Essay the Lovely Bones

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2009 NCEA External ExaminationLevel 2 - 2.3 Extended Text
Excellence answer
Topic 2: Readers will often think about characters long after a text has been finished. Analyse how the writer made a character or characters memorable for you in a text you have studied.
In The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold the main character Susie Salmon is made memorable to us through the use of narrative point of view, symbolism, setting and her actions. The novel is based around the rape and murder of her and she narrates the process of grief and acceptance in a heart-warming, poignant yet beautiful way as she observes the effects of her death on earth from heaven. Sebold creates a full rounded impression of her – we see her triumphs and vulnerabilities that play on our protective emotions and leave an inspirational memory of her resilience in our minds. Sebold creates a full picture of Susie’s character and nature as a sensitive, spunky but essentially normal young girl. Susie’s black sense of humour and irony reflected through Sebold’s 1st person narrative style clearly show Susie’s spunky and strong nature. “Franny said most people begged ‘Please’ before dying.” Her thoughts as narrator also show her as a kind, loving person as she “was more concerned with my family than anything else” after her death. Sebold also uses symbolism of a hat to represent Susie’s naivety and childhood. Susie “would not wear the multi-coloured hat with the pom pom and jingle bell that my mother had made me” which clearly shows her dreams and aspirations to grow up. However, she realises that it was her innocence that killed her as her murderer “reached into the pocket of my parka and balled up the hat my mother had made me, smashing it into my mouth” effectively using her naivety to take it away. Sebold’s rounded impression of Susie makes the audience really relate to this ordinary yet amazing child and empathise, experiencing her emotional journey and learning with her through Sebold’s...
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