Melody's Reviews > The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
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Apr 11, 2012

it was amazing


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Quotes Melody Liked

Sylvia Plath
“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my eyes and all is born again.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow, the million moving shapes and cul-de-sacs of shadow. There was shadow in bureau drawers and closets and suitcases, and shadow under houses and trees and stones, and shadow at the back of people's eyes and smiles, and shadow, miles and miles and miles of it, on the night side of the earth.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“The bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“When they asked some old Roman philosopher or other how he wanted to die, he said he would open his veins in a warm bath. I thought it would be easy, lying in the tup and seeing the redness flower from my wrists, flush after flush through the clear water, till I sank into sleep under a surface gaudy as poppies.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I told him I believed in hell, and that certain people, like me, had to live in hell before they died, to make up for missing out on it after death, since they didn't believe in life after death, and what each person believed happened to him when he died.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I opened the door and blinked out into the bright hall. I had the impression it wasn't night and it wasn't day, but some lurid third interval that had suddenly slipped between them and would never end.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I sank back in the gray, plush seat and closed my eyes. The air of the bell jar wadded round me and I couldn't stir.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“But I wasn't sure. I wasn't sure at all. How did I know that someday―at college, in Europe, somewhere, anywhere―the bell jar, with its stifling distortions, wouldn't descend again?”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“We'll act as if all this were a bad dream."

A bad dream.

To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream.

A bad dream.

I remembered everything.

I remembered the cadavers and Doreen and the story of the fig tree and Marco's diamond and the sailor on the Common and Doctor Gordon's wall-eyed nurse and the broken thermometers and the Negro with his two kinds of beans and the twenty pounds I gained on insulin and the rock that bulged between sky and sea like a gray skull.

Maybe forgetfulness, like a kind snow, would numb and cover them.

But they were part of me. They were my landscape.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I felt myself melting into the shadows like the negative of a person I'd never seen before in my life.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“The floor seemed wonderfully solid. It was comforting to know I had fallen and could fall no farther.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“The trouble about jumping was that if you didn't pick the right number of storeys, you might still be alive when you hit bottom.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I didn't know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of the throat and I'd cry for a week.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I wanted to crawl in between those black lines of print, the way you crawl through a fence, and go to sleep under that beautiful big green fig-tree.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I knew something was wrong with me that summer, because all I could think about was the Rosenbergs and how stupid I'd been to buy all those uncomfortable, expensive clothes, hanging limp as fish in my closet, and how all the little successes I'd totted up so happily at college fizzled to nothing outside the slick marble and plate-glass fronts along Madison Avenue.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath
“I lay in that tub on the seventeenth floor of this hotel for-women-only, high up over the jazz and push of New York, for near unto an hour, and I felt myself growing pure again. I don't believe in baptism or the waters of Jordan or anything like that, but I guess I feel about a hot bath the way those religious people feel about holy water.”
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar


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