Hyper-reality in Sebold's The Lovely Bones

Shahram Kiaei, Masoumeh Safdari


Heaven and hell are good places for creating the plot of a story because no one has ever seen these lands. They are hyper-real places because we imagine them like what we see on earth and can never imagine them as they are. Their reality is based on what we read about them in the holy books. By using Jean Baudrillad's ideas of "Hyper-reality" and "Simulacra and Simulation," the present study attempts to consider the concept of hyper-reality in Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones (2002) in which the main character starts her life on heaven. She tries to indicate heaven as a human creation a place like earth. The writer depicts heaven as an earthly landscape and makes the readers believe that whatever they read about heaven is really true and this fact puts more emphasis on the hyper-reality of heaven in the novel. Through the story heaven is simulated as a copy of a real religious one. Thus, the heaven of the novel is a hyper-reality because as it is a copy of religious one but it has no origin. We mean the things and places as amusement parks, different American cars, magic ice creams and newspapers have no place in the real religious heaven that we read about in different holy books such as The Bible and The Holy Quran. 

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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