Okay, put the tomatoes down and hear me out. Yes, Bella Swan in a literary Christ figure. (Side note: A literary Christ figure is NOT Christ. They are not exact replicas of him, but they share characteristics that point to him, i.e. a symbolic resurrection, a saving-people thing, being the answer to a prophecy, etc.)
Here are my reasons for labeling Bella a Christ figure:
1. Bella sacrifices herself to save her mother…
As “weak” as some readers label Bella, she’s got a lot of mental strength. She may be clumsy and a bit of a damsel in distress, but when it comes down to it, she will face a vampire, knowing she will die, in order to save the ones she loves. That’s being a Christ figure; that is strength despite her weaknesses.
2. Bella sacrifices herself to save a vampire’s life…
If dying in the place of someone who has rejected you and broken your heart is not Christ-like, I don’t know what is. Time and again, Bella proves she has no sense of self-preservation, but every sense of other-preservation. She may not be strong, or fast, or as beautiful as a vampire; but her strength exudes from within. She saves Edward and Alice in the face of the Volturi with nothing but… love (the most wonderful and dangerous power, as Dumbledore said).
3. Bella saves a vampire and a werewolf…
Having heard the story of the Third-Wife, Bella realizes that though she is weak she is strong because she can do what neither vampire or werewolf can—she can provide a diversion by sacrificing herself. It takes strength to hear the story of what happened to the Third-Wife and say, “You know what? I don’t care if I’m massacred if it means my friends are spared.” If Bella went to Hogwarts, she’d have earned her Gryffindor badge. Like Neville, though she isn’t the strongest or most talented, she’s got a heck of a lot of courage.
4. Bella saves Renesmee…
Right before Bella finds out she is pregnant, she has decided she wants to be human for a few more years. But then she finds out she’s pregnant with an immortal child. Presented with the idea that the baby can be removed and she can go on living, Bella once again lays down self to save another. She says she knows she’s not strong enough to survive the birth, and doesn’t plan on surviving it. Her ultimate plan is for Renesmee to live; and, if she can, to keep her heart beating long enough to transform into an immortal. If not, at least her daughter will have life. This time she does die to save a life—the life of her daughter.
5. Bella saves her family…
Bella faces the Volturi once again, knowing that she doesn’t stand a chance of survival. Still, she chooses to sacrifice her new life, her marriage, her existence to save her family… as many of them as she can. For, to use her power she will be the Volturi’s main target. Just as Christ, to save many from disease and sickness and death, displayed his power and thereby put a target on his back.
Bella Swan may not be outwardly strong or agile but, on the inside, she is a force to be reckoned with. She is a force of the greatest power in existence—love.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. ~ John 15:13 (NIV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16 (ESV)
Let’s all be inspired by Bella’s love to also stand strong and love others as she did… as Christ did for us.
If you enjoy finding faith in fandom, please consider pre-ordering Finding Unauthorized Faith in Harry Potter: Devotions From the Wizarding World in either paperback or ebook (Kindle, Nook, iTunes). Books will be shipped/sent on December 10th 2015 (in plenty of time for Christmas).