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Sunday, September 11, 2016

#58 - The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Title:  The Bell Jar
Author:   Sylvia Plath
Reader:  Christina Moore
Genre:  Literature
Category:  Fiction
Rating:  B
Published:  originally in 1963
Dates:  9/1/16 – 9/11/16
Cds/Hrs:  7/8.25

Esther Greenwood is our protagonist.  She’s won an essay contest and spends a few weeks in New York as one of some other junior editors working for a women’s fashion magazine.  Filled with parties, not much work and other aimless activities, Esther and the other girls go all out.  When Esther gets back to her mother’s suburban Boston home, she finds she has traded one artificial world for another.  Her depression is fueled by her estrangement from her family, her boyfriend, her inability to write.

Before long she finds herself in an asylum, subjected to shock treatments, and sinks into further desperation and mental illness.  All the while she continues to assess who she really is versus who she thinks people want her to be.

This book was originally published in 1963 London under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas.  Plath, who wrote this book before her thirtieth birthday and died shortly thereafter, relates well to the college age set and the book was inspired by her own short life.  Also a consummate poet she received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1982.  It was a Special Posthumous Award.

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