Feminism In Virgin Suicides

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The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenedis, is a novel that deals with the complexities of being a teenager, dealing with related themes such as growing up, loss of innocence, adolescent sexuality, loneliness, unrequited love. These seemingly innocent themes however, develop a darker side, as they lead to the suicides of the main characters- Lux, Bonnie, Celia, Mary and Therese: the 5 Lisbon sisters. The story is told retrospectively through the the viewpoint of an unknown number of anonymous boys, now middleaged men, who grew up in the same middle class suburban neighbourhood in middle America. This first person plural narrative creates interest effects on the novel.

Most importantly, the narrative is an extremely detached, therefore highly unreliable one. The narrators tell the Lisbon girls ' story through their subjective theories and assumptions, fantasies and dreams. They do
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This is also symbolic of the Male Gaze, a feminist theory coined by Laura Malver in 1974, which states that in mainstream media, women are almost always represented and seen through a male 's perspective, because men typically hold the authority to decide how women are represented- usually resulting in a sexualized, unreal image of a woman. This is exemplified in the novel by giving a couple of teenage boys, who were barely relevant to the lives of the main characters and themselves admitted did not understand them, complete authority in representing them. This creates a partiachal power dynamic in which the girls become the 'objects ' and boys the 'subjects ' the ones who are in the dominant, powerful position as they are in charge of the story. This results in the a wrongful representation of the Lisbon sisters, rather than displaying them as teenage girls, with flaws and realistic characteristics, they are shown to us an unrealistic projection of heterosexual male fantasies and are reduced to feminine stereotypes regarded as appealing to men. For example, they are described by the
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