Monday, February 12, 2007

Safety in Numbers..... or Maybe Not.

I don't want to give too much away for those still reading, but..... I've been thinking about the Virgin Suicides recently, probably because I can't seem to get into Pi -- and because we're supposed to talk about it here (that's what book clubs do -- especially the supercool ones, right?).

Something about it reminds me of a psychological phenomena (shut up, I was a Psych major) that maintains that the more witnesses there are to an accident, the longer it takes for the victim to get help. It's really just a form of transference -- the gist of it is that if there are a lot of people around, witnesses tend to transfer responsibility to help the victims to the next guy, assuming that they must be more qualified to help. Whereas, if you are the only witness -- you know it's up to you to help -- there's nobody else who can.

An entire community witnessed the undoing of these girls, yet nobody stepped in. Initially, the neighbors and a priest tried to intervene -- but that was it -- they gave up. I wonder, would the outcome had been different if somebody (friends, neighbors, personnel at school, family members) had tried harder or done more.

6 comments:

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

That makes sense, but I think that the parents making them prisoners was the main cause of their discontent.

Mr Big Dubya said...

La, la, la, la, la - I can't hear you - la, la, la, la

Kemp said...

So far, I think the mother is the primary culprit, but the father is to blame as well.

Best way I can describe this family: they're like the Adams Family on acid... and that's saying something...

Her Bad Mother said...

What Sarah said - the thing about the Lisbon family is that they've isolated themselves, and the first suicide sets them into further isolation. No-one is allowed in, literally and figuratively - the only one who attempts 'escape' is Lux, through her sexuality. I think that we're meant to understand that there was no possibility of intervention, given their isolation.

Mrs Big Dubya said...

I agree that the parents (more specifically the mother) were really a big part of it. I hate to say she was "at fault" or "responsible" because hindsight is 20/20 and she probably thought she was doing the right thing.

But, when kids stop coming to school (particularly the younger ones) and completely withdraw, I would hope somebody would step in -- whether it be social services, a teacher or a clergy member. I think what happened here was a combination of the parents resisting any type of help and the community being ill-equipped to persevere in offering it.

I thought that when Lux went to the doctor that some sort of intervention(rescue)would result -- I suspect she was hoping so too -- but it didn't.

NKYGAL said...

Hello all. I came across your book club blog the other day while reading Chicky Chicky Baby's blog (http://chickychickybaby.blogspot.com/) and was wondering if you are accepting or considering new members? I was just talking with my gal pals the other day about how I would love to find a book club that meshes with my personality. Can a girl from Kentucky even dream of becoming a member?? Thank you for your consideration. You have a great blog!
Shannan aka NKYGAL