A literary analysis of the bell jar

In an essay entitled "Sylvia Plath's 'Sivvy' Poems: When I told the poet that I might well get married and have a pack of children someday, she stared at me in horror. The first of these relations is terminated decisively by the character's suicide, which renders irreversible Esther's prior rejection of that character.

The claim would seem to be at least partly a projection of her own desire to be saved from becoming like these women with whom she shares certain talents, capacities, and interests.

While a splitting off undoubtedly occurs, the nature of what is split off is ultimately ambiguous. In the second half of the novel a pattern of symbolic rebirth is superimposed on a narrative which in its details suggests that Esther purchases her "new" self by the discontinuance of any relations that might threaten by means of intimacy or tenderness the boundaries of a self conceived as an autonomous entity, as a separate and "separative" self.

The novel dramatizes a tragic self-dismemberment in which the heroine, because of her very strengths and aspirations, appears to split off those components of herself that represent patriarchally-defined expectations of women, projecting these aspects of herself on her mother, her grandmother, Dodo Conway, Mrs.

This pattern of pain and disappointment is merely confirmed by her experience with Irwin, who creates for her, in deflowering her, a possibly life-threatening medical emergency.

Esther's recovery involves a reinstitution of the problems that led to her breakdown. Images of lateral relationships among women, i. This "recovery" denies the relationality of the self and leaves Esther to define herself unwittingly and unwillingly in relation to culturally-ingrained stereotypes of women.

The Bell Jar Analysis

The entire section is 1, words. As a contest winner, she received a one-month appointment as a college representative to the editorial board of a well-known New York fashion magazine.

She was drawn to the life of change and excitement enjoyed by men, the life she associated with a writing career. Imagery focusing our attention on part-whole relations or dis-relations presupposes that the self is a bounded entity, something with separate and distinct existence and of which certain kinds of things may be said: The model of the self implied by the imagery of dismemberment, in short, coincides with the model of a bounded self, an autonomous subject, that has dominance in our culture.

The Bell Jar Analysis

The Bell Jar When Written: Catherine Keller, for example, has recently drawn on theology, philosophy, psychology including the work of Nancy Chodorow and Carol Gilliganand literature, to demonstrate in impressive detail the historic collusion between the notion of a separate subject or bounded, autonomous self and the cultural forces that have oppressed women.

Many women, like Esther Greenwood, felt crushed by the expectations s American society placed on them. The novel dramatizes a double bind for women in which, on the one hand, an authentic self is one that is presumed to be autonomous and whole, entire to itself and clearly bounded, and yet in which, on the other hand, women have their identity primarily through relationship to a man.

When she decides to kill herself, she slashes her calf to practice slashing her wrists. Esther becomes acutely aware that the college phase of her life is about to end and that she must make decisions about her future lifestyle and career.

The novel provides another metaphor for the process I am describing in the repeated binge-and-purge episodes of the first portion of the novel. Historical Context of The Bell Jar The Bell Jar is set in s America, a time when American society was predominantly shaped by conservative values and patriarchic structures.

I kept hearing about the Rosenbergs over the radio and at the office until I couldn't get them out of my mind.

Critics have not, however, generally recognized this irony; the typical reaction has been to accept at face value that the purchase of a diaphragm is an important step in the direction of independence.

The Bell Jar

The fact that Esther is not grounded in a stable sense of self-identity contributes to her confusion, depression and eventual disintegration.

With the help of a benefactor, Esther was treated at a private asylum with insulin and electric shock treatments. For her, transformations involve pain and suffering, not joy. The Bell Jar vividly illustrates that collusion by proposing, through its representation of Esther's recovery, an ideal of a self uncontaminated by others.

As a contest winner, she received a one-month appointment as a college representative to the editorial board of a well-known New York fashion magazine. Conceived not as a substance, but as a process, it might be imaged through metaphors of fluidity. Plath achieves this effect through three principle literary techniques: paragraph and sentence structures, flashbacks, and figurative language.

The Bell Jar: Theme Analysis, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.

Esther described the bell jar with this quote, “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream”. During the beginning of her stay in the mental institution, Esther felt as if nothing. The Bell Jar: Literary Techniques as Insight into Mental Distress I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air" ().

"All the heat and fear had purged itself. I felt surprisingly at peace. The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my. The Bell Jar Analysis Literary Devices in The Bell Jar. Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. It's pretty obvious from the title that the bell jar is a huge symbol in the book. So huge that it deserves its own section.

So we're listing the bell jar under "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory" just. In The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood, a nineteen-year-old girl from a small eastern town, was an excellent student who won many awards including a college scholarship.

As a contest winner, she.

A literary analysis of the bell jar
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Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar: Literary Techniques as Insight by Christina Ligh on Prezi