Michael's Reviews > The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
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's review
Nov 10, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, honorable-mentions
Read from September 24 to November 05, 2011

It's not hard to see the appeal of The Bell Jar. Its power lies in Sylvia Plath's ability to make everything her character goes through relatable. Even if you're not a young woman going to school in New York City who is slowly spiraling into depression, Esther's feelings of hopelessness and loneliness are relevant across a wide variety of audiences, and this, I believe, is why this novel has remained popular throughout so many years.

Sylvia Plath has a very interesting way of setting up the plot of this novel, and in some ways, it didn't entirely work. She skips from the past to the present so frequently that I hardly ever knew what was actually happening in the narrative and what was a flashback. Also, so many episodes in this novel didn't seem to have much relevance to the overall plot. There would be flashbacks (at least, I think they were flashbacks) of Esther's life, and I would finish them and think, Was that actually necessary? The premise of this novel as a whole might be a little off-putting to some as well: poor, poor, extremely privileged white girl living in New York City just cannot handle the stresses of life and tries to kill herself.

However, don't let my criticisms mislead you: I truly enjoyed this book. The ideas that Plath presented were so relatable that I didn't exactly have to admire the plot to adsorb its true meaning.
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09/24/2011 page 50
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