Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
ESSAY TOPICS / BOOK REPORT IDEAS
1. Analyze the character of Susie Salmon by explaining how she must learn to let go of Earth before she can find her wide, wide Heaven. use examples from the story to explain this idea.
2. How does Jack Salmon remain devoted and loving to both Susie and Abigail?
3. Analyze the theme of grief and how it impacts on all the major characters.
4. Analyze the character of Abigail, emphasizing her strengths and weaknesses.
5. Explain with examples and details from the story how Susies Heaven differs from Heaven as we have always imagined it.
6. Explain the symbolism behind the title of this novel.
7. What is Susies greatest desire now that she is dead? Why? How does heaven bless her in fulfilling her desire and what is the outcome?
8. The best known theme in any literature is the theme of good versus evil. Explain, using examples from the story, how it fits this novel.
9. One symbol that flows throughout the last few chapters of the book is that of ties, cords, and chains. Using examples from the novel, explain the significance of this symbol.
10. Discuss how the authors own background is reflected in this story. How is feminist viewpoint also reflected here?
COMMENT ON THE STUDY OF LITERATURE
The study of literature is not like the study of math or science, or even history. While those disciplines are based largely upon fact, the study of literature is based upon interpretation and analysis. There are no clear-cut answers in literature, outside of the factual information about an author's life and the basic information about setting and characterization in a piece of literature. The rest is a highly subjective reading of what an author has written; each person brings a different set of values and a different background to the reading. As a result, no two people see the piece of literature in exactly the same light, and few critics agree on everything about a book or an author.
In this study guide, we have tried to give an objective literary analysis based upon the information actually found in the novel, book, or play. In the end, however, it is an individual interpretation, but one that we feel can be readily supported by the information that is presented in the guide. In your course of literature study, you or your professor/teacher may come up with a different interpretation of the mood or the theme or the conflict. Your interpretation, if it can be logically supported with information contained within the piece of literature, is just as correct as ours. So is the interpretation of your teacher or professor.
Literature is simply not a black or white situation; instead, there are many gray areas that are open to varying analyses. Your task is to come up with your own analysis that you can logically defend. Hopefully, this study guide will help you to accomplish that goal.
Copyright ©2006 TheBestNotes.com.
Reprinted with permission of TheBestNotes.com. All Rights Reserved.
Distribution without the written consent of TheBestNotes.com is strictly prohibited.
Free Study Guide-The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold-Book Summary
Essay about The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
1264 Words6 Pages
Role Mother? Role model? Motherhood?
The death of a loved one can result in a trauma where the painful experience causes a psychological scar. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones explores the different ways in which people process grief when they lose a loved one. When young Susie Salmon is killed on her way home from school, the remaining four members of her family all deal differently with their grief. After Susie’s death, her mother, Abigail Salmon, endures the adversity of losing her daughter, her family collapsing, and accepting the loss of the life she never had the opportunity to live. Abigail uses Freud’s defence mechanisms to repress wounds, fears, her guilty desires, and to resolve conflicts, which results in her alienation and…show more content…
Abigail becomes comfortable with avoiding the death of her daughter, putting up a wall that her family cannot break through. As Abigail distances herself from her family and refuses to comfort them, this foreshadows to the reader her ability to walk away and leave her children later in the novel. Through her actions, it is made evident that the defence mechanism of avoidance and denial has a negative impact on Abigail and her family. Suppressing negative emotions and unresolved conflicts can eventually have an impact on different aspects of one’s life. Abigail has restrained her grief for so long, and as her husband’s pursuit to find Susie’s murderer tests her patience, she uses Freud’s displacement defence mechanism “as a means by which the impulse can be expressed-allowing a catharsis of the original emotion-but toward a safer target (GALE ENCYCLOPEDIA). Len Fenerman, the local detective, becomes Abigail’s doorway out of her pent up emotions. She indulges in an affair with him as he offers her security and an escape from reality. In heaven, Susie deliberates upon this action: My mother was moving physically through time to flee from me. I could not hold her back... I knew what was happening. Her rage, her loss, her despair. The whole life lost tumbling out in an arc