Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” | The New Yorker

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It is more the context of The Bell Jar

In association with publishers Faber and Faber we have selected five lucky to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Sylvia Plath's modern classic, The Bell Jar.

“The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath follows a disguised autobiographical account of Sylvia Plath’s mental breakdown and suicide attempts.

The Bell Jar: A Novel - Kindle edition by Sylvia Plath

Plath paints a vivid picture of madness, a madness that arises from the protagonist’s feeling of being alienated, , being in her own bell jar. The madness is not real, not a physical affliction, but purely imposed, perceived; caused by a society that expects. In all other ways Esther is perfectly sane and practical. This is evident in the thoroughness with which she plans her suicide; evident in the perfectly rational argument she provides for never wanting to get married.

As the bell jar descends, isolating herself from the world, Esther lets her madness grows and she is institutionalized.

It is 20 years since I first readby Sylvia Plath, a rite of passage novel which often goes hand in hand with a clutch of other books, such as JD Salinger's . It was published in 1963, the same year that its author took her own life.


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Review - The Bohemian …

is an unusual book as it has three different first editions: two in England and one in the United States. The true first edition is the Heinemann edition. Heinemann published a subedition under the Contemporary Fiction imprint of Heinemann in September 1964. On 1 September 1966, Faber published crediting Plath as the author. This is what I call the second, first edition. If you have this book, and it is missing the dedication to Elizabeth and David Compton, you have a first printing. Faber corrected this oversight in later printings. Through much controversy, was published in the United States by Harper & Row on 14 April 1971. The demand for the novel was so high, the Estate of Sylvia Plath feared a pirated edition would come out as copyright on was to expire imminently. Correspondence between Olwyn Hughes and Aurelia Plath is held in the Sylvia Plath Collection at the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College.

Beauties in Bell Jars: A Review of John Whitenight's …

In 5 (2012), I published an article detailing Over the decades, Plath's editors have made many small and some significant changes to her text. The result is that the book reads quite differently from the way Plath intended and the paper argues (recommends) that readers and scholars should only use an edition of printed in England between 1963 and 1995. The first Heinemann edition (1963) is the only version of the novel sanctioned by Plath; and we can include the Faber editions published from 1966-1995 because they claim to use the same setting of type as the first Heinemann edition. By and large any American edition (published in 1971) has a different text block from the one authorized by Plath.

Beauties in Bell Jars: A Review of John Whitenight's Under ..

is a loosely autobiographical novel which recounts the events leading up to the breakdown and the recovery. Plath changed the names of some people and merged others into a single identity for the sake of her novel. There are some well known facts that are easily recognizable in the novel. We know that Plath had a guest editorship much like Esther's. We know that Plath's first suicide occurred after the guest editor experience and that the attempt was an overdose of sleeping pills. And, Plath's boyfriend Richard Norton appears in the novel disguised as Buddy Willard. The list can go on and on. Plath's personal papers from her guest editorship are held by the Lilly Library, Indiana University. These papers reveal much about her schedule, events, and assignments. The Lilly Library also holds some letters to Plath from Richard Norton.

Review: Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” | writereaderly

provides the reader and fan with many answers to the horrible summer of 1953. I have seen a copy of the August 1953 for which she guest edited. It is most interesting to see who the actual Doreen and Betsy are based on, and it is fascinating to read Plath's contributions. Also printed for the first time in the issue was Plath's wonderful villanelle "Mad Girl's Love Song." If you can obtain a copy of Nancy Hunter-Steiner's , I strongly recommend reading it. Nancy lived with Plath the summer after her breakdown. They rented an apartment in Cambridge and took classes at Harvard. Plath weaved many events of that summer into the novel and Hunter-Steiner paints a wonderfully informative (though not always pretty) picture of 1954 Sylvia Plath.

is a novel about babies, disappointments, expectations, doubles & liars. It is not just about a girl who goes to NYC, tries to commit suicide and recovers slowly but surely. Ending your synopsis there would take away from the novel. It is richly humorous, and a sharp commentary on social values for the time period. Esther, though she says she is stupid and sick, is really a very proud character. Esther writes this novel as a survivor, as being "born twice--patched, retreaded and approved for the road (BJ 20)."

The novel is in 20 Chapters. The main subjects presented all revolve around Esther, making her the only fully realized character in the novel. The other characters, with exception to Buddy Willard, are mostly flat and incomplete. A careful reading of Plath's journals letters from 1950-1953 can lend some understanding to Plath's novel.