Coping with a Tragic Death in The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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A natural death due to old age, or illness is often easier to cope with, as opposed to a death that is unexpected, for example murder or a tragic accident. Often times, people consider the thoughts of death and the afterlife. We think of the impact these situations may have on ourselves, however not our family or community if this issue were to arise. The death of a loved one can create a large amount of tension because not only does it create grief; but can slowly unveil the underlying problems within a family. Alice Sebold explores several of the ways in which people process grief along with loss in her novel The Lovely Bones when 14-year old, Susie Salmon is murdered on her way home from school. As Susie goes through the stages to continue on to heaven, she tells the recovery story from her first person perspective in the limbo between earth and heaven. She tells how her entire family undergoes an immediate sense of infelicity while trying to cope with their loss. The Lovely Bones is not a novel that can be taken lightly, however, one that leaves the mind in an endless fathom over if someone can take another life are they truly worthy of their own? Sebold shows all the elements of death on earth, heaven, and the area in-between by conveying realistic and relatable characters, along with valuable themes that occur in several aspects of life, and a style that is coherent for any mature teen or adult to read and connect with.

Alice Sebold conveys a well constructed and easily relatable set of characters throughout the entire novel. The Lovely Bones is written in a context in which every character has their own ways of coping with the loss of a loved one, and every day situations. The main character, Susie Salmon, conveys...

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... and the loss, however comforted with the compassion, and coming of age throughout the end of the novel. Another success to The Lovely Bones' style is how the stories of multiple characters correlate with one another as well as their responses to Susie's passing at such a young age. In accordance with the multiple viewpoints of the various perspectives, Susie's stands out by far. The readers witness first hand to the events Susie's family must endure, and cope with as her death as a deeply moving and overwhelming element to the story. The viewpoint is exceptionally remarkable since the narrator throughout the entire story is a main character, however is also deceased. The story is written in a conversational tone; the narrator is not formal and nor are the settings around her, including the school, her house,and the suburban area in which she grows up and lived.
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