As the novel continues, Esther did not want to feel left out because most women lost their virginity (Wagner 36). Esther soon did not care about getting married. She started caring more about losing her virginity (Wagner 38). Sylvia Plath did not have a happy life. She did not fit in with her culture clash and gender roles.
As the story progressed on, Esther slowly became depressed. After learning that she has not been accepted into Harvard, something she has dreamed about all the time and the relationship with her mother, which was once good but turned troubled, it was normal for Esther to fall into a depression. Her depression got worse and Esther was unable to read or write, “when I took up my pen, my hand made big, jerky letters like those of a child, and the lines sloped down the page from left to right almost diagonally, as if they were loops of string lying on the paper, and someone had come along and blown them askew” (Plath 106). This quote showed the struggles Esther had with writing. Esther decided to get help by meeting up with a psychiatrist but, the sessions were unsuccessful, and so she tried to commit suicide for the first time by, crawling into a cellar and trying to overdose on sleeping pills.
In our lives, there is, whether we realize it or not, over a million different pivotal moments that lead to different things. At a young age, there is the fine line between becoming an introvert or an extrovert- living our lives in extravagance or happily alone. For Esther Greenwood, her pivotal moment led her to the act of conforming for society, hiding behind the title of magazine editor while contemplating suicide within. In her novel The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath explores the ideas of conformity and insanity all within two hundred forty four pages through her main characters, Esther Greenwood and Buddy Willard. Furthermore, her whole novel is a good reflection of Kate Chopin’s quote “That outward existence which conforms, the inward life that
Symbolism is heavily used throughout Plath’s novel to emphasize a greater meaning behind Esther’s mental illness. The bell jar, the fig tree, mirrors, and electricity all symbolize what occurs in Esther’s head. The first symbol within The Bell Jar is the bell jar itself. The bell jar symbolizes mental illness, and a trap within the mind and body. The bell jar refers to suffering from a mental
A road of twist and turns that are subtle in life's changing ways, one would be clueless in the edges or uneasiness of Earth. Esther is a young woman who is full of intellect and plans for her future. Although her life goes from an orderly and practical life, it turns into a completely obliterate and tangled one in a snap of a finger. Esther was then living in New York and works for a month as guess editor for a fashion magazine since she won in the contest with other eleven ladies in the place. Esther felt like all of the girls looked bored upon her, she also concluded that most of these girls came from a wealthy family whose parents wanted to keep them away from those bothering men.
Throughout the novel, it becomes clear that the subject of virginity and sexuality is something consistently weighing Esther down, many times her decisions are based on her need for sexual liberation. Esther, on a date with the simultaneous interpreter Constantin, reflects on an article she once read “[giving] all the reasons why a girl shouldn’t sleep with anybody but her husband and then only after they were married.” Upon reading the article, however, Esther thinks to herself “It might be nice to be pure and then to marry a pure man, but what if he suddenly confessed he wasn’t pure after we were married (…) I couldn’t stand the idea of a woman having to have a single pure life and a man being able to have a double life”. Clearly, Esther resents the implicit double standards; she finds it unjust to expect women to be virginal, which results in her ending her romance with Buddy Willard. The ending of her relationship with Buddy makes Esther more determined to lose her virginity, however, this is frowned upon by society. Wagner argues that “Losing one’s virginity unwisely seldom determines the eventual life of the male protagonist; it is the stuff of ostracism, madness and suicide for a female, however.” Esther knows what her choices will mean for her, however as she expresses before finally losing her virginity, “Ever since I’d learned about the corruption of Buddy Willard my virginity weighed like a millstone around my neck.
When this image is likened to a car we see that it emphasizes the lack of control which she feels over her own emotions. It is noticeable that even though she herself is not in control, yet she is more concerned about what others and the society would think she should be doing. From the onset of the novel, Esther is full of thoughts about cadavers; the execution of the Rosenbergs,
Even though these books have existed for over a half-century, the moral messages from both novels still relate to the concept of the modern American teen years later. Within both works, Salinger and Plath utilize their characters to provide insight into the feelings of a modern American teen to portray the social issues during the 1950s. Throughout The Bell Jar, Esther exhibits personal withdrawals from society and displays feelings of isolation, relating to the reality of how others act due to their depression. As Esther illustrates her sorrows, she sees “the days of the year stretching ahead [of her] like a series of bright, white boxes separating from another” (Plath 128). As Esther pours out her emotions, she provides the imagery of her feeling alone and separated from everyone else as she does not resemble these “bright” others.
The Bell Jar While New York City is a city of hopes, dreams, fame, shining lights, and parties, Sylvia Plath, the author of The Bell Jar, explains that is not the case for her main character, Esther. Plath replaces the glamour of New York City with isolation; therefore, the title is a direct representation of Esther’s mental suffocation. Esther also demonstrates the difficulty of a teenage girl attempting to chase her dreams, but ultimately gets confused and emotional about what she wants to do with her life. Conclusively, Esther becomes more isolated as time progresses, and she refuses to get assistance from a physician. Later she attempts to end her life, due to her isolation, denial, and intellectualization.
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