Alice Sebold

March 2, 2012
By , hometown, IL
Alice Sebold once said, “But it was later now, and I live in a world where the two truths coexist: where both hell and hope lie in the palm of my hands.” Hope is defined as a feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best. While hell is being defined as a place or state of turmoil or destruction. These two words fit together in the adventures of Alice Sebold. Alice Sebold was born on September 6, 1963 in Madison, Wisconsin. She was raised by both academic parents; a father with a Spanish literature and a journalist mother. Her parents gave her the knowledge and confidence that she can become whatever her heart desired. In 1980, Sebold graduated from Great Valley High School and left home to start a new life as a student in Syracuse University. From there, her life went tumbling down. Alice Sebold is considered the one of the emotionally strong people in the world because she dealt with hard times like her and family not being close, her mother’s drinking problem and also her rape when she attended Syracuse University. During her path of recovery, she began writing novels which today are considered most popular novels to read. These novels were great inspiration to girls all around the world. Her memoir Lucky and novel, The Lovely Bones taught them the dangers of talking to strangers, and the understanding of death and heaven.

Alice Sebold’s met on a blind date and actually hated each other. As time went by they eventually fell in love through her father’s dedicated pursuit. Her father had a Ph. D in Spanish literature from Princeton and began his first job at Duke University. Her father most of his time at Duke University which caused Sebold’s mother, Jane to become lonely and alienated with people. Soon after her mother used alcohol as her way of feeling less lonely, eventually Jane became a full- blown alcoholic. This is one of the many reasons why Alice Sebold is considered one the emotionally strong people in the world. In 1977, her father went away to Spain for months, leaving her mother extremely anxious and causing her and sister, Mary becoming caretakers of their mother. As time went on Mary gave up on her mother by becoming less compassionate and more embarrassed towards her mother’s drinking problem. Unlike Mary, Alice was the one to reconcile with her mother, meaning she soothed her mother and belittled her sister. Since the day she belittled her sister, her family became distant towards each other.

“I described myself as too loud, too fat, and too arty.” During Alice’s teenage years, her family was falling apart. She often argued with her parents about her mother’s drinking, her father not being around and Mary’s embarrassment of her parents (mainly her mother). “I wanted to be the moron of the family, because morons seemed to have more fun, more freedom, and more personality.” The constant bickering gave Alice Sebold the idea to move away after high school in 1980. In the fall, Alice attended Syracuse University leaving her family still arguing with each other. In all areas of life, Alice had to drive to make herself the way by following others guidance who have become the same in different attitudes of their lives physically, mentally, and emotionally. She was born this way because she was made that way! You find people you consider strong and that’s why many people consider Sebold the strongest of them all. Even though she didn’t admit that her family wasn’t like any other family. Deep inside, she couldn’t accept the fact that her mother was an alcoholic, her father not being around and her sister not caring about this family. There was only one way to avoid the stress and that was to move away from her family and start on her own so she can discover who she really is. After her freshman year of college at Syracuse University, her journey went plummeting down earth when she was attacked.

During her semester at Syracuse, Sebold was raped in a tunnel . She tried to fight off her rapist, who constantly fought and beat her. Shewas brutally raped, forced to kiss the man who urinated on her and eventually left her to crawl away. She then reported her rape to police, later they told her she was lucky because a few month early before her rape, the rapist raped another girl but unfortunately she was killed and dismembered in the same tunnel. “ I had changed. The world I lived in was not the world that my parent still occupied. In my world, I saw violence everywhere. It was not a song or a dream or a plot.” Staying strong, Alice Sebold stayed at Syracuse and continued her creative- writing program to help relieve the pain from her incident. She began letting her anguish out in her writing and wrote dark novels. She felt the affliction of trying to write a story that would strike all rape victims’ stories, that recent story became a novel. This novel soon became popular and was names the book of the year award for adult fiction in 2003. That novel was The Lovely Bones. Her other novels were also relating to rape and murders because of these novels, her readers became more aware of their environment. Not everyone in this world seems to be who they are. Alice Sebold’s writing made us have this awful picture in her heads of innocent people getting raped and murdered and teaching us to be more cautious around people. And for that, she is the emotionally strong person in the world. For the those who wanted to know what happened to her rapist. A few months after the rape, she recognized her rapist while walking down a street. She brought her rapist to court and caught his conviction. Today her rapist is out of prison but Sebold says she has not kept track of where he is.





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