karen's Reviews > The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
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Aug 13, 11

bookshelves: littry-fiction, books-everyone-loves-but-me

there once was a girl from the bay state
who tried to read finnegan's wake.
it made her so ill,
she took loads of pills.
james joyce has that knack to frustrate.
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Comments (showing 1-18 of 18) (18 new)

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karen i dont know. it did nothing for me, and i think if more people were honest, they would admit that it did nothing for them either, and its only interesting because she killed herself and people are suckers for other peoples sad. that dinosaur book was sad though...


Eileen I didn't like it either! When I finished it, I was sorry that I had wasted the time.


Sara I've found that I enjoyed Bell Jar more the second and third times I read it. I was less thinking "Sylvia Plath killed herself" and more thinking "These are thoughts I have had. I wish I had known in my awful teens that I wasn't alone in feeling numb and trapped and unreasonably unhappy." Eh. I can see the flaws, but it resonates with me anyway.


karen maybe i will read it as an older grown-up and see where that takes me.


message 5: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen I loved it. It was desperate. It is becoming more and more apparent to me that I like suffocating tragedies.


karen i will give it another chance.


karen i didn't mind the depression parts. as a teen, i understood those parts. but the hopelessly dated parts - hang-ups about sexuality etc, and the "oh it's so haaaard to be a girl" stuff. i was kind of impatient with that. but i was a very confident teenager.

it would probably make more sense to me now.


karen i think it was the preoccupation with gender and sexuality that had that effect on me. it was struggling with issues that i see as non-issues, although i know you would disagree with me. i never even notice that i am a girl - i am just me, you know? i am not in an environment where it much matters. if i were in the big corporate world or the military, i'm sure it would be different, but i don't really experience any gender complications in my day-to-day.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "i don't really experience any gender complications in my day-to-day."

What about periods and cooties? Ya know, lady problems.


karen yeah, menses is a real drag. cooties i have become used to.


Hester Plath is overrated, that is all.


Shishi I loved this book, it spoke to me during the HOPELESS MISERY I felt during my teenage years. It was scary how I sometimes felt (and still do at times) that the words and thoughts in the book were interchangeable with mine.


message 13: by Bill (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bill you have a new calling as a poet, karen! speaking of poets, i mailed you the byron book yesterday, so it should get there in time for your birthday.


karen best birthday ever - thank you!!!


Velvetink Life was very different for young women when she wrote it - I read it at 16 and although I was a confident teenager The Bell Jar reflected the times and there was a lot in it I could relate to. When I first went looking for work I was knocked back constantly because I was female. (yeah I'm getting old now - ha).


karen yeah, and at the time i read it, i had a fantastic job a the donut wagon, and so i was like - lady - women can totally succeed in the business world! look at me make coffee and serve it to old men!! stop being sad - some of these donuts have jelly inside!!!


message 17: by Taf (new) - rated it 5 stars

Taf Mupfumi I loved this book, the prose was bland for the most part, I read Nabokov a lot so I'm used to highlighting line after line, none of that here. But I could relate a lot to what she went through, the depression-hopelessness-trapped-zugzwang bits..I think it falls in the same league as "Perks of Being. A Wallflower"..taken on it's own it's not much really, but if the story is a personal one to you it's a great little book. Plus I romanticize anyone who commits suicide so I'm biased off the jump. Your review was funny tho..you're brilliantly sardonic.


karen i feel like i should read it again, as a grown-up, after dismissing it when i was a teenager. but i definitely do not romanticize suicide, so i think there are still parts i will find problematic.


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