- Series: Modern Classics
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics; 1 edition (August 2, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060837020
- ISBN-13: 978-0060837020
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,418 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Plath was an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical novel. The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman's mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. The real Plath committed suicide in 1963 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book, which remains one of the best-told tales of a woman's descent into insanity. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A fine novel, as bitter and remorseless as her last poems--the kind of book Salinger's Fanny might have written about herself ten years later, if she had spent those ten years in Hell." --The New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The story opens with Esther in New York, during the summer of her collegiate years, working and modeling for a prestigious NY magazine. Through many obscure and complex observations, we slowly get a picture of her; Boston suburbanite, Smith college-type on scholarship, the world literally at her feet. But it is, still at these beginning stages, the random comment or action that begins to creep in to her personality that makes the reader aware that something is not quite right. Sure enough, as we move on, Esther becomes more and more un-hinged, doing things far outside of her personality.
Soon we reach a point where she attempts suicide and discusses suicide as the answer to get her out from “under the Bell Jar.” The literary ease with which we go from NY magazine model to suicide victim is stark…I found myself having to put the book down occasionally to internalize what I’d just read. This is really an amazing ability that Plath had…flowing from one emotion to the other without noticing until the full force of Esther’s actions take hold. Where the first third of the novel is fairly light, the last two thirds are riveting, very difficult to put down. It’s very hard to understand how Plath had difficulty getting this work published…only under a pseudonym in 1963 London and not until 1971 in the U.S. after it had been turned down, harshly, by publisher Harper & Row. Today it is printed and re-printed in many languages and enjoys its well-deserved place among the literary classics.
To summarize, if one decides to delve into the classics, you can’t go wrong with this work. Dark, even frightful at times but always flowing and well written, The Bell Jar is both a stark referendum on mental illness and an amazing reading experience.
I'm much more of a novel reader than a poetry fan, so I had to get my hands on 'The Bell Jar'. I was enthralled. I couldn't put the book down. I wasn't the suicidal type, my depression manifested in other ways. But there was something about Sylvia's life, something about her work, that touched me. After reading the book, I journaled much, much more. I wanted all of my feelings and thoughts that I kept to myself, to be kept somewhere and to help me grow.
This is definitely a must read for high school students! It's not hard to understand. She writes very clearly, and it is definitely relatable. Granted, with technology being a huge part of kids' lives today, it might be a little harder for some to understand the character's life from decades ago - as so much has changed in the world - but, the feelings will still ring true.
A very interesting introspective book. Have fun.