The Lovely Bones Questions and Answers
by Alice Sebold

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What are two conflicts in The Lovely Bones and what are their resolutions?

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Kristian Dach eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One conflict is between Abigail and Jack. They each need to deal with Susie's death in a different way, and they do not understand each other's grieving processes. Jack faces his memories head-on, finds suspects, and talks about what he's feeling. Abigail needs to separate herself from the trauma, so she first has an affair, then runs away to California. She returns years later after Jack has a heart attack. They finally are able to talk to each other about how they feel and to grieve together.

Another conflict occurs between Mr. Harvey and Lindsey. It begins when Lindsey learns that Mr. Harvey has killed her sister. She breaks into his house and finds evidence of his crime. After this, Mr. Harvey obsesses over Lindsey and even stalks her, though he never has an opportunity to cause her harm. This conflict is resolved when Mr. Harvey dies from an icicle falling on him and knocking him down a ravine. This icicle scenario was proposed by a classmate of Lindsey's for a school project, and appears to have been caused by Susie (as a spirit).

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mrs-campbell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Two conflicts occur in the main character herself:  her inability to overcome her desire to live and experience key situations, to resolve herself to the fact that it's over; and, her frustration or anger towards the man that hurt her.

These conflicts drive the entire book; without them, much of the plot, or interest, would be lost.  It is in overcoming these conflicts that the main character finally is able to move on to whatever is next, and she is able to help many other characters find resolution to their own conflicts.

I hope this helps!  Good luck!

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