Asked by: Abdelillah Derunov
books and literature young adult literature

Is the bell jar sad?

Last Updated: 7th May, 2020

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For all that it is considered a "sad book" by a "tragic author," The Bell Jar revolts against its own reputation: it is sad, yes, but also fiercely funny and defiantly hopeful. Plath's own fate should not undermine the message of her book: that it is possible to leave the bell jar.

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Keeping this in view, is the bell jar difficult to read?

Even a dim awareness of this history makes it impossible to read The Bell Jar as pure fiction, divested of its viscerally painful autobiographical parallels. The coincidences are far too many, and Plath herself was apprehensive about her mother trying to stop its publication.

Secondly, how does the bell jar end? Under Dr. Nolan, Esther improves and various life-changing events, such as losing her virginity and Joan's suicide, help her to regain her sanity. The novel ends with her entering the room for an interview, which will decide whether she can leave the hospital and return to school.

One may also ask, what is the bell jar a metaphor for?

In The Bell Jar, the main character uses the bell jar as the primary metaphor for feelings of confinement and entrapment. She feels that she's stuck in her own head, spinning around the same thoughts of self-doubt and dejection, over and over again, with no hope of escape.

Why is the bell jar important?

The Bell Jar was published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. Plath used a pseudonym for two reasons: one was to protect the people she fictionalized in the book—not only would it embarrass her mother, but her publisher worried about libel suits.

Related Question Answers

Amie Soulard

Professional

Why was the bell jar banned?

Reason for Ban/Challenge: The Bell Jar has been banned for a number of reasons, including perceived profanity and its coverage of both suicide and sexuality. The novel also rejects “typical” ideas of a woman's role as both mother and wife.

Linna Remmel

Professional

What can you put in a bell jar?

7 Modern Ideas for What to Put Under a Cloche or Bell Jar
  1. Photo Under Glass. I saw some examples of this, but simplified and tweaked it to make it my own.
  2. Glittered Feathers.
  3. Dust-Free Notions.
  4. Brass and Glass.
  5. What's Old is New Again.
  6. Yarn-Wrapped Nature.
  7. Wood and Glass.

Csilla Tursunov

Professional

What mental illness does Esther Greenwood have?

Esther's development of psychotic depression is Plath's interpretation of the classic “rite of passage” journey. The bell jar of confusion that descends on Esther hampers her personal progress, yet it protects her from being overwhelmed by a highly competitive social world.

Vicente Calurano

Explainer

Why is the bell jar a classic?

It was published by Harper & Row under Plath's own name, and it quickly became a classic, a Catcher in the Rye for a female audience. It is a dangerous practice to substitute biography for critical reading, but Plath wrote from her own life, factually and emotionally.

Boguslaw Kleinschmit

Explainer

What happens in the bell jar?

Summary. The Bell Jar details the life of Esther Greenwood, a college student who dreams of becoming a poet. In addition, Esther undergoes electric-shock treatment, which makes her feel as if she has been freed from a bell jar. While on a night pass, Esther loses her virginity, which she sees as a millstone.

Ildefonso Feijoeiro

Explainer

Is the bell jar a memoir?

The Bell Jar is not a memoir. It is classified as a novel, so it is fiction. It is, however, somewhat auto-biographical. It fictionalizes events and feelings which the author, Sylvia Plath, actually experienced.

Ja Zhabinsky

Pundit

How long is the bell jar?

The average reader will spend 4 hours and 18 minutes reading The Bell Jar (FF Classics) at 250 WPM (words per minute). The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath's only novel.

Cibran Ardizzone

Pundit

How many pages are in the bell jar?

244

Geralyn Gastian

Pundit

Thierno Rosenwasser

Pundit

What does the fig tree symbolize in the bell jar?

Early in the novel, Esther reads a story about a Jewish man and a nun who meet under a fig tree. Their relationship is doomed, just as she feels her relationship with Buddy is doomed. Later, the tree becomes a symbol of the life choices that face Esther. She imagines that each fig represents a different life.

Concesa Idez

Pundit

What does the bell jar symbolize?

The Bell Jar. The bell jar is an inverted glass jar, generally used to display an object of scientific curiosity, contain a certain kind of gas, or maintain a vacuum. For Esther, the bell jar symbolizes madness.

Aloe Cotte

Teacher

Who is Joan in the bell jar?

Joan Gilling - Esther's companion in the mental hospital. A large, horsy woman, Joan was a year ahead of Esther in college, and Esther envied her social and athletic success.

Ramatoulaye Borau

Teacher

Who is Betsy in the bell jar?

Betsy is the Ladies' Day girl from the Midwest. She is truly innocent and sweet and has none of the cynicism of the southern Doreen or the New Englander Esther. She becomes a photographic model for the magazine and is portrayed as being healthy and cheerful. Doreen calls Betsy "Pollyanna Cowgirl."

Abderazak Fullola

Teacher

Is the bell jar a movie?

The Bell Jar (film) The Bell Jar is a 1979 American drama film based on Sylvia Plath's 1963 book The Bell Jar. It was directed by Larry Peerce, and stars Marilyn Hassett and Julie Harris.

Ofelio Matei

Teacher

How does the bell jar work as a symbol for the heroine's condition?

The Bell Jar is the story of 19-year-old Esther Greenwood, the breakdown she experiences, and the beginnings of her recovery. The bell jar symbolizes mental illness and gives the novel its title.

Verla Zhagalin

Reviewer

Why is Esther depressed in the bell jar?

Esther deteriorates from low-level sadness and anhedonia to a severe depressive episode following two adverse life events. However, she also has several predisposing factors: her father died when she was young and she has not grieved this, probably due to the attitudes of her mother.

Rabie Grano De Oro

Reviewer

Who does Esther lose her virginity to in the bell jar?

Irwin. Irwin, a mathematics professor Esther meets at Harvard's Widener Library, is the not-so-lucky man that Esther loses her virginity to. Esther seems to find him an acceptable sexual partner not out of any real physical attractiveness, but because of his apparent intelligence.

Xoan Mackeprank

Reviewer

Why does Esther bleed in the bell jar?

Answer and Explanation: It is unclear the exact reason why Esther was bleeding in Chapter 19 of The Bell Jar, but it is alluded that her hemorrhaging was a complication from loosing her virginity.

Lesia Essid

Reviewer