The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Essays

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Essays

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

One is often enticed to read a novel because of the way in which the characters are viewed and the way in which characters view their surroundings. In the novel The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Esther Greenwood is a character whose "heightened and highly emotional response to events, actions and sentiments" (Assignment sheet) intrigue the reader. One of her character traits is extreme paranoia that is shown in different situations throughout the novel. As a result of this, she allows herself to be easily let down, as she believes that all events that are unsatisfactory are directed towards her. Finally, it is clear that she attempts to escape this notion by imagining an idyllic yet impossible life that she envisions in remote circumstances. It is clear that Plath's creation is a Novel of Sensibility as her writing not only possesses all of the qualities associated with this genre, it also effectively takes the reader into the story with the protagonist.
One who suffers from paranoia often makes conclusions about situations without any real knowledge or understanding. Esther is a person who believes that she will be discovered and mistreated if any knowledge that she deems potentially harmful is realized about her. On one visit to her psychiatrist, she shows him the pieces of a letter that she wrote to a friend. However, after consideration, she realizes that that might not be the best idea. "I picked up every scrap of my letter to Doreen so Doctor Gordon couldn't piece them together and see I was planning to run away." (Plath 143). Despite the improbability of the situation, she finds herself suspicious of the actions of those around. Esther looks at things in a way that differs from the ...


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...her readers how human emotions are all related to life experience. The reason for the exaggeration is that without readers would not be able to comprehend their own actions and thoughts as clearly. Esther Greenwood exhibits a profound paranoia about the intentions of others. This leads her to expect the worst from others, and when the worst is what she receives she feels doubly betrayed, first of all by herself for expecting it and then by the one who wreaked such havoc upon her mind. She, like many members of the human race, searches for answers in impossible ideals, because that which is impossible to reach may never be destroyed. This novel is clearly an example of a Novel of Sensibility because it is based on emotions and their connection to "events, actions and sentiments" (Assignment sheet).




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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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