The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath Essay

The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath Essay

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Life is full of endless amounts of beautiful encounters for every character in the novel The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, except for Esther. She suffers from a severe and complex mental illness that impacts her life greatly. Although it is clear that Esther suffers strongly from depression in the novel, Sylvia Plath chooses to tell her life abstractly through countless symbols and ironies to prove that Esther depression completely consumes her. Everything that Esther sees is through a lens of depression, which scews her outlook on life.
An irony that is carried throughout the entire novel is the fact that Esther works in a prestigious fashion world, yet she sees everything gruesomely and cynically. This is also according to the article Down a Dark Tunnel of Anger and Violence by Jan Pearce, she states multiple times that The Bell Jar is an angry book. Not only that, she makes a remarkable statement saying, “Plath uses language like an axe, not only to pillory people, but to split open experience for meaning,” (Pearce). The way she chooses to describe objects and events in her life are related to death and are hell-like. Not only does the tone and the language in the book truly show how sad and depressed Esther is, it also makes the feeling come to life, the hurt, misery and helps to see everything in the cruel, hurtful way that Esther sees everything. At one point in the novel she states, “I looked down at the two flesh-colored Band-Aids forming a cross on the calf of my right leg,” (Plath 147). The fact that she chose to use the grotesque term “flesh-colored” comes to show just how she chooses to view normal, everyday objects.
Towards the end of the story, Esther was getting uncontrollably worse with her outlook on everyday objec...


... middle of paper ...


...ncluded in, such as the asylum, her home and her fashion world. On the other hand, Esther may not be angry about the fact that these people around her are cluelessly following each other, but the fact that she will never be a part of them. Overall, proving that Esther feels as if she has many “logical” reasons to have a grotesque and negative outlook on life and all of the people in it.
The irony of Esther being ugly and working in the fashion world, the symbols of the fig tree, being born twice and the bell jar were strategically used by Sylvia Plath to all come together at the end of the novel to prove one common theme. The theme of The Bell Jar is that Esther, the main character who suffers from a mental illness, sees everything in her world through a lens of depression. The big question is, will anyone ever be able to come along and shatter that lens?








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