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Sylvia Plath Writing Styles in The Bell Jar

This Study Guide consists of approximately 41 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Bell Jar.
This section contains 549 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Name

Point of View

The point of view of the novel is first person. The reader is able to see everything through the eyes of Esther Greenwood. This gives the reader a perfect view of how she sees everything around her and allows them to travel with her as she descends into insanity. Esther is a college student who feels the pressure of always succeeding and wonders if she will find success after college. This leads her to have a nervous breakdown.

The story is told through exposition and dialogue. The reader sees how Esther views her life and the people around her. It allows the reader to form a special bond with Esther and see how she goes from being an average college student to a resident of an asylum. The journey through Esther’s mind is a spellbinding ride that leaves the reader breathless.

Language and Meaning

The language of the novel is powerful and suggestive. Esther is a writer and her story is told in a florid fashion that draws the reader in and takes them along through the intricate ride through Esther’s mind. The language is typical of a college student. The language is simple yet powerful and allows the reader to morph into Esther’s mind and experience what she experiences. Plath is an excellent writer who uses her skill of the language and imagery to write a novel that is spellbinding and leaves the reader sharing Esther’s despair and hoping she finds the strength to conquer her fears.

Plath’s style is powerful with her use of imagery and language to make Esther’s world become real to the reader. She uses simple, but concise worlds that draw the reader in and makes them experience what Esther is experiencing. The chapters are short and concise and show the slow progress of Esther’s descent into insanity and her journey back to recovery. Esther’s journey becomes real to the reader and they travel with her on her journey from madness to recovery and root for her success.

Structure

The Bell Jar is comprised of twenty chapters. The chapters are short and concise and show Esther’s spiral into madness and her slow journey to recovery. It is a powerful novel that draws the reader in and makes them part of the story. It is an easy and quick read that is enjoyable.

The plot of the novel is simple. Esther is a college student who cracks under the pressure of her success. She experiences a nervous breakdown and attempts suicide. The novel follows her as she slowly descends into madness and thinks of anyone to end her life. She comes up with many ways and eventually does follow through on the attempt. This lands her in the state hospital and through the kindness of a benefactress to a more affluent asylum that leads to her recovery.

The novel is a quick read with short concise chapters. It chronicles Esther’s slow descent into madness and her slow recovery. The words are simple and make the book easy to read. It is the story of a young woman who buckles under the pressures of her success and has a nervous breakdown. She must struggle to regain the life she once knew.

This section contains 549 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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