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The Bell Jar

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Brenda Banuelos

on 22 May 2013

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Transcript of The Bell Jar

Videos http://www.biography.com/people/sylvia-plath-9442550/videos/sylvia-plath-severe-depression-2080103310 Characters The Bell Jar Esther- The protagonist in Bell Jar. Living in New York and soon comes to grasp with a mental disease she has. As the rest of the book continues, Esther is undertaking shock therapy in a mental institution trying to cope with her disease.
Esther's Mom- She is relatively invisible through the book. She encourages Esther to pursue her dream of writing. She pays for Esther while she is at the hospital and even sends her flowers on her birthday.
Jay Cee- Married and has a good career. He is Esther's boss at the Magazine.
Joan- A colleague of Esther. She dates Buddy. Esther looks up to her but does not know that Joan admires Esther.
Doreen- A fellow intern at the Magazine. Esther's friend.
Dr. Gordon- First psychiatrist Esther goes to. He treats Esther with electroshock therapy but abuses his privilege.
Dr. Nolan- 2ND psychiatrist Esther goes to. Promises Esther that when used right, electroshock therapy can cure her. He identifies Esther mother as the cause of her problems and promises a better future.
Buddy- Handsome and athletic. He is affiliated with Esther. During the summer he cheats on Esther and does not apologize. He also does not understand why Esther wants to be a writer.
Irwin- A mathematics professor Esther meets and loses her virginity to. Plot Wuthering Heights "Pain, Parties and Work" Background Information Electroshock therapy- psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect The Author Sylvia Plath had designed the book with details from her own personal life. She suffered from depression during her adult life and eventually committed suicide. On February 11, 1963 Sylvia died from Carbon Monoxide fumes from her oven. Esther, as a college student, travels to New York as a magazine intern. Her and eleven other college girls stay in one room while they intern. When Esther hears about the execution of the Rosenberg's, she becomes obsessed with how they died. Doreen and Betsy take her out to "have fun" but ends up being a mess. Esther keeps pursuing her career as a writer. When she meets Buddy she wanders if the domestic life is for her. When she returns to Boston she finds out the writing class she wanted has not accepted her. She becomes very depressed and has to see Dr. Gordon. Her mother pays for her but worries it is too much money. After Dr. Gordon takes her under electroshock, Esther feels she is being punished for not being normal. She tries to kill herself but wakes up in the hospital. She begins shock treatment again with Dr. Nolan. She starts to believe that she will get better. She meets a girl named Joan in the hospital but when Joan makes sexual advantages towards Esther stops talking to her. Esther improves and leaves the hospital temporary. In that time Joan hangs herself. Esther leaves the hospital to start college in the fall. http://www.biography.com/people/sylvia-plath-9442550/videos/sylvia-plath-death-2080101775 http://www.biography.com/people/sylvia-plath-9442550/videos/sylvia-plath-facing-her-demons-2080101550 While Sylvia was studying in college she earned a 20 month placement writing for Mademoiselle Magazine. While Sylvia worked at the magazine she started to spiral into a deep depression. She wrote "moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo". As the fast life of New York carried on in her real life, much like the character in the novel, Sylvia led a sheltered existence. Her journal entries were filled with agony and sadness toward her time in New York. Even though most of her colleagues said she led on a facet that covered what really was going on. The Poems Everything in one direction.

I can feel it trying

To funnel my heat away.

If I pay the roots of the heather

Too close attention, they will invite me

To whiten my bones among them. A woman is dragging her shadow in a circle
About a bald hospital saucer.
It resembles the moon, or a sheet of blank paper
And appears to have suffered a sort of private blitzkrieg.
She lives quietly A Life
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