The Bell Jar Symbols & Objects

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 300 words
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Crevice in the cellar

The crevice in the cellar is where Esther hid away after taking a large number of sleeping pills to kill herself. She barricaded the entrance and waited for the pills to take effect.

The Bell Jar

Esther sees the bell jar as madness. She sees herself as trapped under it, and it skews her outlook on the world around her and keeps her from interacting with the people around her as well.


Caplan is the building where Esther is housed when she first arrives at the private mental hospital. The patients here require more care.

Walton, Dr. Gordon’s private hospital

Esther is sent to Dr. Gordon’s private hospital for electroshock therapy. She has a painful experience and refuses to go back.


Belsize is the building where patients who are responding well to treatment are placed. They have more freedom and are allowed privileges such as going into town.

The Thirty Best Short Stories of the Year

Ladies' Day gave Esther a book, The Thirty Best Short Stories, after she got food poisoning from food served at an event they hosted. It was the only possession she kept when she left New York to return to Boston.

The Fig Tree

A fig tree is featured in the book Esther receives from Ladies’ Day. Marco also tried to rape Esther under a fig tree.

New York City

Esther went to New York City for a month to work for a fiction editor.


Esther lives in Boston with her mother once she returns from New York and before she goes back to college for fall.


Wymark is the state hospital where the very difficult, mentally ill patients are sent. No one at the private hospital wants to be sent there.

This section contains 300 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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