Monday, March 26, 2012

Starting again - 2012: 1. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

    I went cold with envy. I had never been to Yale, and Yale was the place all the seniors in my house liked to go best on week-ends. I decided to expect nothing from Buddy Willard. If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.

      The account of a young woman's breakdown and treatment, which supposedly reflects the author's own battle with depression. Esther Greenwood is terse, unapologetic, pessimistic and wholly engaging. Although sometimes frustrating or even hopeless, the narrative is never exactly dark and is instead surprisingly objective for such personal experiences. As if seeing events from at some point separate, Esther makes observations about herself and others that seem to cut right to the core of things.

      The fact that this is Syliva Plath's only novel makes The Bell Jar even more poignant. A girl trapped and preserved beneath this bell jar who you want to know received some respite, some experience beyond the blurred glass. I want to know whether Esther is alright, whether the world ever appeared different. In Plath's suicide the answer seems prevented, and yet provided.

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