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Chapter 8 Notes from The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar Chapter 8

Mr. Willard had driven her to Buddy's sanitarium. She had wanted to go alone, but she didn't have the heart to tell Mr. Willard. They ate a lunch packed by Mrs. Willard and he told her that he had always wanted a daughter. He couldn't hope for a better daughter than Esther. She cried, and Mr. Willard thought it was because she missed her own father. The sanitarium was dark and gloomy. There was a fountain in one corner of the waiting room. When she saw Buddy, Esther was surprised that he had gotten fat. This happened because of all the eating he had to do and his lack of exercise. He had a small room and he gave her an ashtray he made even though she didn't smoke. Mr. Willard left; this surprised Esther because she thought he was going to stay longer. Buddy gave her a magazine and pointed to a poem that he wrote in it. He was trying to be more like her to make her happy. She thought the poem was awful but didn't say so. He told her that she couldn't contract anything from him because he was not positive. Abruptly, he asked her if she would marry him. She laughed and he thought it was because he was fat. She told him that she never wanted to get married. Then she talked about how he once told her that she was neurotic because she wanted to live in the country and the city:

"If neurotic is wanting two mutually exclusive things at one and the same time, then I'm neurotic as hell. I'll be flying back and forth between one mutually exclusive thing and another for the rest of my days." Chapter 8, pg. 76

He told her that he wanted to fly from place to place with her.

Buddy took Esther skiing. He tried to teach her even though he didn't know how to ski himself. He was sure that he could teach someone because he had watched people learn many times. She borrowed equipment. He got her to go on the rope tow and promised they would get off half way up. She couldn't get off the rope tow and ended up going to the top of the mountain. She remembers that it never occurred to her to say no to Buddy. She looked down from the top of the mountain and saw Buddy way down below. She turned to face the bottom of the slope and just started going. She felt wonderful as she swooped down the mountain. Just as she neared Buddy, he stepped out in front of her and she crashed. On the ground, she told Buddy that she wanted to try again, but he told her that her leg had been broken in two places.

Topic Tracking: Confusion 3
Topic Tracking: Sexuality 5

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