The Role Of Women In The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath

Decent Essays

According to the data from the Center for American Progress and Elle Magazine, “Nearly 30 percent of women report experiencing discrimination in the workplace.” However, this report is only based on the environment in employment settings. Women experience and visually see gender roles and inequity against females in everyday surroundings, and they are often accepted and practiced without difficulty. Similarly, in the novel, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Esther experiences different societal expectations throughout her life in hometown and New York, which helps her realize that she does not fit into either of the society; moreover, she grows weary as she loses her identity and passion, in search for who she is.
Esther’s mother and society’s expectation as a woman, which is to be a good wife and a mother, suffocate and demoralize Esther’s dream as a professional writer. Esther’s mother wants her to “...learn shorthand after college, so I’d have a practical skill as well as a college degree” (Plath 40). Her mother believes that Esther cannot further advance her education as a writer and simply wants her to be a secretary since professional career for women was uncommon and discouraged because it disturbs the role as a married woman. These pressures often obliged her to fall into the societal expectations, to give up her higher education, and to marry somebody. However, she knew that the marriage and the babies were not for her, “because cook and clean and wash were just about

Get Access