Analyze how the writer uses a character for a symbolic purpose in an extended written text you have studied. Most of the character’s in Alice Seabed’s The Lovely Bones, are strongly characterized and bring qualities that we, as readers, can relate to and understand, helping us to empathic with the family and Susie. There is one character however, that of George Harvey, Issue’s rapist and muddier, who is purposefully characterized in a way that most members of society could not begin to understand.
Cruel, calculating cold and cunning, Mr. Harvey is the very symbol of evil in The Lovely Bones and helps to show the audience how eel and present evil is. This itself, is a confronting and distressing thought, that there is people in society such as him, that may be hidden right next door. But Seabed, a past rape victim herself, uses Mr. Harvey as a symbol Of evil in this way to create awareness in her readers.
Even though Mr. Harvey’s actions put him worlds away from most of us in terms of being a relatable character, we do get snapshots of his childhood and background throughout the novel.
Through these snapshots of his childhood we learn how Mr. Harvey was influenced by his mother, who also to a thrill out of doing something considered wrong in society, shoplifting. “At first no one stopped them, and it was something his mother enjoyed so much. ” Shoplifting is clearly wrong, and the impression that you get is that at times his mother would engage in this with a young George Harvey just for the thrill of it, and as an afternoon activity to get away from her husband. She uses the illegal act as a form of escapism, and this could be a catalyst for the motivation behind Mr. Harpers murders.
The young George Harvey had learnt from his mother from an early age that it is k to not act inside the laws of society, and seeing as she was his mother, he never questioned this. “And she began handing his the stolen items to hide on his body, and he did it because she wanted him to. ” think that looking into Mr. Harpers childhood we see how he never had a supportive network around him of multiple adults, instead he was a member of a small, dysfunctional family that eventually fell apart. Although never given details, it IS made obvious that is father is an abusive person.
This lack of support from a young age meant that he grew up not having been exposed to balanced aspects of society apart from his family, o had quite a deluded view of the world. This could explain why he turned into such an antisocial being, who did not fit in, and didn’t even try to. It is hard to understand though, how this turned into an unhealthy fascination and obsession, however we get the idea that he learnt in his childhood to look past something and became desensitizing to things that would deeply affect most people. You have to be able to kick past the dead. ” His mother said. “Sometimes there are good trinkets to take away from them. ” Stealing trinkets from memorials for the dead is definitely something that most people would consider morally wrong, but it helps us to begin to understand what might have created the motives and nature of the almost stereotypically evil, Mr. Harvey. One of the ways that Seabed particularly symbolizes evil in Mr. Harvey, is using contrast, and showing how he seemed like such a normal person from the outside, but really, this was how he hid his acts.
Most of the neighborhood perceived Mr. Harvey as nothing special, perhaps a bit anti social, but nothing out of the ordinary for an older man with no family. Susie recounts this, when she is reflecting on her murder from heaven, emphasizing how evil is not always obvious in a person. “My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. ” I think this point is something that deeply affects a reader, as it makes you so much more aware that people such as Mr. Harvey could be anywhere, the facade just another part of the plan.
Mr. Harvey certainly had a plan, and this was a part of him that was deeply disturbing. The murder of Susie was planned right down to every minute detail, showing how this was obviously an obsession to Mr. Harvey. “He knew how to remove my body from the field. He knew to watch the tether, and kill during an arc of light-to-heavy precipitation because that would rob the police of evidence. ” All of these small details, such as the destroyable structure in the field, and the pin coded safe, shows that he had obsessed over Issue’s murder for a long time.
As a society, we want to think that murderers are rash, out of control people, and that murder events are one offs, that occur randomly. The way that Seabed shows how forward thinking and calm Mr. Harvey is definitely helps to symbolize evil in a way that really makes the reader think. It disgusts and frightens us, how calm and elected Mr. Harvey is and how much of a thrill he gets out of the murder. S Simultaneously Seabed shows us how people such as Mr. Harvey can seem like normal people from the outside, but have inner characteristics that seem too alien to even comprehend. He watched the news and scanned the papers, but he wore his own innocence like a comfortable old coat. ” After the murder, Mr. Harvey feels so comfortable with what he has done, completely at ease. He can go about his normal daily life, and has everyone, even himself nearly, convinced he is innocent. It is in this deception and this facade that we find hat is most disturbing and evil about the character of Mr. Harvey, he seems so like the rest of us, and from the outside has no distinguishing features or characteristics which promote the image of a serial killer.
As the novel moves on, we see Mr. Harvey start to deteriorate from the self assured and controlled individual of the start of the book. Interestingly, Mr. Harvey remembers Lindsey, even after he has moved out Of the neighborhood for many years. She was a catalyst for the steady decline in the control he had over his life and past, and had become a symbol of threat to him. She was even coming up in his dreams: “He had this dream whenever he felt threatened. It had been in the flash of her soccer shirt that his life had begun to spin out of control. In this Seabed is starting to give one of the positive messages in the book, that evil people will get punished. At this stage, Mr. Harvey is beginning to feel threatened and worried that his past is starting to catch up with him, and his self convinced innocence is starting to wane. From the first person narration we see that Susie has noticed this too, from heaven. “The edges of Mr. Harvey seemed oddly blurred. For years he had pet at bay the memories of the women he killed, but now, one by one, they were coming back. Things that Mr. Harvey had desensitizing himself from since he was a teenager were now starting to bother him, it was as if a whole new perspective was catching up with him, and it was doing this in the form of all his past victims. The way Susie describes him from heaven, with the blurred edges, could suggest that he is changing in some way and he is not the same as the cold, decisive character of the start. Whether he is beginning to regret the past or not we do not know, but the past is certainly catching up tit him. Susie tries to show us that Mr..
Harvey might be clear and calculating in his attacks and decisions, but doing these acts isn’t something he can easily deal with afterwards. The age-old phrase “you reap what you sow” is relevant here, and we realize that Mr. Harvey’s actions have had consequences on him. It is at the very end of the book that we are told by Susie, who has stumbled upon Mr. Harvey by chance while looking down on earth, that he died while possibly trying to lure in another victim. “It would be weeks before the snow in the ravine melted enough to uncover him. As a deader, we are almost given the impression that Susie caused his death, which is Seabed’s final way of symbolizing evil in Mr. Harvey. He was the very essence of evil in the novel, so was punished in the end. This is one of the parts of the book which highlights that this is only fiction, and sometimes in real life people such as him to do not have to suffer the consequences of their actions. Mr. Harvey is a hard character to understand, his motivations and intentions are so foreign to us. We cannot comprehend how or why a person would want to so violently and abusively, but yet so calculatingly make an attack on he world around us.
Shakespearean Othello is an allusion mentioned many times throughout the novel, and in some ways we can compare Mr. Harvey to the title character. Although we feel no sympathy towards Mr. Harvey, in the way we do Othello, we see that both their actions, Othello murder of his wife, and Mr. Harvey’s numerous rapes and murders, could be attributed to jealousy. Othello jealousy comes from the lies told by Ago, whereas it could be perceived that Mr. Harvey’s is Of the people around him being allowed to live a normal childhood and life, one which he was denied by his histrionically family.
Even for his profession, building doll houses, he his creating miniature ideals of the family life he never experienced. When looked at in this fashion, Mr. Han. ‘eyes hideous behavior seems like an attack at a world which never provided for him, what it did for others. In The Lovely Bones Seabed uses Mr. Harvey as a symbol for evil, and uses him to highlight to the audience how people such as Mr. Harvey are present in society. However she does allow us to look into what may have caused him to act in this way, which is interesting and thought provoking for the reader.
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