A Quick Word

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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Bell Jar (1963)

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
I was actually contemplating whether to buy Kidnapped or this one prior to purchase. Alas, I decided on this one as it had sparked my curiosity once I found out that its author committed suicide shortly after publishing it in 1963 under another pseudonym-- Victoria Lucas. What struck me most is that it's actually semi-autobiographical, most of the events in the novel were eerily synonymous with the writer's personal experiences. The book had also been transformed into a movie in 1979 (More info here), and the Hollywood version is in the works with Julia Stiles in the lead role.

The story is about Esther who hails from Boston and is currently having her internship at a prominent magazine in NY. She always gets straight As in her subjects and is a consistent scholar in her school. Her experience in the city disorients her and when she comes back to her hometown, she finds out that her application for a writing course is rejected. She tries writing a novel but becomes insomniac and depressed, thus, she feels like living inside a bell jar. A series of suicide attempts follows until it eventually leads her into an asylum where she recuperates and learns a lot about life. The story ends with "I stepped into the room", where the doctors in the hospital decide whether it's time to let her out or not.

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