The Book and the Tragedy
I read the Bell Jar more than thirty years ago. I read it before I knew the real, followup tragedy of Sylvia Plath.
The Bell Jar gives a vivid picture of the artificiality of glamour in the fashion world and shows the conflict of values and self-esteem through the perceptions of young girl. In the book, the girl is named Esther, but she is Sylvia Plath's alter-ego.
Esther has been an achiever and has won countless prizes for her talents, but in reality she is a fragile, unsure young woman. The book deals with her negativity and self-contempt..It deals with her attempt at suicide and her struggle with mental illness. In the book she has recovered. But Sylvia Plath made a second attempt at suicide a few years later. She succeeded this time.