Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Suicide of Bonnie Lisbon

As Chase Buell dances around the downstairs recreation room, in anticipation for all the real life dances he will soon be able to dance with the girls, he doesn't notice when, in the dark, he bumps into a pair of legs swinging from the rafters.

"Above him, in a pink dress, Bonnie looked clean and festive, like a pinata" (Eugenides 280).
Comparing a dead girl to a pinata is just part of the sark yet sad humour that Eugenides uses all too well throughout the novel. The realization that Bonnie is hanging lifeless, like a candy-stuffed toy for children to bash shows that sadly enough, her death with be as meaningless to the community as her life was. I think the fact that she hung herself said that she wanted to draw attention and wanted to speak her suicide loud and clear. She most likely was not afraid of death, and make the bold choice to go first in the suicide "free-for-all".

"We had never known her. They had brought us here to find that out" (Eugenides 280).
I almost felt the sickening realization alongside the boys. How awful they must have felt, to think they could have saved the girls and lived happily ever after, when really the boys were just a pawn in the girls' plans to end their own lives. The boys finally realize that they never really knew anything about the girls, as much as they watched and documented their every public movement. I think this is the moment where the loss of innocence is most apparent for the boys.

"The fat one went inside to get Bonnie down from the rafters, balancing one chair on another like a circus performer" (Eugenides 284).
This is Eugenides and his irony at work again. He is alluding to the spectacle that will be made of the deaths of the Lisbon girls, and how the neighbourhood will soon be turning into a circus; a chaos of people and opinions and judgements.

In hindsight, Bonnie's battered truck lost its association with travel and flight and became only what it was: a drop weight for hanging" (Eugenides 285).
This is also a really sad line. The trunk could have been used as an escape, a ticket to a new life far away from the Lisbon household, a promising new start. However, it was only used as an escape of another kind, the weight of the possessions of all her sisters assisting in her death. The boys had so much hope upon first seeing the suitcase, if only they had known what it was to be used for.

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