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Kelso High School. English Department. Chapter Five. In today’s lesson we will:. Analyse chapter five of the text in relation to: plot characterisation symbolism irony

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Kelso high school

Kelso High School

English Department

In today s lesson we will
In today’s lesson we will:

  • Analyse chapter five of the text in relation to:





    theme: grief and loss

Kelso high school

  • Discuss briefly with your partner the main events of chapter five.

  • Check that your chapter summary notes include all relevant information.

  • Why is Christmas a particularly difficult time for the Salmon family and for Susie?

Characterisation susie
Characterisation: Susie

  • Chapter begins with Susie’s observations that her father could never be the man she wanted him to turn into, “a man violent in rage.”

  • She is delighted by the fact that her father recognises her presence (when he writes in his journal - “I think Susie watches me.”

  • Normal sibling rivalry is shown by her feelings of resentment towards Lindsey when he stops writing because he is fearful of what he might reveal.

Characterisation susie1
Characterisation: Susie

  • Susie, herself, is experiencing a grieving process.

  • She is still unable to accept her own death and her need to help her family.

  • She is still portrayed as a typical teenager and she is delighted by Lindsey’s developing relationship with Samuel, “She kissed him: it was glorious. I was almost alive again.”

Characterisation jack
Characterisation: Jack

  • In the aftermath of the murder Jack tries to not only deal with his own grief and anger, but also guilt.

  • He questions his role as Susie’s father and protector as he was not there to prevent her death - when she really needed him.

  • His failure fuels his need to be active in the police investigation and he cannot remain passive as the police fail to develop needs.

  • Previous flashbacks have shown him as a prefect father - we now see him as a broken man because of the guilt he feels.

Characterisation jack1
Characterisation: Jack

  • Jack has entered the second stage of the grieving process - anger and guilt.

  • These thoughts are destroying him, but he thinks that by bringing Mr Harvey to justice he can do something to ease the guilt he feels.

Characterisation lindsey
Characterisation: Lindsey

The member of the family who suffers in


She feels she needs to be strong for

everyone else.

Characterisation lindsey1
Characterisation: Lindsey

  • Lindsey has many burdens:

    She looks like Susie and people are

    reminded of Susie everytime they

    look at her.

    Her mother shuts her out, lies to her

    and then leaves.

    Other people move on and forget

    what has happened to the Salmon family.

    Buckley leans on her.

    Her father has lost his will to live.

Characterisation lindsey2
Characterisation: Lindsey

  • Is the character Susie respects the most for the way she is handling her death.

  • People react strangely to her because she looks like Susie. Lindsey knows this herself and has begun to avoid mirrors.

  • She does cry for Susie, but only when she is alone or in the shower.

  • She wishes that Susie had escaped or that she herself had been taken but had been strong enough to get away.

  • She isolates herself in dealing with her grief, “I’m handling this on my own.”

Characterisation lindsey3
Characterisation: Lindsey

  • Lindsey is the only one in her family who at this stage is on her way out of her grief.

  • She will have many more bad days, but thanks to Samuel she is beginning to feel again and move on with her life.

Characterisation samuel
Characterisation: Samuel

Lindsey’s boyfriend and future husband.

He helps her heal by filling the void left by

Susie’s death and the departure of her mother.

His Christmas gift of a broken heart symbolises

that he recognises how Lindsey feels and wants

to help her heal.

Characterisation buckley
Characterisation: Buckley

Is more affected by Susie’s death than his

family believe.

  • He not only relies on his father and Lindsey, but watches over them as well.

  • He sees and talks to Susie.

  • He builds a fort for her and keeps the old shoe from the Monopoly game because it was her favourite.

Characterisation buckley1
Characterisation: Buckley

  • The fact that he keeps the shoe from the Monopoly game shows that he feels far more deeply about Susie’s death than his family thought.

Characterisation abigail
Characterisation: Abigail

  • Withdrawing more and more from her family, “Wanted a cigarette and for her children who were living to disappear for a little while.”

  • She turns to inanimate objects for comfort - cigarettes, counting china and silver - rather than her family.


  • The Monopoly shoe represents Susie to Buckley.

Theme stages of grief
Theme: Stages of Grief

Jack has entered the second stage of the grieving process - anger and guilt.

Abigail is still in the first stage of shock

and denial. She is stunned and bewildered

doing things that are silly and unnecessary.

Her desire for her children to disppear

foreshadows her later decision to leave

her family.