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The Bell Jar
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Top Customer Reviews
The Bell Jar does not read like a classic - "classic" being the term of very old books with very old language - the description I've always had for the classic genre. This book has a very contemporary writing style, and despite it being written in the 1960s, The Bell Jar's topic of mental illness certainly transcends the generations and can be related by many people no matter when they read the book. I absolutely loved it!
The Bell Jar tells the story of a young Esther Greenwood at the beginning of her mental decline. She first recognizes its oncoming during a summer of interning at a magazine company in New York City. Trying to fit in with the other interns, as well as dealing with boys and co-workers prove to be a struggle at times for Esther. And later, when the real depression and suicidal thoughts set in, readers are invited into a dark and scary world, one created realistically and with honesty by Ms. Plath.
This book ranks high on my list of all-time favorites. I'm so glad I read it. From now on, if people want to read a classic (or a darn good book for that matter), I won't hesitate to suggest The Bell Jar. It's fantastic!
"The Bell Jar" tells the story of Esther Greenwood, an intelligent college student, as she slowly feels the "bell jar" of detachment and madness overtake her. As Esther goes from a prestigious internship in New York City to a summer at home with her mother in the Boston suburbs, her attachment to reality becomes more and more tenuous, until thoughts of suicide overtake her.
It is no secret that the story has at least a partial basis in reality, and that Sylvia Plath is writing from her own experience is perhaps what makes Esther so deeply real. I recently wrote a review of "Bridget Jones' Diary," and although "The Bell Jar" is undoubtedly a better book, there is a certain similarity between the protagonists: like Bridget, Esther is a character who is almost universally relatable. It does not matter if the reader is psychologically healthy or not: Esther awakens what she is feeling in all of us. My emotional response to "The Bell Jar" was on par with my emotional response to certain real-life events. I was uplifted to find a shared experience; angered at Esther's responses--and at the fact that they seemed reasonable to me; scared at the uncertainty I felt about myself and my own psychological state by the end of the book; and deeply protective--of Esther, of Sylvia Plath, and of every other reader who shared my experience.
I recognize that specifically speaking of the female experience when reading "The Bell Jar" could be considered rather narrow-minded of me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointed...I prefer "Confessions of a Sociopath" or "An Unquiet Mind".Published 1 hour ago by Amazon Customer
Good book. Don't expect any happiness. Fast read. Only two days to read it. Puts perspective into place.Published 4 days ago by pinkladyturtle
come on, it's sylvia plath. if you're reading this you obliviously know good writing and enjoy crawling in a dark hole now and again.Published 5 days ago by Vixie007
The Bell Jar is a first person narrative of the mental breakdown of Esther Greenwood, a young woman in the 1950s who didn't fit into society's mold of what a woman should be. Read morePublished 7 days ago by A L Fraz
Plath expertly mixes her skill with poetry to create vivid and intense imagery that really grip you in the protagonist's mind. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Shawn Harries
This book has been on my to-read list for a very long time but I knew it had a dark nature to it so I was avoiding it but it was not exactly what I was expecting. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Michelle Robinson
The Bell Jar is the story of Esther Greenwood, a woman whose whole life stretches in front of her with the promise of youth that she cannot enjoy. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Adan Ramie