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Susie Salmon, Lovely bones Character Analysis
Transcript of Susie Salmon, Lovely bones Character Analysis
Like the fish! Character Presentation Presented as a trusting, polite yet curious teen
Sebold had set foundations for tragedy, her
lexical choices show her age, examples being her
colloquialisms of "Neato" "Spunk" and her exclamation
of "K-I-S-S-I-N-G" the latter appearing in her
afterlife speech often showing that she doesn't
fully grow up.
Susie is also shown to be smart in her completion
of work early, her complex, yet misunderstood
allusions and her complex metaphors
and similes. Change in presentation Susie is a growing child trapped in her dead body,
her body cannot grow but her character grows more mature. -Bildungsroman
First we see a sudden change in lexical choice with her realization of death, from colloquialism to "I felt like a sea in which he stood and pissed and shat".
Susie also begins to show more prepared speech
in death, her language becomes more
complex riddled with emotion. Change in presentation Susie also changes from being hell-bent on revenge against George Harvie to a more mature approach of forgiving him and moving on to wanting him caught or dead for the less selfish reason of protecting his future victims.
Her sexuality also develops over time with
the drive of a 14 year old girl,
loneliness of a penguin in a snowglobe
and lust for Ray as Desdemona
to Othello. Metaphors, personification and similes He brought back a knife.
Unsheathed, it smiled at me, curving up in a grin. Because horror on earth is real and it is every day. It is like a flower or like a sun; it cannot be contained not even a mother who had every nerve attuned to anticipate disaster, could have saved her
if the waves leapt up, if life went on as usual and freak accidents peppered a calm shore he wore his own innocence like a comfortable old coat Themes Susie Represents These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections — sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent — that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events my death brought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous lifeless body had been my life. Life after death Loneliness Hope Grief Good V. Evil Susie lives on in a number of ways: Through Jack's memories of her, objectified within the boats in the glass bottles. Through breaking the glass bottles he releases her from being trapped within his memories of her. Loneliness appears with all characters but none more so than Susie Susie is simply trapped in a perfect world, she desires her family which presents itself within Francine and Holly, her connection remains with her family through observing them for eight long years. Not all doom and gloom Susie demonstrates two forms of grief Susie grieves for the loss of her life, to embellish innocence in character Sebolt has put rhetorical questioning from Susie, "Why me?".
Susie's grief for the loss of her life also encompasses the loss of her family, expressing itself with her assortment of dogs, Francine and Holly. Although we can see the obvious conflict between Susie and George, we shouldn't forget the fact George was also a victim of an environment that had caused him to become such a monstrous antagonist to the book. Character Speech Susie's audience throughout the book is the reader, directly at times, but often just implied with the reader being her audience. "People grow up by living" I said to franny.
"I want to live" "That's out," She said. "Can we at least watch the living?" "You already do," She said "I think she means whole lives," I said "From beginning to end, to see how they did it. To know the secrets. Then we can pretend better." Susie retains her register, staying formal and polite at all times, talking to Mr. Harvey or Francine are good examples of this, her use
of personal formal names such as
Mr. Harvey emphasize this. "This little girl's grown up by now," She said.
I wish you all a long and happy life. Susie is shown to being the penguin as talked about in the prologue of Lovely Bones, trapped in a perfect world, Jack turning the snow globe upside down as Susie disappears, slowly she reemerges. Inside the snow glove on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf.
When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow glove. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told m father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world." Susie's room serves as a constant reminder to the family of Susie, even after Grandma Lynn moves into the room the family still see it as a place to mourn Susie, this being a place to mourn for her life, rather than her death, a place where memories are remembered, the cornfield serving as a place to mourn her death and memories forgotten. The charm bracelet serves to show remnants of Susie still on earth, as her only physical bond remaining, the desire of the reader to have the bracelet found only matched by the family wanting Susie back.
The abandonment of the bracelet symbolizing his detachment of Susie from him as she has forgiven him. The finding of the charm bracelet at the end of the book shows that even time will not make the family forget Susie, and in some way she will always be
with them. x0x0x0x0x0x0x0xx0 Through Lindsey Susie lives what she believes would have been her life, as such Lindsey becomes a vessel for Susie's memory despite fighting for her own identity in any way she can, by changing her face, body and mind undergoing many changes yet still being the sister of the dead girl However Susie, along side all characters bar Mr. Harvey, find a way away from solitude, after being cheated out of life she eventually finds others like her, killed by Georgie. Lonely, I thought, on earth as it is in heaven. Susie grieves for the loss she brought to her family, the changing of their lives, often for worse, she blames herself for the breakup of her parents and the abandonment of Buckley in the eyes of his family.
Her narrative shows grief of this kind with ownership, "My killer" "My father" her problem. Susie also blames herself, not her death, for the breakdown of Abigail's life, we see this as she alludes to the past to show the dreams of her mother falling apart as she finds out she's pregnant, each pregnancy a drain on any hopes she retained from her last child. Susie also represents hope, although this embodiment hope slowly subsides as realization seeps in to the family.
