The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Summary

This carefully crafted ebook: "The Bell Jar" is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Esther Greenwood, a young woman from the suburbs of Boston, gains a summer internship at a prominent magazine in New York City, under editor Jay Cee; however, Esther is neither stimulated nor excited by either the big city or the glamorous culture and lifestyle that girls her age are expected to idolize and emulate. She instead finds her experience to be frightening and disorienting. From hereafter her mental state keeps deteriorating until she starts feeling helpless as if being kept inside a glass bell jar! The Bell Jar is the only novel written by the American writer and poet Sylvia Plath. Originally published under the pseudonym "Victoria Lucas" in 1963, the novel is semi-autobiographical, with the names of places and people changed. The book is often regarded as a roman à clef because the protagonist's descent into mental illness parallels Plath's own experiences with what may have been clinical depression or bipolar II disorder. Plath died by suicide a month after its first UK publication. The novel was published under Plath's name for the first time in 1967 and was not published in the United States until 1971, in accordance with the wishes of both Plath's husband, Ted Hughes, and her mother.

The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Summary

Esther Greenwood begins the summer with an internship at a popular women’s magazine, but her hopes for a career as a writer are dashed when she returns home to Massachusetts to discover she’s been rejected from a prestigious writing seminar. Listless and suffering from the onset of depression, Esther attempts suicide, and eventually finds herself in a variety of hospitals undergoing controversial electro-shock therapy. HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.

Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

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Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar by Harold Bloom Summary

An overview of the novel features a biographical sketch of the American author, a list of characters, a summary of the plot, and critical and analytical views of the work.

The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Summary

The heartbreaking story of a talented young woman who descends into madness.

A Study Guide for Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

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A Study Guide for Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar by Gale, Cengage Learning Summary

A Study Guide for Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.

The split identity of Esther Greenwood in Silvia Plath's "The Bell Jar"

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The split identity of Esther Greenwood in Silvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" by Sarah Schommer Summary

Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Department of English and Linguistics), course: Madness in Literature, 7 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: 1. Introduction Madness is an important aspect in literature - especially madness of female writers respectively madness of female chief characters is interesting to deal with concerning the social role of women in the cause of time. It [madness] is that state of mind where a person’s feelings or beliefs about himself [...] are completely disrupted, making him unable to function in whatever social role – husband, parent, friend, employee – he might expect to enjoy. It is the state where the sufferer passes beyond the bounds of reality, intelligibility, and rationality as defined by the bulk of society. The psychotic is a stranger among his own people. (Nettle 12) A character consistent to this definition of madness is Esther Greenwood in Silvia Plath’s autobiographical novel The Bell Jar which was published 1963. Being a young intelligent woman, Esther becomes mad as a result of the mental stress to conform to the traditional role of women or to break tradition. Esther Greenwood is passive and unable to be agent of her life. Never having learned how to develop herself as an independent individual, she is dependent on others and follows their ideals of a fulfilling life. She is torn between starting a family and starting a career. According to this, The Bell Jar reveals the difficulty of becoming an adult, by breaking tradition to be able to realize one’s personal scheme of life. As Susan Bassnett points out, “The Bell Jar is a novel about a suicide attempt that fails; but it is also a novel about a woman who learns how to live with herself and how to come to terms with the world, that world of destruction and horror [...]” (Bassnett 122). As the story of Esther Greenwood’s madness is full of interesting symbols and motifs, it is unfortunately impossible to deal with the whole of them. Consequently this paper will focus on few aspects revealing the split identity of Esther Greenwood and show the process of her recovery as well. These basic motifs are: the fig-tree, the fake identity she builds up and the motif of the bell jar. They will be discussed in the context of Esther’s mental illness...

The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Summary

Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

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The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath by Janet McCann Summary

The Bell Jar is a highly distinctive and unusual book, and although the era of the 1950's it represents has faded and disappeared into history, the power of this novel does not dissipate. The original essays in this volume each take on a specific angle from which to examine the work. One essay discusses the issue of nature vs. nurture in the novel, while another discusses the similarities between Plath's work and Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted. The older essays provide some of the finest scholarship on The Bell Jar that has been made available over the years, and offer a wide variety of critical approaches to this work.

