The Bell Jar

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The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar is a novel about a girl named Ether. Ether gets a dream scholarship to work for a fashion magazine in New York. But she never seems pleased with this opportunity. Ether is very vulnerable. She is searching for her identity which soon descends into madness. This novel is also an autobiography of Sylvia Plath’s own mental breakdown and suicide attempt. Sylvia Plath connects us with Ether through foreshadowing, word choice and imagery. Foreshadowing is the use of hints or clues of what will happen later on in your reading. Foreshadowing can convey information that helps readers understand what comes later. By Sylvia’s use of foreshadowing, it helps show early on clues that Ether is breaking down. By using phrases early on about her unhappiness we can tell what she might become or what to expect from her later on in the novel. Through foreshadowing we can see that Ether is just slipping into a state of depression. One example is when Buddy took Ether skiing. Neither of them had any experience. When it came time for Ether to ski down the big hill she got worried, then the thought came that she could possibly die on the way down. “The thought that I might kill myself formed in my mind coolly as a tree or a flower” (137). This line shows that she is starting to change. It shows that her life isn’t important to her. Another great example is when her boss, Jay Cee, asks her what she wants to do in the future. Ether simply answered, “I don’t know”. The answer displeased Ether but she knew it was true. This shows that she has no motivation or anything to work towards. Ether applies for a summer writing program but gets denied. This foreshadows a crushed self and being stuck at home with her mother. With good word choice, you can create a mental picture for the reader by using words that are specific. Word choice usually includes strong action verbs and very descriptive adjectives. Much of Sylvia’s writing is very descriptive....
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