The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath MAG

By Alex S., Allison Park, PA

     Sylvia Plath’s semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, tells of Esther Greenwood’s coming-of-age, which does not follow the usual course. Esther’s experiences, including her first time in New York as a guest editor, a marriage proposal, and her success in college, are intended to be positive and life-changing but actually make her disoriented and depressed. Instead of finding new meaning in life, Esther wants to withdraw from the world and die.

After a couple of futile, even unnoticed suicide attempts, she awakens in a mental institution after taking 50 sleeping pills. As she recovers, her life focus becomes one of survival. The book takes place in the 1950s, and Esther questions many contradictions between what society says she should experience and what she actually does, and this questioning intensifies her madness.

Sylvia Plath’s style is truly astonishing; she writes with such intensity and detail that you feel what madness is like. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is up to the challenge of reading an intense classic.


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This article has 3 comments.


i love this !

on Feb. 7 2015 at 8:35 am
TanviKusum DIAMOND, Gurgaon, Other
89 articles 4 photos 201 comments

Favorite Quote:
All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.
Orison Swett Marden

"The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." - Anais Nin

we speak in hushed voices so as to not wake our memories

That is a great review, I am a big fan of The Bell Jar. I also have this blog where people document their letters to Sylvia Plath, letterstoplath.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/prose/, check it out and tell me how you like it, also submit!

ael429 BRONZE said...
on Jul. 20 2011 at 12:22 pm
ael429 BRONZE, Waterford, Michigan
3 articles 10 photos 20 comments
Thanks for reviewing The Bell Jar. I think Sylvia Plath is such an intriguing writer and person, I just don't know what of hers to read first. After reading your review, I think I might start here.


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