The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath Essay

1816 Words Apr 14th, 2016 8 Pages
The Bell Jar, written by Sylvia Plath, is novel that is stitched together with equal amounts of struggle and emancipation within a society with preconceived identities. Sylvia Plath wrote The Bell Jar as an extension and parallel to her life. Plath was a model student who won many prizes and scholarships but suffered from mental illness, and nearly succeeded in a suicide attempt. The Bell Jar is a coming of age story about Esther Greenwood, a parallel of Plath and a young woman who finds that finding yourself isn’t as easy as society makes it seems. As pressure from both society and herself continues to mount, Esther finds herself stressed and questioning, something that proves to be nearly fatal. Throughout The Bell Jar, Esther extensively searches for her identity but ultimately fails, this illuminates the theme that in order to find oneself, one must look inward, not outward.
Esther, like many people, began to look towards her friends and acquaintances when the thirst for an identity first hit her. When Esther introduces Ladies Day to the reader, she takes special care to single Doreen out as an influence, even going as far as saying, “I guess one of my troubles was Doreen. I’d never known a girl like Doreen before” (Plath 4). Esther attaches herself to Doreen almost immediately, seeing her as having an “elaborate decadence that attracted me [her] like a magnet” (Plath 5). Doreen was savvy, man-hungry, and rebellious, a completely different personality that Esther had…

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