The Bell Jar: A Review

 

 

The Bell Jar: A Review

realistic fiction

 

(No spoilers, I promise)

10:08 AM. I feel the pages thinning between my thumb and fingers and as I near the end of The Bell Jar, I feel a sudden surge of dull panic. A novel I had oh so desperately wanted to finish and now that I am almost there, I haven’t found closure. I mean it can’t end this way…

 

But it can.

In fact, I am not dissatisfied by the way that Plath ended the novel. I am completely satisfied, yet there’s certainly a large part of my mind that has been shaken. The part of me that recognises that this is the most ‘real’ and tangible closure I could get from an autobiographical novel.

The book depicts Plath’s protagonist, Esther Greenwood as a successful student and writer. The author portrays Esther’s mind as almost transparent; the description used to display the characters thoughts of people and places are the most enjoyable yet heart-wrenching element of the novel, for me.

I have never been so torn between the feeling of dropping the book and leaving it unfinished and reading on to know how it ends ever before. Knowing that this was a reflection of her life and that the author took her own life (eventually) compelled me to read on, it would be disrespectful of me to stop before the end. 

Midway through the novel, the author does foreshadow the end as the novel follows an almost pessimistic tone from a certain point, which is cut ever so slightly by moments of optimism, but never really dies down.

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‘At first I wondered why the room felt so safe. Then I realised it was because there were no windows’.

 

I guess this is more of me venting my feelings about the story than an actual review, bear with me. The thing is, I know that whether I read this ten years earlier or ten years on down the lie, I would pretty much feel just as I do today. But for me to read it just after I turned twenty, and following the neurosis of Esther, who is a similar age to mine and also turns twenty in some dark page, whose number I do not know – just makes the reading experience a little more truer to reality.

 

Part of the way through the novel, I thought I would like to read some of Plath’s poems as soon as I’d finished reading the book. Now, I’m not quite sure I could handle reading anymore of her work so soon after The Bell Jar.

screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-4.png As for the title, I have never a felt a more befitting one for a novel before. screenshot_2016-09-27-09-13-36-4.png

I’m still at a loss for ways to describe the novel. The best way to summarise it would be to pick a question from the blurb itself: ‘what is reality, and how can it be confronted?’

At this point, all I can say is – read it.

 

On a brighter note, I hope you enjoy my first successfully transported but poorly made gif. 

I don’t think there’s such a thing as light-hearted reading anymore, if you know of any – do suggest some in the comments. Thank you guys.

 

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To contact me regarding a collaboration, or to simply get in touch – drop me an email at: rimsharasul8@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The Bell Jar: A Review

  1. Tyler Wright says:

    Do you read nonfiction very often?

    I really enjoy it because it allows me to learn the lessons that successful people learned the hard way, from the comfort of where ever I might be reading.

    If you are interested in the nonfiction I have been reading, or if you want to know what the benefits are from reading this genre in specific, please stop by my page. I post book reviews over biographies, classics, and inspiring nonfiction.

    https://thewrightread.com/

    Like

  2. Audrey Driscoll says:

    I read The Bell Jar a long time ago. I found it disturbing and did not return to it. Maybe I should have. Some of her poems, though, I have read many times and would recommend them as examples of word-craft: “The Moon and the Yew Tree” “You’re” and “Ariel.” All brilliant and worth looking up.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. NocturnalJen says:

    I am just about to start reading this novel. I studied Plath’s poetry a few years ago. Pretty much know it’s going to be a heavy read but at the same time I feel like I’m in the right time of my life to do it. I really enjoyed this review!

    Like

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