Review

Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

“I thought it must me the worst thing in the world.”

Genre: Fiction
Pages: 294
Published: 1963
Rate: 4 stars
Goodreads Synopsis
The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

My Take
The Bell Jar is a depressing beautifully written book that one hand, I loved and on the other, I’m saddened by how raw and painful it is.
The Bell Jar is grim in tone from the first page till the last. The writing littered with stream of consciousness is almost poetic.

The Bell Jar is a fictional autobiography that is heavy with its subject matter. Sylvia Plath takes us through how mental health/illness was viewed at that period of time and I found it difficult to read some parts because of how raw it is.

“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”

The Bell Jar is a character based book, a coming of age story detailing Esther’s life, her choices and her breakdown. The book is so intense, with each character coming off strong on the page.

The Bell Jar is an evocative and emotive book that, is brilliant in its writing, yet heartbreaking in the same breath. I do recommend it, though, with caution. It has strong themes that I’d say check the trigger/content warnings before picking it up.


Have you read The Bell Jar? What did you think about it?

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