The Bell Jar (Modern Classics)
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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.
appear. “The baby’s head,” Buddy whispered under cover of the woman’s groans. But the baby’s head stuck for some reason, and the doctor told Will he’d have to make a cut. I heard the scissors close on the woman’s skin like cloth and the blood began to run down--a fierce, bright red. Then all at once the baby seemed to pop out into Will’s hands, the color of a blue plum and floured with white stuff and streaked with blood, and Will kept saying, “I’m going to drop it, I’m going to drop it, I’m
brought them out, and I still have them around the house. I use the lipsticks now and then, and last week I cut the plastic starfish off the sunglasses case for the baby to play with. So there were twelve of us at the hotel, in the same wing on the same floor in single rooms, one after the other, and it reminded me of my dormitory at college. It wasn’t a proper hotel--I mean a hotel where there are both men and women mixed about here and there on the same floor. This hotel--the Amazon--was for
face in the towel. “It’s too cold.” I started to walk toward the water. Somehow, in the broad, shadowless light of noon, the water looked amiable and welcoming. I thought drowning must be the kindest way to die, and burning the worst. Some of those babies in the jars that Buddy Willard showed me had gills, he said. They went through a stage where they were just like fish. A little, rubbishy wavelet, full of candy wrappers and orange peel and seaweed, folded over my foot. I heard the sand
of intuition. Doreen had intuition. Everything she said was like a secret voice speaking straight out of my own bones. We were stuck in the theater-hour rush. Our cab sat wedged in back of Betsy’s cab and in front of a cab with four of the other girls, and nothing moved. Doreen looked terrific. She was wearing a strapless white lace dress zipped up over a snug corset affair that curved her in at the middle and bulged her out again spectacularly above and below, and her skin had a bronzy
plans with energetic assurance. She was working on a new novel, and the Ariel poems were continuing to flow. She told another friend that she thought of The Bell jar ‘‘as an autobiographical apprentice work which I had to write in order to free myself from the past.” But the new novel, about more recent events in her life, she regarded as strong, powerful and urgent. When The Bell jar was published, in January 1963, Sylvia was distressed by the reviews, although another reader, not the author