Self Deprivation Women all over the world must follow society’s expectations. In fact, in Saudi Arabia, women could not drive until late September of this year! Similarly, in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, societal pressures push, the protagonist, Esther Greenwood to act in a particular way. Esther grows up in a small town and goes to New York for an internship for journalism. Through this opportunity she learns that she must act like an ideal woman of the time. Yet, she enjoys things that are out of the normality. This causes her to lose who she is and who she wants to become. In The Bell Jar, Plath reveals that strict women’s standards may cause a loss of self. In the novel, women are upheld to a typical standard of how to act in public. For example, in the past and even in the twenty-first century all over the world; women must dress a certain way. Using imagery Sylvia Plath describes how women have to look and act in society. Women “...had to wear hats and stockings and gloves to class” (Plath 4). The author continues to say that the ladies who were out of school got jobs as secretaries. These secretaries are wandering around New York looking to marry to a man with money. The author illustrates how women have to dress and act a specific way which Esther did not conform with. She wanted to be a successful writer with or without a husband. The strict standards women obliged to leads to Esther losing her true identity.
Society pressures women to act in a specific way.