The Bell Jar Summary

In a very short time of this course there has been an interesting exploration of themes, ideas and beliefs. The Bell Jar written by Sylvia Plath was an engaging way to open conversation amongst 25 young girls. A young female thriving in the craze of New York City where expectations and standards define everyone, Esther Greenwood the protagonist of this novel was not situated for this city or society. Esther couldn’t deal with the external pressures especially of being a female in society. She despised the double standards amongst women society set and rebelled against the societal norms by deciding how many men to sleep with and going against the norms of a woman in that day and age.  

Keeping in mind this book was written in 60’s it is important to remember the somewhat privileges we have as woman now, clearly weren’t present then. Sadly the book ends with Esther committing suicide, this is a mere reflection of the author’s life herself. Plath struggled enormously with mental health issues and coping with pressure, ending her life in a cruel and unusual way.

There are many passages in the book that represent art. Similarity to a painting or dance, writing is also an expression. Plath’s writing flourished in the morbid and darkest of moments. Specifically when Esther describes taking a bath or committing self harm. There is a certain beauty attached to these cluster of words that truly touch the reader. The Bell Jar is an exquisite book that takes you on an emotional roller coaster contemplating the means of society as an outsider or the insider itself.   


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