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The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)
The Bell Jar - Modern Classics
Author: Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under--maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and access...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780060837020
ISBN-10: 0060837020
Publication Date: 8/1/2005
Pages: 244
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 169 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 4
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. It is a little depressing but very fascinating to go into the life of someone who is going mentally insane. Couldn't put it down.
reviewed The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A haunting story - semi-autographical - of a woman's decent into madness and recovery.
katiems98 avatar reviewed The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I love books about psychiatric hospitals or mental illness. Sadly, this book was very dry and just a very slow read. I found myself having to force myself through the book.
witchcat avatar reviewed The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A wonderful read but a slow one. I felt the narrator's pain, who was essentially the author, and connected with her. However, the story itself was slow to take off, especially in the beginning. Additionally, the end just left me with a dull ache of, "Really?" However, it is realistic; life doesn't always have a clear 'happy' or 'sad' ending, but I think there could have been a better place to end it or way to. I did really enjoy it though.
Read All 14 Book Reviews of "The Bell Jar Modern Classics"

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reviewed The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) on + 9 more book reviews
Facinating story into the life of a woman whose path closely paralleled the authors. Not an uplifting read but insightful.
reviewed The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) on + 9 more book reviews
Some say this book is depressing, i felt that it was not depressing but eye opening. To have an understanding of what someone whos having a breakdown is experiencing. There were alot of funny part which surprised me. I enjoyed it and finished it quickly
Tesstarosa avatar reviewed The Bell Jar (Modern Classics) on + 151 more book reviews
Another book read for a book club. Definitely a classic and one that I wouldnt have probably chose to read of my own accord. Definitely a book worth reading.

The story follows Esther Greenwood a brilliant, talented and beautiful college student in the early 1950s. The story opens in June 1953, the month the Rosebergs were electrocuted for treason, with Esther at an exclusive month-long internship working at a New York magazine. She is given her own room at a New York hotel as are all the other girls and she works as an editors assistant at a New York magazine part of the day and is taken to plays, fashion shows, shopping trips, etc. the rest of the time.

As the month of her internship draws to a close, Esther will have to go back home and begin her life again as a scholarship-based college student. We see her begin to behave strangely but we also know her thoughts and her behavior just seems to be that of a young woman who knows she has a lot of talent and is facing the pressure to succeed.

As the story progresses, her behavior definitely becomes that of someone who is experiencing an extreme mental breakdown in a time where mental illness is shunned and the treatments are none or barbaric.

The story is beautifully written and is a semi-autobiographical account of the authors life as a young woman. As I read it, I was heartbroken with how little was known about mental illness and how horribly the people who suffered from mental diseases were treated by the people they knew and often by the people in medicine.

Her life under the bell jar and eventual, if temporary, escape from the bell jar is riveting.

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