The Lovely Bones

Why does the author include details about Mr. Harvey's childhood and his memories of his mother?

By giving him a human side does Sebold get us closer to understanding his motivation? Sebold once said that murderers "are not animals but men," and that's what makes them so frightening. is this true?

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I believe that Harvey's "human side," gives us a history to contemplate when we look at his actions, but I don't correlate his childhood with the creation of a serial killing rapist. Sebold makes a point when he says murderers "are not animals but men," but Harvey's past does not justify his actions. Murdering for pleasure? I don't know, but I do agree that murderers appear no different on the outside than anyone else. Harvey was a monster, yes, but appearances are deceiving, and the mass (serial) murderer may not appear any differently on the outside than the little grandma down the street.