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Coming Of Age: The Theme Of Virgin Suicides (Essay Sample)


This assignment is to write an expository essay of six to seven full pages about the Virgin Suicide by Jeffery Eugenides. The essay must include text-based evidence to prove your thesis. You must quote your primary sources, as well as include three or more secondary, peer-reviewed sources that provide support to your argument. This information may present a historical or cultural context, a theoretical framework, or an interview with the author. Be sure to use peer-reviewed sources or reviews from academic journals. As I suggested for Essay Two, please quote your primary and secondary sources adequately and use them early in the essay. The writing must be done in MLA style with Times New Roman, 12-point font. There is no rewrite for this paper.
You should examine the text from a broad perspective that may encompass themes, plot, symbols, tropes, characters, or style. You should be able to support your idea(s) with quotations from the book and your secondary sources. As in any academic essay, you must form a thesis, support your ideas with evidence, and create a final conclusion. You should be able to incorporate independent ideas that expand upon facts presented in class. It may be helpful, but not necessary, to use the theorists we discussed in class. Be sure to include an Annotated Bibliography with Essay Three.
Please make sure to read the book before you write this essay.
Do not write the summary of the book in the essay.
Make sure to add the quotes with clear page number in the essay directly.
Please talk about feminism in The Virgin Suicide as part of the essay.
At least three secondary resources should be included in the essay. All quotes from these secondary resources should be designed to prove the thesis of the essay.


Coming of Age: The Virgin Suicides
When girls are growing up, the world tells them the things that they are supposed to be: loving, emotional, beautiful and wanted. However, when they become these things, the world shows them that they are inferior, vain, weak and empty. In general, it teaches them that they exist in disgusting manner. They watch boys cringing backwards when they try to talk about their periods. In a restaurants, trying to give the experience they had when they visited a gynecologist, over their shoulders, they watch boys of their age turning to look at them and wrinkle their noses. That is when the reality begins to dawn on them that it is impolite to talk about their lives. The message the world is trying to pass is that they do not have a right to the spaces they occupy. Any space with men is not theirs, them and their bodies exist as what men want. At 15 years old, girls find boys of their age believing that the women should bend their bodies at their will. They are children (Villani, 2012).
Adolescence has been packaged as an American theme. This stems from the huge pop-culture works since around 1940s, the country seems to be obsessed with the adolescents. America has embraced artists who have captured this theme, from Shirley Temple to Britney Spears. However, the fascination with the adolescent population stretches beyond the pop-culture to include some works of literature which have featured adolescent protagonists. The adolescence stage has been characterized as a lively and a period of new beginnings. This stage in the human life opens various possibilities that later on defines and moulds the fate of people. The adolescence stage is a bright one and in few occasions it becomes associated with mystery, sadness, tragedy and pain. This rare occasion has been explored in the novel “The Virgin Suicides” by Jeffrey Eugenides. In this paper I am going to explore this theme by examining how Jeffrey portrays coming of age or adolescence in girls.
The Virgin Suicides was first published in 1993 and was Jeffrey's debut novel. It received favorable movies and adapted into an equally celebrated movie by Sofia Coppola. Later, Jeffrey published other novels, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex in 2002 and The Marriage Plot in 2011. Jeffrey was born to Greek descent father and an Anglo=Irish descent mother in Detroit, Michigan. Throughout his works, Jeffrey is fascinated by gender and out of the three, Middlesex seems to be the only work that contradicts the concept of gender. On the other hand, the other works tend to be questioning gender roles in the society. In an interview by Foer, Jeffrey expresses his opinion of gender as a continuum:
Genes and environment interact during a specific, crucial development period. They coauthor the human being. Biologists understand this, but the culture at large does not, quite. So we have these pat theories about evolutionary causes for our present behaviors. Men cannot communicate because 20,000 year ago they had to be silent on the hunt. Women are verbal because they had to call out to each other while gathering nuts and berries. This is just as silly as the previous nurture explanations … Between the alternatives of nurture and nature, I argue for a middle place. That is one of the meanings of the title Middlesex, obviously. But the Middlesex I am talking about is not only a third gender category. It also represents a certain flexibility in the notion of gender itself. It is a very American concept really. It is a belief in individuality, in freedom. I think we are freer than we realize. Less genetically encumbered.
The Virgin Suicides is about the life of five Lisbon sisters with a focus on their last year and suicides. ...

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