The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath: Playdough, Paperweight, Snowball

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Victoria Johnson
British Literature

"I saw the years of my life spaced along a road in the form of telephone poles, threaded together by wires. I counted one, two, three ... nineteen poles, and then the wires dangled into space, and try as I would, I couldn't see a single pole beyond the nineteenth."(Plath 123) This quote fully embodies the whole mood of the book, The Bell Jar by Silvia Plath. The main character Esther is constantly at war with herself, she can’t figure out what to work towards or where her life is going. She is unable to see past the nineteenth post in her life, it’s as if her life was never supposed to move on. This mind set pushes Esther into a deep depression and drives her to attempt suicide many times. In the novel Ester Greenwood, a young aspiring writer, battles a war within herself everyday. She starts out high on life; she was one of the winners of a writing contest so she is living in New York experiencing a very affluent lifestyle. Her life is as colorful and wonderful as brand new Play Dough. Then one day she realizes she is no longer herself, she is trapped in an image that others have molded. She stops and thinks, who am I? Where am I going? What am I doing with my life? Much like that wad of Play Dough she too wore out, she was now dull, hardened, and futureless. Though it is still called Play Dough, it no longer serves the same purpose or is anything like its old self. Simply a shell of the girl she once was she no longer has her old friends, she didn’t make it into her college honors writing class, and she cant even bring herself to write anymore. Battling a civil war daily wore Esther down farther and farther until there was nothing left of her soul. For Esther the troubling question was no longer just who am I? It was a much more serious question of why am I here? Why am I alive? She has a very hard time getting through each day, “I couldn’t see the point of getting up. I had...
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