Chapter Seventeen: The Lovely Bones Analysis

….and even more only-analysed quotations and idea’s from The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold.



~The Analysis (17)~

  • “She imagined trees split down the middle and houses on fire” 234- emphasises that, despite the description of Lindsey’s growth at the beginning of the chapter, she was still young, and has the youthful over-active imagination
  • “Old Victorian house”- brings the recurring symbol of houses and buildings- representing protection, a belonging, a future.
  • “more and more of these undeveloped patches were disappearing…that marked my childhood”- life is progressing without Susie- the world is moving on,  her childhood is disappearing only to remain in the minds of those who love her.
  • “We lived in one of the first developments”- sense of roots to that spot, they will forevermore be bound to that area, as if an anchor holds the family to its foundations- where it originated.
  • “I feel like I am in a cave” “It is so quiet in here you can barely hear the rain” – feels as if they were hidden from the other world- perhaps symbolises her desire to be rid of it- childish dream to live away from the world with her ‘one true love’. Hence perhaps she is fantasising, letting her imagination take her to a place that is fitting  with the environment.
  • 236 “It was not longer a Susie-fest on earth”- represents the passing of time, immaturity and youth of Susie- again, childlike self-consideration
  • “…unzip their leathers the lightning stopped and the rumble in the throat of God- that scary thunder- also stopped.” – link to Christianity with reference to God- thunder being described as something from the ‘throat of God’- links to idea of fantasy within the scene
  • 238 “my brother was at the most awkward stage of adolescence- not boy, not man” – sense of lack of identity, of need. Significant that Susie got to watch this- since she herself is neither lady nor girl, she is around the same age, she is neither girl nor woman, but just dead.
  • “Staring at photos of a woman he felt he barely knew anymore” 239 – “A woman” indefinite article shows how he feels he has lost knowledge of her- saddening to think of how the death of one thing had lead to the death of another- Susie’s death lead to the death of their relationship.
  • “Part of what I loved about photography was the power it gave to me over the people on the other side of the camera” 240 – shows how Susie craved authority, she craved power, she craved growing up.
  • “Diving under and up into a mask somehow” “The mask was almost, but not quite, in place”- shows Abigail was trapped by the front she had to put on for her family and her children.
  • “Both of our eyes were open underwater, a new skill- newer for her” 242- rendition from childhood, sense of growing, remembering when Susie was able to experience new things with her Sister in the real world- as if this bit of living aided her sister who was able to run with Samuel using the “skill from the pool”.
  • “Like someone who had survived a gun shot, the wound had been closing, closing- braiding into a scar for eight long years” – “gun shot” emphasises the physical torture- as if the emotion had swelled to such a state it become physically painful- as if it could actually threaten her life. “Scar” shows she will always be affected- always have a mark in her mind of her sister, no matter how vast the time span became. 242
  • 244 “Lindsey and Buckley had come to live their lives in direct proportion to what effect it would have on a fragile father”- almost role reversal- one would expect the father to be making amendments for the children having lost a sibling, the man being the strong one, but it seems the children have taken his place. Note the fricative “fragile father”.
  • “It was Buckley…who saw me” 245- still had a connection to the dead
  • “my face…which had not changed- the hair still parted down the middle…hips undeveloped”- emphasises how Susie is stationary beside the fast paced progression of the world
  • “I could hear the voices of those who no longer lived on earth” 246- as if many were like Susie-Obsessed with keeping a hold on the living but never quite being able to hold them- always having someone to watch even if they had misinterpreted their own significance. Idea of longing, having someone on  earth with which to belong to- an anchor.
  • “the sound of life”- as if, since she is no longer living- it is only her senses through which she can live- through witnessing the progression of her family, hearing the ‘sound of life’
  • “Recognising the tension of that moment when the world in the bottle depended, solely, on me”- hint that Susie is understanding the benefits of letting go of her grip on earth. She is beginning to evoke a sense of maturity again, as if, she can grow in mind if not in body. She is becoming less selfish- she understands the living must be left to leave their grief and move on.


 

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