Depression in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Essay

Depression in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Essay

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Depression can be defined as part of a psychological state of mind that a person might encounter. Most famously recognized psychiatrist Sigmund Freud is known for his Psychodynamic theory. His psychoanalysis theory is known to be successful for treating patients with mental illness. Sylvia Plath, the author of the Bell Jar, makes the main character Esther go through a psychological transformation. Esther’s transformation can be realized through Freud’s psychoanalysis theory as the story unfolds from the beginning to end. The influences of people and events around Esther have affected her transformation.
The events in New York introduce us to the beginning of Esther’s psychological transformation. The story first inaugurates with the executions of the Rosenbergs, where the Rosenbergs were electrocuted to death. They were believed to be supporting communism. The executions of the Rosenbergs deeply affected Esther’s mental state because of the way that they were executed. She believed that electrocution was unconstitutional and should have not been applied to them. According to Esther in chapter one, “I knew something was wrong with me that summer, because all I could think about was the Rosenbergs and how stupid I’d been to buy those uncomfortable, expensive clothes”(Plath 2). This quote emphasizes how Esther is becoming unable to control her mind mainly because of the events surrounding her. Based on Freud’s theory, a person’s mind is composed of both unconscious and conscious thoughts. When these thoughts interact they create a state of repression, where the person becomes unaware of conflicting problems that they be having. According to Rashmi Nemade author of “Psychology of Depression- Psychodynamic Theories Esther”, repress...


... middle of paper ...


... scolded me, but kept begging me, with a sorrowful face to tell her what she had done was wrong” (226).The reason Esther is in this situation is because of her mom. Esther depression has reached its climax. The result of an unhappy relationship according to Freud has impacted Esther.
Esther’s psychological transformation from a perfectly healthy person ends up suffering from depression. Her influences around her have negatively shown Esther a negative path to take. The events during the 1950s such as the Rosenbergs executions have only made the transformation even powerful. Sylvia Plath’s life could be compared to the Bell Jar because she was in the same situation as Esther. Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis and psycho dynamic has addressed depression through the main character Esther.



Works Cited

(simplypsychology.org)
(info.emergencehealthnetwork.org)

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