In the novel The Lovely Bones (TLB) by Alice Sebold, the narrative voice is the key technique that hooks the reader and compels him or her to turn over the page. While the author uses a number of other literary techniques to draw the reader in, it is the narrator’s voice that is this novel’s most interesting and appealing feature. The narrative voice in this novel is unique to other novels because the narrator is a girl named Susie Salmon who is speaking from heaven. This is a distinctive point in the novel because it gives us the story from the perspective from others and we experience themes in the book that we never experienced before.
Firstly the narrator of the book TLB is a teenaged girl named Susie Salmon who has been raped at murdered by a man named Mr. Harvey. Susie lived in a small American town and was killed in a cornfield at the age of 14. We know that she is talking from the after-life because she tells us from the first page “I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973”. She then starts to narrate the novel from the afterlife. This perspective allows us this point of view to experience the narrator and the people she is connected with in a way we have never touched upon before. Susie can tell the mood of a person, what he/she is thinking at the time, what they are going to do next and it’s because of the way she can interpret the emotions of other people that makes the narrative voice of this novel it’s unique selling point
Secondly the narrator
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Peter Jackson’s 2009 film, The Lovely Bones, is based off of the New York Times bestseller novel written by Alice Sebold. Both the book and the movie adaptation tell the story of a young, 14-year-old girl named Susie Salmon who is brutally murdered by her neighbor. In both versions, Susie narrates her story from the place between Heaven and Earth, the “in-between,” showing the lives of her family and friends and how each of their lives have changed since her murder. However, the film adaptation and the original novel differ in the sense of the main character focalization throughout, the graphic explanatory to visual extent, and the relationship between the mother and father.
As I began to explore the deeper meanings behind various symbols and themes in the novels I read, I began to wonder why authors choose to disguise their messages, causing their readers to put forth so much extra effort just to decode what they are really trying to express. It wasn’t until I began to observe the use of more symbolism in complex novels, and until Professor Thomas C. Foster layed out why authors write what they write in How to read literature like a professor, when I really began to discover the reason for it all. Authors tend to create a theme that readers are guaranteed to be familiar with, thus, increasing the likelihood of the reader being satisfied with the outcome of the Novel.
The death of a loved one can result in a trauma where the painful experience causes a psychological scar. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones explores the different ways in which people process grief when they lose a loved one. When young Susie Salmon is killed on her way home from school, the remaining four members of her family all deal differently with their grief. After Susie’s death, her mother, Abigail Salmon, endures the adversity of losing her daughter, her family collapsing, and accepting the loss of the life she never had the opportunity to live. Abigail uses Freud’s defence mechanisms to repress wounds, fears, her guilty desires, and to resolve conflicts, which results in her alienation and
George Harvey is always depicted as the vile, relentless murderer behind the rape and death of Susie Salmon, the protagonist of the novel Lovely Bones. It is easy for the reader to show absolutely no pity for this character. However, in Chapter 15, the author Alice Sebold converts this heartless soul into an individual that urges the reader to offer him sympathy instead. Sebold begins the chapter by reflecting on the tremendous amount of hardships that George Harvey endures in his childhood. As a child, George and his mother depend on each other, as they struggle through life in poverty and dread the presence of his father. Alongside his mother as her accomplice, they turn to theft as a method to receive food and resources behind his
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,
“Heaven is comfort, but it's still not living.” -Alice Sebold. Alice Sebold the author of Lovely Bones creates a story of depression, guilt, and grief with the murder of Susie Salmons. In Lovely Bones the death of Susie affects all those close to her, like her mother, her father and her classmates. Her father grieves with despair as the murderer has yet to be caught. Her mother can not handle her disappearance and finds unnerving ways to cope. Susie’s classmates, Ruth and Ray both find ways to cope with each other and through other connections with Susie. A death of a loved young one is one no one is ever ready for. The grief starts and people find ways to feel guilty. If no mental aid is present the associates will
In The Poisonwood Bible (1998), author Barbara Kingsolver uses an array of stylistic features to influence the meanings that the readers make of the text. Perhaps the most prominent aspects of style employed are the manipulations in narrative voice. The novel has five narrators, the mother and four daughters of the Price family. Kingsolver has created a unique voice and personality for each of the Price girls by using specific diction, syntax, and sentence structure depending on which narrative voice is engaged. Using these stylistic features to construct five very different points of view, the reader is able to form a just opinion of the events in the novel, and thus Kingsolver ultimately persuades the reader into making the desired
The way and words used to tell a story determine how the story will be perceived. If the story uses lots of details, diction, and figurative language then it will be most likely a well told story. Although if a story is not told with these things it can be hard to interpret what is trying to be said. In the short story, “The Scarlet Ibis”,uses all these things to tell an amazing story with a plot that could go anywhere. The author, James Hurst, of “The Scarlet Ibis” illustrates diction and figurative language to prove that the tone is hope, discouragement, and pride.
