Madness In The Bell Jar

888 Words 4 Pages
Societal Standards Scar our Sanity
When others hear the term ´insanity’, most think of a criminal or someone who has abnormal behavioral patterns, but in some cases the smartest and brightest end up being a little bit crazy. From Einstein to Newton, the geniuses in the world are much more than the discoveries they have made. But because of the social norms society is given, people don’t really look at it that way. In the world today, geniuses all over the world lose a little bit of themselves in order to fit into these preconceived standards society has made. In “The Bell Jar”, impeccably smart college student Esther Greenwood feels conflicted in her life with the combination of her oppressive surroundings and slowly growing madness. Although
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A bell jar is a glass vessel designed to cover objects, contain gases, or vacuum gases. In this specific example, the bell jar symbolizes Esther’s madness. She believes that this mental bell jar twists up her perspective on the world and prevents her from connecting with her fellow peers or feeling any sense of emotion with her loved ones. Philomena Guinea, the sponsor of Esther’s college scholarship, pays for Esther to go to a private mental hospital in an attempt to help her recover quicker. Esther’s mother tells Esther that she should be grateful of this generous act as well as the fact that the family had used up almost all of its money on the hospital bills. Esther knows she should feel grateful for this, but she knew "wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air" (Plath 185). No matter what happens in her life, Esther believes she will end up suffocating in her own mental bell jar. Not only is the bell jar the title of the novel, but it is also a representation of the hell Esther suffers in on a daily basis, regardless of where she goes. The fact that her mother was criticizing Esther for her lack of showing her gratefulness shows she has feels this pressure to make everyone else happy and it made her struggle to fit into its standards without losing herself along the

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