Susie Harvey In The Lovely Bones

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Desmond Tutu once said that “Without memory, there is no healing. Without forgiveness, there is no future.” It is obvious that Tutu recognizes the nature of humans that craves validation; however, the validation is only possible once a person finds the courage he needs to stand up to his enemy and forgive him. The books we have read this year demonstrate both the success that comes from standing up to an enemy and the suffering that comes when one cannot find the courage to do so, preventing him from finding his future. In The Secret Life of Bees, Lily succeeds at looking the enemy in the eye when she finally forgives herself for accidentally killing her mother. However, in The Lovely Bones, it takes Susie Salmon a long time to look her enemies, …show more content…
Susie Salmon was fourteen when she was raped and murdered by her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. Following her death, Susie travels to Heaven where she watches her family and Mr. Harvey, hoping someone will be able to catch him before he hurts someone else. However, Susie reveals that Heaven is not perfect because she “could not have what [she] wanted most: Mr. Harvey dead and [her] living,” and so Susie decides she will devote all her time and energy in Heaven to trying to control the lives of her family and friends on Earth who cannot move on from losing her (Sebold 20). While in Heaven, Susie meets a former social-worker, Franny, who takes on the role of Susie’s therapist. Susie begins to wonder why, in this Heaven, she still has memories of her death and Mr. Harvey and asks Franny how she can switch to the Heaven where she feels only joy. Franny says to her “If you stop asking why you were killed instead of someone else, stop investigating the vacuum left by your loss, stop wondering what everyone on Earth is feeling, you can be free. Simply put, you have to give up on Earth,” (Sebold 120). However, this seems impossible to Susie. She cannot leave her family behind until they catch Mr. Harvey and he gets the punishment he deserves. Susie causes everyone she loves pain because she cannot forgive Mr. Harvey. She cannot stand up to her enemy: her death. This remains true until Susie returns to Earth in Ruth Connors body so she can finally be with Ray Singh, even if just for the night. After Susie leaves Earth for a second time, she realizes she needs to move on, because once she does, everyone she loves on Earth can, too. Susie looks at her family from Heaven and says “These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections that happened

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