Alex Stone Reviews “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath


Alex Stone and Nora Thompson

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is an amazing memoir that is so telling of what it’s like to live with depression. Plath’s story is told through a fictionalized version of herself, and we follow her through parts of her life like her college days, her suicide attempt, and her internship in New York. Esther Greenwood, the protagonist, is a very melancholic woman, who focuses on the darkness in life more often than not. She is sharp, and often bitter, saying things like “Children make me sick.” (96). The conflict of this memoir is internal, she fights for her life against herself, because her depression is crippling.

I think the theme of The Bell Jar is resilience. She goes through so much, and even survives really horrendous things. She begins the story so naive, and she is suffering so much, but she fights, and is able to raise the bell jar that was suffocating her.

My favorite line of the book, “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” (199), is extremely showing of the resilient nature of Esther, and is very emotionally significant to me.

The Bell Jar is one of my all time favorite books, and will stay there forever. It’s beautiful, and relatable, and written with so much style, and I think anyone could enjoy this story.