Novels have more to them than meet the eye. Past the cover and the first read, there is yet an extra element involved in superb books. Jeffery Eugenides clearly had an understanding of this. Written in 1991, The Virgin Suicides is not just a story. ” Bizarre, abnormal, and tragic” is how Jeruen Dery describes the book in his review of it. As more than pages in a cover, The Virgin Suicides has some magic to uncover.
To fully understand a novel, one must recognize a precritical response to key element that amount to a written work of art. The setting of the novel is one that is familiar to many Americans. In essence, it is a modern suburbia, complete with youth, adults, and the elderly, along with the old, and the new. This directly contributes to the plot, which involves a man versus society struggle with more than one set of characters. Two main sets of characters are prevalent and neither group show purely protagonist or antagonist characteristics. Both the Lisbon girls and the neighborhood boys share the two roles throughout the duration of the novel. When reacting to the structure of the novel, one notices the straightforwardness of the piece. After a glance at the end events, the rest of the book goes through the progression of a year in chronological order while also following a typical rising action-climax-falling action format. The style of the book keeps a continuous flow throughout the piece. The words are sophisticated, as well as the general structure of the sentences and the way they flow together. The words and sentence structure contribute to the atmosphere of the work as a whole. In his review of the piece, Dery says, “Every aspect of the novel is just dark, and contributes to the overall macabre mood of the piece.” The general theme of the novel seems to be how suicide doesn’t only affect those who are directly involved, such as family, teachers, and close friends. It shows how suicide affects the entire community.
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