The Bell Jar

Paperback | August 31, 2005

bySylvia Plath

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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.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

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From the Publisher

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 a...

Plath's best poetry was produced, tragically, as she pondered self-destruction---in her poems as well as her life---and she eventually committed suicide. She had an extraordinary impact on British as well as American poetry in the few years before her death, and affected many poets, particularly women, in the generation after. She is a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:244 pages, 8.02 × 5.3 × 0.7 inPublished:August 31, 2005Publisher:Harper PerennialLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060837020

ISBN - 13:9780060837020

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Must Read I think that this novel is a must read for anyone who is seriously intrigued by literature. I don't think one can help but fall in love with Sylvia Plath as she exposes readers to so many true emotions through Esther Greenwood. The raw emotion in this book is extremely relatable for many people around the world, and opens those unfamiliar individuals up to common struggles. Despite the melancholy atmosphere around myself when reading this novel, because it is partially an autobiography of Sylvia Plath's own life, I cannot overstate just how well written this work is.
Date published: 2015-12-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absorbing Until you read this book....there are no words to describe it.
Date published: 2009-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A sad tale The Bell Jar is about a girl, Esther who is promising in every way, she's smart and already at college as an english major. She also spent a summer as the apprentice of an editor of a major magazine. She has alot going for her. But when she is done at the magazine, and has to go home before college starts, she slowly starts to go insane. Sylvia has created a very realistic charater in Esther. It's easy to see how someone who seems to have alot going for her, could just give it all away. Esther is so human in her selfish, ego driven manner, yet she is also very down-to-earth in her own ways. Sylvia's writing is wonderful and could be enjoyed by anyone who is a fan of fiction. It is a novel I definitely recommend!
Date published: 2009-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Genius This book is insanely good. Really haunting. I don't think I've ever come across a book that is more well written. You get inside this person's head and the way she thinks is fascinating, alien. It definitely leaves you enriched.
Date published: 2008-12-14
Rated out of 5 by from Depressingly Delightful The Bell Jar is the story of Esther Greenwood, a young woman who gets an internship at a New York Magazine. Esther knows that she should be ecstatic and enjoying life in the big city, but she finds herself feeling rather numb and empty to the whole experience. She then decides she wants to spend her time writing a novel, but instead Esther Greenwood is pulled into a dark and murky depression. Soon Esther begins to contemplate suicide, later she attempts it, resulting in her being placed in a mental institution and being treated with electroshock therapy. I enjoyed The Bell Jar more than I thought I would considering its reputation. I think a lot of people can related to or sympathize with feeling numb to experiences that are supposed to be gleeful. The fact that the main character faces a lot of the same situations as the author, Sylvia Plath, did was one of the reasons I picked up this book. The Bell Jar was well written and had an easy, satisfying flow to it. I would have liked a little more detail about certain events in the novel, but being published in the 60's, the novel is less gritty than some of the novels written about depression and mental illness today. Sylvia Plath’s depression could really be felt in the writing, and even at the end of the book, I felt like her depression was still very palpable. The novel makes a lot of insightful observations about feelings of depression. When you consider the tragic death of Sylvia Plath, the novel takes on a whole added dimension because you know the serious intent of her writing. I would recommend this novel, but be prepared to feel less than cheerful after reading it.
Date published: 2008-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth The Read The novel does start rather slow. In the begining it wasn't the most exciting piece of literature. However as the story unfolds, it turns absolutely amazing. As you get nearer the end its just such a beautifully written sad story about a girl who had it all, then the next minute it was gone. I know reading the begining may put you off but trust me as it continues it turns brilliant.
Date published: 2008-02-05
Rated 1 out of 5 by from absolutely depressing i had to read this book for a school project and it was horrible. Slyvia Plath based Esther Greenwood on herself and this semi-autobiographical novel takes us through Slyvia's troubled life. don't waste your time, it's an aweful book
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Review Boring!!! The life of Esther is not very interesting, yet the author feels it's necessary to go into painful detail about daily events within her life. I kept hoping that the book would get better, but as I continued reading, I realized that it wouldn't. Horrible book.
Date published: 2007-12-03