Thursday, April 14, 2011

The End

Like everyone must do when tragedy strikes, the boys start to move on from the Lisbon girls. They attend parties, find new girl interests and commence their summer, but can't seem to forget the foreboding house down the street. The Lisbon house is cleaned and everything that belonged to the girls is thrown out, with the exception of things that the boys managed to salvage: family pictures, make-up, Cecilia's converse, Bonnie's candles, Lux's bra. The remaining two Lisbons pack up their things and move out in the dead of night. The Lisbon house is sold to a young couple and remodelled; it is the Lisbon house no longer.

But still, even after all loose ends are tied up, the boys can't help but linger...

Finishing this book, I had to take a walk for a little while. The ending was so beautiful, and simple. I have no idea why it struck me so much, but that's just the power of this novel. I liken it to the Titanic: when you watch the movie, everyone knows the boat is going to sink, yet when it actually goes under the response is that of heartbreak and shock. The death of the Lisbon girls was inevitable; we knew if from page two. There were no surprises, no twist ending. Nobody rose from their grave, none of the boys even said more than a few sentences to each of the girls through the course of the novel. The girls themselves never did anything profound, barely moved from their bedroom window, barely glanced at us, the reader. And then their lives ended. Why then, does this novel, this story, generate so much emotion from the reader?

"It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn't heard us calling, still do not hear us, up in the tree house with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together" (Eugenides 325).

I am so glad I finally read this book.

This is one of the songs by the French instrumental band Air who did an instrumental soundtrack for Soffia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides. This is, in my opinion, the best song on the CD. It's melancholy and dreamy and captures the tone of the novel perfectly.

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