The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

If you are not a fan of Sylvia Plath I suggest you skip this one.

In few words this book is only novel, a semi-biography written by Sylvia Plath and basically a narration of her downward spiral, covering her suicide attempts and hospitalization.

If you know anything about her life and her writing, it’s going to be of great interest to you because you will be able to connect dots easily.

But honestly, if this is the first time you are reading this name, or you are in pleasant phase of your life you might through this book on the nearest wall just after few pages.

Everyone told me not to read it, because it’s depressing. For my folks it looks like an act of self-immolation.

But I told them it’s validating and empowering to me.

Sylvia held my hand and took me on a tour of her life that must have looked normal to a passerby (only initially) but silently slipped into the rabbit hole deeper and deeper.

At one point she wrote,

“it felt dark and safe under there, but the mattress wasn’t heavy enough. I needed about a ton of more weight to make me sleep”

That suddenly reminded me of my own words. During a late night phone call, with one of my most patient friends, I said,

“i feel like a paper at times, I want someone to put paper weights on my hands and feet so that I don’t fly away”

This phenomena is common with people who live with anxiety.

The whole book is quite accurate depiction of mental health struggles.

Constant self-loathing, a feeling of emptiness, loss of ability to feel joy.

One moment you feel you are ok, next you don’t want to live.

In her own words,

“To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby. The world itself is a bad dream.”

The deeper you descend into the book, the more you admire the accuracy of its title.

It’s brilliantly written, the analogies will make change your perspective forever.

And it’s brutally honest.

She didn’t hold back for a moment, even if it would place her in the bad light.

I have read, marked, etched few lines in my mind.

Whenever I feel I lack words to express my pain, I will pick The bell Jar and open a random page to freshen my wounds.

..

Copyright © 2020 stoneronarollercoaster – All rights reserved

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Kindly visit my post Warriors Invited To Raise Mental Health Awareness where I am inviting Mental Health Warriors to submit their blog’s address so that we can join hands to control this wildfire.

39 thoughts on “The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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  1. I can’t get past her self-absorption.

    Killing herself with her baby and toddler in the next room. Leaving her body in the oven for her children to find.

    Interestingly enough, the mistress of Sylvia’s husband took over the care of her now semi-orphaned children.

    The mistress had an illegitimate daughter with Ted, Sylvia’s widow.

    A few years later, the mistress murdered that daughter and killed herself.

    About 30 years after that, Sylvia’s now adult son committed suicide.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. this is going to be a long one.

      when i wrote about suicide the first time (Chester Benington’s), i was like..what about his family? i myself was heart broken like any fan.

      But then a lot of readers came forward and corrected me. people who had attempted suicide. I realized in that moment you cross the zone of reality. especially people who apparently had reasons to live.

      then came my own suicide ideation. i did not want to die, but i was going to make this happen.

      then came extremely painful suicide of a close relative, who was seeking help. he had a wonderful loving family that treated him like the king of the home. We told ourselves, he would never do this to himself if he has some sense of reality.

      I had read about Sylvia Plath before but i read briefly again so that i don’t get it wrong. Her fetal attempt, she taped and sealed the kitchen well so that gas couldn’t get to her kids.

      In the attempts mentioned in the bell jar i particularly noticed a pattern, her life wasn’t that horrible but her depressing had strong deep roots, it would come to her in waves. You wouldn’t believe in the next page she would actually attempt it.

      Her thoughts are sporadic, her heard empty as if she can’t feel anything. She never once attempted to come of as a compassionate person but she didn’t wish something bad for anyone else either.

      Her first attempt she made in 1953, last in 1963, in between she had made multiple attempts even tho on the surface she found love got married and and have kids and be a remarkable writer.

      When mental illnesses have strong roots it keep teasing you inside, it’s like a devil provoking you all the time.

      Sorry this got very long. i was just trying to make sense.

      Last 2 years I have seen too many serious cases (some really close) and it’s now I have begin to understand how our minds can make us lose control.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Totally respect you.

        My view is colored by 1. Postpartum depression. I totally had it before I even knew what it was and definitely struggled with suicide ideation.

        2. My mom tried to kill herself when I was 16. My baby sister was 6.

        It’s just so very very hard on the kids that are left.

        All that having been said, I’ve read The Bell Jar several times and I do feel sorry for her.

        I always enjoy your blog and I do complete empathize with the struggle.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have a feeling Sylvia Plath’s postpartum depression could have push her over the edge as she was prescribed some medication specifically just few days back.

        But I’m really doubtful about the treatment given to people struggling with mental health disorders. A lot just feel like it was meant to make it worse or just end your life for once.

        I’m sorry about your mother. I understand. This is something that haunts kids for life and in most cases they end up on the same track.

        We have history and we can feel it’s branches. We can see who got this “gift” from parents.
        But in the end it’s nobody’s fault.

        I’m glad that you enjoy my blog and I’m extremely grateful for the support I get from you all.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I had read a poem “Mirror” by Sylvia Plath in my 10th standard English textbook! I still remember its depth! My teacher had told us about her life and how she chose to quit it.
    Thank you for the caution that is, The Bell Jar’s depressing aura’ but I’ll just give it a read! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. great review! i love the enthusiasm in your description of the book, it really motivated to read it! thank you very much for sharing!!! i love your blog🤗

    Follow @everythingtips for tips and recommendations if interested! It would mean a lot to me!🥺🤍

    Liked by 1 person

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