Character Analysis: The Bell Jar

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rape she was in a very vulnerable state of mind. Besides, she was unable to sleep all night through and this was her reaction the next morning when she found her mother snoring beside her.
She went and pestered Teresa, their family doctor for more and more sleeping pills with stronger doses due to her lack of sleep. “I can’t sleep. I can’t read.”(104) When they next go to Dr. Gordon’s chamber for her treatment, we get to know that her problem was getting worse day by day because she hadn’t slept for seven nights at a stretch.
I hadn’t slept for seven nights.
My mother told me I must have slept, it was impossible not to sleep in all that time, but if I slept, it was with my eyes wide open, for I had followed the green, luminous course of the second hand and the minute hand and the hour hand of the
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However, the novel also explores the divide between mind and body. This exploration is mostly visible in the development of Esther’s mental illness, which she experiences as an estrangement of her mind from her body. As her illness amplifies, Esther loses control over her body, becoming unable to sleep, read, eat, or write in her own handwriting. The novel’s language subtly complicates and questions the understanding of ‘body’ and ‘mind.’ It is important to make such a study because the working of a diseased mind is much more dangerous than a diseased body. The Bell Jar is a work which gives us details about Plath’s own descent to gloom as a young woman. Esther Greenwood is a personification of the novelist’s own self. In the quarter century following her suicide, Sylvia Plath has become a heroine and martyr of the feminist movement. She became a martyr mainly to the recurrent psychodrama that staged itself within the bell jar of her tragically wounded
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