Chapter Nine: The Lovely Bones Analysis

Another fusillade of ‘brief’ literary analysis…which will inevitably end up being a full-blown essay at the hands of my overly obsessive self.

Either way…

Chapter nine ~the analysis~

  1. “My parents were like sleepwalkers” pg 98~ non-desirable representation of parents, almost scary, gothic-like representation. Emphasises lack of conscience, as if a part of their strength and will died alongside Susie. Amplifies devastation. JUXTAPOSITION: sleep is associated with peace, which parents are clearly not experiencing.
  2. “A miscalculated circling, a sad, partnerless dance” pg 99 ~ (describing Lynn’s attempts to understand her daughter)~ pessimistic view of life- if a mother cannot understand their own child after so many years, what hope is there for anyone else. Isolated view of life, as if a man is confined by human nature, we are all fundamentally ‘sad’ and ‘partnerless’. METAPHOR for life? JUXTAPOSITION between connotations of dance and defined sadness and isolation. Complex sentence structure links to indication of the complexity of life- the need for ‘calculation’ and the fact more often than not it is ‘miscalculated’
  3. “She was, in all her obnoxious finery, dragging the light back in” pg 100 ~ (regarding the fact it is surprising and unforeseen that Lynn, as mad as she is portrayed, could bring good to such a dismal situation) ~ very interesting on a literal level ~ “light” = abstract noun (a noun that isn’t tangible), yet the metaphor “dragging” with regards to the light makes it sound deliberately tangible. Hence to read the clause sounds as absurd and ridiculous as the subject of the sentence- the idea of dragging light is just as strange as Lynn bringing it in.
  4. “The makeup brought out the blue of her eyes” (Linsdey)~ evokes a sense of similarity to her mother’s ‘ocean eyes’  103~ sense of foreboding, as if she is to become as personally lost and engulfed in a life she doesn’t want as her mother is now.
  5. “Like gems imported from some far-off place where the colours were richer than the colours in our house had ever been.” 103  (describing Lindsey’s new make-up facial features)~ complexity of sentence along with the linguistic choices make the clause sound almost poetic- links to sense of tranquillity and harmony within the mind of Lindsey as she inspects herself in the mirror. Lindsey’s self appreciation juxtaposes her previous lack of self-opinion. Wouldn’t previously even look in the mirror.
  6. “I wanted to snake up my father’s back, circle in his neck, whisper in his ear” 109 ~ use of snake is significant- connotes threat and danger, yet it is assumable Susie is implying an act of comfort. Perhaps this is how the Salmons view the world around them: kindness and contact is threatening, it is dangerous and scary since this type of contact grows less common as the family detonates. “But I was already there in his every pore and crevice” ~gothic tone.


(Chapter 8 I omitted from the analysis since it is such a short chapter. Following chapters to come.)

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