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Chapter 9 Notes from The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar Chapter 9

She enters the hotel after being dropped off by Constantin and sees Hilda wearing a hat that is a hideous shade of green. Hilda made the hat that color because the fashion magazines are trying to push that color for the upcoming fall. They talk about the execution of the Rosenbergs and Esther thinks that she is happy they are going to die. Hilda yawns as they speak.

Esther goes to Jay Cee's office to get her picture taken. She is told to pose but she is afraid she is going to cry. They gave Esther a paper rose to hold because she had said she wanted to be a poet. The rose was the only thing the photographer thought could stand for poetic inspiration. The photographer says to her, "Show us how happy it makes you to write a poem." Chapter 9, pg. 83. She doesn't smile and suddenly begins to weep. The photographer and Jay Cee leave the room. When she stops crying, she tries to make herself look better in the mirror, but it is no good. Jay Cee comes back and gives her some manuscripts to look over. She tells her not to worry about the picture. As she reads, she thinks about sending Jay Cee a manuscript under a pseudonym and surprising her during lunch.

Doreen tries to convince Esther to go to a dance with her and Lenny Shepherd. She tells her that Lenny will bring a guy for her. Esther doesn't feel like she can do anything. Her clothing is strewn all over her room. Doreen helps her pick up and gives her a dress to wear. She decides to go. Lenny arrives with his friend Marco. Marco gives her a diamond pin and takes her arm too strongly. Her arm bruises in the places where his fingers touch her. She thinks he is like a snake and is sure that he is a woman-hater. All night long, Marco pays attention only to her, despite the fact that there are many dancers, signers, and models at the dance. When he asks her to dance, she says no, but he makes her. He leads and pulls her over the floor. She realizes that woman-haters are all-powerful and invulnerable like gods. They leave the dance floor and he smokes a cigar. She asks him if he is in love with someone. Marco says he is in love with his cousin but cannot have her for two reasons. First, she is his first cousin, and second, she is becoming a nun. He pushes her to the ground and gets her dress dirty. He calls her a slut and she kicks him and bites his ear. When she punches him in the nose, he is knocked back and demands the diamond pin back. She tells him that it is in her evening bag, which was thrown into the bushes. She rushes inside but cannot find Doreen. When she gets back to the hotel she goes to the roof and throws all of her fancy New York clothing away. There is blood on her face.

Topic Tracking: Confusion 4
Topic Tracking: Sexuality 6

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