48 pages 1 hour read

Jeffrey Eugenides

The Virgin Suicides

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1993

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Important Quotes

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“Her head appears to be on fire but that is only a trick of the light. It was June 13, eighty-three degrees out, under sunny skies.”

(Chapter 1, Page 3)

Imagery is a prominent force in The Virgin Suicides that illustrates the boys’ mystification of the Lisbon girls, supporting the theme of The Objectification of Women and enhancing the novel’s dreamlike atmosphere. The boys’ memories of the events leading up to the Lisbon girls’ deaths are pristine and detailed, as though this part of their life were a defining moment that continues to feel as if it happened yesterday. The theme of Romanticizing the Past persists throughout the story as they recount everything they loved and admired about the girls.

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“Obviously, Doctor, you’ve never been a thirteen-year-old girl.”

(Chapter 1, Page 5)

The novel contains little dialogue, so when it’s present, it serves a significant purpose. When Cecilia is taken to the hospital after her first attempt, the doctor questions her motivations, given that so much of her life remains ahead of her. Cecilia’s response is telling because it alludes to a larger issue that many youth, especially young girls, of her era felt, which was a disappointment in the world they inherited, and supports the theme of The Death of the Future.