Recently Read – The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath

Get ready to read the worst review of The Bell Jar ever. Ok, Ok, Ok….its not because I didn’t like it, because holy banana pancakes I loved this book. I think this will be a terrible review because I don’t want to summarize the book for you, I just want to tell you my personal opinion on it. So, Firstly I came across this book in one of the classes I was substituting in (English, Duh!) and having reviewed what the kids were to do that day (read to themselves, yeah right) I knew I would have plenty of free time on my hands, so I noticed I had zero cellphone signal and began to browse the rooms large collection of books. I selected this one based on the fact it was the only one that I had heard of that’s back cover mildly appealed to me. (and I had heard it was feminist literature and I am a sucker.) So, I picked it up and soon enough the day was over and I had very little left.

Without giving away the whole plot, it was about a girl who slowly sinks “under the bell jar” basically into insanity/depression. I will not tell you how it ends, but I did like the ending and consider this book quite revolutionarily feminist for the time it was written in. Now, I think it is important to note that Sylvia Plath herself did commit suicide at the age of thirty, and not that this fact should be needed to give her work more credibility, but I do believe her inner struggles were definitely semi autobiographically expressed through this fictional novel. I find it interesting that this is also her only novel. Why though did you like this slightly morbid story? Well I am married to Pat…. Ha Ha Just kidding. No, I liked this book because its shows a young adult girl who struggles with mental issues, but also is has a very independent spirit not desiring to be tied down by the societal standards of the time. Honestly, It felt hyper-real to me because I have struggled with these same feelings, ie. the absolute desire to not get out of bed, using the bathtub as an escape from both good and bad situations, seeing how easy ‘life’ is for other people when your own life seems like a struggle. I love my life, and so does the main character, but still these are her reality, her bell jar. Honestly I can say that I will probably reread this book again, because I am sure I overlooked a lot of symbolism, but I just wanted to share my initial impression. Cheers.

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