The Bell Jar (1963) by Sylvia Plath

★★★★☆ 4/5

This read was beautifully heartbreaking, you can feel the emotion all the way through.

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Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche.  -Goodreads

 


Classics / <300 pages / Can be read in a couple of days

Fun Fact: When The Bell Jar was originally published the author used the pseudonym Victoria Lewis.

What I personally held onto throughout this book is it deals with mental illness and depression, however it shows that even people who you would say have it “good” can still live unfulfilled lives. It also makes the point that sometimes the severity of an event that drives people to go under does not necessarily have to register as a severe event to everyone. A situation that is no big deal to you may be the breaking point for someone else.

This book is said to be semi-autobiographical, Sylvia Plath struggled with depression herself and sadly committed suicide in 1963.

"The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own
silence"
"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know 
many of them. Whenever I'm sad I'm going to die or so nervous I can't sleep,
or in love with somebody I won't be seeing for a week, I slump down just so
far and then I say 'I'll go take a hot bath.'"

 

 

 

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