I want to know your thoughts about Sam almost killing Emily. I personally think SM wanted to highlight the risk Bella faces hanging out with supernatural beings but she didn't think in all the implications for Emily and Sam themselves. The books approach their story from the "does this mean Bella shouldn't hang out with Jacob?" and the my-fianceé-disfigured-half-of-my-body issue seems not a big deal for any of these people which has always left me like wtf????
I totally agree with you. I think the *intention* was to demonstrate how dangerous it was to hang around with the supernatural (a parallel to the bloodied birthday party, although Emily ends up with a more permanent consequence of it than Bella does–Edward comes back, after all, but Emily’s scars and Sam’s guilt are forever). I think she didn’t really think through the implications here, or how it could be seen as a metaphor for domestic abuse (”he didn’t mean to” “he couldn’t help it” “it only happened the one time and he promised it would never happen again”), because everything is through the Bella-lens. It wasn’t really about what happened to Emily, it was a warning to Bella.
I do tend to have more sympathy for Sam than a lot of people do, as I think–as with a lot of Edward’s less-than-great behavior–you can’t totally divorce it from the supernatural element. To me, the Sam/Emily tragedy is all about the werewolf thing–he tried to back away from her but then his wolf form was so much bigger than his human form that he couldn’t. He didn’t attack her, he just couldn’t control turning into a wolf and was too close. To me, it’s more like Sam lost control of his car and accidentally hit her than that he got into a rage and attacked her, but I understand why other people see it differently and can’t escape from the uncomfortable implications.
There were probably better ways for SM to make this point about how even the wolves, who vow to protect human lives from vampires, are dangerous. I do find it weird that people are a lot more willing to forgive, say, Edward throwing Bella into the wall and table full of glass, or Jasper losing control and attacking, than they are to forgive Sam. All of the Cullens, save Carlisle, have killed either on purpose (Rosalie, Edward, Jasper in his human-hunting days) or out of lapses in self-control (Esme, Alice, Emmett, Jasper nowadays). Sam’s lapse is read, by some, to be abusive rather than supernatural, but the Cullens/vampires tend to be excused or at least forgiven. I don’t know what it means but it’s interesting to me.