Lovely bones & Simple Gift Essay

Submitted By solos190
Words: 650
Pages: 3

An individual’s sense of belonging is linked to the inclusion or exclusion provided by friends and family. A home where an individual feels secure and friends who accept them are paramount in forming a sense of self. Steven Herrick’s verse novel The Simple Gift displays an individual escaping from the exclusion of his home. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones presents an individual ripped from their inclusion with friends and family. Both of these texts provide an insight into the factor that inclusion and exclusion are in shaping an identity.
A home and family provide the basis upon which an individual forms an identity. Billy’s home in Herrick’s poem ‘Longlands Road’ is described with the houses as “lonely downtrodden house(s).” the personification of the houses show Billy projecting his sense of identity upon the emotionless houses. This displays his lack of belonging due to exclusion from his father, an alcoholic who cares little for his son. The poor foundation for identity and the insecurity that follows provided by the father are shown in ‘Cold’ where Billy states that “the wind and the rain hits you in the face with the force of a father’s punch.” The enjambment shows his desperation for survival in the rain and anguish from the past where the personification of the pathetic fallacy accumulate to display an exclusion from the father. This shows how Billy’s identity has been shaped poorly through the exclusion and abuse by his father.
The foundation from home and family is contrasted through Sebold’s book. The desire to return after death is shown when Susie says “Heaven is comfort, but it’s still not living.” She employs double entendre with the term ‘living’ with both a literal sense of life and a colloquial and metaphorical sense of enjoyment. Her connection to her family and the estrangement she must face displays her link to her identity through inclusion. This is further shown as her heaven is displayed as the area in which she lived, including her house and school. This shows her fidelity towards her family and their location as this is what forged her identity.
The influence of friends and love build an individual’s sense of self. Herrick shows Billy’s lack of this sense through the poem ‘Lord of the Lounge.’ The quote “You can’t trust those who want to break the rules and you certainly can’t trust those who make the rules,” displays a negative