Lovely Bones Analysis

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In the novel Lovely Bones written by Alice Sebold, relationships are put to the test when Susie Salmon is brutally murdered and taken away from the hands of her family. The author explores how the grief and pain felt from the death of a loved one impacts relationships in both positive and negative ways. In many cases, the raw emotions felt by the characters as a result of Susie’s death help better their relationships. To begin with, Jack Salmon’s relationship with his youngest son Buckley is enhanced because of the cruel reminder of mortality that Susie’s death emphasizes. When Buckley attempts to comfort his heartbroken father, Jack clings to Buckley and says “‘you are so special to me, little man,’…Buckley drew back and stared at [his] father’s creased face, the fine bright spots of tears at the corners of his eyes” (Sebold 47). By expressing his affection for Buckley, Jack acknowledges the fact that Buckley is alive for him to cherish – something that he cannot possibly do with his deceased daughter. With his emotions array, Jack uses Buckley to steady himself and remind himself that he has two surviving children, and the depth of their relationship grows with their physical and emotional connection. Secondly, the impact of Susie’s death on her younger sister Lindsey brings her and Samuel, a boy she first met while in middle school, together with a tightknit bond. In reflecting on their relationship on the day of their college graduation, Susie notes that Samuel “had pressed himself into her need, and the cement between the two of them had begun to set immediately. They had gone to Temple together, side by side. He had hated it and she had pushed him through” (234). When Lindsey was in an emotional state as a result of her si... ... middle of paper ... ...ain is to cheat with an officer who is supposed to help with Susie’s case. The professional relationship between officer and citizen changes into a toxic relationship based on lust and foolishness, as Abigail relies on an unknown man to release her emotions that either she could not control on her own or trust with her husband. To conclude, the despair felt from all characters in the novel have a significant role in ruining relationships. All in all, the emotions one feels from the death of a loved one can either make or break one’s relationships. Through various characters, the author further demonstrates the possible ways a person can react to adversity, and how their decisions and character influence their relationships. The ability to maintain relationships through adverse situations reveals the internal strength and determination in the person’s character.
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