Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides

Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides

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Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides The virgin suicide’s was written by Jeffrey Eugenides it was an interesting and fun Filled novel. There were stressful things that take place that lead to the twist and turns within it, The story is told by men looking back who grew up in the same neighborhood as the Lisbon girls, their lives had forever been changed by their fierce, awkward obsession with the five young sisters: Therese, Mary, Bonnie, Lux, and Cecilia. The men noticed and became very into the sisters when Cecilia tried to commit suicide. She was the first sister to attempt suicide among all the Lisbon sisters. She cut her wrists with her father’s razor blade and laid in a bathtub full of water… she laid in the bathtub full of water so that the blood would bleed out of her faster.

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She was unsuccessful. In the story when the paramedics arrived to the Lisbon house it said “Her small body giving off the odor of a mature woman, the paramedics had been so frightened by her tranquility that they stood mesmerized, but when Mr. Lisbon entered the room screaming the reality of what was going on came back to the paramedics… blood everywhere the razor that belonged to her father’s sunk in the toilet bowl.” (Page 5) this affected her father a great deal initially because that was his daughter trying to kill herself and any parent whose child tries to kill themselves reflects on the parents and how the child was raised. Also when he walked in to the bathroom it didn’t help the situation much that she had used her father’s razor to inflect death upon herself. This could have affected Mr. Lisbon in many different ways, He could have felt it was his fault because he has razors and didn’t have them stored safely, or that he was the reason she was killing herself so she would use his razor as a sign that her father was the cause of her death. These are all possible untold facts about the story but these are how I would have felt in this situation. If Mr. Lisbon hadn’t entered the room Cecilia might have died because of the way the paramedics acted when they laid eyes on Cecilia. Her mother was affected by this to because after she learned her daughter was trying to kill herself she knew there was something wrong with her mentally and she was a concerned parent as any parent would be but had no idea how to handle the situation, in the story it never states that the parents tried to talk to Cecilia which might of helped her better than not talking to their sick daughter at all.
Her second attempt at committing suicide was a little bit more successful. She jumped off her balcony of her house and landed on her wooden picket fence that was in the front yard of their house which impaled her and killed her instantly, After the community found out about her performing this action in the story Mrs. Zaretti said “Our kids could jump on it to.”(Page 53) This comment made by her was the most ridicules, ignorant, and naive thing I have ever heard. Just for the simple fact that it would be impossible for the kids to do that, because they would have to break into the Lisbon house and use their balcony to jump on to the fence to kill themselves. She Cleary said this out of ignorance. After talking about the death among her co-workers and people from the community she rounded up lawyers, doctors, an mortgage bankers from the community and they took it upon their self’s to dig the fence out of the Lisbon’s front yard that Cecilia was killed on. By doing this it stated in the novel that this was the greatest show of common effort in the town, they intended good but in reality it only made the situation head into a faster downfall that it already was. The family stood in the window as the lawyers, doctors, and mortgage bankers dug up there fence that there family member just died on once. They attempted to get the fence out just by shovels, strength, and lots of hope. But They and failed. Upon failure a professional was called to remove the fence, he just showed up with a big truck. He hooked it to the fence and ripped it out of the ground roots and everything. Once the fence was out of the ground his work was finished and he left with the fence on his truck, this left a hole of nothing in there lawn. It was like a remembrance that didn’t go away. The family only could spectate from their living room window but they were helpless. The boys were obsessed with the girls already, but once Cecilia dies it motivates them even more to find out everything they can about the girls. Lux was affected by her sister’s death in the novel it state’s “Lux confused the sexual act with love. For her, sex became a substitute for the comfort she needed as a result of her sister’s suicide.” This shows how people handle different situations differently. She had to have sex to make her feel better and other people would do different things like go for a run, or smoke something, maybe get professional help. But lux was affected differently she needed sex to make her feel better, this probably wasn’t the best way for comfort considering that she was a virgin, never had sex before and she rushed into it which only leads to more and more emotional problems the sister’s and lux were already facing with in their lives.
“Our own knowledge of Cecilia kept growing after her death, too with the same unnatural persistence. Though she had spoken only rarely and had no real friends, everybody possessed his own vivid memories of Cecilia” (page 40) this acknowledge the fact that Cecilia has a huge impact on both the family and the community they lived in. The boys didn’t really have any memories of Cecilia only when looking back to times they spent with her in the sandbox together or any other significance memories they spent time with her. This had created a sympathy factor for the family and especially for her sisters in school. Everybody knew about it and it was the talk of the town. It made the girls have a weird feeling like a withdrawal from everyone in a sense. I remember when a kid in our school died… Brendan Horn he was killed in a quading accident were he hit a tree and was thrown from his quad and was killed on impact. His best friend Steve and his family was effect the same way the Lisbon’s family was affected they never took care of their lawn and their property turned to crap. The community tried to get involved also by holding fund raisers and moments of silence in the school. For about a week after his death they did this and Steve said it was just a bad reminder of someone he cared about. All of this made it worse for him because he knew that the community didn’t really care they were just doing this so that they did something about it. The school held these moments of silence in the morning for about a week before they stopped and the normal routine announcements started again and it was a sign of not caring just going through the motion. Steve stopped talking to people at school. Once the school found out it was in mourning. Silence lurked through the halls like a presences was over your shoulder watching your every move. Some cried, some prayed, most were unaffected. But after time people began to go back to normal routine. With the fact of Cecilia’s death the neighbors felt a sense of discomfort around the Lisbon’s household, just for the fact that they stopped cleaning there house and there were lots of leaves in the yard and bats came from the chimney every night. It was a reminder of death. There was grief in the house and people didn’t understand that. In the novel the boys are outside of the Lisbon’s house one night and it grew dark they stated “ that since Cecilia suicide the Lisbon’s could hardly wait for night to forget themselves in sleep” (page 58) this was what everyone in the town started to believe. Well the high school kids at least and that’s horrible. But that is how society is they always assume things and for the most part are usually wrong and what they say or think could hurt the family’s feelings. I would imagine back in this time when the boys were in high school is was brutal. People must have talked about anything and everything they could about the Lisbon’s carelessly. My personal preference Is that I think that death was something never expected in the Lisbon’s family, as in any family death is usually never expected but this death, Cecilia’s which occurred in a suicide they were completely thrown off track and the family started to go downhill from there.
At the end of the book the parents go see a doctor named Dr. Hornicker and he states “with most people suicide is like Russian roulette only one chamber has a bullet. With the Lisbon girls, the gun was loaded. A bullet for family abuse, A bullet for genetic predisposition, A bullet for historical malaise, A bullet for inevitable momentum. The other two bullets are impossible to name, but that’s doesn’t mean the chambers were empty” he states this because it is his job but he also had an abstention himself with the Lisbon girls and their story. This helped the parents coop a little bit with their loses but it gave me more understanding about how important Cecilia’s death was in the story she was the start of a domino effect that took place. She was the bullet for family abuse. She felt abused for the reason I’m not sure of but I think they were because the girls were under such tight rules of the house and never got to live the experience that normal teenage girls get to live. The virgin suicide was a good novel and had lost of interesting events in it but Cecilia’s was my favorite. She was start of the whole downfall and she didn’t even know it. She affected so many people with just the act of killing herself the neighborhood boys, the school, the community, her sister all four of them, and the mother and father. I think that if Cecilia’s death didn’t occur then the whole outcome of the story would have been different and not as interesting as it was the original way.
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