Identity In Esther Greenwood's The Bell Jar

Decent Essays
In the Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood struggles to find an identity within a male dominated society. From her mother’s expectations to her career’s expectation, Esther is unable to to distinguish the correct societal and personal ways to achieving her desired result. She is lost. Her continual journey down into the most repressive times of her life reveals past experiences that ultimately changed her path to becoming someone new.
Esther Greenwood’s boyfriend, Buddy Willard, has a traditional view of marriage. He believes that Esther will abandon her poetic sense once she has a child. On the other hand, Esther does not contend with the idea of marrying him and having a child. While she did initially have a traditional viewpoint of marriage, her
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During this time of turmoil, Esther encounters a homosexual moment. When she approaches DeeDee's room for music, she finds that Joan and DeeDee are together in bed. This moment brings back her past memory of another homosexual couple in her college days. Esther questions why a women would seek another woman, and it reveals her curiosity in terms of her own sexuality. She seems to despise the power men have over her, but she is uncertain about exploring about other spectrums of sexuality. Furthermore, Esther decides to get birth control as a way to gain her independence: “I was my own women. The next step was to find the proper sort of man.” She later develops a sense of her sexuality, and she builds her own self-esteem of an independent women. Since she was young, she has believed that the ideal marriage is of a man and a women. She hooks up with Irwin, and she finds that he doesn't actually care about her. This is similar to how she felt with Buddy because she felt like men were using her rather than understanding her as a person. All her past experiences led her to become more independent and proud of herself; Esther leaves all the men in her life to continue on her path to become sane once
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