Sylvia Plaths Battle with Depression

Esther was the main character in the novel the Bell Jar. Esther faced multiple challenges throughout her life and tried many ways to overcome them. Sylvia Plath is Esther. Sylvia Plath’s most popular written novel The Bell Jar creates a theme of someone being viewed as successful but, struggling with their internal feelings. Esther dealt with many problems through her years being in a great writing business. Though there were many lessons learned in this novel there were many that the main character Esther still did not understand and these conflicts that are present in the world to day. Also, many didn’t understand how to solve these issues we can see how the main character dealt with them and may prevent other from feeling the same ways Esther and Sylvia Plath felt.

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The author of the novel the Bell Jar Sylvia Plath grew up in the city of Boston in 1932. When she was younger she had dealt with the passing of her father around the age of 9. Plath was also not able to attend the funeral because her mother and family thought they were too young. Throughout the rest of her years she was a high grade average student in high school. In her later years she had worked to become a magazine editor. Plath started losing her happiness and started suffering from depression. She had attempted to take her life one with sleeping pills. Plath had realized that she need help with her condition so she referred to shock therapy. The main character Ester has gone through many of the same same problem like, family and mental health issues. As Plath wrote in the Bell Jar the main character faced many issues when it came to her living the life she wanted to live. Esther got pressure by family and friends on wanting her to be like them and how they see a women living in the times she lived.

As Sylvia Plath went through her years of growing up and trying to understand the world she had written in a journal. Plath had always knew to respect others and see how different each person really was and and how they have their own stories of life (Plath, 1950-1962). Sylvia was interested in others and always saw something unique in each individual she had compared people to her own stamp collector meaning in something she cherished her much. Plath grew up saying people can’t go on to questions others lives and be able to still live there own at the same time.(Plath, 1950-1962) In the bell jar Esther would always question why people would be so different how her friends would go out and party. Esther’s mother Mrs. Greenwood was always concerned for her especially on what Ester wanted to pursue.. Esther’s mother would always ask why cant Ester can’t be satisfied with her job and pursue the perfect life that involves a stable job and marriage. Ester reflects to her doctor on why she dislike her mother and why others feel the need to question her life and why she can’t pursue her dream of poetry.

Many of Sylvia Plath’s works especially her poems had a darker tone towards them as she grew more aware of the world. During the poem she wrote Tulips she had explain these tulips looking at her seeming so perfect as she identifies herself as a shadow and how this tulips are able to take her breath away (Stern, 2006). The tulips are the outside world as she is the shadow and the people pull away her identity from who she wants to be. Plath had others view herself as less than them and resulted in her doing the same to her self. Plath would write more and more poems having described her words as missiles( Laston, 1) Her words would target people secretly and unidentified just like how she had compared the tulips to the outside world. The use of her words were small but they had a meaning so strong. Many confused in trying to understand Plath’s words and the meaning behind them they were filled with such madness( Frederick, 1983). After her first attempt at trying to take her life she had a darker tone to her words. Plath had more to say and the only way she could get her emotions out was written through her poems. In the book The Bell Jar we were able to see Esther compare herself to a bell jar. The bell jar was to symbol for herself as of what was inside the bell jar was her emotions. Esther was so contained in her self as people would force her to be just like them. Those emotions was were in need of release which to do that Esther took shock therapy. The way Plath dealt with her problems was in the poems she wrote. Plath was able to show her unique style with words related to her life in very much realist way.

Throughout Plath’s many years of depression she had took her own life. Many have thought her taking her life would have been her husbands fault from running away or the many thought was the case which is poems. Sylvia Plath had wrote a letter to her mother a little before her death explaining her view on see life and how it’s different from other others view of it (Plath, 1962). Plath had focused on other differences as others want her to be the same. Plath goes in to saying “The core of life has fallen apart”( Plath, 1962). When Plath wrote this the world she was describing was how people judge others based on personal experience of what they have seen as a normal life. The main character from the Bell Jar Esther wasn’t really able to notice those problems and would have resulted in her loving her self for who she wanted to be which was a poet. Stated in the back of the Bell Jar, “to the person in The Bell Jar, black and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream”( Plath, 264). Plath had said this quote to base it on what she has written in the novel. When she describes a person she relates to herself, she relates life to being a “bad dream” (Plath, 264). Also, shown in the book was how only Plath was to understand the problems that she had to overcome but, also how dark the world could be in trying to surpass those struggles (Plath, 1962).

The Bell Jar showed many issues that we still have today in this world. Many of the conflicts that Esther and Plath were realistic to real life today. The Bell Jar is told by Esther’s point of view. The novel has a slow start as the characters are introduced. There are many conflicts that involve her job and what she really wanted to be which is a poet. Her mother doesn’t like the idea of her being a poet as she already has the job of being a magazine editor. Another conflict Esther has to face is love and marriage. She struggles to find the meaning of love and how in comparisons once again by her mother or her very close friends. Esther has a dislike towards her mother because of her mother controlling ways. In the Bell Jar Esther struggles to find herself as other intercept there on feelings into her.. The novel shows the main conflict in the world which is how others will all prefer someone to live there life the way they want it to be instead of living there own life. The lesson that can be learned is not to have judgement on what others want to do if its their own life and is happy with what they do.

Throughout the novel the Bell Jar I was able to identify how alike the main character Esther an Plath were. Both were able to identity there struggles and try to learn a lesson from them. Esters struggle was her personal identity as for Sylvia Plath’s was also the same. Esther was able to find peace slightly but, still not able to find her purpose in life. But, for Sylvia it was too late for her to get a lesson learned from the conflicts that had occurred and therefore resulted in her taking her life.                 

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Sylvia Plaths Battle With Depression. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved July 1, 2022 , from
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