48 pages 1 hour read

Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1993

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Chapter 5Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 5 Summary

The paramedics arrived again, and they were all recognizable by then. The deaths by suicide weren’t a surprise to anyone in the neighborhood, seemingly not even the Lisbon parents. Mary survived her attempted death by suicide but lived only another month. The girls’ bodies were examined via autopsy, and the coroner wrote of the heartbreak of the examinations and how pristine the girls’ bodies were. The “final suicides” happened on the anniversary of Cecilia’s first attempt, and conspiracies of ritual sacrifice and astrological connections ensued. News reporters came and went through the girls’ rooms, reaching conclusions that the boys found shallow and irrelevant.

Mr. and Mrs. Lisbon stopped pretending to be functional, and Mr. Lisbon put the house up for sale and hired a man to throw away everything inside. He wore a mask to protect his face from the dust and the leftover particles of lives no longer there. After he set the trash out each day, the boys went through it, often finding treasures such as a collection of old family photos. The furniture was put up for sale, the inside of the house was cleaned, and the entire neighborhood came to see it.