The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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The Lovely Bones Essay

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, a provocative account of a young girl’s life and death, by Alice Sebold, we are thrust into the cruel reality of Susie’s mislaid youth. We are immediately introduced to the protagonist, Susie Salmon, “like the fish,” who wastes no time in describing her brutal and gruesome death, followed by her ascent into heaven, where she reminds us of her dreams on earth, which suddenly slipped away. Susie was the most substantial and memorable character for me, because of the way in which she encompassed the themes of the novel, such as the bonds between family, and entrapment, as well as Sebold’s bold narrative style, which has Susie narrating her own story from a perch in heaven, with great use of imagery. Any reader can immediately identify with Susie’s wave of emotions, and it is ultimately this which makes her memorable. The immediate striking feature of this novel is its narrative style, which has Susie telling the story of her life and death. Susie is the victim, murdered as a 14 year old, by a neighbour named Mr Harvey. Being told in first person, the reader feels an instantaneous empathy with Susie, and this feeling is heightened by her unabashed confidence in us, almost as though the reader is in fact a conceptual journal. She confesses her dreams and regrets on earth, like her relationship with Ray “Our only kiss was like an accident,” and her longing to go back, “I couldn’t have what I wanted most. Mr Harvey dead, and me living.” Susie is an omniscient narrator, complicated by the fact that she is also a character. In this way Alice Sebold facilitates the reader to identify with Susie, because we read the story with her bias and perception of events. In this novel, Sebold wants to demonstrate how violence can so easily be brushed again,...
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