well-being. This quality shows that he is deeply committed to Bella and willing to do whatever it takes to keep her happy and safe.
Edward is also loyal. He has a very strong sense of loyalty to his friends and family. When faced with the prospect of losing them through divorce, he is willing to put his own needs and desires aside for the sake of preserving the special relationship he has with them. This sense of loyalty is what allows him to put aside his own feelings and make the ultimate sacrifice for Bella — even if it means losing his life as he knows it:
“The Cullens are a family of extraordinary people. For as long as I can remember, they have been extraordinary. Their loyalty to friends and family is something to be admired, even if it sometimes puts them in great peril. When the chips are down, they know how to pick themselves up and fight another day. And they know how to love fiercely and protect those they care about, even if it means sacrificing their own happiness.”
This is a man who is both loyal and protective of those he cares about. He wants to ensure their safety and well-being, no matter what the cost to himself might be. This sense of loyalty and protection guides his actions throughout the story, even when he is unaware of the consequences of his choices. It also makes him a man worthy of admiration, even if it is not exactly what society expects from a “good” man.
Edward is also kind. Although he doesn’t always show it, he has a good side that most people can’t resist. This was best demonstrated when he assisted Victoria in gaining her majority. Although Victoria intends on killing Bella, Edward decides to intervene and try to save her, despite the odds. When he saves Bella’s life, he gives her a small gift, which she finds comforting and kind:
“There,” he said simply, handing me the small velvet box. “That’s all I could get. Sorry.”
This is a man who cares about others more than himself and is always willing to help those in need. Even if it means putting his own desires and safety aside, he is still kind and considerate. This trait makes him a valuable asset in any society, not just because it is “good” to be kind, but because it means he has good character. Kindness is what allows Edward to have goodness even when he is not “feeling” it.
Finally, Edward is thoughtful. Although he spends most of his time in Twilight worrying about his beloved Bella and trying to protect her from Victoria, he does also consider the feelings of others. When he finds out that his wife Rosalie is carrying his child, he is initially happy and thinks about the time he spent with her, when he wasn’t busy trying to keep Bella safe. Rosalie was Edward’s first wife and the mother of his children. After their divorce, he began to see her frequently, which led to some very heartfelt moments:
“I remember the first time I saw you,” he said gently. “I thought you were the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. You were wearing a blue dress and you had diamond studs in your ears. I’d never seen anyone more breathtakingly beautiful. I thought you might be able to take my mind off of what I was going through, and help me believe that everything would be all right.”
This is a man who thinks about others more than himself, even if he doesn’t show it in every moment. When he does consider others’ needs, he is kind and thoughtful — and that is what makes him a good man.