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The Bell Jar

Essay by   •  January 4, 2012  •  Essay  •  2,106 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,699 Views

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As children, little girls have this fairytale of how they are going to meet the perfect man, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. They fail to face reality and see that life and relationships are never what you expect them to be. According to dictionary.com, the definition of relationship is "the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people, are connected." In the novel The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood experiences several bad situations with the men she chooses in her life. These situations made Esther change the way she was and she began to view men differently. Experiencing several bad relationships has the ability to change a women's point of view about men.

The Bell Jar is an autobiographical novel that confirms the events of Sylvia Plath's life. Writer Sylvia Plath was born in 1932 and spent her childhood in the seaport town of Winthrop, Massachusetts. After her father died she moved to Wellesley, an island suburb of Boston with her mother, brother, and grandparents. Plath went to school and developed a strong interest in writing and drawing. In 1950, she won a scholarship to attended Smith College where she majored in English. The Bell Jar is the story of what happened to Plath during her junior year. Plath was invited to serve as a guest editor for a women's magazine in New York where she experienced some of the situations. After she returned home she had a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide. Plath was married to an English poet, Ted Hughes, in 1956 and had two kids. Later on they ended up divorcing because Ted cheated on her. The Bell Jar was published in three different places in three different years; in London in January 1963 where it was published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in order to protect the people she portrayed in the novel, in

England in 1966, and in America in 1971. Plath is primarily known not as a novelist, but as an outstanding poet because of her many great poems.

The key to every relationship is trust and communication. One would say that a relationship is when two people love each other and have a passionate bond where they connect in a deeper level emotionally and mentally and they also must trust each other. A wise man once said, "Without trust, there is nothing". Once someone shows you they are untrustworthy the whole relationship changes. The way you view that person changes as well. Dictionary.com defines trust as "reliance on and confidence in the truth, worth, reliability, etc, of a person or thing."

In the novel The Bell Jar, Esther Greenwood is a nineteen year old A-student from Boston working as an editorial intern at a popular women's magazine in New York City. Esther feels isolated from society. This symptom of depression shows the pressure she feels to fit into social expectations of what a young lady should be. Esther attempts to lose her virginity with an interpreter, but he seemed uninterested. On her last night in the city she goes on a disastrous blind date with a man named Marco, who tries to rape her. Esther then has a boyfriend in college named Buddy Willard, who seems to be perfect but he does not understand her desire to write poetry. He later on confessed that he cheated on her and Esther decides to leave him because she felt he was a hypocrite. Esther soon finds herself feeling unreal because of the experiences she had in New York. She felt it was taking over her life. She stopped showering, reading, writing, and sleeping. Her mother tried taking her to therapy thinking that would help her, but it only made things worse. She became suicidal; she cut herself, tried hanging herself, drowning, and even taking a large amount of sleeping pills. She was later sent to a psychological ward in the city where she got even worse until a famous novelist named Philomena Guinea paid to move

her to a better and private hospital, where she got better. She ended up losing her virginity to a professor named Irwin. Then later on ended up speaking to her ex boyfriend Buddy and they both decided their relationship was officially over. Esther leaves the mental hospital in time to start her winter semester in college. At the end of the book, she finally feels that she is grasping sanity and changing her thoughts into positivity.

Bad relationships can change a women's point of view about men. Esther is trying to fit in with all the other girls in New York and find "love". She looks for it so bad that she thought losing her virginity to a guy she barely knew would be the right answer. She went on a date and almost got raped. Then her boyfriend Buddy, who she thought was perfect, confessed that he cheated on her with another girl. All the men she dealt with had let her down to the point where she does not trust them. The way she thought men were supposed to be had changed, "So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in a totalitarian state" (Plath 115). This situation happens to women all over the world all the time. Kristen McClure, a therapist states "As women we are often conditioned to believe that if people are not happy it is our fault. It is very important in relationships when looking at trust issues to take responsibility for yourself and to insist that others take responsibility. Sometimes women pick losers or untrustworthy people because they are afraid of being alone, or they think they can't do any better" (McClure 2). This makes one think, as women we often give too much of ourselves to men who do not deserve it because we just want to be loved, even if they are not the right guy. We tend to ignore the signs that they are not the right guy.

Bad relationships can affect a woman mentally. The things men put women through can make a woman think there is something wrong with her and cause her to have self-esteem issues.

The experiences Esther went through in New York, with almost getting raped and then finding out her boyfriend cheated on her, caused her to be depressed. Esther was not herself anymore. She stopped doing what she loved the most, writing. Also, she did not shower, eat, or sleep. She even became suicidal, she tried killing

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