The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath
Analysis of an American Novel
The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, tells the story of a gifted collage student, Esther Greenwood, for seven months of her life from her time as a student guest editor at a famous fashion magazine to her return home to the suburbs of Boston, and the progressive downfall of her mental state.
There are many different themes present in The Bell Jar. Esther, the protagonist, struggles with issues commonly afflicting the women of her era. The book, set in 1953, reflects the scarcity of professional roles available to women, who were expected to merely stay home and find satisfaction in their maternal roles as housewives. Another constant theme is the factor of so-called adequacy present throughout the book. The Bell jar has often been labeled as a ?protest? towards the expectations women of the time that were necessary to fulfill in order to be considered both normal and successful in Society.
Within these themes, Plath also uses literary elements to convey her message, such as symbolism, metaphors and parallelism, the latter being the most prevalent. For example, Plath starts the book detailing the recent events of the Rosenberg?s execution. At the time, it was an
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