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New Moon

To see what the film New Moon tells us about loss, friendship and love.

by Helen Bryant

Suitable for Whole School (Sec)

Aims

To see what the film New Moon tells us about loss, friendship and love.

Preparation and materials

  • Download the Coldplay song ‘Fix You’.
  • Sensitivity might be needed when talking about death.

Assembly

  1. Have you ever lost something? And I don’t mean a sock or a watch. Is there something that is really important to you that you no longer have because you lost it?

    Think now about how you felt. Perhaps sad, miserable. Did you check and recheck looking for it? Were you scared because you thought you might get in trouble? Would that depend on whether the thing is someone else’s, and that it wasn’t really yours to lose in the first place?
  2. It is an inevitable fact that we will all die, and that we will experience distress and sorrow when someone we care for dies. We will grieve for people we lose. Bereavement affects people in different ways and people overcome those difficult times in various ways. They may immerse themselves in work. They may become withdrawn into themselves.
  3. For those of you following the saga of Bella and Edward, we are now going into New Moon territory. Those of you who have read the book and seen the film will know where I am going with this. After their confirmation of love for one another in Twilight, when Edward saved Bella’s life, it seemed that everything was set for a happy ending for the heroine and her vampire love. Sadly, that isn’t the way that it goes. Edward drops a bombshell on Bella’s world. He leaves her, saying that he can never see her again, and he does just that. He walks out of her life, leaving empty the space he filled so completely for Bella. He leaves her alone, and without the one thing that for her makes life worth living, makes it worth getting up in the morning.
  4. The description of the total heartache that Bella experiences during these pages is vivid. She is alone, totally distraught, lonely and suffering from grief and loss. She describes her chest as having a hole in it that she cannot keep together; she is blank and withdraws into herself. The book is so accurate in describing those feelings that for anyone who has ever experienced them it may make you relive those times.
  5. Research has shown that however long you are in a relationship with someone you love, it takes approximately a month for every year in order for you to get over the loss of that person. During this time you may feel totally miserable and unhappy, constantly questioning, if it’s the end of a relationship, how you could have made them stay or what you did to make them leave, in order for you to fully deal with the ending of the relationship or the loss of that person. And it is obvious from this that when one of the partners in a 50-year marriage dies, it may be impossible for the surviving partner to ever recover from their loss.
  6. However, into this place of total devastation for Bella comes Jacob, who is a lifelong friend of hers. Jacob himself has a very special side to him. He is a werewolf, and his fear is that Bella will not accept him as he is. Throughout their building friendship – creating and racing motorbikes, going to the cinema, doing stuff that friends do – Jacob’s feelings for Bella become more than friendship. She can never fully return his feelings for her, as she is ‘unconditionally and irrevocably’ in love with Edward, but this does not stop their friendship. It grows and they maintain a bond that lasts for ever.
  7. Let us stop to think about Jacob. Within the book there are references to Romeo, Juliet and Paris. Romeo and Juliet, as most of you will know, are Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers from two feuding families. Similarly Edward and Bella are from very different sides of the tracks at least, one being an immortal vampire who had to overcome an internal struggle not to attack the human Bella. Anyway, it is Paris I actually want to focus on, because Jacob is a little like Paris. Favoured by Bella’s father, he is someone seen as suitable, because he hasn’t hurt Bella in the same way that Edward has; he is also in love with Bella. Paris is a minor character in Romeo and Juliet, almost a literary device to show that Juliet and Romeo could never be intended for one another. But, what if Paris had been brought more into the story? Does he love Juliet? How does he feel when she rejects him? Probably the same way that Jacob does, knowing that he has lost Bella to his arch-rival. Love triangles are complicated, and hurt everyone involved.

Time for reflection

What comes out of this story about love, loss and friendship? Well, nothing that many of you probably didn’t know: that they are linked into one another and affect one another. If you lose someone you love, whether friend, boyfriend or other love, the space they leave will cause you to feel loss, and the love you have for them, although different, is still a feeling that can conjure happiness and joy and make you feel better as a result.

Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote: ‘It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’ in his poem In Memoriam.

Prayer

Help me to appreciate all my relationships, friendships, family,

and any relationship with someone who I love.

Allow me to see that love comes in many different forms,

and that it will affect me in the way that I behave, react and interact with people.

Let me know that while losses are awful and heartbreaking,

time will heal me.

Publication date: April 2010   (Vol.12 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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