Monday, September 07, 2009

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides


The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

I watched the movie when it came out a long time ago, thinking it was a light-hearted chick-lit. Imagine how taken aback I was when I realize the somberness and tragic nature of the movie.

It made an impact on me, but perhaps I wasn’t ready to understand it yet.

Now, many years later, I read the book, thinking that maybe I’ll get more insights about it that I missed before with the movie and my young age.

Truth is, I still don’t understand much of it, but I think it’s not really meant to be understood. Perhaps Eugenides was trying to tell us how futile it is to try to put a label on the reasons for suicides. It could be any number of factors, even the person who commits suicide may not understand what compels them to do it.

I don’t claim to know anything about it, but still I wonder about it and strive to find reasons. We want to know why, even when we realize that we may never know the answer.

Suicide is a painful subject, especially for those left behind, but Eugenides tries to let us see it, in a roundabout way, from the points of view of the persons who commit suicide. We’ll never be able to see it, but still we try our best.

It’s a sobering and tragic story, but written very well. I think the most important thing about this book is that it forces you to think, and perhaps, talk, about a very painful subject.


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