The Lovely Bones Essay

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Question: The use of a dead narrator to describe events that took place in her life provides an emotionally intense plot. Discuss with reference to the author’s intentions and techniques, as well as your own reaction to the characters.
“Murderers are not monsters, they 're men. And that 's the most frightening thing about them.” ― Alice Sebold
Death is inevitable and the death of a loved one can take a huge toll on the members of a family because not only does it cause grief, but it also can unveil other hidden problems. Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones uses the technique of a dead first person narrator to describe the emotional trauma and heartache the main character has been through narrating her own death piece by piece in the utter most detail. This is done through the protagonist, Susie Salmon. The focus on her death allows the readers to have an in-depth connection with her throughout the narration. Sebold also uses the technique of dialogue and detail to portray the emotions of the characters throughout the text. The use of imagery also aids in a more in-depth connection with the story.

Through the use of a dead narrator, it is easy for the readers to sympathise with Susie and her family because we see the story from her point of view and how she felt about her death. Sebold’s intention is to share her definition of heaven and to allow readers to understand that tragedies do exist. Although tragedies are unavoidable, Sebold tries to portray to the readers that although the path may look dark and distorted, there is always hope for a new light in the future because everything happens for a certain reason, as it is seen towards the end of the novel, the final stages of the grieving process are experienced, which is acceptance and a new lifestyle. This is clearly shown through the first paragraph. “Nothing is ever certain” (Sebold 2002, p.21) Sebold’s main intention is to warn others of the dangers out in the real world, as she too is a fellow



Bibliography: Internet: Robert McCrum, 14th October 2007, Adventures in Disturbia, Guardian, accessed 06 March 2012, <http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/oct/14/fiction.features> Book: Alice Sebold, 2002, The Lovely Bones, 2nd Edition, Picador, London England

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