Dichotomy In The Virgin Suicides

779 Words4 Pages
In the novel, The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides describes the suicides of the Lisbon girls through the eyes of a group of teenage boys. Eugenides puts a large amount of symbolism within the pages to give further meaning to the events that happens in the novel. One of the pieces of symbolism that is present in the novel is the idea of the Virgin Mary. This religious figure being present in the novel allows the reader to connect the ideas of the virgin-whore dichotomy to the novel. When applying this idea to the novel the audience can question if the Lisbon girls were really as pure as they seem on the outside to the teenage boys. This idea of purity also goes back to the Virgin Mary and how she was supposable the most pure of all time.…show more content…
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 pg.4). This quote occurs right after Cecilia tried to commit suicide in the bathtub and she is clutching the Virgin Mary card against her heart. With the household being really religious the reader would not really feel this is odd until the idea of the Virgin Mary card is brought up again, “It was like anything else in this sad society,” he told us. “They didn’t have a relationship with God.” When we reminded him about the laminated picture of the Virgin Mary, he said, “Jesus is the one she should have had a picture of” (pg. 18). This idea of the Virgin Mary card seems to have a significant meaning in the novel especially in the idea that the father of the Lisbon girl is so applaud by the idea of the girls having the Virgin Mary card and not one of Jesus. This can be explained by the facts that Marina Warner states in her book, Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary, which states that, “St. Paul Epistle to the Galatians was probably written in A.D. 57; his letters as a whole are the earliest work in the New Testament, which is itself the earliest source for Mary, and the only one with any claim to historical validity”(Warner pg. 3-4). The historical image of Mary was brought up in religious literature during the New Testament so Mr. Lisbon could be a person that only follows the Old Testament. This however, does not change the fact that the idea of the Virgin Mary shows up throughout the novel, which has to connect in someway to the Lisbon girls. The idea of the Virgin Mary is suppose to bring about the thoughts of a mother of a religious figure, however in this cause it leaves the audience wondering what does it all

    More about Dichotomy In The Virgin Suicides

      Open Document