What use does Plath make of the literary motif of the doppelgnger or double in The Bell Jar? The doppelganger is a well-known motif in myth, folklore and literature.
As she notices the differences between herself and her friends and attempts to find meaning in her life, Esther contemplates suicide and then makes several unsuccessful attempts to end her life using various means. Identify textually some of the situations and feelings that cause Esther distress and explain why this time of her life was so difficult for her.
You may wish to engage the issue of mental illness, explaining how it complicates her passage through this turbulent period of her life.
Finally, address how Esther ultimately makes it through this rough passage. Select a single image, such as the fig tree, or a cluster of less significant images, and explain their significance to the story.
Explore what these images mean to Esther, and how they keep her connected to reality. There are the cheerful college co-eds who are eager to experience New York fully, the blunted affect peers at the mental institution, and, among others, a successful supervisor in the magazine office and a compassionate and capable psychiatrist who could serve as positive role models.
Initially, Esther compares herself against each of these groups or individuals, and often finds herself lacking. Yet Esther rejects almost every possible model of womanhood that is offered to her, struggling to define her own ideas of what it means to be a woman.
As an object, a bell jar is a glass container which holds a specimen. As a symbolic representation of an emotional state, the bell jar can take on a wide range of meanings, including the feeling of being trapped and the sense of being watched or studied, to name just two possible interpretations.
Select one or more passages in which Esther makes a direct reference to the bell jar, and use these excerpts to offer your insight about what this symbol means to Esther.
Explain why you think the bell jar will trap Esther again, or why you believe she is free forever. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way.
All quotes contain page numbers as well. I felt very still and very empty…moving dully along…. It was my first big chance, but here I was, sitting back and letting it run through my fingers like so much water.
She read a couple of languages and knew all the quality writers in the business. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked…. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.
Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next day had suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.
And when people found out my mind had gone,…they would… put me into an asylum where I could be cured.
Only my case was incurable. Those girls, too, sat under bell jars of a sort.Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #5 The Symbol of the Bell Jar. The simple title and image of The Bell Jar belies the multiple meanings that this image can impose on the novel.
As an object, a bell jar is a glass container which holds a specimen. The Bell Jar study guide contains a biography of Sylvia Plath, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About The Bell Jar The Bell Jar Summary. The Bell Jar: Essay Q&A, Free Study Guides and book notes including comprehensive chapter analysis, complete summary analysis, author biography information, character profiles, theme analysis, metaphor analysis, and top ten quotes on classic literature.
A summary of Themes in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Bell Jar and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Bell Jar, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
Mind vs. Body At its essence, The Bell Jar . "The Bell Jar" Themes Essay Words | 4 Pages.
The themes in The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, are portrayed through Esther’s unique characteristics. Sylvia’s life experiences and personality contribute to these themes: growth through pain, the emptiness of conventional expectations, and the restricted role of women during the ’s.