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Analysis of “The Lovely Bones” and “The Babadook”

People experience different forms of fearful events in their lives which can be explained by the facet of the paranormal. People have a fear of paranormal things due to certain fearful incidents in their lives which ultimately haunt them. It is evident that different individuals feel haunted because of different reasons. For example, some individuals going through with the fear of supernatural things such as ghosts while some have a fear of death in their lives. Different authors selected this particular topic of fear of supernatural in their stories to connect this feature to the reality of life. The particular notion of being haunted is effectively discussed in the novel, “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold. Undoubtedly, the tragic reality of life and death is successfully depicted by the author with the haunted aspects used in the novel. The particular aspect of death in the form of fear is also effectively indicated in “The Babadook.” Here the focus is to explain that how the characters in both the stories deal with the fear of death.

“The Lovely Bones” is a famous novel written by American author Alice Sebold which was published in 2002. The story of “The Lovely Bones” reveals the prospect of a teenage girl who was raped and murdered by her neighbor. This particular story has an immense level of importance as it reveals the prospect of life and death of a young girl in an extremely tragic manner. The feature of all the events narrated by the character, Susie Salmon who was raped and murdered by neighbor Mr. Harvey. On the other hand, “The Babadook” is characterized as the horror movie which was released in 2014 written and directed by Jennifer Kent. This particular movie impressively addresses the horror which appears in the form of psychological perception of characters about the existence of demons in their lives. “The Babadook” is the story of Amelia Vanek who is a widow and brought up her six years old son Samuel alone. The character of the Amelia immensely suffered from her husband’s death in a car accident. This particular event negatively impacts the psychological and emotional stability of Amelia as she portrays as the character who is immensely troubled and shattered. The character of Sam also indicate the inconsistent behavioral patterns. He becomes sleepless and immensely affected by the fantasize monster, Mister Babadook.

It is notable to mention that both the novels, “The Lovely Bones” and “The Babadook” successfully apprehend the concept of death as the scary element. It involves different elements which can haunt people with the consideration of the death. Death of Susie in “The Lovely Bones” and Amelia’s husband death in “The Babadook” indicate the feature of horror associated with the concept of death. The scary concept of demons or ghosts can also be successfully explored in case of the content of both the novels. Both stories successfully convey the idea of fear of supernatural things which can appear in the form of death or imaginary monsters. Supernatural aspects associated with the death become the reason of immense level of fear for the characters of both the novels. The scariness associated with the feature of death ultimately become the reason due to which people haunted. It becomes immensely difficult for the characters to overcome the aspect of fear which appears in the form of death. The aftereffects of the death successfully indicated by the scary feature of the ghosts in both the novels. In other words, it can be said that the stories of both the novels successfully shows the connection between the life and the death with the aspect of imaginary ghosts or monsters.

Mortality or the feature of death is one of the major themes of the story of “The Lovely Bones.” The author successfully explores the idea of the agony of life and death by portraying the facet of death as something scary and unavoidable for the characters of the story. The pain and torture of rape and murder were described by the victim, Susie. The story reveals that the character of Susie continuously connected herself with her family in the form of a ghost after death. She witnesses the psychological and emotional struggle of her family and loved ones due to her tragic death. It takes many years for the family of the Susie to overcome the pain and fear of her death and moved into their lives. The life aspects after the death were effectively explained by Sussi as:

“These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections – sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent – that happened after I was gone.”(Sebold, 127). The story of “The Lovely Bones” successfully connects the feature of death with the factor of the afterlife through the narration of Susie. She describes her pain and violent death by her rapist. She successfully connects the idea of this world to the afterlife as explain that the specific needs and desires one have at the moment of death ultimately influence the paradigm of the afterworld. The story particularly evolves from the experiences of the Susie in the life of afterworld and the facet of supernatural power which appears in the shape of the ghost of Susie for her family. The overall feature of the novel can also witness as the contrast between the bitter reality of life and the beauty of the afterlife.

The other considering novel, “The Babadook” explain the scary features associated with the aspect of death. It explains the pain and struggle of the characters which face the challenge of the loss of their loved ones in the form of death. The overall feature of “The Babadook” gives the gives the feeling of horror which ultimately haunts people. It explains the form of the ghost as the scariest thing to deal with it. It also apprehends the specific idea about the humans’ psychology against the different forms of griefs and sorrows. The overall setting of the story and the lives of the main characters of the story reveals that how much they traumatized because of the death of their loved one. Amelia lost her husband in the car accident and never remain same as before (Ormandy). Her character prominently shows the aspect of grief associated with the paradigm of death. The imaginary monster, Babadook explained the aspect of horror associated with the ghost. The character of Sam deeply connected himself with the imaginary world of the monsters.

His words indicate his approach towards the supernatural elements. These words are as follows: “You can’t get rid of the Babadook.” (Jennifer Kent and Shroff). Another haunted aspect associated with the monster of the Babadook is that it can be considered as the symbolic figure of the dead father which was imagined by Sam. The feature of the horror of “The Babadook” is closely related to the immense level of pain and suffering of Amelia which was faced by her due to the death of her husband. The overall story portrays her effort to deal with the feature of horror associated with her husband’s departure from the world. It apprehends the theme that grief of the death is the biggest monster for the people who alive. It immensely challenges people to make them strong enough to deal with the loss of their loved ones due to the happening of death.

It is notable to mention that both the stories, “The Lovely Bones” and “The Babadook” successfully apprehends the element of death as one of the main themes. The feature of death is explained by the help of the supernatural element. There is the clear indication about the life of this world to the afterlife with the help of the facet of the supernatural element. Pain and grief are the major aspects associated with the concept of death. The disturbing elements associated with the paradigm of death ultimately affect the people by creating the immense level of horror closely connected to the feature of death. Both the stories explain that loss of the loved ones due to the death can be the biggest loss for someone which appear in their lives as the big monsters.

It is immensely crucial for the people to verily accept the reality of the death and overcome the prospect of fear associated with the unseen and somewhat supernatural features of death. It is crucial to mention that the story of “The Lovely Bones” describe the cruel reality of life as Susie explains that people can be characterized as the real monsters. The facet of death is also addressed the compelling beauty of the life of the afterworld. On the other hand, the approach of death is a somewhat different explanation in the story of “The Babadook.” It explains the feature of the death of Amelia’s husband as the biggest pain which seems impossible to overcome. The appearance of monsters is more likely the depiction of the scariness and horror associated with the supernatural factors exist in the world.

Work Cited

Jennifer Kent, and Taera Shroff. The Babadook. 2014,

Ormandy, L. The Morals of Monster Stories: Essays on Children’s Picture Book Messages. McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers, 2017,

Sebold, A. The Lovely Bones. Picador, 2009,



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