This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Virgin Suicides Essay

1415 words - 6 pages

The Virgin Suicides

It is not important how the Lisbon sisters looked. What is important is
how the teenage boys in the neighborhood thought they looked.
There is a time in the adolescent season of every boy when a particular
girl seems to have materialized in his dreams, with backlighting from
heaven. Sofia Coppola's "The Virgin Suicides" is narrated by an adult who
speaks for "we"--for all the boys in a Michigan suburban neighborhood 25
years ago, who loved and lusted after the Lisbon girls. We know from the
title and the opening words that the girls killed themselves. Most of the
reviews have focused on the girls. They miss the other subject--the gawky,
insecure yearning of the boys.
The movie is as much about those guys, "we," as about the Lisbon girls.
About how Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett), the leader of the pack, loses his
baby fat and shoots up into a junior stud who is blindsided by sex and
beauty, and dazzled by Lux Lisbon (Kirsten Dunst), who of the perfect
Lisbon girls is the most perfect.
In every class there is one couple who has sex while the others are only
talking about it, and Trip and Lux make love on the night of the big
dance. But that is not the point. The point is that she wakes up the next
morning, alone, in the middle of the football field. And the point is that
Trip, as the adult narrator, remembers not only that "she was the still
point of the turning world then" and "most people never taste that kind of
love" but also, "I liked her a lot. But out there on the football field,
it was different."
Yes, it was. It was the end of adolescence and the beginning of a lifetime
of compromises, disenchantments and real things. First sex is ideal only
in legend. In life it attaches plumbing, fluids, gropings, fumblings and
pain to what was only an hour ago a platonic ideal. Trip left Lux not
because he was a pig, but because he was a boy and broken with grief at
the loss of his--their--dream. And when the Lisbon girls kill themselves,
do not blame their deaths on their weird parents. Mourn for the passing of
everyone you knew and everyone you were in the last summer before sex.
Mourn for the idealism of inexperience.
"The Virgin Suicides" provides perfunctory reasons that the Lisbon girls
might have been unhappy. Their mother (Kathleen Turner) is a hysteric so
rattled by her daughters' blooming sexuality that she adds cloth to their
prom dresses until they appear in "four identical sacks." Their father
(James Woods) is the well-meaning but emasculated high school math teacher
who ends up chatting about photosynthesis with his plants. These parents
look gruesome to us. All parents look gruesome to kids, and all of their

Find Another Essay On The Virgin Suicides

Characters in The Virgin Suicides Essay

974 words - 4 pages . I really liked her. I just got sick of her right then.” (Eugenides 103). It is after the curfew incident, that Mrs. Lisbon pulls the girls from school and shuts them away in the house for the rest of their short lives. Years later Trip’s only sentiment about his time with Lux is, “I’ve never gotten over that girl, man. Never.” (Eugenides 56). Works Cited Eugenides, Jeffrey. The Virgin Suicides. New York City: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Print

Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and Joyce Carolyn Oates’s Expensive People

1320 words - 5 pages Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and Joyce Carolyn Oates’s Expensive People Suburban life is commonly portrayed as a narrative of the upper-middle class. Clean, sterile and reserved, suburbia is a tangible representation of the universally misconstrued “American dream.” However, culture fails to recognize the dark underbelly of this uplifting dream: a world of masked depression, ingrained superiority and stark ignorance. Jeffery Eugenides’s

Abstract Principles in The Virgin suicides

669 words - 3 pages I found that Coppola purposely revealed very little about the girls inner selves in order to suggest that the girls’ lives are limited under the strict order of their parents. The girls are completely suffocated inside their family and by their neighbors. In the world outside the Lisbon’s house the neighborhood boys take the Lisbon sisters to the extreme. They constantly talk about them being “beautiful creatures” and constantly are placing

Virgin Suicides

550 words - 2 pages plural narrative; such as, William Faulkner in A Rose for Emily, Frederik Pohl in Man Plus as well as Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides. Brian Richardson, a professor at the University of Maryland, argued "Plural fictional narratives have a supple technique with a continuous history of over a century that continues to be deployed in a considerable number of texts" (Richardson 61). In order to better understand Margolin's statement, we need to understand

