The Bell Jar by Plath

1220 Words Jul 16th, 2018 5 Pages
"If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days" (Plath). Plath was in fact a schizophrenic, never really being cured and only receiving temporarily relief from her own mind with electroshock therapy. Her novel, The Bell Jar, is almost a self-biography with the veil of fiction over the story of Plath’s own life being so thin that her mother fought its publication (McCann 1631). Nevertheless, Plath’s immense hard work paid off and it was published. Writing was Plath’s passion and when she wrote, her life became an enthralling story. Sylvia Plath’s late teenage years, time right …show more content…
I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would chose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest" (Plath 75).

To make matters worse, when she arrived home a letter awaited her saying that she had been rejected from Frank O'Connor's short story class. She was almost positive that she would get in and was deeply devastated when she received the rejection letter. Both the disappointment of New York and the rejection from the coveted writing class that she counted on started a deep spiral into clinical depression. Pressure was building up between her mom pushing her to return to her old self and her inability to sleep or read. Plath felt despondent. She even had an unsuccessful attempt at suicide by hiding herself away in the crawl space of her cellar and taking an overdose of sleeping pills. However, Plath was found and immediately institutionalized. Plath described this time as the blackest in her life saying in A Birthday Present “I would have killed myself gladly that time any possible way” (Malmsheimer 531).

Throughout the novel, Sylvia Plath emphasizes the curious similarity of physical and mental illness as if to say that both are symbolic of a larger condition which is our life today. In the novel, Esther noticed that everyone she knows sits under bell jars of a sort. However, Plath is no sentimentalist and knows quite well that her

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