Bite Marx -- The Hooded Utilitarian
In this corner, there’s Edward Cullen. Edward is extravagantly cultured, and ridiculously wealthy. He composes classical ballads, writes in an immaculate hand, and buys his sister a Porche as an offhand gift. Like a real product of the upper crust, he lives with his brothers and sisters, who are all also paired up as husbands and wives. His family is, moreover, obsessed with blood, and has amorphous connections to Italy. He’s foreign, exciting, steeped in ancient traditions, and deeply, ludicrously white. He’s the noble prince come to whisk Bella out of her life and into a deliciously decadent life of luxury and romance. Meyer name-drops Darcy and Heathcliff and Romeo, but Edward has at least as much in common with Prince Charming.
And in this corner, there’s Jacob Black. Jacob is the opposite of upper-class. An Indian living on reservation land, he transforms simultaneously into a werewolf and a laundry list of invidious racial stereotypes. He’s literally hot-blooded — werewolves have higher than normal temperatures, just as vampires have lower than normal ones. Jacob also has massive self-control issues; whenever he gets angry or upset, he starts to shake violently and then turns into a giant deadly wolf. He’s also hairy, frequently bare-chested, and…good with tools! He also eats a prodigious amount — as opposed to the uber-cultured Edward, who doesn’t eat at all.
If Edward is the aristocrat who treats Bella like a delicate queen, Jake is the swarthy, sweaty working-class hero who won’t take no for an answer. Edward will barely allow himself to kiss Bella; Jake, on the other hand, literally overpowers her when he wants a smooch and she’s reluctant. With Edward, Bella always has to be careful; with Jake she gets to be a little bit wild — riding motorcycles, cliff diving, and generally getting in touch with her inner wolf/teen delinquent. If Edward’s the prince whisking away the scullery maid a la Cinderella, Jake is the virile commoner dragging the frigid aristocrat down into the sensual muck a la Titanic.