Grief And Grief In Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones

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The grief over Susie’s tragic death takes a massive toll on the Salmon family and tears them apart. It brings out underlying issues between them and causes them to avoid each other in fear of breaking down. In Jack and Abigail’s case, it also destroys their relationship. The grief and guilt that results from Susie’s death infects her whole family. Analyse the theme of grief and how it impacts on at least 4 of the major characters. Discuss with reference to the 5 stages of grief. In Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, there is a major theme of grief, which has a big impact on Susie and her family. Susie, her parents, Jack and Abigail, and her sister Lindsey, all go through the five stages of grief; shock and denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The heartbreak from Susie’s tragic murder takes a massive toll on the Salmon family and tears them apart. It brings out underlying issue between them and causes them to avoid each other in fear of breaking down. In Jack and Abigail’s case it also puts a huge strain on their relationship. 1. Shock and Denial The reality of Susie’s death hasn’t yet registered in the character’s minds. When Susie first goes missing, her family refuses to believe that she is dead. ‘‘Nothing is ever certain,’ my mother said, clinging to it as he had hoped she might.’ (Sebold, pg. 21)…show more content…
Susie must accept that she is dead and that she is no longer part of the human world; she too is grieving the loss of her life. Susie’s grief parallels the grief of her family as they try to continue with their lives after her murder. Franny’s advice foreshadows Susie’s future in heaven, when she will no longer watch the living. However, Susie is not yet ready to do this, and the idea of leaving her family scares her because she does not know where she will go if she leaves them. She is still maturing towards a point where she can accept her death and let her family build a new life without

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