The Issue Of Suicide Is Taboo Essays

The Issue Of Suicide Is Taboo Essays

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The subject of suicide is taboo in our society. Despite this fact and the efforts of society in general trying to minimize the reality of suicide, there are still people who are intrigued by the act. This intrigue could be due to the large number of people who die by suicide. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15-24 and the 9th leading cause of death overall (Timmermans 311). The intrigue and minimization of suicide in our society contrast. When suicide is not being romanticized or hidden, there is shame and stigma surrounding it. Ignoring, romanticizing, and shaming the act of suicide is problematic because suicide is a serious social problem that needs to be addressed openly, accurately, and without judgment.
The movie The Virgin Suicides is about five sisters who all commit suicide. Their story is told by boys who lived in the same neighborhood and attended the same school. It is likely that the suicides of the Lisbon girls were so intriguing to the boys because of the girls’ incredible beauty and the lives that they led. While the girls’ father was more relaxed and easygoing, their mother was restrictive and controlling. With a mother like Mrs. Lisbon, it is easy for one to come to the conclusion that the girls were aching for freedom. Given that they eventually became prisoners of their own home, it is likely that the girls were depressed and sought the only out they could imagine.
The movie starts when Cecilia, the youngest sister, attempts suicide by slitting her wrists. Neighbors of the Lisbons gossip about why Cecilia was taken into the hospital and what her intent was. “I heard it was an accident,” claimed one neighbor. “She didn’t want to die. She just wanted out of that house,” sp...


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... attempts, society must ask itself why these adolescents want to die. Valois et al. state, “a typical US high school classroom includes one male and two females who attempted suicide in the past year” (Valois et al. 81). It is a commonly held belief that today’s high schoolers are under more pressures and stress than in previous times. This stress could be caused by mental or physical health issues, bullying, peer rejection, unfulfilled goals, and a lack of efficient coping skills which can lead to lower life satisfaction (Valois et al.). Valois et al. show in their study that lower life satisfaction can lead to an increase in risk-taking behaviors which can include suicidal gestures (Valois et al.83). Although the four remaining Lisbon girls do not initially show their dissatisfaction with their lives, it becomes clearer throughout the movie that they are struggling.

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