The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath

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sarahgraceface89
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The Bell Jar- Sylvia Plath

Post by sarahgraceface89 » 18 Jul 2013, 21:52

I love this novel. It sheds light on the societal pressures that women endure, regardless of the time period. Plath's style of writing is completely engrossing, there is never a need to a breather or pause to check the time, you are so absorbed in the story that you forget about the passing of time.

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Post by dahlianoir » 06 Aug 2013, 09:24

sarahgraceface89 wrote:I love this novel. It sheds light on the societal pressures that women endure, regardless of the time period. Plath's style of writing is completely engrossing, there is never a need to a breather or pause to check the time, you are so absorbed in the story that you forget about the passing of time.
I completely agree with you, I love this book too. I read it at a time in my life when I was going through similar feelings, but the way she describes what she's going through is so fluent and accurate.
Do you like her poetry, also? I sometimes find it a little hard to understand, but I suppose that's the purpose of it :)

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sarahgraceface89
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Post by sarahgraceface89 » 06 Aug 2013, 12:59

I really prefer her prose to her poetry. I had the same reaction as you to tell poetry, it's beautiful but I didn't experience the same connection as I did with "The Bell Jar"

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Post by alexisporter » 30 Jan 2014, 17:59

I am curious if anyone who's read Syliva Plath's novel, The Bell Jar, has had a similar experience as I have.

It has been some time since I've read this book, but it is one that comes to mind when asked "What books have had a strange effect on you?". I'm not sure if it was just the writing, my own psychological frailty at the time, or a combination of both that caused me to actually feel like I was underneath a bell jar myself. I felt a very strange darkness when I read this book. While I found it to be a good book, and would recommend it to anyone, I don't intend to ever read it again.

Strange, how books can have such profound and powerful effects on us.

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Post by saouad » 09 Feb 2014, 22:26

I'm not sure it was an altogether enjoyable read for me personally.

Focused on depression and coupled with a first person narrative, the novel provided me with a very unsettling reading experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sylvia Plath's style though. I found it extremely compelling (perhaps to a fault) and seamless, as in consistent with the plot and characterization.

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Post by oliviagrace81 » 10 Feb 2014, 18:21

I enjoyed it- it felt rather understandable, as I've had a rather unstable life. The book was rather unsettling, I agree, but it felt familiar to me, almost? I don't know, maybe that's why I liked it so much. I don't think it's one I would read again, though.

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Post by scriptbunny » 07 Mar 2014, 22:30

After reading The Bell Jar, I couldn't believe my high school teachers had only ever shown us Sylvia Plath's poetry but never her prose. It was astonishing. I had no idea just how funny she was, how wry! And so resonant even today. I haven't read it in a few years. Maybe it's time for a refresher.

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Post by kateevelyne » 09 Mar 2014, 03:43

alexisporter wrote:I am curious if anyone who's read Syliva Plath's novel, The Bell Jar, has had a similar experience as I have.

It has been some time since I've read this book, but it is one that comes to mind when asked "What books have had a strange effect on you?". I'm not sure if it was just the writing, my own psychological frailty at the time, or a combination of both that caused me to actually feel like I was underneath a bell jar myself. I felt a very strange darkness when I read this book. While I found it to be a good book, and would recommend it to anyone, I don't intend to ever read it again.

Strange, how books can have such profound and powerful effects on us.
Yes, I felt the same when I read this. I bought it after watching the film about Sylvia Plath's life which I really enjoyed, and it made me want to find out more about her from the horses mouth as it were! I found this book had one of the most powerful effects that a book has ever had on me, and a lot of the time the feelings it evoked in were very uncomfortable; a kind of dragging down feeling.
I have recommended this book and passed it on to a friend, but with a warning. Although sometimes difficult to deal with, I think this effect is the marker of a sophisticated writer, which of course she was. Geniuses often suffer terribly -and it's often a side effect of creativity I think.

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Post by Rachel Gough » 24 Mar 2014, 20:33

I read the Bell Jar when I was still in Middle School, and I loved it, but I'm pretty sure I was too young to understand some of the older themes.

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Post by db3hr » 19 May 2014, 20:15

I was just talking to my roommate about how she's had a difficult time getting into this book. I absolutely adored it when I read it, but I read it as an anxious high school senior who aspired to write in New York City and was in the middle of a confusing romantic situation. I havent't re-read it since, but seeing this forum makes me really want to. My copy keeps staring at me from the shelf haha. I wonder if it is one of those books that really only is accessible if you read it when you're going through something similar to "Esther" (read: Sylvia), though, still looking at it in that way, I think it's an interesting psychological profile of Sylvia that readers who enjoy her other work/poetry would be lucky to read/know.

Really interesting responses here though. Lots of people seem to have related to it because they felt similar to her. Hm. Makes me wonder about a recent discussion with an old professor of mine about the relationship between pain and art (he thinks we put too much emphasis on it)

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Post by jesuisamylea » 08 Jun 2014, 07:07

I don't think you have to have gone through similar difficulties to be able to understand the workings of The Bell Jar. I read it in my last year at high school, and although I couldn't relate to it as such, I took all of the information in and I understood it. In later years I have come to understand more of it in terms of relating to it.
Brilliant book though.

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Post by malavika413 » 16 Jun 2014, 00:30

I enjoyed the novel, but I find Plath's heavy style more conducive to poetry. Her poetry is outstanding, primarily the collection "Ariel". If you do read "Ariel", find the original manuscript edition. The mainstream one was published posthumously and published by her husband, Ted Hughes. (Some of the original poems said some scathing things about him, haha)

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Post by allesha » 12 Jul 2014, 22:00

saouad wrote:I'm not sure it was an altogether enjoyable read for me personally.

Focused on depression and coupled with a first person narrative, the novel provided me with a very unsettling reading experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sylvia Plath's style though. I found it extremely compelling (perhaps to a fault) and seamless, as in consistent with the plot and characterization.
I agree with this so so much.

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Post by sflaherty42 » 17 Jul 2014, 14:39

Plath's writing and point of view makes you feel like you are going through these experiences and feeling these things. A lot of it is relatable to some groups of people, like going from not having a large amount of money to having fancy dinners every night and the confusion of a new place. The anxiety that she feels is so relatable, especially to those going through a difficult time.

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Post by Meredith Troiano » 27 Jul 2014, 12:21

In 9th grade, a teacher recommended that I read Sylvia Plath. She told me the writing was pretty dark and not to tell anyone that she recommended it. Of course, the fact that she shouldn't be recommending it meant I had to read it right away! Her poetry helped me through my teen angst years. I read the Bell Jar much later and really enjoyed it.

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