Tragedy In The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar Psychological distress is the main theme in Sylvia Plath’s, The Bell Jar. Esther Greenwood, the main character, suffers from severe depression. The story is about the psychological turmoil in a young woman’s life. Her depression is fueled by her lack of confidence, her relationship with her mother , and several failed suicide attempts. Esther Greenwood is a college Junior. She lives in New York during her one-month long internship at a fashion magazine. She works hard, has friends, and makes good money. She is worried about what career path she is going to take, because she is unsure about her future. “When they asked me about what I wanted to be I said I didn’t know.” (Plath 97). Her self-confidence is shattered…show more content…
Her doctors try to help her in many ways. She experiences several types of treatments from electric shock therapy to insulin injections. Esther’s bad behavior causes her to change hospitals several times. Finally, she is admitted a new hospital, likes her new doctor, and finally stops obsessing about suicide. Sandefur 3 Throughout the book, Esther compares her mental instability to being stuck inside a bell jar. She feels trapped by her mental illness. To Esther, the bell jar symbolized her madness. Her insanity makes her feel as if she is trapped inside an airless jar that distorts her perspective on the world and prevents her from connecting with the people around her. By the end of the novel, when she feels better, she feels as if the bell jar has lifted. However, Esther worries that she will not be able to escape her mental illness. She feels that it will follow her throughout her life and and the bell jar she refers to, will descend upon her again at some point in her life. “How did I know that someday—at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere—the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn’t descend
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