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"The lovely bones" by Alice Sebold personal study essay

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"The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold An examination of the character Susie in "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold and how the author engages my sympathy for her and her family members. The horrific tragedy described in "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold makes the novel fascinating. The book appealed to me because it was based on an experience the author had when she was in university. The book is Sebold expressing her feelings about what happened to her and expanding them. The story is detailed with interesting characterisation and themes. Sebold makes the story thought-provoking and engages my sympathy for Susie and also her family. The story is based around fourteen year old Susie Salmon who was raped and brutally murdered one day by a man in her neighbourhood. Susie acts as narrator as she watches over her loved ones from her new seat in heaven. She looks on as her family falls apart and how each character deals with her death in their own way. As time goes on, Susie watches her younger sister Lindsey grow up and starts to feel jealous that she gets to act out the life Susie can never lead. The use of first person narration is prominent throughout. ...read more.


This is a point in the novel where Susie recites a poem Jack, her father, always said to her when she was small. This comforts her now that she has accepted her death and knows soon she will be able to let go of earth and everything on it, now that she has realised she can't change what has happened or the lives of people still alive. The main themes are significant in the novel to show how the characters Jack, Abigail and Lindsey deal with the loss of their family member. Each person deals with their loss in very different ways. Jack is Susie's father. He suffers a lot in the novel with his wife leaving him, his daughter being murdered and also the obsession that starts to overtake his life. A growing vengeance seems to take over in the first year after Susie's death as he tries to find the slaughterer. This is how he reacts to grief. "Suddenly he could not stop seeing my face." This was when Jack's vengeance first became known to the reader. He does not have any proof that Mr Harvey is the killer but he just has a feeling. Of course he was right but the police thought he was just trying to find a person to blame because he needed answers to why this happened to his little girl. ...read more.


When the elbow was found by a neighbour's dog, Lindsey had all the proof she needed that Susie was dead. "He held her hand and then she threw up, as she had promised, into the shiny silver bowl." Lindsey was more realistic about her sister's death than some other characters. She realised that this could be her sister's elbow and would mean she is really gone. This was Lindsey's way of accepting her sister's murder. Disappearance She feels she has to be strong for her whole family and suffers in silence. She bears many burdens: because she looks like Susie, people see a bloody body whenever the look at her; her mother shuts her out, lies to her then leaves her; she has to be a mother figure to her six year old brother. Lindsey feels a certain bind with her dead sister because she gets to live the life Susie cannot. We feel hugely sympathetic towards Lindsey because of all these reasons and we also feel pity for her having to grow up with this weight on her shoulders. In conclusion, the story "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold highlights the grief of losing a loved one through her use of the character Susie herself. With the narration being told from Susie's perspective and her feelings shining through, it engages my sympathy for her. ...read more.

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