Analysis Of Sylvia Plath 's The Bell Jar Essay

1345 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 null Page
For the duration of human civilization, women have been seen as the underlings of men, forced to maintain unrealistic expectations in order to please their alleged superiors. In medieval times, women were viewed as a source of reproduction and had no rights or independence. As society progressed into modern times, women gained some value as members of the community, but were extremely limited in many aspects of their lives. In the late nineteen-fifties, women were pressured into conforming to specific criteria which corresponded to their roles as members of the female gender. Sylvia Plath discusses such roles throughout her literary works. In Sylvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar, she employs imagistic motifs in order to confront the issues that gender roles present in the daily lives of women in this time period.
Mirrors are used as an imagistic motif as a means to illustrate the stereotype of the ideal woman and the pressures that they face regarding their physical appearance. The cultural views during this time period meant that women were expected to follow a certain path in their life that resulted in very few opportunities. These expectations were pushed on women from birth, implanting ideas of who they were supposed to become; a model woman was created in their mind. Even the most independently minded woman felt this image lurking in their subconscious. The pressure to be perfect was so intense that an image of imperfection was shocking: “I noticed a big, smudgy-eyed…

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