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“It is not a classic for nothing. I am a HUGE Plath fan to begin with. This book is extremely well-written, albeit heart-breakingly sad. This story is engaging and worth every minute reading and re-reading. It is the tale of one woman's journey into despair. She is extremely intelligent and witty....”see full review » see other reviews »
“I read this book in the past week and overall had widely varying opinions on it. The monotonous tone that Sylvia Plath adheres to was at first not appealing to me, however as I continued further into the book, I understood that it contributed to the overall themes of the novel, and characterization. Character development occurs further along the plot as foil characters are used to both juxtapose, and shine light on actions and traits of the main character, Esther. I developed an appreciation of the ‘everyman’ aspect of Esther, as she continues on her struggles, which are highly relatable, particularly to adolescent and young adult females. These struggles include her pursuit of understanding human behavior, answering life’s questions, and her inability to feel inspired. The novel also addresses issues, which are still relevant to today’s society, such as the double standard for promiscuity in males and females, female oppression, and the diagnostics, treatments, and rights within society of those suffering from mental illnesses. Most importantly, the novel addresses Sylvia Plath’s own belief system in existence, specifically her willingness as a human being to continue on despite oppression. Because the novel was a mirror of her own life, and therefore very personal, my appreciation of the novel increased as I read further into the book. I would rate this book a 9/10.”Hanna A wrote this review 9 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Witty and eerie, this book shed light on a serious condition that is sweeping the nation- depression. Highly recommend it! ”Sandra M wrote this review Saturday, November 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I don't understand depression so this read was very insightful for me. What an unfortunate loss of an extremely talented woman.”Trista H wrote this review Sunday, October 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Definitely not the life-affirming, feel-good read I needed to lift my spirits this week...”Julie B wrote this review Sunday, October 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After learning a bit about Sylvia Plath, her history with depression and feminism, and the autobiographical nature of some of her books, I was expecting The Bell Jar to be dark in an overly preachy and pretentious way. However, I am currently on page 145 of this book, and I am pleasantly surprised to find that the dark aspects of this book seem candid and unforced. Her voice as a writer in general is really candid, unforced, and authentic which makes the plot enjoyable to follow and the characters, especially the narrator, easy to empathise with. I enjoyed that this book doesn't rely on events to be interesting as the interesting portions of this book are less about the development of events and more about the development of her thinking. I'm curious to find out how her thinking will develop further.
I have finished The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I would give it 5 out of 5 stars because of the unconventional approach to an unconventional topic. The book’s topic is primarily the depression and suicidal tendencies of the main character, Esther. The book is categorized as semi autobiographical and told in first person, however the names and places have been changed. This aspect of the book is probably what made it easier for Esther’s narration to sound so authentic and open although this book is very clearly a reflection of Plath’s depression and suicidal tendencies. The narration is, however, exactly what makes her approach to an obviously unconventional topic unconventional. Instead of sounding alarmed in response to the array of very obviously alarming events that she recounts, Esther sounds unaffected, which in turn is even more alarming. If the book were completely autobiographical and the narrator’s voice was stressed, it would’ve been harder to look over the extreme nature of her actions and instead pay attention to her thoughts. I would’ve in turn just disregarded her thoughts as someone who was mentally ill and disturbed. However, the uninvolved and casual approach to the timeline of her life very effectively made the most paramount development and focus of the book on her thoughts as opposed to her actions. This book’s taboo topic and taboo approach to it made it very different from any other book I’ve read and I am interested to read more of Plath’s work. ”
“Dark subject matter handled with such bright, effervescent, witty and charming language. For anyone who has experienced even a mild depression, the subject matter here will be relatable. For anyone who has ever felt like an outsider in their own skin, you will relate. To those fortunate enough to never know those feelings, this will give insight.
Beautifully, beautifully written. Slight but full, an oustanding story that makes me sad to think what could have been and what more could have come from Ms. Plath.”
“I didn't feel empathetic for this character. The overall story was rushed and jumpy. I never felt like I was experiencing it with her. Albeit there were some aspects I enjoyed.”Kylea K wrote this review Wednesday, October 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really enjoyed it.
Pleasantly surprised at how funny it was - had always assumed, because of the seriousness of the topic covered that it would be more sombre but it's actually very entertaining. Beautifully written.
Catcher in the Rye meets Girl Interupted. ”
“Esther is the type of girl that you want to just pick up and shake! I didn't take to her at all in the start of the book and she just came across as bratty. I did however find that I could relate to her at one point in the book so I didn't dislike it all together.”Denise Neary (Neise) wrote this review Thursday, September 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“'The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the coloured arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.'”Sussan Khadem wrote this review Friday, August 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No