Essay on The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath

1144 Words May 18th, 2016 5 Pages
In Sylvia Plath 's autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, the text takes the reader through the struggles of a young woman Esther, Sylvia Plath’s alter ego, who faces unruly patriarchal oppression which limits her ability to succeed within her community. This drives Esther to attempt suicide in a multitude of ways. Esther is aware of a female 's oppression within the 1950’s and relates imbalance between men and women to the battle between nature and technology. Esther is subject to patriarchal oppression throughout the novel and relates a woman 's struggle of inequality and restraint to the battle between technology and nature.
Throughout the novel, Esther is repeatedly oppressed by male characters and expected to act and become what they have planned for them. Lenny Shepherd, Buddy Willard, Marco, and Dr. Gordon all contribute to the future for Esther. Each of these key male characters have predetermined ideas about who Esther should become as she progresses through her depression and this stops her from making progress throughout her life. For example, when Esther initially meets Dr. Gordon, she feels as though she has been “stuffed farther and farther into a black, airless sack with no way out” (Plath 68). This shows that Esther feels direct oppression by Dr. Gordon, a male, as he asserts his dominance and control by trying to fix Esther 's depression. In Wilkins analysis of the novel, she says: “Dr. Gordon believes that he knows what Esther’s problem is and prescribes his…

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