Compare And Contrast The Bell Jar And The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Thelma and Louise (1999) are both similar in that they are both strong feminist texts, addressing and discussing the issues of women’s rights in early and modern society. To represent this issue, as well as others within the text, both employ the use of characterisation, the development of the protagonists, and themes.
Characters in the two texts play an important role in expressing the limited freedoms and rights of women and the societal conventions they are expected to adhere to. These issues are usually expressed through men’s speech, values and actions towards women. Plath’s The Bell Jar gives many examples through the novel of men’s different personalities, such as dominant, controlling and violent. Buddy
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“He was the kind of man a girl should stay fine and clean for” Esther states early in the novel, showing how women needed to present themselves for men and societies creation of inequality when comparing men and women. In contrast, Thelma and Louise’s Jimmy shows that he cares and respects Louise and her opinions. He seems to understand Louise’s decision to leave him, whereas Buddy questions Esther’s choices. The two text types also portray men who are controlling and violent towards women. This character type is largely represented in Thelma and Louise, with men who commit acts of rape, physical violence and obscene and sexual gestures towards the two protagonists of the film. Thelma and Louise’s character Darryl is an example of this and can be compared to Plath’s Marco who both view women as inferior beings to themselves and abuse them physically and verbally. Darryl is seen pushing Thelma into submission, making her too nervous to ask if she can go out. Even though we never see Darryl physically abusing Thelma we can assume that he does, shown …show more content…
Plath’s work and Thelma and Louise are both similar in that they address the issue of the restricted role of women in the 1950’s and more modern times. When shown women’s circumstances and living with oppression under the control of men in the 1950’s, comparing it to a modern day we can see how women have progressed through time. Although, even when shown a more modern view on the issue in Thelma and Louise, it is apparent that circumstances still need to develop further in the rights of women. Showing how men oppress the women in this film, controlling married women and degrading them is evident of this. “Where do you get off behaving that way with women you don’t even know, huh? How’d you feel if someone did that to your mother or your sister or your wife?”, Louise states. In The Bell Jar, Esther struggles with deciding between her own ambitions and the expectations set upon her by society. Because of this, she becomes mentally ill and decreases from a position of high achievement to struggling to find the will to live. Esther develops and grows as a character through her depression and pain and comes to realise after her many meetings with men that she can choose her future and not live under the command and expectations set by men and society. Thelma’s development is forwards rather than backwards, she starts her story in a position of oppression and

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