Friday, October 7, 2011

REVIEW: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Date Published: 1963
Page Count: 244 Pages
Year Read: 2011

Goodreads: 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.

Review: The Bell Jar by Salvia Plath let me start off by saying how much I enjoyed this book. Esther Greenwood is a protagonist whom I will never forget. She was just awesome. Especially since she was a feminist protagonist in the fifties. I would believe most women in that time would want to be married and have kids, but Esther was the total opposite. She would do anything not to please a man. She did not like the idea of being a "slave" for a man.

 "So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about numb as a slave in some private, totalitarian state." - Pg94  (ISBN: 9780060174903)
Her feminist ideas just got me thinking, about life in general and how the average woman wants to get some kind of degree and just start a family, but not Esther. She's curious about a lot of things in a man but being their "slave" was not one of them. She would wonder how it would be like to be married (statement above came from one of her "thoughts") or how it would feel like to be with a man, she lands on that thought more then once or twice. As may have already noticed in my eyes she was an awesome idealist. 

Okay, about the book it self... this book was narrated in what seemed the stream of consciousness [narration]. You could see what was going on in Esther's head in the beginning talking about her college and how she imaged how people in New York viewed a "girl"(herself) with a scholarship and how they would just assumed she belonged and as you keep reading she starts to talk about her dorm and goes on with the girls and her opinions about everything that catches her attention.... ahh... ughhh ... I DON'T KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN IT... all I could say is read this book.... is it will change your view of the world...

And of course this awesome protagonist has a breakdown, apparently her mind was getting the best of her and started to think of committing suicide (more then once) and I seriously loved how Plath put suicide in the novel making me wonder if she herself had all these thoughts and gave the protagonist a life so her thoughts could just fit. Esther wonders and tries to find the BEST WAY to commit suicide. She gives an analyzation to ways NOT to commit suicide... reasons would be it would make a mess and plainly would not be fast enough, she wanted to find THE BEST WAY....

"I rolled onto my back again and made my voice casual. "If you were going to kill yourself, how would you do it?" 
Cal seemed pleased. "I've often thought of that. I'd blow my brains out with a gun." 
I was disappointed. It was just like a man to do it with a gun. A fat chance I had of laying my hands on a gun. And even if I did, I wouldn't have a clue as to what part of me to shoot at. 
I'd already read in the papers about people who'd tried to shoot themselves, only they ended up shooting an important nerve and getting paralyzed or blasting their face off, but being saved, by surgeons and a sort of miracle, from dying outright. 
The risks of a gun seemed great. "What kind of a gun?" "My father's shotgun. He keeps it loaded. I'd just have to walk into his study one day and," Cal pointed a finger to his temple and made a comical, screwed-up face, "click!" He widened his pale gray eyes and looked at me. " - Pg175-5  (ISBN: 9780060174903)
This book goes from a woman to a feminist to someone who wonders about being with a man to someone who wants to commit suicide to someone who goes "crazy" and just plainly a human who needs help... A CLASSIC MUST READ. I have read some reviews saying it was an emotional read for them... unless I misunderstood them but I didn't get emotional... or at least a sad type of emotional... towards this book... BUT JUST READ IT... you'll love it, I hope.

My Rate: ★★★
 Overall (Goodreads) Rate: 3.88 Stars 
( o u t . o f . f i v e . stars)

Finished Reading: September 13, 2011

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