Conformity And Conformity In Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

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In our lives, there is, whether we realize it or not, over a million different pivotal moments that lead to different things. At a young age, there is the fine line between becoming an introvert or an extrovert- living our lives in extravagance or happily alone. For Esther Greenwood, her pivotal moment led her to the act of conforming for society, hiding behind the title of magazine editor while contemplating suicide within. In her novel The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath explores the ideas of conformity and insanity all within two hundred forty four pages through her main characters, Esther Greenwood and Buddy Willard. Furthermore, her whole novel is a good reflection of Kate Chopin’s quote “That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that…show more content…
Esther Greenwood- magazine editor by conformity, yet secretly suicidal by choice. She is the first seen victim of caving in to what she thinks she must act like within Plath’s novel. There are many highlight moments to depict how everyone, in a way, is just like Esther- hiding yet seemingly unafraid. From the beginning, we are told that she’s surrounded by popular, beautiful women and as far as we can infer, she had the dream job as an editor. However, we also find out that she hasn’t been happy since the age of nine and has attempted suicide on multiple accounts. Plath early on highlights the difference between Esther on the outside versus her on the inside- it is the fine line between insanity and baring with the world. A scene from chapter thirteen goes into this very well, a scene in which her and her friends go on a beach trip. On the outside, though she seemingly hates the rays of the sun on her skin, Esther seems to be having fun. Not to mention, she only shows up because she was begged to- for her, it was another mask of happiness against the world. When her and boy number five thousand and sixty two (Cal) swim out into the ocean, still, she is hiding. Plath

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