Rhetorical Devices In The Bell Jar

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1. Introduction
Published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas, The Bell Jar has aroused the interest of scholars all over the world. One of the most often discussed characteristics of The Bell Jar is its use of similes, metaphors, and symbols. Throughout The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath employs rhetorical devices to paint a vivid picture of its protagonist Esther. This essay will discuss how Sylvia Plath uses figurative language to represent Esther’s feelings of insanity, anxiety, and freedom.
2. Insanity
One of the most important symbols of insanity in Sylvia Plath’s novel is the bell jar. Given the fact that this is also the title of the book, it is surprising to find that the bell jar only recurs at the beginning of chapter fifteen when Esther, after being ‘rescued’ from the city hospital, reflects on how indifferent she is to where exactly she is at the moment.
“If Mrs Guinea had given me a ticket to Europe, or a round-the-world cruise, it wouldn 't have made once scrap of a difference to me, because wherever I sat – on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok – I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air” (Plath 2006, 199).
The bell jar is used to illustrate Esther’s feelings; just as a real bell jar keeps everything inside sealed from the outside world, Esther feels as if she was trapped in the inside of a giant glass jar that cuts her off from everyone outside. She keeps thinking about the same things again and
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