The Lovely Bones Themes

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Overcoming Loss

Overcoming loss is a two-way street. Susie Salmon cannot overcome her own loss. She follows her family and Ray around for years. She remains in her heaven, a way station to where she believes others are waiting for her. First, however, she has to let go of her family.

Jack cannot let go of Susie. This has a terrible effect on his health, he is beaten for mistaking Clarissa for Susie, and eventually he has a heart attack. Jack's son Buckley does move on, and Buckley does not understand why his father cannot.

Abigail's way of overcoming the loss of her daughter is to have an affair with the detective on Susie's case. Abigail feels nothing and desperately wants to feel alive again. Buckley overcomes Susie's loss and sees her everywhere. Jack and Abigail have the same experience but do not admit it for years.

The Closeness of Suburbia

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This section contains 1,600 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Lovely Bones Study Guide
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