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The Bell Jar

  • Jun 10, 2010
Rating:
+5
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is one of my favorite books of all time. If I believed in saints, Plath would be my patron. I read it for the first time when I was a sophomore in high school, and since then, I've probably read it at least once a month. And every time I pick it up, I come away with something new. That's when you know you have a brilliant piece of writing.

One of the reasons I enjoy this book so much is that everything is so vivid. Plath's character, Esther Greenwood, has an insight on every experience in her life. We get her tongue in cheek reactions to people, places and events as well as clear metaphors to depict her inner monologue. It's a heavenly balance. It's impossible to get lost with Plath via Greenwood at the wheel. Esther isn't afraid to describe people the way she actually judges them. If someone is fat and ugly, she'll tell you. If she finds someone hopelessly dull, she'll tell you. There's absolutely no sugar coating in this piece, and that makes it fun to read. You'll have moments where you gasp or giggle, because there's no air of political correctness, covering up what everyone's really thinking.

There's never a dull moment in this book. Esther is battling severe depression and a vile dose of dissociation with the world around her. It's more than a coming of age novel, it's a coming to terms with reality novel. It never feels forced, it's like you're literally reading her thoughts. What more can we, as readers, ask for?

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October 16, 2010
This is such a powerful book, I agree, and it really worked to raise awareness about the nuanced realities of depression. Great review.
 
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More The Bell Jar reviews
review by . June 10, 2010
[Spoilers contained within]       The story of one woman’s visit with her own madness, The Bell Jar rotates around the life of Esther Greenwood. Plath tells of Esther’s trip to New York City for a summer internship at an office for a popular magazine. As she explores the city, her own reality and sense of hopelessness eat at her until she has finally had enough and attempts (several times) to commit suicide. Her attempts are half-hearted, and she ends up in …
Quick Tip by . July 19, 2010
Touching story, I really liked this one. IT can reach into the subconscious of every woman.
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
An uncomfortable read for me. Only because it came way to close to home. I think everyone should have to read it. Helps people either know they are not alone going through such torture or helps create an environment of understanding what someone else might be dealing with.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
This is a lovely, lovely novel written by Sylvia Plath and truly, one of my favorite books. I can't stress enough how much joy reading this brought me. I read this for the first time in high school on a whim and I'm glad I did. Plath just brings a whole new level of humanity and understanding to depression and mental issues that many other authors just can't do justice to.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Rather depressing
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Descent into madness is always to fun.
Quick Tip by . June 21, 2010
always a good classic
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2010
I've always admired Plath's work. Her poetry is dark but beautiful and true. This book disturbed me, as I believe it does many others, and in no way am I degrading this book but I almost feel as if this was her way of calling out for help.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
I loved this as a teenager,and it stands up as an amazing book still.
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
Very depressing.
About the reviewer
Steffani ()
Ranked #1516
   I'm a college student majoring in Fiction Writing with a minor in Playwriting. Obviously, reading is a huge part of my life!
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1984 (British first edition)

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