Elements Of Voice: The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath

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Elements of Voice: The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is a timeless literary classic. One reason that this novel has transcended the ages since the 1960s is Plath’s expert use of the elements of voice. Few novels may stand the test of time. A vast knowledge of author’s craft is necessary to create a story that is intricate and detail-oriented without becoming overly specific and unrelateable. Sylvia Plath suffered from depression throughout her life, which led to her poetry and novels to have a dark tone. One can assume that Esther is an extension of Plath herself, which explains how Plath wrote such a poignantly realistic story around this character. The Bell Jar includes the elements of voice which enhance the grippingly real
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Esther sees the world around her in a critical, pessimistic tone. In the mind of this character, everything in the world is threatening and out to get her. Scenes described by other authors as peaceful and serene, but all Esther is capable of seeing is an ominous surrounding. When Esther is caught in the rain, a scene typically romanticized by writers, she describes the rain as coming “down from the sky in drops the size of coffee saucers and hit the hot sidewalks with a hiss that sent clouds of steam writhing up from the gleaming, dark concrete…” (Plath) Words such as “hiss” and “writhing” create imagery that is dark and threatening. Plath also uses diction to create the idea that the world around Esther is truly mad, and Esther is perfectly sane herself. In the novel, Esther describes herself as the “…eye of the tornado… moving dully along in the middle of the hullabaloo.” (Plath) Through this statement the reader can assume that Esther feels she is unworthy her …show more content…
Word repetition is one of the forms of syntax which Plath uses to stress a fact to the reader, to make sure they grasp the concept of Esther’s situation. Esther states “The silence depressed me. It wasn 't the silence of silence. It was my own silence.” (Plath) One word is repeated four times in this short section. The repetition emphasizes that Esther is not only upset by silence, but her own silence is the true source of her depression. Without the syntax displayed in this novel, the important sections would be skimmed over and quickly forgotten. Repetition causes the mind to remember a word or phrase, and Plath uses this (and other forms of syntax) to her

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