Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Book Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

"To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is the bad dream."
-Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar

I literally just finished The Bell Jar, and I really enjoyed this book.  Yes, it is rather depressing, but I thought that it was well written.  The imagery that was used throughout set the tone and helped connect the story that was going to happen throughout and at the end.  I don't want to give the ending away, but it didn't end like the way I thought that it would have, but at the same time after reading it I can see why it did end the way that it had. 

Now I am going to complain about the publisher of the book.  They wrote a very small biography of Sylvia Plath, and I think that what they wrote is misleading.  All they said was that she died in 1963.  Through readings in come classes that I have taken of Sylvia Plath's work I knew beforehand that she committed suicide after her own battle with depression.  For me, knowing this changed the way that I read the book.  I could not help but read the main character as Sylvia Plath (I know you shouldn't do that but I couldn't help myself!), and maybe that is the publishers reasoning for not including this information.  However, I think that this background is key in understanding the way the book is written. Then I thought I might do a little research, and I found this. (Now I don't feel so bad reading Plath into the main character!) I must give the publisher a little credit because they did mention that Plath had sprinkled some of the relationships she had with people into her characters, and she was uneasy about publishing the book because of it, so I can't be too hard on them.  Here is a little more information on the novel.

After all the background knowledge and reading of the book: I would recommend it.

1 comment:

jennainthesky said...

I'm a big fan of The Bell Jar.. ever since high school. (It was a dark time in my life.. hehe.)

Good review!