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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎08-31-2011
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The Bell Jar - your impressions

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath


Now I will preface by saying I didn't finish it.  I got a good way through it and simply gave up.  And I am not casting any dispersions on anyone who liked the book.


I simply couldn't relate I guess.  To me it was the endless wanderings of a confused young lady.  And maybe that it what it was meant to be.  But, other than it indicates the person was becoming mentally unstable, I could see no point.  She describes some minute things in detail, such as gorging herself on free caviar at a luncheon.  OK, I got the point in a couple of paragraphs, no need to devote several pages.


 And at the time I gave up, I couldn't see that the story was progressing to anything other than describing the narrators everyday life in detail.  I also did not care for the narrators almost totally unsympathetic attitude to everyone.  She seemed to not care about anyone at all except her own thoughts and unhappiness.  But, again that might be intentional.  


I could engender little concern or empathy for the main character and almost no interest in whatever plot was slowly being formed.  So I gave up.  Possibly my opinion might change if I finished the book.


New User
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-05-2012
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Re: The Bell Jar - your impressions

I found it exceedingly depressing, but considering the late Sylvia Plath's life and suicide, I suppose it's to be expected.

Reader 2
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-09-2011
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Re: The Bell Jar - your impressions

I think this book is being judged by today's standards where nothing is held back, everything intimate is discussed in excruciating detail and most persons have so many choices of what to do that they don't decide what is important to them.  


When this book was written women were expected to act a certain way and society had a life course laid out for them to which there were very few options.  To go against this was considered extremely strange.  This book broke ground for its age in bringing to light topics such as depression, sex - voluntary and not, heterosexual and homosexual, implications before birth control, having to choose marriage over career and even the simple fact of wanting to live on one's own without someone to be there as a chaperone.  It's almost inconceivable for those who have always had these freedoms to understand what it was like.  At the time this came out no one ever discussed these subjects in polite company.  Thanks to new times which have brought change.