Sobbed cleverly developed the characters of the narrative by using literary devices such as iris person narration, flashbacks, imagery and tone in order to connect her audience with the characters and therefore sympathize with them. Sobbed uses first person narration, with the narrative being told from the perspective of Susie Salmon. This Is a technique used by Sobbed, as she has created Issue’s voice to be conversational rather than formal to create sympathy with her.
Susie retells the events that took place before and after her death, sharing with us her thoughts opinions and feelings to allow the reader to Identify with her and sympathies with her as the poor Innocent victim whose only wish Is to grow up. For example, when Susie tells the reader about each person having different versions of Heaven which give them their desires, she says “l could not have what I wanted most: Mr.. Harvey dead and me living. ” Susie is able to see everything by looking down from Heaven, therefore she has the knowledge of all that has taken place and in addition the ability to read into the minds of other characters.
For example, when Susie watches Ray Sings looking at her photo, she says “What did dead mean, Ray wondered. It meant lost, it meant frozen, it meant gone. ” This provides a greater perspective for the deader, and therefore an opportunity to identify the situation and sympathies with other characters also. Another literary technique Sobbed uses Is flashbacks, which Jump back In time from the current point in the story to past events that have taken place in Issue’s life to help develop characters. For example, when Mr.. Harvey kisses Susie, she flashes back to her first kiss with Ray Sings. Mr.. Harvey started to press his lips against mine. They were blubbery and wet and I wanted to scream but I was too afraid and too exhausted from the fight. Had been kissed once by someone I liked. His name was Ray and he was Indian. ” This flashback helps to develop Issue’s character. Similarly, this technique is used to develop Mr.. Harvey, who was taught to steal by his mother, abandoned by her, and raised by his tyrannical father. Although we do not sympathies with Mr.. Harvey, knowing this creates an understanding that he was once innocent, forcing the readers to see him as more human.
Flashbacks are also used to contrast changes In characters before and after Issue’s death. For example, Susie flashes back to the time she and her happy father Jack built ships In bottles before she died: way the strings he’d raised the mast with, and I would wait for him, recognizing the tension of that moment when the world in the bottle depended, solely, on me. ” However, this is contrasted with the broken man he becomes because he feels he failed his daughter. Susie watches him waking up in the morning and tells: “The guilt on him, the hand of god pressing down on him saying, you were not there when your daughter needed you. Sobbed also uses imagery and tone as tools to further develop sympathy for the characters. The tone Sobbed uses is very blunt, direct and void of feeling, which implements her cold, chilling descriptions, evoking a strong emotional reaction from her readers. For example, after Susie is murdered, she retells: “He had put me in a waxy cloth sack and thrown in the shaving cream and razor from the mud ledge, his book of sonnets, and finally the bloody knife, tumbled together with my knees, fingers and toes. ” This creates the visualization of Mr..
Harvey carving up her body and tossing it about carelessly, which combined with the unsentimental tones creates a very sympathetic response from the reader. These various sensory images are also seed by Sobbed as a method of developing characters. For example, when Susie reflects on her heartbeat against Mr.. Harvey’s during the rape, she says: “Mine skipped like a rabbit, and his thudded like a hammer against cloth,” contrasting Issue’s gentle nature to Mr.. Harvey’s violent one, creating sympathy for Susie. Another literary technique used to create sympathy with the characters of ‘The Lovely Bones’ is irony. For example, when Mr..
Harvey brings Mrs.. Flanagan the safe holding the dead body of Susie, which is to be disposed of, Mrs.. Flanagan says: “What do you eave in here? A dead body? ” The reader knows that there is in fact a dead body inside, although Mrs.. Flanagan does not. This ensures the reader does not sympathize with Mr.. Harvey, as he is able to blatantly lie, and enables the reader to feel sympathy for Susie. Susie was always afraid as a little girl that the sinkhole would swallow her, and then ironically it really did when Mr.. Harvey buried her there in the Iron safe. This creates sympathy for Susie because it was her childhood fear.
Irony is also used to sympathize with Issue’s father Jack, who ironically goes into the lied to kill the person he believes is Mr.. Harvey, but is attacked himself. We also feel sympathy for Jack when he ironically comes to the same realization Susie did when they saw the photograph of Abigail, that she was unhappy in her marriage with him. Seabed’s literary techniques helped to develop sympathy for her characters, solidifying the interest of her readers. The first-person narration, flashbacks, imagery, tone and irony techniques brought the narrative to life and I could easily identify and sympathize with Susie. Word Count: 1002