The Bell Jar LP

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The Bell Jar LP by Sylvia Plath Summary

The Bell Jar chronicles the breakdown of the brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful Esther Greenwood, a woman slowly going under -- maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's demise with such intensity that the character's insanity becomes completely real, even rational -- as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

Reflecting on The bell jar

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Reflecting on The bell jar by Pat Macpherson Summary

Download or read Reflecting on The bell jar book by clicking button below to visit the book download website. There are multiple format available for you to choose (Pdf, ePub, Doc).

Under the Bell Jar

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Under the Bell Jar by Juliane Hanka Summary

Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, Dresden Technical University (Institut fur Anglistik/Amerikanistik), course: The 1950s and 1960s in American Literature, 18 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: "An excellent paper that carefully investigates the sensitive spaces of interaction between the writer and her fictional protagonist.""An excellent paper that carefully investigates the sensitive spaces of interaction between the writer and her fictional protagonist.," abstract: 1 Introduction Sylvia Plath ended her Life by gassing herself in a stove on February 11th in 1963. This is not the most important fact about the poet and yet the best known detail of her life. Since her death, Plath's work and her life have been irrevocably interblended. Thus, she is either interpreted as a courageous but suppressed female writer or as a dark and mentally disordered summoner of death. In either case she had been mystified as a kind of tragic hero and some critics continue with this kind of blind "Plathophilia" (Bachner 2008) until today. Although her artistic work is mainly composed of poems, her only novel will be the object for the following interpretation of the protagonist's alienation in comparison to respective events in the author's life. Being so closely connected it is impossible to reflect on the novel without factoring her life into the described events of alienation in The Bell Jar. Thus, after introducing the influencing social circumstances of her time, the paper concentrates on Sylvia Plath's degree of authenticity in her writing. On the basis of these findings, two different stages of the protagonist's alienation are to be developed and afterwards her ambivalent relation towards the opposite sex is being discussed as a major consequence to her schizoid attitudes towards her desired social status. Finally, the analysis deals with Plath's strong symbolism, in which the mirror serves as frequ

The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Summary

I was supposed to be having the time of my life.When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realise her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther's life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiralling into depression and eventually a suicide attempt, as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women's aspirations seriously.The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath's only novel, was originally published in 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The novel is partially based on Plath's own life and descent into mental illness, and has become a modern classic. The Bell Jar has been celebrated for its darkly funny and razor sharp portrait of 1950s society and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Depression in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar

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Depression in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar by Dedria Bryfonski Summary

Because wherever I sat, on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok, I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air. Readers who are familiar with Sylvia Plath's work may recognize this well-known quotation from her first and only novel, The Bell Jar, which tackles issues of depression, mental illness, and the search for individuality. This compelling volume examines Sylvia Plath's life and writings, with a specific look at key ideas related to The Bell Jar. A collection of twenty-three essays offers readers context and insight to discussions centering around the pervasive impact of illness, the novel as a search for personal identity, and the autobiographical nature of the work. The book also examines contemporary perspectives on depression, such as the sometimes deadly pressure of perfectionism on gifted teens, and the idea that depression and risk of suicide run in families.

The bell jar, a novel of the fifties

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The bell jar, a novel of the fifties by Linda Wagner-Martin Summary

Though her life was brief, the American poet and novelist Sylvia Plath (1932-63) exerted a profound influence on contemporary writers, particularly women writers of the sixties and seventies. Just as to her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry Plath brought a decidedly feminist perspective, so too did she etch in her novel The Bell Jar a disturbing vision of life for young women in America at midcentury. The Bell Jar - based on Plath's own experiences as a student at Smith College, an intern at Mademoiselle, and a young woman battling for her own sanity amid societal mores of the times - was initially published in England under a pseudonym, its American publication stifled for years by the writer's family. When, however, the 1963 novel was finally released to U.S. audiences in 1971, it achieved both critical and popular success, and has since become a classic of feminist literature and a unique vehicle for better appreciating Plath's gifts. It is through a multifaceted lens that Linda Wagner-Martin examines The Bell Jar in this new study. Whereas past critical attention has centered on The Bell Jar as autobiography, Wagner-Martin transcends that approach, looking as well at the novel in its larger context of the social and historical forces shaping women's lives in America during the fifties and sixties. Thus eschewing a simplistic reading of the novel, the author plumbs issues of gender, genre, and narrative voice. Arguing that Plath's troubled personal history was the product of her struggle against contemporary social forces, Wagner-Martin reviews the writer's prior work and inspects earlier, partial versions of the novel; explores Plath's use of humor and sarcasm; traces the writer's representation of patriarchal structures in the novel; and ultimately places the novel squarely in the tradition of works about women at odds with a society dominated by patriarchal values. A brilliantly argued, eminently readable approach to this masterpiece, The Bell Jar: A Novel of the Fifties is certain to be lauded by scholars and students alike.

