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The Lovely Bones

A man stands, covering his face with his hand, in a darkened room, with several large dolls houses

Still of Stanley Tucci

Being on the outside

Despite being set in a small community, The Lovely Bones includes several characters that, in different ways, are outsiders. These include: Susie, Ray, Ruth, Lindsey, Mr Harvey, Abigail and Ruana. Our view on these characters is through the lens of a fourteen year old.

  • In what ways is their outsider status similar and different?
  • If you had to cut out one of these characters from the film, who would it be and why?

Mr Harvey is arguably the most detached from the main community. The novel provides us with significant insight into George Harvey's childhood experiences: his father's cruelty to his mother, shop lifting experiences with his mother and the episode where... 'He had a moment of clarity about how life should be lived: not as a child or as a woman. They were the two worst things to be.' (chapter 15). Susie also witnesses the fact that he kills animals 'to keep from killing a child' (chapter 11).

  • Do you expect the film to include these details?
  • In what ways do these accounts complicate the audience's relationship with George Harvey?
  • What do you think this still image conveys about Mr Harvey?
  • What meaning does the positioning of Mr Harvey behind his dolls' houses create?