Themes In The Bell Jar

1207 Words5 Pages
‘’The Bell Jar’’, by Sylvia Plath, is a novel that attracts audiences of all ages by the theme of the restricted role of women in 1950s, Esther Greenwood’s growth and transformation as the protagonist, and the bell jar, as a symbol that represents her struggles in life. The simple title and image of ‘’The Bell Jar’’ that the author uses, contradicts the multiple meanings that this image can impose on the novel. The bell jar can take on a wide range of meanings, including the feeling of being trapped and the sense of being watched or studied. First of all, one of the most important themes in this novel is the restricted role of women in 1950s. Esther, the protagonist and narrator of ‘’The Bell Jar ‘’, feels isolated from the world around her, because of the expectations placed upon her as a young woman living in 1950s, America. Esther has a dilemma, between her desire to write and the pressure she feels to settle down and start a family life. Esther through her talent won several awards and scholarships, and of course respect. But still there were people assumed that she most wanted to start a family. Then, Esther started feeling anxiety about the future because she can see only mutually exclusive choices: submissive married woman or successful but lonely career woman. ‘’The Bell Jar’’ starts taking a critical view of the medical profession, and more particularly psychiatric medicine. This critique starts when Esther visits Buddy’s medical school. There, Esther is
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