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Old 06-04-2016, 03:23 AM View Post #1 (Link) The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
PocketFuzz (Offline)
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The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

The Summary:
This book details the descent of its main character, Esther Greenwood, into the darkest corners of the mind and the human psyche. She starts off with a mild case of what could be described as depression, and continues to suffer traumas, both major and minor from there on out.

The Prose:

The book itself describes this steep descent in a cold, almost clinical way. You don't really process what Esther is going through until you stop and think about it. It's as if the prose won't allow you to over-analyse, pity, or recoil from its protagonist. It's beautiful, and it brings about the sharply inconsiderate nature of the other characters around.

The book, to me, felt almost autobiographical. I could halfway sense where a reader saw less of Esther and more of Sylvia Plath coming through. Both terrifying and intriguing, on many levels. In terms of writing, it is lighter than many novels. The description is not lacking, however. It is short and deep all at once, and very frank. Nothing is glossed over, but nothing is described exhaustively either. This all seems right to me as a reader, and allows the story to come through as well as the characters being spoken of.

Sylvia Plath's poetry has always struck me, and I have admired it for quite some time. I was first introduced to her work when I was probably 15 or 16. Since then, I've developed a love for her blatant ambiguity and her general poetic style. The minute I got myself enough cash, I bought this book. I was not at all disappointed.

There are few who I would not recommend this book to, and I highly encourage anyone who enjoys Plath, a style like hers, or any quality writing for that matter, to read this book. It is a break from her usual poetry, but it is almost an extension of it at the same time. The themes of her poetry remain, and are very tangible in this novel. 9.0/10*

This is not a spoiler, but I had a small gripe with this book. The only thing that annoyed me was also one of the things that I ended up enjoying quite a bit. Her prose is, at times, devoid of proper emotion. I'm not one to care much for emotional books. I despise them a little bit, in all honesty. But there were moments where you felt the character was not as deep into her insanity as you thought, but it was abruptly revealed that she was suffering more than was made apparent. Perhaps t is better written this way, where both protagonist and reader are shocked by the transformation of Esther Greenwood, but I personally took a bit to come to grips with this seeming flaw.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:52 PM View Post #2 (Link)
ScottyMcGee (Offline)
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I swear I had deja vu because you organized your review similar to how I organize my reviews. And I did read this book too so I thought this was my thread and then realized it wasn't and was like "huuuuhhhh???" I actually DIDN'T write a review on here about this book, which is surprising.


I loved it. I never read Plath's poems but have been meaning to ever since I finished reading this book. It reminded me of Catcher in the Rye , and I actually Googled some comparisons and found that I wasn't at all alone in sensing similarities in the two. In the end, I prefer The Bell Jar much more than Catcher in the Rye.
Only thieves kiss with their eyes open.
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