Literature Meme|| 6/10 Prose
- “The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
The Bell Jar is the only novel written by American poet, Sylvia Plath, and published in 1963. It is a semi-autobiographical novel that reflects Plath’s own life and portrays both her and her character’s progression into mental illness(probably clinical depression with possibly severe PMS). The book flawlessly captures what it is like to be trapped in the very depths of depression and how, if you are even able to, difficult it is to get yourself out.
As stated before, the book was semi-autobiographical of Plath’s life. To protect herself and the characters based on real people, she first published the book under the name Victoria Lucas. It wasn’t published under her real name until 1971, 9 years after Plath’s suicide in 1963.
The story follows Esther Greenwood (The main character who Plath based herself on) who although is a striving young writer, finds herself spiraling downward into a pit of depression and eventually a suicide attempt. Afterwards, she is put into a mental institution. Esther is given electroshock therapy, which, along with therapy helps to her to regain her sanity and cure her depression, which she describes in a most beautifully sad way, as being “trapped under a bell jar, stewing in her own sour air”.