ENG 2D1 -09
June 11, 2014
Love in The Lovely Bones
In literature, authors often include characters who face unfortunate shocking events. In The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, several characters deal with grief after a fatal loss of a loved individual. Susie’s death forces her to deal with pain and hate like never before. Susie’s mother avoids her misery by having an affair with the case detective, Len Fenerman. Jack Salmon, Susie’s’ father, chases Susie’s friend Clarissa and her boyfriend Brien Nelson; however this action lands Jack in the hospital. Family members cannot stop the effects of tragedy, they can only accept and love each other. Susie’s death leaves her feeling trapped and alone as she grieves over the life she once had on Earth. As Mr. Harvey pins Susie down, she reposts that “ I knew he was going to kill me. I did not realize then that I was an animal already dying” (Sebold 15). When Susie calls herself “ an animal
Kim 2 already dying”, she is pointing out the loss of her hope and motivation to live another day. However during the time she spends in Heaven, she realizes, “Each time I told my story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain. It was that day that I knew I wanted to tell the story of my family. Because horror on Earth is real and it happens everyday. It is like the flower or like the sun; it cannot be tamed” (186). From the key words “I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain”, Susie admits she now feels relief and has a different view of life on Earth. This is part of Susie’s way of surviving grief and learning that tragedy “cannot be tamed”; she can only learn to love life in heaven. After Susie’s death, her family members deal with agony and life without their sister, friend, or daughter. Susie’s mother chooses to deal with the loss of her daughter by starting an affair with detective Len Fenerman. As Susie’s mother and Len stay at the hospital together and try and figure out what the future looks like for the Salmon family, “Everything that came next was not words”(145). A distraction is how Susie’s mother was going to forget Susie. After while, she learns to stop running and love the people in front of her, including her husband Jack.
While talking to a woman at work, she finds herself saying “between a man and a woman there was always one person who was stronger than the other one…that doesn’t mean the weaker one doesn’t love the stronger” (277). The key words “that doesn’t mean the weaker one doesn’t love the stronger” show that no matter what she decides to do to forget her dead daughter, there will always be a place in her heart for her family. Susie’s mother cannot stop her regretful distractions or the fact that she escapes her sorrow with an affair but in the end she resorts to her family and only loves them. Jack’s relationship with his family is so tight that even after numerous tragic events, he will always love them. After Susie’s death, Jack loses his sense of humanity and chases who he thought is Mr. Harvey: “Mr. Salmon was crazy with grief and had gone out to the