What is in the spring of your life if the spring of a life refers to your first twenty years in your life? The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel by Silvia Plath, describes Esther Greenwood’s harsh spring of her life. Narrating in the first person, Esther tells her experience of a mental breakdown in a descriptive language, helping the readers visualize what she sees and feel her emotions. The novel takes place in New York City and Boston during the early 1950s when women’s roles were limited to domesticity. The repression of women’s roles in the American society during the 1950s and other influences such as her lack of confidence, her hesitance, her mother, and her feminist point of view seem to affect her mental breakdown.
One of the main reasons why Esther tried to commit suicide was the way she perceived her mother's actions, and the fact that she hates her mother:
The Bell Jar is occupied with several female characters that all represent an assortment of female stereotypes. There are college students who wish to fully experience the city of New York, patients in a mental institution, and psychiatrists who could potentially serve as role models throughout the novel. Esther often finds herself lacking self-confidence due to the fact that she is constantly comparing herself to these individuals. Esther is shown as being stubborn because she rejects the womanhood that is presented to her. Instead, she spends her time worrying about what she thinks it is to be a woman. Sylvia Plath’s novel, The Bell Jar, diagrams the repressed role women endured due to the restrictions and expectations of societal norms.
To express her feelings of frustration, admiration and jealousy, Anne continues to write diaries entries as a form of mental therapy. After her challenging attempts to become a better person, she eventually does become more mature. The reader finds more of a reliable narrator in what was previously an unreliable narrator. Despite her ironic future, she learns to create an understanding of her relationship with Margot. Her feelings of jealousy and frustration slowly form into the admiration and respect she begins to see for her sister. After all, Anne's writing marks he most important growth into becoming an adult and entering the real world as an independent young lady.
Anna grew up in the shadow of her wealthy, domineering grandfather, her emotionally absent father and her cold, achievement-oriented mother. Her mother ran her life, pushing Anna to practice piano in the hopes she would become a professional musician one day. Anna was learning that she was not in control of her life; she was forced to let life (through her mother's ambitions for her) happen to her.
“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” ( http://thinkexist.com/quotes/sylvia_plath/)
On January 14th of 1963, Sylvia Plath had finally completed The Bell Jar after approximately two years of writing. This novel could have been considered a partial autobiography, because the main character Esther Greenwood eerily represents Sylvia Plath. There are a number of references to Plath’s real life throughout the book, too many for it to be considered a mere coincidence. Within the story, Esther Greenwood considers and attempts suicide quite frequently. Could this novel have been foreshadowing Sylvia’s death, which took place a little less than a month after?
"The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head…” For most people, when the name Sylvia Plath comes to mind, the word “psychotic” is the word that follows; however, there was more to Plath than her demented works. Throughout her shortened life, Plath had a variety of titles bestowed upon her: daughter, sister, student, wife, mother, teacher, author, and poetess However, Sylvia Plath was a haunted soul, as she also had the labels of “manic depressive” and “bipolar.” Her constant struggles with her mental illnesses are evident in her writing, especially her semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar.
Whenever I imagine a bell jar, the bell jar from Beauty and the Beast comes to mind. The beast’s whole life was entrapped because of the rose in the bell jar. As the rose petals dropped, Beast’s chance at becoming a human again, dwindled. The bell jar, an airtight cage, slowly suffocated the rose and him. You could say the same for Ester Greenwood from The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, the bell jar represents suffocation from her mental illness, slowly engulfing her sanity and the air she breathes. The bell jar also represents her losing a connection to reality and to people around her. The protagonist is trapped in the walls of glass, it slowly suffocated her sense of reality and sense of belonging in her world. Ester Greenwood, the protagonist
Sylvia Plath, the author of The Bell Jar, started writing around the age of eight years old. Plath had gotten straight A’s all throughout school and was very intelligent, Plath was a model daughter and very popular in school. Plath was always winning the best prizes for her writing and school work. Plath entered Smith College on a wonderful scholarship, and had already had an impressive list of publications and while attending college she wrote more than 400 poems before graduation. When she was eight, her father passed away. The summer following her junior year at Smith, Plath returned from a summer away in New York where she had been a student “guest editor” at Mademoiselle Magazine, Plath nearly succeeded in killing herself by swallowing sleeping pills. Later she then described her experience in an autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, published in 1963. After a certain period of recovery including electroshock and psychotherapy, Plath resumed and her academic