Sylvia Plath's Criticism In The Bell Jar

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The Descent to a Schizophrenic Hell The Bell Jar was originally published in 1963 but Sylvia Plath released the novel under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in order to protect those whom she discusses in her story in fictionalized terms. It is the only novel written by Plath and is semi-autobiographical in nature where the protagonists’ mental illness is a parallel to the novelists’ own experiences with clinical depression. Sylvia Plath’s depression can be recounted back to the death of her father. During the summer of her junior year at Smith College, having returned from a stay at new York City where she had been a student guest “editor” Sylvia nearly succeeded in killing herself by swallowing sleeping pills. Later on, after a period of recovery involving electroshock and psychotherapy she resumed her academic pursuit and went on to win a Fulbright scholarship to study at Cambridge. Another reason why this novel became famous is due to Plath’s suicide a month after its publication. The Bell Jar describes Esther Greenwood’s descent into a private schizophrenic hell and then her recovery. The novel is split into two parts. The first part describes Esther’s internship in New York as one of the twelve student editors for a special issue of a women’s magazine and then at the moment when Holden Caulfield ended his story, we see that Esther begins her gradual descent to the schizophrenic world. The second half of the novel deals with Esther’s attempts at suicide and consequently
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