The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath | July Book Review


This is my first book review and it had to be The Bell Jar

You just know it’s like a breath of fresh air. Not at all your average book covered in fairy lights and wrapped in cotton wool. Ok ok, I have been guilty of reading quite a few fairy-lights-and-wrapped-in-cotton-wool sort of books… but this was different.

Real.

It feels so vivid, you would almost think that it’s a piece of a diary or a journal. Not at all a fictional story. At least, there aren’t any in-your-face heroic actions that seem to dampen our moods about how sucky and un-heroic we are and how we don’t have superpowers to save the world. I mean ok it is all good and mighty to ready books about heroes saving the world and that gives us a bit more confidence to feel more than just another fish in the ocean, but just sometimes (just sometimes), we aren’t all out there to save the world.

Some just look at the world through a looking glass and wonder why there are problems in the first place, for there to be a need for heroes.

Esther – the protagonist – doesn’t find interest in the things that would excite most people. New York.  Presents and gifts and more presents. Marriage proposal. A successful education. She finds pettiness in conventional routes for happiness and instead finds her own sense of dignity.

Mental illness, society’s expectations of women, hypocrisy…. these are just some of the themes explored in The Bell Jar.  And the disillusion meaning of bell jar?

Well.

It’s like putting a rose inside a jar and expecting it to grow…

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