The Evil Outside Forces of Depression in the Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Powerful Essays
Depression is not only caused by the self induced emotional state of a person. It can also be forced onto someone by external forces that influence depression. These events can sway a person into their depression, and with nothing or no one to catch them when they fall, they could keep going down deeper. The novel The Bell Jar, written by Sylvia Plath, portrays ways that depression was pushed onto the main character, Esther. People that had once been there for her were not there for her during her fall. Her career choice had been destroyed and she had nothing to work for. Esther was thrown into a depression from many negative events and people that she had no control over, and she had no help to stop or prevent this from happening.
Buddy Willard was a person in Esther’s life that had negative influence on her and caused her to plunge into her depression. He had taken Esther out to teach her how to ski, which she had never done before. He began to teach her the basics of skiing and how to get down small hills. She had just barely learned how to ski straight down and he wanted her to go up a large hill and ski down it. He had told her to only go half way up, but she went all the way up because she could not bring herself to get off of the rope accelerating her up the hill. Since she only knew how to ski down straight, she went down the only way she knew how.
I plummeted down past the zigzaggers, the students, the experts, through year after year of doubleness and smiles and compromise, into my own past… My teeth crunched a gravelly mouthful. Ice water seeped down my throat… ‘You were doing fine,’ a familiar voice informed my ear, ‘until that man stepped into your path.’... ‘I’m going up,’... A queer, satisfied expression came over ...

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... to disregard her feelings of living.
The negative exterior forces in Esther’s life caused her to fall into a depression with no help from any other positive exterior force. Buddy Willard was a person who was part of Esther’s life who had let her down and inflicted damage to her mentally and physically. Her college plans were ruined when they had failed her and she was not accepted into what she wanted to work as. Her mother did not make an attempt to comfort or support her when she was going through her crisis. Another man shortly in her life, Marco the woman hater, had set her up for her big fall as she was leaving New York. Esther encountered many obstacles in her life that were set and eventually forced a harsh depression, while the help she had vanished and did not support her throughout her depression, causing a near fatal outcome.

Works Cited

The Bell Jar