Essay about Analysis Of ' The Bell Jar '

1380 Words Dec 11th, 2014 6 Pages
Matthew Honey
AP Literature and Composition
Mrs. Coghill
The Bell Jar Questions
1. Many signs throughout the novel specify Esther’s descent into depression and madness. Internal pressures that she puts on herself to achieve at a high level. She also feels she is not performing to the lofty standards she expects of herself and this causes her to feel inadequate. Outside factors such as social pressures cause Esther’s descent into madness. Societal pressures to get married and be pure expedite Esther’s descent into madness. The stages of this are specified at first as Esther saying she feels “I just bumped from my hotel to work and to parties and from parties to my hotel and back to work like a numb trolleybus.” This feeling of being inexplicably unhappy and not having any motivation, even though she had what many would consider a dream job, is the first stage of her descent into madness. This quickly progresses to her feeling more depressed and not being able to partake in activities she usually enjoyed. She slowly loses the ability to read and write which is a large step towards insanity. She fully descends into madness when she begins to have suicidal thoughts and actions, which she eventually tries to act upon. Her descent into madness was inevitable because she is suffering from a mental condition that would have caused her to go insane regardless, but her experiences and outside pressures drive her to madness more quickly.
2. The primary meaning of the bell…

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