HOW THE CONCERN FOR OTHERS HEALS IN THE LOVELY BONES
Jessica Mossing December 15,2017
In the book The Lovely bones by Alice Sebold the main character, Susie Salmon has endured a tragic event. The book is about the 14-year-old girl getting sexually assaulted and disembodied by her pedophile neighbour, George Harvey. After Susie dies she enters ‘her’ heaven. In Susie’s heaven she gets to witness what is happening on earth without interacting with anything. Once Susie decides to let earth go she gets to be set free into wide heaven which is a fantasy-like experience compared to Susie’s heaven. During Susie’s experience in heaven she develops and becomes more emotionally mature and eventually becomes free and is able to go into wide heaven. The main aspect that allowed Susie to be set free was her concern shifting from herself to the concern of others.
The book uses point of view to show how Susie has progressed as a character and become more free. At the beginning of the novel Susie enters heaven where she can view what is happening on earth and its developments but Susie herself cannot develop. When in heaven one of the struggles Susie faces is not accepting her death. When Susie first enters heaven, she is overwhelmed with feelings but the first thing she needed to know was, what exactly happened to her and how did it happen. Susie does this in multiple ways, one of them being her examining what she had done and what she was wearing on the day of the incident to see if she had caused this to happen. Although this concern and curiosity is bound to happen it has a huge impact on Susie’s mental health. Susie’s concern for herself in the beginning of the novel caused her to get further invested in the murder itself and didn’t let her let go of the situation and be free.
Another situation that was happening in the novel was that Susie began to live through her sister, Lindsey. This situation is a representation of how at the beginning of the novel Susie started showing signals of jealousy of her 14-year-old sister due to Lindsey experiencing things that was robbed from Susie because of her murder, this can be shown in the quote; “At fourteen, my sister sailed away from me into a place I’d never been. In the walls of my sex there was horror and blood, in the walls of hers there were windows.” [footnoteRef:1] After seven years of watching Lindsey, Susie still lived through her sister but displayed feelings of proudness rather than jealousy and also realized that she cannot live through her sister any more.This helps her become freer, this can be shown through the quote; [1: Sebold, Alice, and Karen Thompson Walker. The lovely bones: a novel. (London: Picador, 2015. ), 125]
“At twenty-one Lindsey was many things I would never become, but I barely grieved this list anymore. Still, I roved where she...