This can be recognized with the link between the porch light and the candle, when Jack realizes that he won't find his daughter despite nothing ever being certain. With this in mind he sets out to find Harvy-dear in the cornfield to put his fatherly suspicion to rest with the death Harvy-kun, as he sets out he diminishes the candle and turns off the porch light. l Five stages of grief
The reality of death hasn't hit home, it hasn't yet been accepted. You feel stunned and bewildered, everything seems unreal. Shock and denial Anger You lash out at family, friends, the doctor, or the world in general. Expect to experience feelings of guilt or fear during this stage. Bargaining You lash out at family, friends, the doctor, or the world in general. Expect to experience feelings of guilt or fear during this stage Depression Depression occurs as a reaction to the changed way of life created by your loss. You feel intensely sad, hopeless, drained and helpless. You miss, and constantly think, about your loved one. Acceptance Acceptance comes when the changes resulting from your loss are stabilized into a new lifestyle. Also swag “She had a stare that stretched to infinity. She was, in that moment, not my mother but something separate from me.” I loved Ruth on those mornings . . . we were born to keep each other company. Odd girls who had found each other in the strangest way - in the shiver she had felt when I passed.” “Had my brother really seen me somehow, or he was he merely a little boy telling beautiful lies?” “At fourteen, my sister sailed away from me into a place I’d never been. In the walls of my sex there was horror and blood, in the walls of hers there were windows.” This shows why Susie can't leave earth, she has lived a life unfulfilled, this only changes when she and Ray... “How to commit the perfect murder was an old game in heaven. I always chose the icicle: the weapon melts away.” This shows Susie's compassion, she would choose a weapon that didn't hurt anyone “Murder had a blood red door on the other side of which was everything unimaginable to everyone.” Symbolism of the red door is used a few times in the book, representing the brutality in a normal environment, here it amplifies grief as no-one wants to cross their door or attempt to absolve the family of misery, because they can never truly understand their pain. Page 206 “Sometimes you cry, Susie, even when someone you love has been gone a long time.” Page 261 Susie's grandfather conveys Susie's thoughts, that even in heaven, there are painful memories. “Stones and bones; snow and frost; seeds and beans and polliwogs. Paths and twigs, assorted kisses, We all know who Susie misses . . .” Susie recites this poem overlooking her father who at this point is the only one yet to let go of her, knowing that she will soon be free to leave purgatory when her father lets go. Page 278 “Last night it had been my father who had finally said it, ‘She’s never coming home.’ A clear and easy piece of truth that everyone who had ever known me had accepted. But he needed to say it, and she needed to hear him say it.” With acceptance, Jack can finally admit Susie is dead, yolo. Susie's interests The novel is classed as a "Bildungsroman" due to the fact it focus' on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist, Susie. Susie uses a first person narrative through most of the novel novel in a past tense. Physical description
Susie believes in capturing the beauty in life through photography. She fills roll after roll of film. She is fascinated with how life can be captured, a single moment caught before it's gone. Photography Ray Susie is very much in love with Ray. He is her one and only love interest. While she was living, she often dreamed about what kissing him would be like. Susie and her father, Jack, craft these ships in bottles in Jack’s study. It is, in a sense, the strongest bond between them. Ships in bottles Susie is presented as: I can't help thinking of my mother... I wanted to kiss her lightly on the cheek or have her hold me, but instead I watched walk off in front of me, saw her blue dress trail away. A loving character A caring character I worried that my sister, left alone, would do something rash. She say in her room on the old couch my parents had given up on and worked on hardening herself. There was a mirror on a shelf, and a razor, and shaving cream. I thought that was odd... But I guess I figured out that a man who had a perfectly built split-level and then built an underground room only half a mile away had to be kind of loo-loo.
My father had a nice way of describing people like him; the man's a character, that's all. (an unaware character) An incognizant Character I was in the blue horizon between heaven and earth. The days were unchanging and every and every night, I dream the same dream. The smell of damp earth. The scream no one heard. The sound of my heart beating like a hammer against cloth and I would hear them calling, the voices of the dead. I wanted to follow them to find a way out but I would always come back to the same door. And I was afraid. I knew if I went in there I would never come out. I wasn't lost, or frozen, or gone... I was alive; I was alive in my own perfect world. There was one thing my murderer didn't understand; he didn't understand how much a father could love his child. Grandma Lynn predicted I would live a long life because I had saved my brother. As usual, Grandma Lynn was wrong. A character who wants to be different "'If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.'... It expressed my contempt for my structured surroundings a la classroom and... I thought it marked me as literary." Use of rhetorical question Susie very rarely makes use of dynamic verbs.
"Evidence was mounting" The allusion of Othello is seen in the way Ray calls himself Susie's Moore, and in the poem Ray recites for Susie If I had but an hour of love, If that be all that is given me, An hour of love upon this earth I would give my love to thee. Her smile is described by jack like "Stars Exploding" In newspaper photos of missing girls from the seventies, most looked like me: white girls with mousy brown hair. This was before kids of all races and genders started appearing on milk cartons or in the daily mail. The main conflict isn't between George and Susie, but between the family and their grief, to overcome this they have to overcome the memory of Susie, this conflict is settled differently by each character. Susie tends to use standard English however... Susie makes use of `Elision` and "contractions" ,examples being
"She wasn't even startled"
It would be some time before I realized what you've undoubtedly already assumed, that I wasn't the first girl he'd killed." Page 326 Page 50 Page 25 K-I-S-S-I-N-G Page 200 (And others) Susie doesn't make use of phatic utterances. Our kiss was like an accident- a beautiful gasoline rainbow. Page 26 This time it's personal