I am, I am, I am.

belljarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
244 pages
First published 1963
2/5 new authors (2013 Book Challenge)



I’ve heard about Sylvia Plath before. I’ve heard that she was ‘that woman who stuck her head into an oven’. After reading The Bell Jar, I find that manner of speaking about her extremely offensive.

The Bell Jar is just so real. I know it is ‘confessional literature’, but it different from anything I’ve read before. Real. Unembellished. Powerful.


“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”

As someone who is not a huge fan of first-person narrative, I found Esther’s voice surprising vivid and familiar. Calming, at times, and extremely alarming at instances, Esther’s voice carried the story forward, resonating with whatever was going on inside the girl’s mind.

This book changed the way I view mental health and people’s emotions, and life in general. It is a wonderful, wonderful read, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

The feminist side of Esther Greenwood pleased me immensely. This book inspired such thoughts in me that I cannot even put into words. It made me aware. Sylvia Plath became a fascinating woman to me, and I am really looking forward to reading her poetry.


P.S. I’ve read about Sylvia Plath’s tombstone carrying the name Hughes, from her husband Ted Hughes, and how eager fans who feel indignant at the way Hughes treated Plath scratched off his name from the tombstone. This little fact, although quite pointless for this post, reminds me that there are people who adore their literary idols, and would go to such lengths to, I guess, protect their idol’s image, etc.

4 responses to “I am, I am, I am.

  1. I read The Bell Jar perhaps four years ago? At the time I found the first half slow-moving in terms of narration, and I thought it became more interesting once she attempts suicide. It’d be interesting to see if I’d feel any differently now, though I do love her poetry. “Lady Lazarus” and “Daddy”–with so many others!–are among my favorites. (I suggest listening to some of the poetry readings–done by Plath herself–that are available online, too.) I’d love to read her journals at some point as well.

    • Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve been looking for her poetry in local bookshops, however there seems to be a shortage of Plath…. Might have to order online.

      I jumped on to reading “The Bell Jar” right after “Candide”, and “The Hobbit”, and so for me the novel moved rather quickly due to the simplistic language, in comparison.

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