Essay on Death, Grief, and Redemption in The Lovely Bones

Essay on Death, Grief, and Redemption in The Lovely Bones

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Death is the unfortunate event in which the people on this Earth have to embrace as a part of life. Most can relate to death in some way whether it be by relating to someone who has died or being close to someone that has lived this eventual nightmare everyone can relate to death and grief in some type of way. According to the OED, grief is the “... act or fact of dying; the end of life; the final cessation of the vital functions of an individual.” Death and grief are forever in the lives of death’s victims, with no known cure, just nullified existence to help lessen the pain. As the grieving process becomes an essential element to families affected by death, a developing mentality can be forever shaped by the components of death, grief, and redemption.
Alice Sebold “boldly steps into the unimaginable territory [of]...death and murder…”(Woods) as she portrays the journey of Susie Salmon who was raped and murdered at the age of fourteen by the neighborhood question mark, George Harvey. The Sebold family slowly moves through the five categories of grief that include
1. denial- refusal to acknowledge existence of something :a refusal to believe in something or admit that something exists
2. anger- a strong feeling of grievance and displeasure
3. bargaining- an agreement between two parties that fixes the price of something
4. depression- a state of unhappiness and hopelessness
5. acceptance- willingness to believe that something is true
Sebold makes clear that these stages do not necessarily remain adamant, but that families coping with loss adhere to grief and loss in assorted ways. If readers confine their understanding of grief to coping and loss with death of a loved one, then the reader finds that they have trouble elucid...


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...." Times Literary Supplement 5229 (20 June 2003): 15. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Tom Burns and Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 193. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
Sebold, Alice. The Lovely Bones. Boston: Little, Brown, 2002. Print.
Simpson, J. A., and E. S. C. Weiner. The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon, 1989. Print.
Womack, Kenneth. "'My Name Was Salmon, Like the Fish': Understanding Death, Grief, and Redemption in Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones." Contemporary Literary Criticism Select. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
Woods, Paula L. "Holding On and Letting Go." Los Angeles Times Book Review (7 July 2002): 7. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Tom Burns and Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 193. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.

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