The Lovely Bones

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Novel text: The lovely bones

A study of the writing techniques Sebold uses to engage with the readers.

Focus on:

Narrative style
-1st Person Narrative
2. Use of Flashbacks
3. Symbols
4. Names of characters
? Death
? Grief
? Healing
? Loss of innocence
? Isolation /Ostracism
? Family relationships -coping with loss and change

Study of Techniques

First Person
-An intimate relationship is formed immediately so that we side with Susie instantly and begin to allow ourselves to be consumed by Susie’s tragedy -1st sentence.
-She confides in us -not only rape/murder (Chap 1), but her first kiss (p14), the secret, revealing photo of her mother (p 43), her hiding spots (p145) etc, we form a relationship of trust. “I WANT TO GROW UP” - P19

-Unsentimental tone
-Chilling description -see imagery (imagery and tone work together to create sympathy)
-Sebold’s narrative is void of feeling and sentiment -as if she does this so we the readers fill it with our own emotive reactions - empathy

-The strong and graphic imagery used evokes a strong emotional reaction from the reader -uses strong imagery to reinforce relationship between Susie and reader because we feel deep sympathy for what has happened to Susie.

-“fitting my limbs together”-p8
-“he had put me in a waxy cloth sack…tumbled together with my knees fingers and toes…” -p50
-“town of floating graves” - p182

-a technique that acts as a vehicle in allowing us to understand characters better, and feel sympathy for them
-flashbacks are scattered right through the novel

Different ways flashbacks are used:

Sympathy for Susie
-Happy, normal childhood memories juxtaposed with her cruel reality. - first kiss p13 -Everything precious memory of Susie’s is ruined by Mr. Harvey -flashbacks stylistic device used to further our hatred for Mr. Harvey and our...
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