Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

So, today I am going to be incredibly selfish and use my blog to get a good grade in English class. Yes, yes, I know, I'm sorry, but I got to read a book for this assignment and post a review about it. So, at least something good came out of it.
Anyways, I'll just get on with this book review. . .
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath didn't have the effect on me that I thought it would. It looked pretty interesting when I read the blurb and figured it wouldn't be a bad read. I expected this book to grab my attention by the first chapter. Instead, I dove face first into a pool of complaints and confusion. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. For someone in high school, I felt like I kind of had to read it. But hell, I would definitely be lying if I said this book didn't have me questioning my own sanity by the time I reached the middle of the book.
Esther Greenwood comes from a small suburban town just outside of Boston. She has always been that girl that is obsessed with school and wanted to do extremely well. While in college, she is given an internship at a women's magazine in New York City with several other successful college women. She isn't used to the glamorous city life nor does she really care much for it. She isn't as excited as everyone expects her to be. Despite the amazing opportunity she's given, she is just neutral about the whole thing. When she's out and meets men, she uses a fake name. She follows her friends around and does what they do. When the internship is over, Esther's world comes to a sudden halt when she receives news about a summer college course. To be incredibly cliché, Esther goes far off the deep end. Mostly the second half of the book shows how completely different she becomes. How even though she was incredibly intelligent and had more than enough potential, all of that just wasn't enough.
Esther Greenwood relied on her intelligence to get her by in life. Then sadly, her intelligence and her abilities were put in doubt and she no longer felt worthy of living. Even in the beginning, she learned not to get her hopes up about anything. "If you expect nothing from somebody, you're never disappointed" (Plath 42).
Blood is a symbol that means a lot in this book. When Esther's date attempts to rape her, she gives him a bloody nose. When Esther attempts to commit suicice, she slashes her calves instead of her wrists. Mostly the blood shows the frightening experiences she endures through the book.

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