Reveiw American History X And Virgin Suicides

1109 words - 4 pages alter the experience of the film. By this I mean to imply that one?s lifestyle has great influence in how one will view a film. Gender, sexuality, race and class are some characteristics that influence the viewer?s opinion and overall experience of the viewing. This piece will explore this by reviewing two films, The Virgin Suicides, directorial debut of Sophia Coppola, and American History X, directed by Tony Kaye. These are two very different

Adolescent Suicide in Suburbia

2175 words - 9 pages of older groups, yet it is the third leading cause of death amongst those ages fifteen to twenty-four. Additionally, CDC has gathered statistics that estimate suicides amongst males are nearly four times higher than females – 19.95 and 5.15 respectively. Certain studies have even shown that urban dwellers are at increased risk of suicide than those in rural areas. In Jeffrey Eugenide’s novel, The Virgin Suicides, he writes about a group of


638 words - 3 pages vanish in a day.Soon, soon the fleshThe grave cave ate will be Comment by Sahil Khoja: She comes back into life and its almost like shes dead since she has so much misreyAt home on meAnd I a smiling woman.I am only thirty.And like the cat I have nine times to die. Comment by Sahil Khoja: Multiple life's, multiple suicides, similieThis is Number Three. Comment by Sahil Khoja: God places Jesus in the virgin mary (Trinity), Germans places Jews in camps

Darkness and Decay

903 words - 4 pages (p.141-p.143) How does Eugenides capture the atmosphere of darkness and decay in this extract and why is this significant in the novel as a whole? In the successful novel the virgin suicides, Jeffrey Eugenide’s uses a range of devices to conceptualize what’s going on inside the Lisbon’s house and capture the sense of isolation and how he personifies their house and the environment surrounding it. This causes the reader to actually feel the

Tragedy: Fact or Fiction?

2269 words - 9 pages . A good example of modern tragedy presenting itself is found in the novel, "The Virgin Suicides (written by Jeffrey Eugenides, later made into a movie). Why is say it is a form of tragedy is because of certain themes, symbols and motives that runs parrallel with that of the characteristics of tragedy.Sight is the sense of objectivity, analysis, perspective, juxtaposition, description, and distance--it traces the surface but does not penetrate


2906 words - 12 pages want to die, but many did. "I am yearning for death with all the passion of a lover," wrote Ignatius of Antioch. The early church historian Eusebius chronicled myriad martyrdoms, and praised a mother and her virgin daughters for killing themselves to avoid the sin of sex-though it was the threat of rape that moved them to end their lives. The rage for martyrdom went on for centuries.The church's view of martyrdom began to change around the time


1298 words - 6 pages Jeffery Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides illustrates the life of the Lisbon girls through the eyes of the neighborhood boys who are obsessed with them. All their lives, the Lisbon girls where known as a single entity to those around them—they were never given a chance to express their individuality. Being known as the “Lisbon girls” by those around them, most people could not differentiate between the sisters. After Cecilia succeeded in

Similar Essays

"The Virgin Suicides" Essay

681 words - 3 pages "The Virgin Suicide" was a very good book, however the movie didn't really excite me. Unlike the book, the film took me by the hand from, from the very beginning and walked me through each moment, only to lead me to a dead end. The book is far much better than the movie because the movie left out so many important details that was important in the novel.Cecilia's funeral was something I look forward seeing because in the book it talked about how

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

Character's In The Virgin Suicides Essay

917 words - 4 pages Characters In Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides The Lisbon family has always been a source of fascination to their 1960s suburban neighborhood. Mr. Lisbon, a high school math teacher, has trouble socializing with the other neighborhood fathers and Mrs. Lisbon, a religious fanatic, does not allow her daughters to wear makeup or anything deemed scandalous (Griffith). Kenneth Womack stated in an article titled Why Don’t You Just Leave It Up

Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides Essay

2917 words - 12 pages The Virgin Suicides is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel written in 1993 by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was his debut novel. It centers on a group of unnamed neighborhood boys who are captivated by the five mysterious Lisbon sisters. The book was critically acclaimed for its unique first person plural narrative and received numerous awards. The book originally appeared as a short story that won an Aga Khan Prize for Fiction in 1991. The short story