Kayelen Henderson


The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath (Review)

The Bell Jar was a relatively good book. There wasn’t very much sunshine or consistent happiness where the plot was sad but in the end true loves married each other. Though the ending was quite satisfying. The book was what I basically expected by Plath, depressing but in a lot of ways relate able due to the fact that everyone goes through hard times and some get out of it but some like the protagonist, Esther Greenwood, are not able to cope with situations, circumstances and feelings. 

The book is a narrative with substantial and just the right amount of dialogue. It is narrated by the protagonist Esther Greenwood who is currently doing her internship at a New York fashion magazine. Esther lives in a time where women weren’t looked up to. She doesn’t believe very highly in marriage and having kids. She doesn’t quite know why but the thought of being tied down repulses her, she wants to travel the world and learn languages. She was a straight A student right through school and even in college. The people around her never really got her and in time she got depressed and attempted suicide. The process leading up to the suicide attempts weren’t very successful due to her fears of cutting herself and when she tried to hang herself; she couldn’t find a good spot to tie the cloth she was using to. After many failed attempts at suicide she took over-dosed on prescription sleeping.

I don’t wish to spoil the ending so I’ll let you find out for yourselves when you read the book.

Plath is extremely realistic when she writes, giving the reader a very forward approach the one of the many mental conditions that is even more prominent in today’s day and age. 

It doesn’t invoke any hysterical laughing or moments that make you go ‘aw’ but it still is a good read and a change from the more mainstream love stories that give readers an unrealistic hope. The Bell Jar is a complete contrast to that in fact though it does involve Esther falling in and out of a relationship or two but nothing too heart-wrenching in that sphere. In fact it’s realistic in that sphere as well, showing true emotions of women and men alike at certain points in life.

I would though expect just a tad more action, in the sense, a change in atmosphere maybe. The glum atmosphere makes the book a little dry but never boring.

All in all, I’d suggest it.