karen's Reviews > The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
45618
's review
Apr 10, 2007

liked it
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.
240 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Bell Jar.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-45 of 45) (45 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

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.


Shirin 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.


message 19: by Abby (new) - rated it 4 stars

Abby That's what reading is suppose to do though, make you feel the pressure she felt as a woman, even if you've never felt it.


message 20: by Abby (new) - rated it 4 stars

Abby That's what reading is suppose to do though, make you feel the pressure she felt as a woman, even if you've never felt it.


karen well, that's up to the writer. this one didn't do that for me, but maybe now that i'm fully-grown i would feel differently


message 22: by Abby (new) - rated it 4 stars

Abby I feel like maybe that's how The Awakening will be for me, i had to read it in high school and to this day I have to say I detest that book and haven't tried to read it again since lol


karen if there weren't a hundred million books i want to read, i think it would be valuable to revisit a ton of books i read when i was a wee thing to see how i've grown


Frances "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!!!" Hi Karen this made my day! Thank you I needed this :D :)


karen my pleasure! i was a role model to fifteen-year-old girls everywhere! i had an apron!


Frances karen wrote: "my pleasure! i was a role model to fifteen-year-old girls everywhere! i had an apron!"

Hahahhaha lol this is even better! Haha :D


karen i mean, look how thrilled i am to be financially independent!!

 photo IMG_3442_zpsazfe393v.jpg


Frances karen wrote: "i mean, look how thrilled i am to be financially independent!!

OMG hahahaha you look so happy! I think we can be best of friend!! :D

"



message 29: by Dave (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dave Russell In whose grandmother's house was that donut shop located?


message 30: by ॐ Pixie (last edited Apr 29, 2015 08:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

ॐ Pixie awww, wook at da wittle Karen!


karen that was MY house. that painting is terrifying. fucking new england - why you so eerie?

but yeah - babygirl. i still have that shirt...


message 32: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica T. lmao. perfect!


Iva-Marie Palmer I liked it even less than you! And I loathe the way it's become an intellectual accessory for every mopey teen girl hoping to get her MFA.


karen it's how you know they're deep and tortured inside...


Iva-Marie Palmer Exactly. Because black nail polish wasn't enough.


karen they wear black on the outside 'cuz black is how they feel on the inside


Megan I love the book, but your review is hilarious!


karen thanks! who doesn't like a limerick every now and again?


message 39: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy Wallace That's just brilliant, and the points on Joyce totally resonate with me - glad she didn't read Dubliners.


Jasmin Your limerick made me happy. I felt you should know this.
: )


Maria Funny! I'm reading this for the first time for my book group. Our topic this month is books written around the time you were born, and I was born in '63. You might not be able to relate to the same gender issues, but your mother and grandmother can. Your ability to take


Maria Gender and sexuality for granted as a non-issue is a luxury they didn't have, and worth thinking about.

I'm going to share your post with the group, they will love it.


Lenny Grossman Hahaha! I love your review. I'm only about a third of the way through The Bell Jar. I've read and loved Joyce's first three works but never attempted finnegan's wake . . . and never intend to.


message 44: by S. (new) - rated it 5 stars

S. Hahahaha, one of your best. :D


karen my most astute literary criticism for sure.


back to top