Literature Meme|| 6/10 Prose
- “The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
The Bell Jar is the only novel written by American poet, Sylvia Plath, and published in 1963. It is a semi-autobiographical novel that reflects Plath’s own life and portrays both her and her character’s progression into mental illness(probably clinical depression with possibly severe PMS). The book flawlessly captures what it is like to be trapped in the very depths of depression and how, if you are even able to, difficult it is to get yourself out.
As stated before, the book was semi-autobiographical of Plath’s life. To protect herself and the characters based on real people, she first published the book under the name Victoria Lucas. It wasn’t published under her real name until 1971, 9 years after Plath’s suicide in 1963.
The story follows Esther Greenwood (The main character who Plath based herself on) who although is a striving young writer, finds herself spiraling downward into a pit of depression and eventually a suicide attempt. Afterwards, she is put into a mental institution. Esther is given electroshock therapy, which, along with therapy helps to her to regain her sanity and cure her depression, which she describes in a most beautifully sad way, as being “trapped under a bell jar, stewing in her own sour air”.
When I look at my life and its secret colours, I feel like bursting into tears. Like that sky. It’s rain and sun both, noon and midnight… I think of the lips I’ve kissed, and of the wretched child I was, and of the madness of life and the ambition that sometimes carries me away. I’m all those things at once. I’m sure there are times when you wouldn’t even recognize me. Extreme in misery, excessive in happiness - I can’t say it.
Favourite Books → Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.
Favourite Books → The Catcher In the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around - nobody big, I mean - except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff - I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.