Loss and Grief
Loss of a loved one and the stages of mourning or grief manifest as overriding themes in The Lovely Bones. Through the voice of Susie Salmon, the fourteen-year-old narrator of the novel, readers get an in-depth look at the grieving process. Susie focuses more on the aftermath and effects of her murder and rape on her family rather than on the event itself. She watches her parents and sister move through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, Alice Sebold makes clear that these categories do not necessarily remain rigid and that individuals deal with grief in various ways. For example, Abigail, Susie's mother, withdraws from her living children, …show more content…
Additional discussion on themes:
1. Pain and violence distort everything.
The existence of the story told within The Lovely Bones is itself the most emphatic emphasis for this theme: Susie Salmon should not have to tell her life story in bits and pieces, from above, and after she's been killed. She should be able to live it, but instead, Mr. Harvey's terrible rape and slaughter of this innocent girl transforms her. It kills her, of course, but it also rips her