Part 2,Chapter 6 Notes from The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar Part 2,Chapter 6

At medical school, Esther asked Buddy to show her something interesting in the medical labs. There were jars of stillborn babies and cadavers. They went to a lecture on sickle cell anemia and then to a hospital to see a baby get born. The intern at the hospital told Esther that if she sees a birth, she will never want to have a child herself, but Esther laughed at him. The woman screamed in pain, and Buddy told Esther that she was on a drug that would make her forget the pain afterwards. Esther thought that this was exactly the sort of drug a man would invent. The baby's head appeared, but the doctor had to make a surgical incision. After the birth, the intern took the baby out to be cleaned. He urinated on the other doctor. Esther thought that the whole process was wonderful. She imagined herself, triumphant, after giving birth. She would feel heavenly, holding her new born child after such an ordeal. They went back to Buddy's room. Esther read a poem while Buddy drank some wine. He asked her if she had ever seen a man naked, and when she said she hadn't, he took off all his clothing and stood before her. She was not impressed and had to stifle her laughter. He asked her to do the same but she wouldn't. She drank wine and asked him if he had ever slept with anyone. He told her that he had. She was upset because she thought he was innocent and less experienced than her. She asked him to tell her about it, pretending not to be upset. "Of course somebody had seduced Buddy, Buddy hadn't started it and it wasn't really his fault." Chapter 6, pg. 57. He had slept with a waitress who seduced him. He worked with her at a country club the summer before. At first, Esther assumed that they only slept together once, but it was over thirty times. Esther asked other people if she should be mad, but most of the girls said it was normal for guys. Since Buddy wasn't 'pinned,' or engaged at the time, she couldn't really be mad at him. She was not upset about his sleeping with the waitress, but that he had always pretended to be so pure. She asked him what his mother thought, hoping to expose some sort of contradiction. He said that he told his mom the waitress was free to do as she liked. Esther had decided to dump him then, but he got TB. She didn't feel sorry for him when she found out, and used his illness as an excuse to stay in on weekends to do more work. Everyone thought that she was being a wonderfully loyal girlfriend.

Topic Tracking: Sexuality 3

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