Chapter Fourteen: The Lovely Bones Analysis

Same again…more  drastically (over)analysed quotes from Sebold’s The Lovely Bones…

~The Analysis (14)~

  • “Inside the green house” 174- importance of the house not being referred to as ‘Mr Harvey’s house’ but instead the ‘green’ house- as if the colour was enough to evoke a knowledge of who occupied the house. Symbolism of green:
  • Evokes a sense of nature- calming, stress-relieving. Green stands for balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress. The Green Party in the US is inextricably tied to ecological and progressive causes, and a “greenback” is another term for our paper currency. In Japanese culture, green is associated with eternal life, and it is the sacred color of Islam, representing respect and the prophet Muhammad.

  • Juxtaposes the aspects of Harvey- perhaps represents what he desires to be in a person- represents the ‘shell’ he conceals himself within- the shell of innocence and ‘freshness’, his support for ‘rebirth’ after Susie’s death. Shows what other people see when they see Harvey unaware of his murderous ways- they see him as ‘refreshingly’ different’. A ‘new type of life’.
  • 175- talk of Harvey fashioning a wife out of aspects of the dead and his mother- deeply saddening that he has to make up a life out of the dead and disappeared- It is as if the only love and company he has and will ever know is either dead, disappeared, or made up. A few lined down Susie references his “imagined family”.
  • 175 “He listened to her tell him about her cats and her brother, who had three children, whom she loved, he pictured her sitting on the chair in his basement, dead.”- Harvey interacting with an “attractive heavy woman”- juxtaposition between the innocence of the cats and the children, to the evil nature of  Harvey’s desire- dead. The fact he found her attractive and yet wants her dead suggests that is the only way he can show affection or get the company he desires. People will only spend time with him personally when they are dead.
  • 177 “The clouds hung heavy in the sky all day” – pathetic fallacy- creates a gloomy tone mirroring the mood of suspense of worry for Lindsey. Almost as if the weather was trying to help Lindsey by creating a mask from the sun- hence to keep people from wanting to go outside and seeing Lindsey.
  • 180 “She felt encased in something, a fly trapped in a spider’s funeral web”- connotation of flies: insignificant, weak, symbolism: death…etc. As if she were the fly and Harvey the spider- presents Harvey as a predator
  • 182 “together the two of us walked the stairs”- signifies Susie’s resistance to accept her dead state- she associates herself with the living
  • “Then she went into what had been our bedroom in my house, and she found my killer’s” 182 – significant- unidentified link between Harvey and Susie
  • “I had died inside that hole” 183- emphasises the lack of glamour in her death- not a desirable way to die- depressing.
  • “He heard a board creak. He stiffened” – emphasises how he is only used to the presence of the dead- he is not used to the presence of the living. It makes him anxious, uncomfortable (“stiffened”)
  • “5! 5! 5!” – Symbolism of five:
  • The Bible numerology code number 5. The number 5 in the Bible is significant because his creation, the ‘man’ has five fingers, five senses and five toes. Thus it is the number of God’s grace. There are five great mysteries: Father, Son, Spirit, Creation and Redemption.

  • Much reference to Christianity in the book- strange considering Sebold herself is not religious.
  • “I have shopping to do,  a bird to cook. No one seems to realise that we have a family. we have a family, a family and a son, and I’m going”- strange reaction to potential partial solution to death of daughter- mention of monotony, chores 185
  • “But selfishly, the loss of her on earth to me”- emphasises Susie’s everlasting youth- she will never grow up like everyone else is.
  • “paper dissolved in my hand” 185 – breach of physical reality- links to fantasy theme
  • “she was small for her age, as she had been on earth, and she”…repetition of ‘she’ emphasises her lack of identity- she is just ‘another dead girl’ 186
  • “Because horror on earth is real and it is everyday. It is a flower or like the in”- interesting the juxtaposition between the positivity and life of the sun and flowers and ‘horror’. Element of power about horror, yet suggests it can be power for life. A strength.


 

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