The Lovely Bones is a novel by Alice Sebold. The story is narrated by Susie Salmon, a 14-year-old girl who was raped and murdered by her neighbor, George Harvey. The novel follows Susie’s family and friends as they cope with her death, and ultimately seek justice for her murder. The novel has been adapted into a film directed by Peter Jackson, and released in 2009.
The Lovely Bones received critical acclaim upon its release, with many praising Alice Sebold’s writing style and the novel’s unique perspective on grief and loss. The book was a commercial success, selling over 1 million copies in the United States alone. It has been translated into over 40 languages and continues to be popular with readers around the world.
Losing a loved one is something we as humans tend to avoid discussing. We each deal with bereavement and sadness in unique ways, which the novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold emphasizes. Sebold effectively employs various methods to convey this notion, including first-person narrative, pathetic fallacy, oxymoron, and symbolism.
The Lovely Bones is told from the perspective of the victim, Susie Salmon. The story is based around her family, friends and classmates after she was raped and murdered by a neighbour, George Harvey. The novel is set in suburban America in the 1970s.
Sebold uses first person narrative effectively to explore the idea that everyone grieves differently. The reader gets a unique insight into Susie’s thoughts and feelings as she watches from the ‘in-between’ as her loved ones struggle to deal with her death. One of the most significant techniques Sebold uses is pathetic fallacy.
The weather reflects the mood of the characters; for example, when Susie’s father is struggling to come to terms with her death, Sebold writes that “the sun had disappeared and the day was as gray as an old dog”. This creates a strong visual image for the reader and allows them to understand how the character is feeling.
Oxymoron is also used throughout the novel. The contrast between words emphasizes the emotional turmoil the characters are experiencing. For example, when Susie’s sister Buckley is talking about his first kiss, he describes it as being both “sweet and sour”. The juxtaposition of these two adjectives highlights Buckley’s confusion and highlights how he is struggling to process his emotions.
Sebold also uses symbolism to explore the idea that everyone grieves differently. The color white is used throughout the novel to symbolize Susie’s innocence. For example, Sebold writes that Susie was wearing a “white dress with small red roses” when she was killed. The color red is often used to symbolize danger or violence, which highlights the contrast between Susie’s innocence and George Harvey’s guilt.
Overall, Alice Sebold has effectively used a range of techniques to explore the idea that everyone grieves differently. The use of first person narrative allows the reader to get a unique insight into Susie’s thoughts and feelings. The use of techniques such as pathetic fallacy, oxymoron and symbolism also help to highlight the emotional turmoil the characters are experiencing.
To begin with, Sebold employs first-person narrative to convey the themes of loss and sadness, as well as how individuals deal with it in various settings. In this instance, Susie Salmon serves as an all-seeing narrator. She was raped and murdered at the age of 14 in 1973.
The story is focused on her family and how they each react to her death. One of the key aspects that The Lovely Bones explores is grief. The novel looks at different stages of grief and how people react in different ways. For example, Susie’s father Jack is consumed by grief and becomes obsessed with finding her killer. This ultimately destroys his relationship with his wife Abigail. In contrast, Susie’s sister Lindsey finds it hard to grieve and instead throws herself into her studies and sport. The novel also shows how families can be brought together or torn apart by grief.
Sebold also looks at the idea of justice and whether it is always possible to get closure after a tragedy. The murderer in The Lovely Bones is never caught and this leaves Susie’s family struggling to come to terms with what has happened. The novel raises the question of whether it is better to have closure or not, and whether justice always needs to be black and white.
The Lovely Bones is a powerful and moving novel that covers a wide range of themes. It is sure to stay with readers long after they have finished reading it.
The audience is provided with a variety of perspectives on her death and how each of her family and friends responded to her tragic loss through this. Susie also discusses her own desires, stating that she wanted to become an adult. Family members appear to react to Susie’s death in different ways, with each one showing distinct emotions. However, Susie does not pass judgment on them for their individual coping methods.
The novel The Lovely Bones raises a lot of important questions about life and death and how we deal with grief. It is an emotionally powerful read that will stay with you long after you have finished it.
Her father, on the other hand, expresses his rage through vengeance, as does Lindsay, Ray, and Ruth. Her mother acquiesces to a “merciful adultery” with Len Fernerman, proving that there are no correct or incorrect ways to mourn a tragic death. Her father demonstrates his distress through revenge; whereas others like as Lindsay, Ray, and Ruth keep their feelings bottled up. Susie herself spends up to 8 years watching her family grieve after her death, emphasizing the audience’s understanding that grieving a loss is an arduous road and that time can’t be replaced.
The Lovely Bones also touches on the idea of ‘closure’ and how important it is for those left behind. The importance of having a body to bury is a significant method that allows characters to gain closure and move on from their loss. The lack of Susie’s body leaves her family in a state of limbo, unsure of what has happened to her and this dominates their lives for many years.
In order for them to find peace, they need to know what happened and where she is, which is something that they are never able to do. The film ends with Susie’s father finally finding some closure after he confronts and kills George Harvey, the man who raped and murdered his daughter. This provides a sense of hope for the audience, that even though the grieving process is long and difficult, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
The Lovely Bones is a heart-wrenching novel that explores the different ways in which people grieve a sudden loss. It highlights the importance of closure and how it can help those left behind to move on from their loss. The novel provides hope for the reader, that even though the grieving process is long and difficult, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.