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The Bell Jar Essay

797 words - 4 pages

Sylvia Plath portrays her life experiences in her first novel, The Bell Jar, through Esther Greenwood, a normal 19 year old woman who tries to live her life New York City. A straight "A" student, Esther is a college correspondant for the town Gazette, editor of her school's literary magazine, and and apprentice to one of the best editors of a popular fashion magazine. Esther wishes to be a poet, however, the pressures of success and love take a toll on Esther's health. Her dream is postponed due to her psychological breakdown and admittance to an mental institution. The Bell Jar deals with a phase in Esther's life when she is influenced by her personal ambition and her involvement with other ...view middle of the document...

Another influence on her life is her relationship with long time friend, Buddy Willard. Buddy is in love with her, but she does not feel the same. At first, Esther liked him, but once she realized how hypocritical he was, her thoughts soon changed. These pressures influencing Esther's life lead her to take action, and to try and change her life. Struggling to change, Esther rebels against the predetermined roles that society feels she should fill as a woman. Esther often has thoughts about suicide and has acted on them on more than one occasion. On one of these occasions, though, she comes far too close to succeeding. An overdose on sleeoing pills nearly kills her. She stole the sleeping pills from her mother and hides in a dark tunnel in her basement. Once she is discovered, unconcious, she is rushed to the hospital and revived. After this episode Esther no longer looked like herself. She does not recognize herself and says, "You couldn't tell whethere the person in the picture was a man or a woman, because their hair was shaved off and sprouted in cristly...

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