In the novel, The Lovely Bones, what textual features does the author use to convey the concept of belonging to her audience?
By textual features, i mean anything, including language, mood, rhetorical questions, etc. It would be greatly appreciated if the textual features/techniques could relate to the concept of belonging (or not belonging). Thanks heaps!!
The narrative point of view in The Lovely Bones may be seen as a textual feature that revolves around the concept of belonging. Since Susie narrates the story after her death, the reader understands that Susie cannot let go of her family even though she is mortally separated from them. Similarly, Susie watches her family go through the ordeal of trying to catch her murderer and find her body, indicating the continual bond, and therefore belonging, that the family feels towards Susie. Thus, the narrative point of view creates a tie between Susie and her family; and through this tie, the sense of belonging is maintained.
Another textual feature of The Lovely Bones that can be argued to contribute to the discourse of "belonging" is the recurrent exploration of the way people find comfort and shelter in difficult times. While this motif does not always create a sense of belonging (but rather sometimes creates a sense of alienation), it can be seen as a discussion of the broader concept of how the characters belong to each other and to the "community" of the story.
For example, Mr. Salmon reaches out to his family for comfort and ends up being soothed by his daughter, Lindsey. This is an unusual source of comfort, as the reader would expect the father to comfort the daughter, but this demonstrates the way they "belong" to each other. Conversely, Mrs. Salmon primarily looks to objects and actions to comfort herself, such as counting china; she eschews her family and does not want to belong.