Yes, more again. Sorry. Analysis of Sebold’s The Lovely Bones…continuation from previous analytical blogs: see previous here.
~The Analysis (22)~
- 300 “Unwatched, unloved, unbidden”- almost given as the definition of Harvey. Pitiful impression of the man who killed Susie- reader feels almost guilty for sympathising with him.
- “I was in Ruth’s eyes…I was looking…I could feel…I felt”- shows Susie’s childlike excitement at being given life one last time. Her marvelling at the sense shows what she doesn’t have in heaven, and what she can’t do. She is living in heaven (in a form) but isn’t really alive- she can’t live through her senses as they can on earth.
- “I smiled at him one-thousand-watted”- shows the energy she is able to radiate on earth- the power she feels.
- “…people were throwing rose petals as they saw Ruth Connors”- Symbolism of rose:
- “Sometimes cats fall ten flights out of the windows of high rises…”- as if falling from heaven was like a cat falling from a window- vulnerable, able, alive.
- 305 “I could have left this place to claim another. I could have gone anywhere I wanted to”- saddening prospect- the little girl reminiscing over all misses opportunities like an adult that has never grown up. Similar to the way adults point out the things they never did in their lives when thinking about the past, which make it sadder that Susie never got to miss them, she just didn’t have the choice.
- 306 “Even at the hottest I could make it, I still felt cold”- indication that she is still not fully with Ray, she is still partially dead.
- “I cupped his elbow in my palm”- significant that the first body part Susie touched was Ray’s elbow- the one part of her that gave an indication of her fate.
- “…bonfire in the classroom…yelling in the halls as loud as I want”- shows what freedom means to a child like Susie- again references her limited experience
- “The dark bright pity of being human” 309- oxymoronic – as if being alive isn’t always better than being dead- it is just as dark as bright.
- 310 “Look what happens when you dream”- change of tone. Seems direct. As if Sebold is making a statement (declarative) directly to readers.
- “That was how it felt to leave earth the second time”- this time Susie’s death of dignified, peaceful, as if she is receiving some type of justice.
Another fusillade of ‘brief’ literary analysis…which will inevitably end up being a full-blown essay at the hands of my overly obsessive self.
Chapter nine ~the analysis~
- “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.
- “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’
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.)