“Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that- I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much-so very much to learn.” (The Bell Jar). Sylvia Plath used her confusion to express her writing. She was known for her confessional style of her work, best known for her novel, “The Bell Jar”, and poetry collections. Sylvia Plath published her first book when she was twenty-eight years old. Sylvia Plath went through depression, soon later committed suicide. American novelist, poet, and artist, Sylvia Plath used her life experience to express her ideas on the search for identity, suicide and personal expression.
Cornelie Banguid Period 6 1/9/14 The Bell Jar Research Paper. Writing the bell Jar for Sylvia Plath was a hard thing to do but also familiar. Sylvia Plath’s own struggle with her depression made the writing of the Bell Jar “truthful. She did not exaggerate or lie about her experiences with depression, to make her illness look more dramatic.
Sylvia Plath finished her poem, “Lady Lazarus”, only a few days before her suicide in 1963, when her clinical depression she dealt with for most of her life was unbearable. The same year she published her novel The Bel Jar, which is considered to be semi-autobiographical. This paper discusses the references Sylvia Plath makes to The Bell Jar and the parallels between “Lady Lazarus” and the protagonist of The Bell Jar Esther Greenwood.
Pressures from society and those around you can feel like a bell jar hovering over you. In the novel The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, pressures from society and self doubt lead a bright young female college student with loads of opportunity to fall into depression and eventually insanity. The main character, Esther Greenwood, battles with what society wants her to be as a woman and as a person in the 1950’s. When Esther is presented with a prestigious scholarship program for journalism in New York City she is eager to go. She is ambitious and intelligent but the weight of societal expectations, expectations of those close to her, along with her own self doubt cause her to go into the downward spiral of insanity. The Bell Jar, shows that pressures from society and self doubt are dangerous to a person’s mental health. The pressure of what a women should be, what opportunities to take, and her self doubt all become too much to grasp.
In her novel, The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath uses diction and tone to juxtapose the internal strife a character may experience with an an external normalcy. Protagonist Esther Greenwood exemplifies the tear that can occur between society and one of its members. The repetition of the word and idea of death is prevalent throughout the novel, found a majority of the time within Esther’s internal dialogue, portraying that she is obsessed with death, but contains it in her mind to avoid others knowing. Her reason for her secrecy reveals itself to be fear of appearing outside society’s realms. She proves this when each attempted suicide takes places far from the presence of others, such as her basement or any empty beach.
Sylvia Plath “I have the choice of being constantly active and happy or introspectively passive and sad. Or I can go mad by ricocheting in between.” These are the words of Sylvia Plath reflecting not only her poetry and writing style, but moods, history, and life. She rose to fame after WWII for her poetry and suicide.
In “Lady Lazerus”, Sylvia Plath reveals her true emotions by using deep symbols and allusions, dark imagery, and threatening tones. Throughout the poem, Plath compares herself to Lady Lazerus, the cousin of jesus who comes back to life, and leads the story with Plath’s past attempts of suicide. Following this, Plath starts to allude to Lady Lazerus by describing “the peanut-crunching crowd”(Plath) that gathers around, shoving in to unwrap and see the real her. Plath draws back to her second suicide attempt and, mockingly, begins to clarify why she would want to kill herself. She does want to die,she just simply enjoys the theatrical comeback. With a sarcastic tone, she explains coming back “to the same place, the same face, the same brute”(Plath).
Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” and Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” are similar because they focus on the same subject. However, they differ in how the speakers’ feel about their relationship with their parent(s). In Plath’s “Daddy”, the speaker is a daughter thinking about how her father treated her. She tells about how she felt trapped by him and how she tried to ‘kill’ him, line 6 of the poem, but he dies before she has a chance. The ending of Plath’s poem implies that she got married to a man like her father. In Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”, the speaker seems to be an adult reminiscing his childhood through a metaphor of a dance. The poem suggests that the boy was abused and the mother stood by without doing much about it. Three topics that
Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening are novels that represent the traps that society has set forth for them. In both novels, suicide is seen as the only way to escape from their constricted circumstances in which these people are expected to live in. The Frome’s and The Pontellier’s have very similar circumstances, such as blaming each other for their problems, and having marriage’s which they are not happy in. “Her marriage to Leonce Pontellier was purely an accident, in this respect resembling many other marriages which masquerade as the decrees of Fate.”
The literary phenomenon of The Bell Jar presents readers with a view of the character of Esther and her story through Victoria Lucas and Sylvia Plath. The development and circulation of the publication created a projection of the integrity of the story’s plot that can be seen as being affected by the autobiography of Plath’s life. The publication of the The Bell Jar, through Victoria Lucas, revealed a story of a young woman dealing with depression and a coming of age story of a young woman trying to live in a society where she does not feel she fits into: having to deal with the patriarchal power, to understand the orders of women’s lifestyle, and the destruction of ambition to become a writer. When it was published in the United States, in 1971, five years later, under the name of Sylvia Plath, the narrative began to take another outlook. This impacted the view upon the novel’s identity, the classification of what the novel truly is. Thus, the novel, The Bell Jar, not only had reviews of the way it was written before her name was revealed, but after, since the suicide of Sylvia Plath.
Suicide in this society is connected as no person shows much concern for anyone who commits suicide as they have machines to filter blood and pump their stomachs to “bring them back from the dead” or resuscitate them from death. Therefore, giving further proof of lack of human connection as they showed a lack of concern as well. Though, some people showed signs of concerns. Concluding my argument, the themes of lack of human connection and censorship were the main themes of the book. Though, some could argue that it also included the dual nature of humankind.
Critics often speculate whether the loss of a loved one of the loss of one’s self has a more decimating effect on a person. Commonly, The Catcher in the Rye, The Bell Jar, and The Yellow Wallpaper, by J. D. Salinger, Sylvia Plath, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman are used as examples to support either side of the debate. While each text is able to support both sides, the one that truly shines through in each source is the idea that loss of one’s self is more detrimental to someone than the loss of their loved ones. In each piece of writing, the reader is able to watch each character mentally deteriorate and attempt to reclaim themselves, or, lose themselves entirely in the process. Some of the mental decline can be attributed to the loss of a loved one, but because it led to the character losing themself, it should be considered a more harmful situation to be placed in.
Sylvia Plath takes a very different approach and instead is more open about her attempted suicides, and how she thrives to kill herself in order to get to her father. In her poem 'Daddy ' she mentions her want to 'get back back back to you '. The use of the repeated 'back ' mirrors her three suicide attempts in her life to try get back to her father. In comparison to Lady Macbeth 's suicide, Plath 's suicide attempts and death was very public in her poems. She also say 'daddy, daddy, your bastard, I’m trough. '
Her emotional troubles were said to occur due to an bad relationship with her mother and the early loss of her father. She attempted to suicide twice, and for the third and the last time, she committed a suicide in 1963. In her numerous works the traces of her emotional and mental condition can be clearly seen. Sylvia Plath’s work is often self-portraying and really personal; her