The Bell Jar Quotes

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The Bell Jar Quotes

Quote 1: "Doreen singled me out right away. She made me feel I was that much sharper than the others, and she really was wonderfully funny. She used to sit next to me at the conference table, and when the visiting celebrities were talking she'd whisper witty sarcastic remarks to me under her breath." Chapter 1, pg. 4

Quote 2: "There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the extra person in the room." Chapter 2, pg. 14

Quote 3: "After Doreen left, I wondered why I couldn't go the whole way doing what I should any more. This made me sad and tired. Then I wondered why I couldn't go the whole way doing what I shouldn't, the way Doreen did, and this made me even sadder and more tired." Chapter 3, pg. 24

Quote 4: "The sickness rolled through me in great waves. After each wave it would fade away and leave me limp as a wet leaf and shivering all over and then I would feel it rising up in me again, and the glittering white torture chamber tiles under my feet and over my head and all four sides closed in and squeezed me to pieces." Chapter 4, pg. 36

Quote 5: "I hate handing over money for what I could just as easily do myself, it makes me nervous." Chapter 5, pg. 44

Quote 6: "Buddy kissed me again in front of the house steps, and the next fall, when his scholarship to medical school came through, I went there to see him instead of to Yale and it was there I found out that he had fooled me all those years and what a hypocrite he was." Chapter 5, pg. 50

Quote 7: "Of course somebody had seduced Buddy, Buddy hadn't started it and it wasn't really his fault." Chapter 6, pg. 57

Quote 8: "She was a fat middle-aged woman with dyed red hair and suspiciously thick lips and rat-colored skin and she wouldn't even turn off the light, so he'd had her under a fly-spotted twenty-five-watt bulb, and it was nothing like it was cracked up to be. It was as boring as going to the toilet." Chapter 7, pg. 64

Quote 9: "So I began to think maybe it was true that when you were married and had children it was like being brainwashed, and afterward you went about as numb as a slave in a totalitarian state." Chapter 7, pg. 67

Quote 10: "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

Quote 11: "Show us how happy it makes you to write a poem." Chapter 9, pg. 83

Quote 12: "Billy wrote that he was probably falling in love with a nurse who also had TB but his mother had rented a cottage in the Adirondacks for the months of July, and if I came along with her, he might well find his feeling for the nurse was mere infatuation." Chapter 10, pg. 97-8

Quote 13: "I had decided I would put off the novel until I had gone to Europe and had a lover." Chapter 10, pg. 100

Quote 14: "But when I took up my pen, my hand made big, jerky letters like those of a child, and the lines sloped down the page from left to right almost diagonally, as if they were loops of string lying on the paper, and someone had come along and blown them askew." Chapter 11, pg. 106

Quote 15: "I decided to walk to the bus terminal and inquire about the fares to Chicago. Then I might go to the bank and withdraw precisely that amount which would not cause so much suspicion" Chapter 11, pg. 113

Quote 16: "There was a uniformity, as if they had lain for a long time on a shelf, out of the sunlight, under siftings of pale, fine dust." Chapter 12, pg. 15-16

Quote 17: "I knew my baby wasn't like that...I knew you'd decide to be all right again." Chapter 12, pg. 119

Quote 18: "I had removed my patent leather shoes after a while, for they foundered badly in the sand. It pleased me to think they would be perched there on the silver log, pointing out to sea, like a sort of soul-compass, after I was dead." Chapter 12, pg. 124

Quote 19: "It was just like a man to do it with a gun. A fat chance I had of laying my hands on a gun." Chapter 13, pg. 127

Quote 20: "The graveyard disappointed me. It lay at the outskirts of the town, on low ground, like a rubbish dump, and as I walked up and down the gravel paths. I could smell the stagnant salt marshes in the distance." Chapter 13, pg. 135

Quote 21: "Get out. Get the hell out and don't come back." Chapter 14, pg. 142

Quote 22: "'O Esther I wish you would cooperate. They say you don't cooperate. They say you won't talk to any of the doctors or make anything in Occupational therapy...'

'I've got to get out of here,' I told her meaningly. 'Then I'd be all right. You got me in here,' I said. 'You get me out.'" Chapter 14, pg. 146

Quote 23: "I'm not angry anymore. Before I was angry all the time." Chapter 15, pg. 158

Quote 24: "But you're all right now." Chapter 16, pg. 164

Quote 25: "I suppose you do" Chapter 16, pg. 166

Quote 26: "It wasn't the shock treatment that struck me, so much as the bare-faced treachery of Dr. Nolan. I loved her. I had given her my trust on a platter and told her everything and she had promised, faithfully, to warn me ahead of time if ever I had to have another shock treatment." Chapter 17, page173

Quote 27: "the bell jar hung, suspended, a few feet above my head. I was open to the circulating air." Chapter 18, pg. 176

Quote 28: "I am climbing to my freedom, freedom from fear, freedom from marrying the wrong person, like Buddy Willard, just because of sex, freedom from the Florence Crittenden Homes where all the poor girls go who should have been fitted out like me, because what they did, they would do anyway, regardless..." Chapter 18, pg. 182

Quote 29: "ever since I'd learned about the corruption of Buddy Willard, my virginity weighed like a millstone around my neck." Chapter 19, pg. 180

Quote 30: "Doctor Nolan said, quite bluntly, that a lot of people would treat me gingerly, or even avoid me, like a leper with a warning bell. My mother's face floated to mind, a pale reproachful moon, at her last and first visit to the asylum since my twentieth birthday. A daughter in an asylum! I had done that to her." Chapter 20, pg. 193

Quote 31: "There would be a black, six-foot-deep gap backed in the hard ground. That shadow would marry this shadow, and the peculiar yellowish soil of our locality seal the wound in the whiteness, and yet another snowfall erase the newness in Joan's grave." Chapter 20, pg. 198

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