Critical Analysis of the Virgin Suicides

Topics: Suicide, Jeffrey Eugenides, The Virgin Suicides Pages: 2 (822 words) Published: October 13, 2005
The Horror of the Mundane
Honore de Balzac once said, "We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never as bad off or as happy as we say we are." Americans are so obsessed with happiness they would do anything to get to that point of bliss. In the book "The Virgin Suicides" by Jeffrey Eugenides, we are introduced to the men whose lives have been changed forever by their awkward obsession with five fated sisters: Therese, Mary, Bonnie, Lux, and Cecilia Lisbon. These mysterious girls don't seem to really be known in the town, but when the youngest, Cecilia, kills herself, it establishes "the year of the suicides" and all eyes are on them.

The neighborhood boys narrate the story. They are a vague group of boys whose names are never mentioned entirely. All we know is that they are in high school, and live in the same suburb as the Lisbons, and have always been fascinated by the girls. They tell the story as if they are looking back on the suicides from an older age, and still are disturbed by the girls' deaths. They narrate the story to describe the girls' actions and motivations over the last year of their lives. Cecilia Lisbon is very different from the other Lisbon girls. She wore the same old cutoff wedding dress every day that she got at a thrift shop. She was the youngest, 13 years old. The book starts out explaining about her near death suicide attempt in the bathtub. This scene is very crucial to the story because the whole book is based on how the Lisbon's lives are different from everyone else's because of their loss when she actually does kill herself, no more than a month later. When the doctor was checking her after the first attempt, he asked her "What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets." Cecilia replied with what was her only form of a suicide note, "Obviously, Doctor, you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl."

Lux Lisbon is the second youngest; at 14 years old she becomes the rebel of...
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