Gisela’s review of The Bell Jar


This book effed me up. I read it as a high school student, but now as an adult, I just understand it on a different level. Esther’s journey from internship to friendships to men to home to an asylum is harrowing. The way Plath describes, how she just feels nothing… nothing. Esther felt nothing! It broke my heart and I wanted to reach across the pages and let her know that I understood. Her thoughts on love and marriage and life resemble too closely to my own and if I could sit down and talk to any fictional character it would be her, Esther.

I’ve read many books that involved characters with mental health, but maybe The Bell Jar impacted me more because we all know what happened to Sylvia Plath. That is what effed me up. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it as I finished the book last night.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone. It can be slow at many parts, but you see her slow descent to this nothingness that she describes, and it’s frightening and all too real and will give you a new perspective.

I’ll leave you with this quote from the book… 

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. 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 choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

Gisela’s review of The Bell Jar

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