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The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an expe...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780553124200
ISBN-10: 055312420X
Publication Date: 1971
Pages: 216
Edition: Unabridged
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 7

3.9 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Harper & Row
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Bell Jar on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Engagingly written book that explores the mental break-down of a young woman. This is semi-autobiographical, as Plath and her main character have some strong similarities. In my opinion, I think this describes quite well the fusion of mania and depression in a bi-polar person. Not the up-up-up mania, but the irritable and angry mania - a perfect "mixed" state. The title is an analogy to the isolation and separation the main character feels - everyone can see what's in a bell jar, but no one can hear what's going on inside.
reviewed The Bell Jar on
Helpful Score: 5
I can easily see why this is a classic.. what I cannot understand is why it took me so long to read it! And I mean, why I did not read it earlier on in my life, because I finished it in a day.
I saw myself in Esther's downward spiral so vividly, it was frightening! The characters were all so well written, but not so much so that they took away from the main story.. from the all consuming fear of being a nobody.. becoming nothing. Esther's fears consume the reader much as they consumed herself.

I was so engrossed in this book, that the night I finished the read, I dreamed of shock therapy.
reviewed The Bell Jar on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is a real classic. The way Plath writes is beautiful and thought provoking. I would imagine that almost everyone can see themselves in the character at one point or another in this book. A must read.
reviewed The Bell Jar on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a fascinating and beautifully written portrayal of a young woman's nervous breakdown. Based on Plath's own experiences, the story takes you into the thought distortions of someone who is suffering from depression and all the other factors making up a nervous collapse. I particularly enjoyed Plath's use of language. Excellent reading.
reviewed The Bell Jar on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Beautifully well-written with a satisfyingly unique voice, this book is a MUST read. Plath led an interesting life and I thought the bit of biographical information in my copy improved my understanding and appreciation of this book, her only novel.
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Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
People/Characters
Esther Greenwood (Primary Character)

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