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Mythology In The Virgin Suicides Essay

710 words - 3 pages

When one first thinks of mythology the first things that first come to mind are probably stories of Greek gods and goddesses, and the humans that prayed to them. We often forget that mythology does not end or begin with the Greeks. Authors have been using mythology for many would say centuries as a source for symbols, characters, situations, or images that conjures up universal feedback. In the case of “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides one of the archetypes that we see play out throughout the novel is the one of The Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary in “The Virgin Suicides” represents a sense of foreshadowing at the beginning and towards the end of the book, provide an allegory between the Libson girls and The Virgin Mary, and help deeper define the Libson girls.
The Virgin Mary symbol in “The Virgin Suicides” foreshadows events that will play out later in the novel. In the very beginning of the novel we learn of the attempted suicide of the youngest Libson girl Cecilia. While the fact that Cecilia had tried to kill herself was astounding itself what was also interesting is what the paramedics found her holding when they fetched her from the tub. “She didn’t say a word, but when they parted her hands they found the laminated picture of the Virgin Mary she held against her budding chest” (Eugenides 2). Cecilia is not known to be very religious; but yet, she is found holding a laminated picture of the Virgin Mary. As the story develops we almost forget this small but important detail amidst all the other symbols Eugenides throws at us but we come back to the laminated picture of the Virgin Mary during the last months of the remaining Libson girls lives. “Just as we had begun to despair of ever being near them again, more laminated pictures of the Virgin Mary began showing up” (Eugenides 182). We begin to see the significance of the laminated picture of the Virgin Mary had not only to the boys but also to the Libson girls. These cards were their only way of communicating...

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