The Bell Jar
AUTHOR: Sylvia Plath
GENRE: Literary Fiction
PUBLISHED: January 14th, 1963
“The trouble was, I had been inadequate all along, I simply hadn’t thought about it.”
The Bell Jar is the story of 19-year-old Esther Greenwood, the breakdown she experiences, and the beginning of her recovery.
Whether you have been depressed like Esther or not, the book will challenge you. Those of you who had no experience with depression, it will make you question why Esther is so self-destructive. You may not see any reason for it…women her age are supposed to be cheerful, confident, and the fashion world she inhabits should make her feel glamorous and happy. But she feels lost, cut-off and is questioning her existence. The book portrays the stages of depression perfectly. How sadness, loneliness, having no way to express oneself, feeling out of pace with society/friends/family can make a person do crazy things.
Esther’s sense of alienation from the world around her makes her crave for feeling something new, something different. Even though she is surrounded by people, Esther is completely alone and she cannot find a way out of her own head. The feeling of numbness drives Esther mad that soon overtakes her. Eventually, the gap between societal expectations and her own feelings and experiences becomes so large that she feels she can no longer survive.
The Bell Jar is definitely one of the stories which will remain with the readers for a very long time and after reading it you won’t be the same.