The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
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.