The Bell Jar Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Bell Jar

Esther seizes a great opportunity to travel to New York and work on a magazine, only to find the night life and social obligations to be more than she desires. She struggles with trying to fit in with everyone else in terms of men and work, but ultimately finds herself wishing to be anywhere else. When faced with marriage, she fights to find a way out of that as well.
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Ultimately, she finds herself finally struggling with a mental illness, which includes severe depression and contemplations of suicide. Meanwhile, she tries hard to keep a hold on reality and make others think there is nothing wrong with her. She goes as far as going to a mental hospital and facing electric shock treatments to "cure" herself.
The review of this Book prepared by kammie

Esther at age nineteen while staying in New York becomes overwhelmed by depression and is subsequently sent to a psychiatric hospital.
The review of this Book prepared by jenifer

She sees her first boyfriend naked and then has sex with a sailor she just met. She goes home from her college and then loses her mind and is given shock treatments.
The review of this Book prepared by Lyla Sharratt

Chapter Analysis of The Bell Jar

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Plot & Themes

Struggle with:    -   Mother Phys disability/mental struggle?    -   Yes Struggle with    -   mental illness    -   general search for meaning Which institution    -   mental hospital Life in an institution    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally Ill


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest Misc setting    -   moving train Century:    -   1930's-1950's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful    -   like laughing Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript. of nude males (the big P) Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None

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Sylvia Plath Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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