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I was slipping away, that’s what it felt like, life was leaving me, but I wasn’t afraid; then I remembered: “There was something I was meant to do; somewhere I was meant to be.” … I was in the blue horizon between heaven and earth. The days were unchanging and every night I dream the same dream. The smell of damp earth. The scream no one heard. The sound of my heart beating like a hammer against cloth and I would hear them calling, the voices of the dead. I wanted to follow them to find a way out but I would always come back to the same door. And I was afraid. I knew if I went in there I would never come out. When my mother came to my room, I realized that all this time, I had been waiting for her. I had been waiting so long, I was afraid she wouldn’t come. … Nobody notices when we leave. I mean, the moment when we really choose to go. At best you might feel, a whisper or the wave of a whisper, undulating down. My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name: Susie. I was 14 years old, when I was murdered on December 6th 1973. I was here for a moment, and then I was gone. I wish you all, a long, and happy life.
~ Susie Salmon
2009 the lovely bones 042

Susie Salmon is a rape and murder victim and the main protagonist of the book and film The Lovely Bones. Though she doesn’t meet outstanding achievements or noble qualities, she symbolizes courage in and many other heroic qualities. She's only fourteen when she's beaten, raped, and murdered by her neighbor, Mr. Harvey. Susie tells us her story from the afterworld in her own heaven.

“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” The first sentence in the book basically lays out the whole story itself, but what we don’t get from it is the realization of Susie’s heroic actions. If Susie were a nonfictional victim, we would never talk about her as a hero. But being in a book, we have no choice but to see her as so. Growing up, Susie was very curious about  design, structure, and building, making her an easy prey for Mr. Harvey. “I was no longer cold or weirded out by the look he had given me. It was like I was in science class: I was curious."  Curiosity alone couldn’t get her to follow Harvey into that hole. Innocence, trust, respect for authority, and her sense of  politeness were also involved in this fatal act. Susie was acting within the rules, norms, and expectations of her culture. Her dad labeled Harvey as a “character.” Susie’s parents and herself had no idea that people like him even existed. Especially in their own neighborhood. So, Susie had nothing but intuition not to trust this man, but her innocence and respectful attitude unknowingly lead her to her own death.


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