The Bell JareBook - 1999
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.
From Library Staff
Sylvia Plath’s intense description of depression is utterly bleak and wretched.
vpl_booksjustforyou Jul 31, 2018
Classic semi-autobiographical novel by a renowned poet deals with the expectations society places on women, while exploring a young woman’s sexuality and chronicling her mental breakdown.
This semi-autobiographical novel deals with the expectations society places on women, while exploring a young woman’s sexuality and chronicling her mental breakdown.
vpl_booksjustforyou Sep 13, 2017
'The Bell Jar' is a classic piece of modern fiction written by a young Sylvia Plath in the early 1960s. This semi-autobiographical novel deals with the expectations society places on women, while exploring a young woman’s sexuality and chronicling her mental breakdown.
vpl_informationservice Mar 14, 2016
NEW YORK. 1950's.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
I woke to the sound of rain.
"It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York."
So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in a totalitarian state.
"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."
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SummaryAdd a Summary
Sylvia Plath's shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity.
Esther Greenwood, a college student from Massachusetts, travels to New York to work on a magazine for a month as a guest editor. Esther returns to the Boston suburbs and discovers that she has not been accepted to a writing class she had planned to take. She will spend the summer with her mother instead. Esther awakens to find herself in the hospital. She has survived her suicide attempt with no permanent physical injuries. Once her body heals, she is sent to the psychological ward in the city hospital, where she is uncooperative, paranoid, and determined to end her life.
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