The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)

The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath‘s only novel.

Plot:
Esther Greenwood just got a summer internship at a popular fashion magazine. But contrary to her expectations, the internship isn’t very exciting for her. In fact, nothing is very exciting for her. She tries her hand at partying, at men, at writing but nothing really works for her and the internship won’t change that either. So when it’s over and Esther returns home she is even more lost than before.

I was a little apprehensive about reading this book. I was afraid it would be one of those books that if you hadn’t read it as a teenager, you would fail to connect to it. Thankfully, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s a beautiful book with beautiful prose and a compelling heroine. I loved it.

plath-the_bell_jar

It’s hard to say that I liked Esther. I felt like she was buried so much under her depression that there was barely any personality left. Something that she herself tried to remedy by looking for her purpose so much. And that is something I can relate a whole lot to. I’ve been there and I had to work my way out of that. And I think a whole lot of people have been there, too. Even if, like me, they didn’t get as deeply into it as Esther.

And to have that conflict cushioned not only in unabashed feminism, but in beautiful, droolworthy prose just makes it pretty much perfect. [Also, this is the moment to link to this.]

If there was one thing I had to criticize about this, I’d say that towards the end [SPOILER] Esther’s recovery is a little less believable than her illness. Maybe because Plath herself never really recovered. [/SPOILER] But that’s generally more looking for a fault than there actually being one there.

Summarizing: yes, good.

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