The Bell Jar Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Bell Jar

Esther Greenwood begins her narration in New York City, where she is staying in a hotel with other girls who, like her, have won an internship there. There, she begins to have feelings of self-doubt. She no longer knows what she wants to do with her life. She comes home disappointed with her experiences in New York. Her one hope when she comes home, that she will be accepted for a summer writing class with a famous author, is ruined when she returns to find that she was not accepted.
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Miserable, she begins to lose all hope. She begins to criticize and see no point in anything. She won't wash her hair because, she rationalizes, she'll only have to do it again tomorrow. Her mother becomes very worried about her, and makes her see a psychiatrist. Using the sleeping pills she gets from her doctor, Esther tries to kill herself. She is found unconscious in the basement, where she made the attempt. Her mother then sends her to a psychiatric hospital. Esther is then forced to have electroshock therapy, a very painful experience for her. Throughout all of this, Buddy Willard, a boy she used to have a crush on, proposes to her.
The review of this Book prepared by Amy Cassidy

An autobiographical novel about Esther Greenwood in the summer of 1953 and her internship at Ladie's Day magazine, her return home, the events leading to her depression, and her attempted suicide. At the end of the novel Esther is leaving the mental hospital ready for life but still knowing that the bell jar of her depression could descend again
The review of this Book prepared by a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Story of a young woman struggling with the hard and bitter raility she is thrown into in New York City. She becomes intensely depressed ans questions herself and her surroundings. As she disintegrates, she attempts suicide numerous times. Her failure begins her journey of self realization.
The review of this Book prepared by A.Scott

This witty story goes through the journey of a woman exploring her mind and breaking through outside expectations and pressures. It also deals with issues such as sex and suicide.
The review of this Book prepared by Jasmine Rodriguez

Chapter Analysis of The Bell Jar

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Plot & Themes

Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Something wrong upstairs/downstairs?    -   mental illness

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   a teen Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   Weiner talk! Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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