Free Study Guide The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold|
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FREE LITERATURE GUIDE FOR THE LOVELY BONES
Susie feels faint in heaven as she watches this scene unfold. She imagines
in her heaven an old Victorian house with a widow’s walk. At first, she
thinks she sees a long row of women pointing her way. But then the women
turn into crows all holding twigs in their beaks. They take wing and follow
her as she returns to her bed. She wonders, “Had my brother really seen
me somehow, or was he merely a little boy telling beautiful lies?”
This is an especially poignant chapter of how Buckley matter-of-factly
details how he sees his dead sister, she kisses him, and she talks to
him. It is also poignant, because it shows Susie being able to rescue
her little brother, while reinforcing the irony that she had been unable
to rescue herself. She wants so much for Buckley to have seen her, because
she just can’t let any member of her family go.
For three months Mr. Harvey dreams of buildings: thatched roof dwellings in Yugoslavia, wooden stave churches in Norway, and the Church of the Transfiguration from the Vologda. He dreams about the Church of the Transfiguration on the night of Susie’s murder, but eventually other dreams come back: the ones of women and children.
Susie sees all the way back to Mr. Harvey in his mother’s arms watching
his father sorting colored pieces of glass. He especially is fascinated
by the piece of amber around his mother’s neck that holds a whole and
perfect fly. He looks at his father’s old sketchbooks when the bad dreams
come back until he begins to dream dreams of the last time he saw his
mother. His father had forced her from the car after their last fight
and Harvey had never seen her again.
This short chapter creates a disturbing picture of Susie’s murderer, George Harvey, who grew up in a terribly dysfunctional family where his father had forced his mother out of the car in the desert. The boy had never seen her again. He tries to make himself dream about buildings and how his father lectured him on building them to last. This keeps away the “not still” dreams of the women and children he murdered.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on The Lovely Bones".
. 09 May 2017