The Lovely Bones

Ray Singh Character Analysis

Susie’s junior-high sweetheart, Ray Singh’s English accent, Indian heritage, and serious smarts make him an outsider in the small city of Norristown, PA. He and Susie share just one kiss shortly before she is murdered—and after her death, Ray is singled out as a suspect in her murder because of a love poem he wrote her and tucked into one of her schoolbooks, found in the weeks after her disappearance. Ray never quite recovers from the isolating effects of having been a suspect, and strikes up a friendship with the loner Ruth Connors, who is just as obsessed with Susie and her death as Ray is. He and Ruth do the work of carrying on Susie’s legacy, organizing a candlelight vigil on the first anniversary of her death and speculating together endlessly on what their lives might have been like if Susie had lived. Ray goes to college at Penn and studies to be a doctor, but is constantly dogged by questions about the afterlife, the spirit world, and the idea of the human soul. On a trip home, Ray and Ruth reconnect on a visit to the sinkhole at the edge of town—there, after a fateful collision of events, Ruth and Susie switch places, and Ray makes love to Susie-as-Ruth. The experience transforms him entirely, and though he returns to his life and his studies, he becomes a confirmed believer in the soul, the afterlife, and the power of desire to “break through” the well between worlds.

Ray Singh Quotes in The Lovely Bones

The The Lovely Bones quotes below are all either spoken by Ray Singh or refer to Ray Singh. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Back Bay edition of The Lovely Bones published in 2002.
Snapshots Quotes

Years passed. The trees in our yard grew taller. I watched my family and my friends and neighbors, the teachers whom I'd had or imagined having, the high school I had dreamed about. As I sat in the gazebo I would pretend instead that I was sitting on the topmost branch of the maple under which my brother had swallowed a stick and still played hide-and-seek with Nate, or I would perch on the railing of a stairwell in New York and wait for Ruth to pass near. I would study with Ray. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway on a warm afternoon of salty air with my mother. But I would end each day with my father in his den. I would lay these photographs down in my mind, those gathered from my constant watching, and I could trace how one thing—my death—connected these images to a single source. No one could have predicted how my loss would change small moments on Earth. But I held on to those moments, hoarded them. None of them were lost as long as I was there watching.

Related Symbols: Susie’s Photographs
Page Number: 230-231
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ray Singh Character Timeline in The Lovely Bones

