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Part 4, Chapter 16 Notes from The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar Part 4, Chapter 16

Joan's room is just like Esther's. She was working in a job at a fraternity like the Masons. She hated it because it made her feet hurt after a day of work. They would swell up in her shoes that were probably not right for standing all the time. She didn't really quit the job, she just stopped showing up to work. She went to see a psychiatrist and before she knew it, she was sitting in front of people watching her counseling session. She told the doctor that she hated her job and wanted to kill herself. He prescribed group therapy for her. She sent the doctor a note of rebuttal. The day she sent him the note, she read an article about Esther's disappearance. She takes the article out and shows it to Esther. It has a picture from her time in New York. There are more articles. The next article tells of the discovery that the sleeping pills were missing, and the last one shows her rescue from the hole in the cellar. After reading these articles, Joan took a plane to New York and cut her wrists on a broken window. Esther replies to Joan's story with, "But you're all right now." Chapter 16, pg. 164. Joan says she is and believes that Esther is too.

Esther falls asleep after an evening meal and is woken up by somebody taking her watch off. They tell her that she had a reaction to the medication, and was pounding on her bed frame, screaming. After being restrained by two people, Esther calms down. Dr. Nolan asks her about the episode and is happy to find out that Esther feels better. Dr. Nolan has other news for her. Esther is afraid that she is going to be given bad news, but Dr. Nolan just tells her that she isn't going to allow her to have any more visitors for a while. Esther is happy about this. She has had too many visitors. From a high school English teacher to the Unitarian minister, she couldn't take any more visitors. They all made her feel nervous and more crazy. That afternoon, before the episode, her mother had come to visit her. Her mother always showed up when everything was going all right. She always ruined her mood. Every time she came, she begged her to get better, wanting to know what she did wrong as a mother. This made Esther sick. That day her mother had brought her flowers. At first Esther didn't understand why, but when her mother told her it was her birthday, she threw the flowers in the trash can. Esther tells Dr. Nolan that she hates her mother and Dr. Nolan doesn't scold her, instead she replies "I suppose you do." Chapter 16, pg. 166.

Topic Tracking: Confusion 11
Topic Tracking: Maternal Relationships 9

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