The space reveal about the character of the man
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It sort of gives us an idea about Harvey's background. His mother’s love is free and warm but unpredictable; the freedom is countered by the fear he feels when they get caught stealing, a feeling in his stomach that is compared in simile to “eggs being folded in a bowl.” In Susie’s previous description of Mr. Harvey’s house, she describes it as cold; instead of the unpredictable warmth of love, Mr. Harvey chose the coldness of killing and being alone. His mother teaches him that sometimes he needs to look past the dead to take their trinkets. At the time he felt it was wrong, but the grown-up Mr. Harvey now takes the keepsakes from his victims. Sebold fleshes out Harvey’s character by exposing the places where Mr. Harvey used to have feelings and morals, and also where he learned to be unfeeling. The fear Mr. Harvey has of getting caught stealing with his mother is paralleled by his fear when he sees Lindsey escaping from his home.