Essay

Lovely Bones Vs Lucky

Shadow of Compassion

Alice Sebold writes two compelling novels; Lucky, a memoir revealing her own rape. Then Lovely Bones, a fictional story based on the rape and dismemberment of Susie Salmon, a fourteen year old girl. In both, Sebold reveals the emotional roller coaster ride the families embark on as a result of the traumatic experience. Sebold and Susie both express a constant desire to reach out to their family, particularly their fathers; in hopes to comfort or alleviate the permanent burden that's been inflicted upon them.

The difference between Susie and Sebold are obvious, one is living and the other is dead. Despite the generalization, Sebold shares a commonality with Susie on a different level. Even though Sebold is alive, she feels as if a part of her died that day in the tunnel; as if she was dismembered when her virginity was stolen from her. All dignity she possessed, scrapped from her in a single moment. In both novels, both girls struggle to overcome an up hill battle. Sebold is given an opportunity that Susie isn't; she has a chance to live. Eventually realizing that she must accept what happened to be able to come to terms with it. Both Sebold and Susie ultimately reach the same conclusion, "you save yourself, or you remain unsaved". Which Sebold directly states in her memoir.

Despite the parallel message in the two novels, there are noticeable character shadows found in Lucky that reflect characters in Lovely Bones. The way Sebold presents her own father in comparison to Susie's father displays obvious similarities along with distinct differences. Bud Sebold comes off as a narrow minded, arrogant individual who hides behind his work to avoid life's tribulations. Jack Salmon on the other hand, is conveyed as a sensitive, perceptive, strong man. Regardless of how detached Sebold presents Bud, he shares an essential trait with Jack, both fathers love and fear for their daughter.

Bud and Jack also share similar coping skills. They hide in their studies, aware that the world outside has changed. They both choose to spend time in a familiar place that hasn't altered.