The Significance of Maternal Relationships in Sylvia Plath's Novel "The Bell Jar"

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The Significance of Maternal Relationships in Sylvia Plath's Novel "The Bell Jar" by Julia Deitermann Summary

Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: A, San Diego State University, course: Modern American Literature and Culture, 1 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: “It’s quite amazing how I’ve gone around for most of my life as in the rarefied atmosphere under a bell jar.” (Plath, Sylvia: The Bell Jar. New York. Harper Collins Publishers 1996, p. 250) Although uttered by Sylvia Plath, this statement fully applies for the protagonist Esther Greenwood in Plath’s novel The Bell Jar. It exemplifies her feeling of being imprisoned in a world and society she can neither accept nor reject and further reveals the identification of author and protagonist. Both Plath and Esther suffer from living under this sort of glass bell jar which makes it hard for them to breathe and to break free from the regulations of contemporary society. The author Sylvia Plath herself has experienced most of the events in the novel, including psychological disease, depression and suicide attempts. Moreover, most of the characters in The Bell Jar are based on people Plath knew and loved, although she often draws caricatures or uses the device of irony when describing them. Plath’s intention was “to show how isolated a person feels when he is suffering a breakdown” (p.262) but we never completely come to know why this breakdown occurs, which almost leads to her destruction and drives her into madness and the asylum. What we do know, however, is that Esther doubts the traditional way of a woman’s life in the 1950s which means marrying a respectful man, having children and being an obedient housewife. She can hardly decide which way of life to choose and experiences a strong inner conflict between her wish of leading the life of a poet and that of a loving wife and mother. This conflict leads to a fracture in Esther’s inner self, to diminished self-assurance and false made-up selves. Esther’s mother, although seemingly playing a passive role in the novel, has a significant influence on her daughter’s way of thinking, on her doubt of social values and to a certain extent even on her psychological disease which derives from her inner disorder. In the following, I will try to analyze the importance and influence of Esther’s relationship to her mother Mrs. Greenwood in the course of the story. In doing so, I will also examine the meaning of maternal bonds in reference to a couple of further female relationships in the novel. Moreover, I will dwell on Esther’s doubt and partial rejection of social and traditional values of her time, most of which are embodied by her mother. [...]

Study Guide - the Bell Jar

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Study Guide - the Bell Jar by BookCaps Summary

The perfect companion to Sylvia Plath', "The Bell Jar," this study guide contains a chapter by chapter analysis of the book, a summary of the plot, and a guide to major characters and themes. BookCap Study Guides do not contain text from the actual book, and are not meant to be purchased as alternatives to reading the book. We all need refreshers every now and then. Whether you are a student trying to cram for that big final, or someone just trying to understand a book more, BookCaps can help. We are a small, but growing company, and are adding titles every month.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Book Analysis)

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (Book Analysis) by Bright Summaries Summary

Unlock the more straightforward side of The Bell Jar with this concise and insightful summary and analysis! This engaging summary presents an analysis of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, a semi-autobiographical novel which follows Esther Greenwood, a young woman who is undertaking an internship in New York when her mental health begins to decline, leading to stays in a series of psychiatric institutions. The novel is semi-autobiographical: Plath’s own struggles with depression are well-documented, and she underwent electroconvulsive therapy as part of her “treatment”. The Bell Jar is widely admired for its unsparing depiction of the paranoia, stifling conformism and gender inequality that characterised America during the 1950s, and its popularity has not waned in the decades since it was first published. Sylvia Plath was an American novelist and poet. Her best-known works are The Bell Jar and the poetry collection Ariel, which was published posthumously in 1965 (Plath committed suicide in 1963). Find out everything you need to know about The Bell Jar in a fraction of the time! This in-depth and informative reading guide brings you: • A complete plot summary • Character studies • Key themes and symbols • Questions for further reflection Why choose BrightSummaries.com? Available in print and digital format, our publications are designed to accompany you on your reading journey. The clear and concise style makes for easy understanding, providing the perfect opportunity to improve your literary knowledge in no time. See the very best of literature in a whole new light with BrightSummaries.com!