Disappointment and Identity Crisis ——the Reasons of Esther’s Insanity in the Bell Jar

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Disappointment and Identity Crisis
——the reasons of Esther’s insanity in The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar is the autobiographical book of Sylvia Plath and it follows the real story of the author’s experience of adolescent depression and suicide attempts (Wang, 2006). Esther Greenwood is the protagonist and narrator of The Bell Jar. She is a girl from Boston who is swept up into a fast-paced New York City life and cannot take it. The novel follows her descent into madness and her struggle to escape from it. She experiences a lot and suffers a lot in this novel. From the very beginning, its title, the bell jar, is a metaphorical explanation for what her insanity feels like. It is suffocating and it closes her off from the world (Shao, 2008). She can’t understand lot of matters happening around her and she can’t find an entrance for herself which directly results in her insanity. My focus is on what makes Esther confused and behaves insanely. Esther feels confused throughout the novel and I firmly believed Esther's confusion and desperation from her disappointment and her identity crisis. This directly leads her confusion and insanity. And I will elaborate it in detail. Esther does not really understand her surroundings and the nature of her problems. On the one hand, she actually can’t understand the thoughts and behavior of the people around her. She tries to communicate with them but fails. She supposes that Valerie is normal, only to find out that she has had a lobotomy. She attaches herself to Mrs. Norris and waits for her to talk, but she never does. When she is moved to a better part of the house, she doesn't understand it because she doesn't see herself getting more positive (Sylvia Plath, 1971). On the other hand, she can’t blame on the society or the people around her, after all, everyone treats her well and she cannot change the whole environment of the society. In the past 19 years, to her mother, she is a motivated and obedient girl, high academic...
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