The Role Of Women In The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath

Decent Essays

Madelyn Hawthorne
October 11, 2017
Essay #1
In The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath there were many prominent female characters that Esther came into contact with that had an affect on her life. The individual women all behaved quite differently and gave Esther a different, and at times confusing, sense of what it was to be a woman. They spanned from Doreen, the sensual and experienced friend who had little concern with conforming to rules, to Mrs. Willard, the stereotypical housewife who willingly became a floormat to be walked all over by her husband. Throughout the novel, Esther compared herself to these different women and often found that she didn’t fit in with any of them. She felt as if she must become a certain type of woman but wasn’t attracted to the lifestyles of any of the women that she met, making it hard for her to find her own identity. The restrictions that were placed on Esther as a woman and the ways in which she was expected to conform to society fueled her depression and made it hard for her to discover and accept her identity. The novel began with the reader being introduced to Doreen which was interesting seeing as though she was on one of the far ends of the spectrum of women that Esther met. Through Doreen’s experience Esther was able to discover her own inexperience. Doreen was sensual and had no regards for the fact that during the time women were supposed to be pure. This fascinated Esther and she began to wonder if what she had known her whole life had

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