To begin, in the memoir Lucky, Alice Sebold makes a powerful start to her writing by telling the reader about what happened to her, and, later in that same initial paragraph, she clarifies the reason for
“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections - sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent - that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events that my death wrought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous body had been my life.” In the novel The Lovely Bones written by Alice Sebold it that takes you on an expedition that re-lives the heartbreaking moments of a life and formation of new connections between the ones that were affected by the tragedy.
Many authors use storytelling as a vehicle to convey the immortality of past selves and those who have passed to not only in their piece of literature but in their life as an author. In Tim O’Brien’s work of fiction The Things They Carried, through his final chapter “The Lives of the Dead,” O 'Brien conveys that writing is a matter of survival since, the powers of storytelling can ensure the immortality of all those who were significant in his life. Through their immortality, O’Brien has the ability to save himself with a simple story. Through snippets of main plot event of other chapters, O’Brien speaks to the fact the dead have not actually left; they are gone physically, but not spiritually or emotionally. They live on in memories as Linda lives on in the memories of O’Brien and as many of his war buddies live on through his stories. He can revive them and bring them back to the world through his writings and through these emotions or events he experienced with them and with their deaths can make them immortal. Through the reminiscent stories of Linda and O’Brien’s war companions and himself, O’Brien conveys that storytelling allows people to reanimate others who have died and past selves to create an immortality of humans.
In “Lives of the Dead”, O’Brien’s own innocence is preserved through the memory of Linda, a memory that remains untarnished by the inevitable corruption that results from life. O’Brien’s writings “save Linda’s life. Not her body--her life” (236). Storytelling and memories preserve the value of Linda’s existence while simultaneously allowing O’Brien to process death and destruction in a way that maintains a degree of optimism regarding his own life and future. Juxtaposing the images of body and life emphasizes his desire to save the idea of Linda while accepting the loss of her physical presence. O’Brien rejects the idea of death as absolute and final; instead he suggests that “once you are alive, you can never be dead” (244). Linda’s death solidifies her importance in O’Brien’s own development; she teaches him about life and real love as much as in death as in life. O’Brien’s paradoxical statement defines the lasting impact of Linda on him; her presence in his stories keeps her alive through memory; memories that even her death
The tone of the narrator, Death, is intimate throughout the book. When he first sees Liesel, he becomes interesting in her as he takes away her brother’s soul. Events lead him into interacting with many people in Liesel’s life and the war allows him to see her often, this attraction is encompassed on the last few words of the book, “I am haunted by humans” ( Zusak 550). Death, who seems to haunt millions of people around the world, is haunted by humans. It is ironic but it shows the beauty that is humans. This desire to see Liesel, to be haunted by her, leads to a caring tone, but this does not mean that Death is basis in his telling of the story. Death tries to forget Liesel but periodically, he goes to check. His being haunted does not only apply to Liesel, he is able to recall the deaths of many other humans that had captured his eye or in someway is connected to Liesel. There is a fondness when Death thinks of humans and a slight dislike but he craves to see certain ones and to interact with them. Humans are so interesting, complex, and eye catching that Death wishes to watch over some of
Susie is the narrator of the story. She has been raped and murdered and feels enormous pain, even in heaven, for what has happened to her. However, she also presents careful connections about herself, family and friends. In these, we see her great love and compassion for those she misses dreadfully. We must not forget that she is also a character who must be examined for her own grief: Susie