The timeline below shows where the character Ray Singh appears in The Lovely Bones. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...his “blubbery” lips. Susie has already had her first real kiss, with a boy named Ray Singh from her high school. He kissed Susie by her locker the day that her... (full context)
Chapter 2
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...class notes there is another piece of paper, the writing on it in another hand: Ray Singh’s. From heaven, Susie explains that Ray had written Susie a love note and tucked... (full context)
Chapter 6
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...disembodied voice: “You are beautiful, Susie Salmon,” it says, and she looks up to see Ray Singh sitting on top of some scaffolding just above her. Susie’s heart “plunge[s] to the... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Ray invites Susie to climb up on the scaffolding with him—he is cutting class. Susie does... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...against making “unnecessary additions” in the future. The teachers leave the auditorium, and Susie and Ray overhear Ruth Connors crying. (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Ray, who has been coming and going from school without lingering in the weeks since Susie’s... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
...Jack Salmon knocks on the door of the Singh house. He is “struck dumb” when Ray’s beautiful mother Ruana answers the door. She invites him in and offers him something to... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Jack asks Ruana if things have been hard for Ray, what with the policemen’s investigation of him. Ruana, however, tells Jack that he cannot have... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...following up on leads of his own—he confesses that he hopes that by talking to Ray he’ll be able to get some more answers. Ruana asks Jack what the man’s name... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Ruana silently gets up and goes over to the window. She announces that Ray is coming down the street, and that she will go out to the street to... (full context)
Chapter 9
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Ray Singh does not attend Susie’s memorial. He says goodbye to Susie in his own way,... (full context)
Chapter 13
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...gone onto Fairfax high school—are embellishing the story of what happened to them that night. Ray and Ruth, also now in high school, watch as Brian “holds court” with the other... (full context)
Chapter 16
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...Ruana answers the door. Ruth is there, holding a sack of groceries. She asks if Ray is home, and Ruana tells her to go up the stairs to Ray’s room. Ruth... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
When Ruth walks into Ray’s bedroom, he is dancing to a Jethro Tull record. He stops dancing as soon as... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Ruth and Ray arrive at the cornfield. They hold hands in silence, and are surprised to find that... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...go—Susie, looking down from heaven, realizes this too. Ruth sees the Salmons approaching, and nudges Ray to go help them into the circle. Ray and Samuel welcome the Salmons into the... (full context)
Snapshots
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Ray grows more and more handsome by the year, and Susie watches him with a longing... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...which allows her to see the world of dead women and children. Meanwhile, at Penn, Ray reads a study that describes a large percentage of nursing home patients observing a figure... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...in her own yard, or on a fire escape with Ruth, in the library with Ray, at the vineyard with her mother, or with her father in his den. Susie marvels... (full context)
Chapter 18
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...arrived yet.” As she walks briskly through the streets she thinks her strange friendship with Ray, which has always been tinged with a strange kind of desire. Ruth knows that it... (full context)
Chapter 21
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
After Susie turns away from watching her parents, she moves on to watching Ray Singh, who is at home in his parents’ house, and reflects on their kiss. Susie... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...article about the filling-in of the sinkhole out of the paper for Ruth to read. Ray arrives to pick Ruth up at her parents’ house so that the two of them... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Susie looks down on Route 30, at a spot Ruth and Ray are about to drive past. She sees Len coming out of an apartment carrying a... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
As Susie turns south to catch up with Ruth and Ray, she instead runs into Mr. Harvey. He is driving a ramshackle orange car, and as... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
As Ruth and Ray arrive at the sinkhole, they both remark on how nothing much has changed, though the... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
As Ruth and Ray return to their car, Ruth remains silent, vowing not to tell Ray about her brief... (full context)
Chapter 22
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...tips forward helplessly, falling through the farthest boundary of her heaven. She is aware of Ray running towards Ruth, shouting her name—the next second, Susie is in Ruth’s eyes, looking up.... (full context)
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Ray asks Susie-as-Ruth what happened, but Susie—knowing he still believes her to be Ruth—does not know... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Ray looks into Susie’s eyes, and notes that something has changed. Rather than reveal what has... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Ray asks Susie where she wants to go, and suddenly Susie knows why she has fallen... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...of the bike shop, Susie reaches over the doorjamb until she feels the spare key. Ray asks her how she knew to look there, and Susie answers that she was watched... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
Susie steps inside the shower and calls for Ray to join her. Ray, for the first time, addresses Susie by her name, telling her... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
As they have sex, Ray asks Susie what heaven looks like, and she does her best to explain. Ray asks... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...the bed—she tries to convince herself it is a trick of the light, but as Ray reaches out to touch her, she realizes she can no longer feel anything. Ray slips... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
...among the spirts, but Ruth is sprawled across the desk. From the bathroom, Susie hears Ray calling for her to pass him a towel. When she does not answer, he comes... (full context)
Chapter 23
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
The next morning, Ray is awoken by the smell of his mother baking downstairs. He and Ruth are in... (full context)
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Desire and Longing Theme Icon
In her kitchen, Ruana considers divorce. Something about the “crumbling, clinging postures” Ruth and Ray adopted together in sleep has forced her to try and remember the last time she... (full context)
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Hal spots someone through the blinds, and announces that Ray Singh is on the porch. Hal opens the door and calls for Ray, who is... (full context)
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
During Ray and Ruana’s visit, Samuel mentions the Gothic Revival house on the side of the road... (full context)
Bones
Justice and Injustice Theme Icon
Tragedy, Grief, Alienation, and Isolation Theme Icon
Love and Sex Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Ray becomes a doctor, and experiences more and more moments in which he chooses “not to... (full context)