Chapter Seven: The Lovely Bones Analysis

This book forms part of my studies for (surprise surprise:) English…hence since I seem to be rebelling again the idea of a theme within this blog, I thought I’d add a bit of analysis within it. Why not. *refrains from using abbreviated hashtags*.

 


 

Side note of significance: The recurring theme of rabbits…in terms of symbolism, it generally goes as follows-

Symbolic rabbit meanings deal primarily with abundance, comfort, and vulnerability. Traditionally, rabbits are associated with fertility, sentiment, desire, and procreation. Rabbit meanings are also closely linked to the seasons, the changes of Mother Earth, and specifically Springtime.

In the previous chapter the rabbits become apparent for the second time- they sought out the gloves of Susie’s left by Lindsey. They “investigated” them. This could be Sebold juxtaposing two things: Susie (symbolised by the gloves), and the rabbits. The rabbits (as noted above) are representative of comfort, fertility, desire, procreation- all of the thing Susie can never have and will never be. Thus perhaps the rabbits represent all that Susie can never have, or they may highlight how far from them she is, in both body and spirit. On a literal level, she if far away. And spiritually, she is too, since she is a ghost and they are living- in two different worlds.


Alright…now onwards with chapter seven: things to point out-

  1. “Like everyone else I was trying to protect him (Buckley)”- he is trapped in his youth and is isolated by the lack of knowledge this brings him. The good of others is isolating him. pg 91
  2. “graphic prints meant to stimulate children” – indication into the lack of parenting- pictures replace the attention parents were supposed to give. pg 92
  3. “Lindsey would tell the night that she had to move on”pg 92 – ironic since this was exactly her coping strategy when she lost Susie. As if she had already grieved/ developed a method before even knowing what would happen. Foreboding? (Since Susie acted as the dead knight…and she was the one who actually died.)
  4. “there was a hole…. inside things I didn’t want anyone else to see” pg 93- here develops the recurring motif of a hole, especially for the purpose of hiding things (in Susie’s case it was her personal objects, in Harvey’s, is was his desire (to kill)). It could be giving a false sense of hope: Susie’s hole beneath her bed was where she kept things she wanted no one to see, yet they were found. Is this Sebold suggesting that what was inside Harvey’s hole beneath the ground will too be discovered?
  5. there is the “stained and bloody twig” that almost killed Buckley. It is ironic that something so insignificant and small (not even a branch or a stick, it is a ‘twig’) could (on the juxtaposing side) cause so much damage. Reader can almost imagine the twig in Buckley’s throat- horrific imagery. pg 93
  6. “Painting toenails” “glitter” “seventeen”- lexical field of youth and glamour- juxtaposes the blood and gory nature of what it so come for Buckley. Also juxtaposes the lack of elegance in Susie’s death. pg 93
  7. “A breeze came up, blowing the fringe on my cutoffs against my thighs”- pathetic fallacy- using the weather to express a calm, tranquil mood. Almost synaesthesia- as if the breeze was audible and the fringe tickling her legs was a sense of touch. pg 94
  8. “Swung” “ran” “slid down the banister” “jumped…the fence”- semantic field of heroism. Scene of saviour.
  9. “Buckley was choking. His body bucking”…strange coincidence that his near death experience sounds similar to the name his parents gave him? Hint at the fate of live? pg 94
  10. When Lynn suggests Susie will have a long life, Susie notes “as usual…was wrong”. As if Susie should of known then that she was not to live a full life. As if when Lynn said something it was always wrong, hence she should have expected to die. Suggestion of a series of clues leading up to her death. Fate? pg 94
  11. “Wow, Nate said…marvelling at how over time red blood turned black” – mimics the scene with Harvey holding the knife he used to kill Susie. Foreboding? pg 94
  12. “Crows were lined up, their beaks holding crooked twigs”. Take note of the symbolism of crows: they’re cunning, symbolise death, war, sign of change (e.g. new beginning / impending death. Could it be relevant there is the mention of a “widow” a few lines prior, and a few chapters on Susie’s grandfather joins her in heaven, presumably leaving someone a “widow” on earth? Hence the impending death may seem insignificant to the reader, but when analysed it could be a clue.

 

 

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