What are some social issues presented in The Lovely Bones? Is grief an example of a social issue? If yes, how so?

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jessarm6 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Great question! There are a number of social issues in just about every book out there. Some social issues include bullying, obesity, divorce, moving, unemployment, death and yes, grief. A social issue is essentially anything that negatively affects a person's life. 

In The Lovely Bones all of the members of Susie's family, including Susie herself experience grief. Susie feels grief over her death as well as Mr. Harvey's freedom. Susie's father also experiences grief in many parts of the book including when he smashes all of the ships in the bottles. His sadness is so great that he destroyed the objects that reminded him of his daughter, but then he feels grief after he has ruined them. Susies father also "had not been outside the house except to drive back and forth to work or sit out in the backyard, for months, not had he seen his neighbors." (P. 209) He is so distraught over the death of his daughter he is unable to carry on socially  

Lindsey, Susie's sister, also experiences grief but does so more quietly than her father. Susie "avoided mirrors. She now took showers in the dark...She would be safe in the dark." (P.59) Susie not only feels grief over the loss of her sister and the loss of her family, but also over the loss of her freedom. Susie's death has greatly impacted the way her parents will treat Lindsey. 

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The Lovely Bones

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