Satire Scene In The Bell Jar

1244 Words5 Pages
Shubkaran Kaur
Professor Crystal Hurdle
English 103-02
March 18, 2018 Why Might the ‘The Bell Jar’ be Dubbed as Black/Dark Comedy?
‘The Bell Jar’ is a classic novel by Sylvia Plath which revolves around the character Esther Greenwood who falls into spiral of craziness and loses control of herself while she is in the pursuit of establishing her career. Her depression in the novel and struggle to explore herself not only makes the novel effortlessly interesting, intense and gloomy but also hilarious the same time.
The story is set up in New York, where the character has moved after winning a scholarship. She has an internship in new York and goes home after its completion. The bell jar is a reference to her life.
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Although Esther is in a constant pursuit of exploring herself in New York, there are quite a couple of hilarious situations in New York amongst the frustrating and terrible experiences Esther goes through. One of them, for example, is the satirical scene of Esther’s craving for crabmeat and ‘passionate taste for caviar’. She says, “The joke was that at my wedding my grandfather could I had all the Caviar I could eat. It was a joke because I never intended to get married, and even if I did, my grandfather could not have afforded enough caviar unless he robbed the country club kitchen and carried it off in a suitcase.” (p. 24, The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath)
There are many other instances in the text where the reader finds straightforward humour in serious situations. One of them, for example, is when Esther and Betsy are suffering from food poisoning and both of them have been feeling terrible and have puked a couple of times, she remarks, “There is nothing like puking with somebody to make you into old friends.” (p. 41, The Bell Jar, Sylvia
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Sleeping with Buddy would not count, though, because he would still be one person ahead of me, I would have to be someone else.” (p.74, The Bell Jar,
Sylvia Plath)
Hence, it can be said that at some instances , it is the character’s (Esther) own melancholic and depressed nature that makes the situation comical for the reader and
Buddy, as well, has been a source of comedy as he pops in and out throughout the story.
There is also an evidence of obsession of being in a relationship with men that Esther has rather than being actually in love because she is found set up on a blind-date at the party with Marco, who almost ‘rapes’ her but she ‘fights back’ but the man she actually has sex with is Irwin. Hence, the situations Esther falls herself into most of the times are silly and humorous but the consequences and the outcomes of certain situations and her reaction to it makes it weary and depressing. Also, the way she interprets some of the things and builds scenarios is funny. Most of the times, she talks herself into it and at other times
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