A Book Review on Lucky A Memoir by Alice Sebold

Rape has always been one of those rampant societal predicaments that continuously make peoples lives everyday uncertain. Every day, people will always hear of stories that talk about rape cases that remain unsolved and worse, most of these cases are being said to be products of injustice and discrimination. Alice Sebold was one of the unfortunate women who have been victimized through rape. Her painful experience has been very implicative in her life ever since, that she decided to retell it through a novel. In her book, Lucky (1999), Sebold restates her own miserable story with the objective of correcting peoples misjudgements about rape. The story basically tells the tale of a young girl who has been raped and brought to justices course, yet was never able to find fair dealing in the end. The story tells that, for several times, Sebold approached the police, whom she thought have the best capabilities and authorities to help her. The police told her that most of the women who have been attacked in the same place where she was raped have been killed. Thus, the authorities even deemed her, lucky.

This story tells a similar tale to most rape cases a woman has been brutally and relentlessly forced into a sexual intercourse with a man. After the incident, the victim immediately felt humiliation and the feeling of being abused. She consulted the people she trusted, such as her professors, and especially the authorities. She went on every day trying to get the right kind of justice she deserved however, fate appeared too cruel. At one point, Sebold caught up with her assailant. However, the rapist just smirked at her and went on. When the victim approached the police to report about the encounter, rather than helping her trace the assailant, she was apprehended. This scenario plays a typical victim-blaming scenario. People often consider the fact that victims could have been stronger during the crime to fight it off however, the people who think this way might have missed the possibility that a young girl also tends to lose all the strength, the faith and the hope she has during a brutal and horrendous act of rape. And through this book, at the least, Sebold was able to awaken people about that reality.

Just like what happens to most rape victims, the long term effects of the experience for Sebold in the story were terrible. Although her assailant was arrested and imprisoned in the end, one of her friends got raped again and this seemed to tell her that injustice will always run in a vicious circle. Sebold did not just grow in fear, but she also grew spending her days disbelieving in justice and fairness. She thought she held a curse, that instead of being lucky, she was doomed and was meant to suffer the horrendous after-effects of rape forever. At the latter part of the story, Sebold even went into thinking whether or not her act of speaking out and fighting for her right was the right thing to do. This entails that aside from losing faith toward other people, the victim also lost faith to herself. This clearly tells the readers how destructive of ones life and future rape can actually be.

It is understandable that some people still carry a victim blaming attitude when it comes to rape. Surely, there could have been ways wherein these victims could have avoided such a possibility. However, it seems like people tend to miss the fact that assailants were never weak individuals. Furthermore, being trapped in a helpless and near-death experience is not always escapable. I was personally disturbed with the fact that even authorities tend to display such an attitude, when they are the ones whom people expect to be fair judging in these situations. Personally, I find Sebolds book very awakening in the sense that it gives people a different view of what really happens when a person is being raped. Hope, faith and trust upon ones self really tend to falter during these times. Sebolds work is a great catalyst as well, which will allows people to start discussing about rape as a serious societal issue, and not just some silly case of carelessness on the victims end.


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